Milwaukee leaders calls for more vaccine shipments ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit — 2/16/21

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

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Today we highlight the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s preview of President Joe Biden’s appearance Tuesday night at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater, where he’ll push his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal in his first major political trip as president.

The CNN “Presidential Town Hall” will begin at 8 p.m., with Biden taking questions from Anderson Cooper and invited guests. 

“There will likely be a keen focus on the administration’s policies to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, including the roll-out of vaccines and the reopening of schools,” the newspaper reports. “Ahead of Biden’s visit, elected leaders Tuesday called for more vaccine to be sent to Milwaukee County.”

Also Tuesday night, Gov. Tony Evers is scheduled to give his budget address as he rolls out a suite of  spending proposals, including COVID relief. The address will be live streamed on his YouTube channel beginning at 7 p.m.  

Top Stories 

Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch

Gov. Tony Evers is seen at his first State of the State address in Madison, Wis., at the State Capitol on Jan. 22, 2019.

Evers to detail budget that would provide COVID help, legalize pot and let the sales tax go up Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Joe Biden to pitch $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package during tonight’s Pabst Theater appearance Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

More contagious COVID-19 variant found in the UK reported in Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Bucks announce plans to phase in fans at Fiserv Forum WPR 

DHS invests $6.1 million to promote equity in COVID-19 vaccine program WKBT 

Wisconsin legislature set to waive businesses’ taxes on coronavirus aid WPR 

As College Board eliminates optional tests, higher ed navigates new testing landscape Cap Times 

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“All things are trending in the right way, but we’ve got to make sure that we continue to go there. We saw what it was like in the fall. We don’t want to go back there.”

— Wisconsin Hospital Association CEO Eric Borgerding, speaking to TMJ4 News about declining counts of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations 

“I’m hopeful. Because over the last year, I’ve seen the heart and grit and resilience of the people of this great state. I believe we can pass a budget with bipartisan support. I believe we can pass a budget that will make sure our state can bounce back and better than it was before this pandemic hit.”

— An excerpt from Gov. Tony Evers’ prepared remarks for his budget address.

Data to note

Wisconsin is nearing 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, with 996,591 shots given as of Tuesday, according to the Department of Health Services

Here’s a look at the DHS vaccine dashboard, which shows that 40.4% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 12.5% of the state’s overall population.

DHS continues to log fewer daily infections, with the seven-day average of daily cases now at 755 — the lowest since early September. Deaths are down to a seven-day average of 16 per day, the lowest since mid-October. Wisconsin’s pandemic death toll now sits at 6,204. 

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

WisContext offers this visualization of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections and deaths.

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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Some Milwaukee-area private schools see a bump in enrollment during COVID TMJ4 News 

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