What to do when you catch COVID-19? — 1/18/21

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.

You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism. 

This week marks one year since the United States detected its first COVID-19 infection. The world still lacks a silver bullet for helping COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalization, but experts offer a variety of tips that might help.

Today we highlight our story about how to navigate a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Reporter Bram Sable-Smith follows Morganne Seiner of Waterloo, Wisconsin, as she tries to keep her COVID-19 infection from spreading to her husband Andrew — requiring them to wear masks in their home and sleep in separate rooms. 

Sable-Smith also spoke to experts who discussed how to limit spread within a household, monitor systems and boost an infected person’s immune system in an effort to avoid hospitalization. Recommendations include using a pulse oximeter to check oxygen levels and asking doctors about monoclonal antibody treatment.

Top Stories

Angela Major / WPR

Andrew Seiner, right, stands with his wife, Morganne Seiner, left, on Jan. 9, 2021, at Firemen’s Park in Waterloo, Wis. Morgan received a COVID-19 diagnosis on New Year’s Day, prompting the couple to improvise ways to limit Andrew’s exposure while inside of their home.

So you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. What next? Wisconsin Watch/WPR 

The campaign to distribute COVID-19 vaccines has misfired across the country. Why are we so far behind schedule? Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Covid-19 deaths are the highest they’ve ever been — and the more infectious variants could make things much worse STAT

Andrea Palm to join Biden administration; former Doyle secretary Karen Timberlake tapped to lead Wisconsin health agency Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

COVID-19 vaccine requirements not likely as Madison area businesses balance public health, liability Wisconsin State Journal 

Restaurants put in tricky ‘hall monitor’ role of policing mask use Wisconsin State Journal 

Sauk, Columbia County health officials: Residents should be patient for vaccine Baraboo News Republic 

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at tips@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

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“After being considered essential for 10 months and being held up as critical to the state getting through a pandemic, there is shock in the industry that (grocery store workers) are no longer considered important.” 

— Brandon Scholz, president of the Wisconsin Grocers Association, reacting to a state recommendation that grocery store workers be vaccinated with the rest of the general public, rather than in a priority group.

Data to note

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers this snapshot of the state’s progress on vaccinations. 

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday reported a seven-day average of 44 new daily COVID-19 deaths. The state’s full COVID-19 death toll is 5,470 — with 611 of those deaths reported since Jan. 1.  

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

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

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com

Fox Cities businesses stand ready for economic resurgence once the pandemic subsides Appleton Post-Crescent 

Youngsters learn about COVID-19’s effects on lungs with activity kits from Project Empower Wisconsin State Journal 

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