Gov. Tony Evers announces mobile COVID-19 vaccination program, aiming to quicken state’s pace — 1/15/21

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Friday announced a new mobile COVID-19 vaccination program, aiming to quicken the state’s pace.

The program will launch nine mobile teams on Tuesday, with plans to scale up as Wisconsin expands eligibility for vaccines. Wisconsin National Guard members will staff the teams along with University of Wisconsin System nursing and pharmacy students. The volunteers will complete safety training.

Wisconsin finds first case of quicker-spreading coronavirus mutation — 1/13/21

Wisconsin has identified its first case of a coronavirus mutation that spreads more rapidly and easily than the version that has already infected more than half a million state residents and killed more than 5,200, the state Department of Health Services announced Wednesday.

The variant is not thought to cause more severe COVID-19 symptoms, but public health officials worry B117 could fuel bigger outbreaks, increasing the volume of sickness and number of deaths.

Gov. Tony Evers, Senate GOP reach deal on COVID-19 relief; top Assembly Republican not impressed — 1/12/21

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu have reached a deal on COVID-19 relief legislation, following nine months of inaction from a state government paralyzed by partisanship.

“But the potential for a unified state government response to the pandemic was short-lived,” Molly Beck reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Report: Few inspections at U.S. meatpacking plants, where 239 workers have died of COVID-19 — 1/11/21

Today we highlight a USA TODAY/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting investigation about lax scrutiny and a rising COVID-19 death toll at meatpacking plants.

About 45,000 American meatpacking workers have contracted the coronavirus and at least 239 have died, a team of reporters found. But the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration has failed to inspect 26 of the 65 meatpacking plants where at least one worker died.

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

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.

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.

Pandemic prompts safety questions for Wisconsin caucus goers — 1/7/21

Today we highlight our examination of the safety and access questions surrounding the in-person caucuses towns and villages are holding this month to nominate candidates for local office.

Anya van Wagtendonk reports on a couple from the town of Hudson in St. Croix County who sought — unsuccessfully — to force town officials to allow them to remotely participate in its nominating event.

Where students are falling behind during the pandemic — 1/6/21

Today we highlight our story exploring what we know — and what is yet to be learned — about how well Wisconsin school children are faring during a pandemic that has forced some schools to teach fully or partially online.

Reporter Peter Cameron found that limited studies have found children in grades K-12 nationwide have fallen behind in math. And a survey of Wisconsin students and their parents — most of them in rural areas — finds that just 15% believe they are learning as much during the pandemic as before.

Report: How COVID-19 surged inside a Wisconsin prison — 1/4/21

Today we highlight a Wisconsin State Journal story about how a Wisconsin prison failed to contain a massive COVID-19 outbreak.

Reporter Emily Hamer documented “a series of missteps” that caused infections to soar within Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution — from just 12 active COVID-19 infections in early September to more than 870 in October. The Sheboygan County prison failed to separate inmates from others and was slow to shut down indoor areas where inmates congregate, staff members and inmates told Hamer.

Aurora Health says pharmacist spoiled 500-plus doses of COVID-19 vaccine by intentionally removing vials from fridge; Police make arrest — 12/31/20

Advocate Aurora Health has fired a Grafton-based employee who allegedly spoiled 57 vials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine by intentionally removing them from a refrigerator, according to media reports.

Each vial contained enough vaccine for 10 doses, reports Ricardo Torres for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That means vaccines will be delayed for more than 500 people. The FBI, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Grafton police are investigating, Torres added.