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The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but public health experts are urging Americans to learn from failures in responding to this year’s public health crisis — to avoid worse devastation during the next pandemic, Mark Johnson reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Although COVID-19 caused devastation around the world, the U.S. has paid heavily for its mistrust in science and willingness to politicize health care. America’s response to the pandemic was crippled by its longtime failure to address racial and social inequities in health care, and by its inability to mount a uniform, federal response across all 50 states,” Johnson reports. “Lies and misinformation emanated from the highest levels of government, and reverberated across social media. Fundamental safety measures were mocked and ignored by many.”
We’ll face another pandemic. Experts warn it will be ‘even more damaging’ if the U.S. doesn’t take action on lessons learned from COVID-19. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
As virus spread inside Oshkosh prison, inmates faced isolation, depression; major COVID-19 outbreaks hit other state institutions — Appleton Post-Crescent
Wisconsin unemployment backlog could be cleared by next week, but systemic problems remain — Journal Times
Can your employer make you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Legal experts say the answer is yes. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Assembly Democrats consider skipping inauguration because of the lack of a mask requirement — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Time stood still: Photos capture the pandemic ‘before times’ — Cap Times
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Data to note
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 statistics. New documented COVID-19 infections and test-positivity rates have continued to decline from a pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state is also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, now hovering at mid-October levels.
DHS on Wednesday reported a seven-day average of 29 new COVID-19 deaths each day. Wisconsin’s total pandemic death toll is 4,818, according to DHS data.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.
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A team effort aims to distribute millions of masks and sanitizer bottles in Wisconsin — Cap Times
With in-person services limited, Wisconsin’s libraries check out new ways to serve their communities — WPR
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