Who’s next in Wisconsin’s vaccine rollout? — 1/8/21

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

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As frontline health care workers and nursing home residents receive COVID-19 vaccinations needed to end the pandemic, other Wisconsinites are anxiously awaiting who will next join those ranks. 

“It could include teachers, people in prisons, grocery clerks, bus drivers and Wisconsinites who are 75 and older,” Madeline Heim reports for the Appleton Post-Crescent. “Those recommendations are expected from the state’s vaccine distribution oversight committee by the end of the week.”

The questions loom as documented COVID-19 infections have steadily increased over the past two weeks after plummeting from a mid-November peak. The Department of Health Services on Friday reported a seven-day average of 2,715 new daily infections and a seven-day average of 36 new deaths. 

Wisconsin’s cumulative COVID-19 death toll reached 5,119 on Friday.

Top Stories

Angela Major / WPR

Registered nurse Angela Yarbrough draws up a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison.

Hospitals in central, northeast Wisconsin ‘anxiously awaiting’ state’s decision on who to vaccinate next — Appleton Post-Crescent 

Biden plans to release available COVID-19 vaccines instead of holding back for second doses — USA TODAY 

U.S. reports more than 4,000 Covid deaths for first time as outbreak grows worse than ever — CNBC 

Wisconsin to begin assisted living vaccinations in late January, weeks later than most other states — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

COVID-19 cases climb as post-holiday testing picks up — WPR 

Madison students will start third quarter in online-only learning — Wisconsin State Journal 

2 more inmates die from COVID-19 in Wisconsin prison system; 25 total dead — Wisconsin State Journal 

Inmate reiterates concerns as 3 remain in isolation with COVID-19 at Rock County Jail — Janesville Gazette

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“All this interest in vaccinations, I get it. … but at the end of the day, if we let our guard down because of the expectation that we’re going to get a shot tomorrow and life is going to be good, we will be making a horrible, horrible mistake because it is going to take us a long time to get these vaccines in people’s arms.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers as quoted by WPR

Data to note

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

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

Gym memberships remain flat, fitness professionals get creative — Beloit Daily News 

UW prepares to ramp up testing capacity with smartphone app, 12 new testing locations — Cap Times

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