WISCONSIN CORONAVIRUS: THE LATEST

Coronavirus Still Surging Among Young People in Dane County

BY Savanna Tomei

MADISON, Wisc., (SPECTRUM NEWS) - New numbers show that as coronavirus spikes in the Madison area, it’s spreading largely among young people and at gatherings.

Data from Public Health Madison Dane County shows there have been almost 1,500 new cases in the county from June 20 to July 6. About 850 people, who make up 57 percent of those new cases, were between ages 18 to 25.

Read More

Wisconsin Isn’t Doing Enough Coronavirus Testing, According To Harvard Model

BY Maddie Burakoff

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Thousands of Wisconsinites are getting tested for COVID-19 every day as the pandemic continues to spread across the state. But the current testing rates aren’t enough to effectively keep the virus at bay, according to a data model from the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The Harvard model uses population, case rates, and estimated number of contacts to determine how many tests each state should be performing. An analysis from The New York Times on Friday, which compares states using this model, lists Wisconsin as one of 34 states that are “far below” the recommended testing targets.

Read More

Wisconsin Sees Highest Number of Positive Coronavirus Test Results in One Day

BY Aly Prouty

WISCONSIN, (Spectrum News 1) -- Friday, July 10, Wisconsin saw the highest number of positive test results for COVID-19.

Wisconsin has had a total of 34,753 positive coronavirus cases over the course of the pandemic, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Today, Friday, 845 new positive cases of coronavirus were confirmed. This is the record for new cases in one day in the state.

Read More

Wisconsin Groups Work To Improve COVID-19 Testing Access For People of Color

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 8:53 AM ET Jul. 10, 2020

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — As the coronavirus pandemic keeps affecting minority communities at disproportionate rates, access to COVID-19 testing has been an important matter.

Wisconsin has made efforts on a statewide level to offer free tests to the minority groups that are hit hardest by the pandemic — but local organizations and health care providers are also stepping in to bridge the gap.

Read More

Want to be Tested for Coronavirus? You May be Waiting Hours.

BY Savanna Tomei

MADISON, Wisc., (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Lines for public coronavirus testing can be hours long at some sites.

After a surge in cases in Wisconsin, public testing sites are slammed with more people getting tested. Tuesday at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, some waited hours to get swabbed. One staffer says when he got in before 7 a.m., there were already people waiting. Testing didn’t even open until 8 a.m.

Read More

A Look at Wisconsin’s Changing Coronavirus Demographics

BY Maddie Burakoff

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — After seeing decreasing case counts for much of late June, Wisconsin’s coronavirus cases are on the rise again. But this spike looks different from earlier levels. Here, we take a look at how the demographics of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases have shifted, and what that means for the state moving forward.

On the whole, Wisconsin has been seeing high daily case rates — and not just because of increased testing, since the percentage of total tests that return positive results has also been increasing. As of Tuesday, July 7, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports there have been over 32,500 positive cases in the state.

Read More

Milwaukee Weighs Mandatory Mask Ordinance to Curb Coronavirus

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- The City of Milwaukee appears to be one step closer to possibly moving forward with a mandatory mask policy in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The time to act is now, we cannot stand by while new cases soar, school reopening discussions are taking place, and people continue to die," wrote Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, the MKE Cares ordinance sponsor, in a statement released Monday night. "We won’t look back and regret this science supported action to protect our loved ones, but we will regret it if we do not act. MKE Cares is built on compliance. We want you to do your part to help keep everyone safe."

Read More

As Coronavirus Numbers Spike, Death Toll in Wisconsin Slows

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- With more than 1,800 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin since Friday alone, including the state's biggest spike since testing began of 738 new cases Saturday, the state's positivity rate is soaring.

Deaths and hospitalizations tied to COVID-19, though, have held somewhat steady.

Read More

What We Know About Herd Immunity and Coronavirus

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 10:07 AM ET Jul. 02, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, with case rates climbing higher than ever in the U.S., the issue on a lot of minds is how we can squelch the novel coronavirus’s rapid transmission. Some have raised the question: Should we aim for herd immunity?

The idea behind herd immunity is that if enough people become immune to a virus — either through a vaccine, or by getting infected and then recovering — the whole population is protected, since the virus doesn’t have enough hosts to spread effectively. In the age of COVID-19, the term has gotten attention from U.K. health officials and music festival organizers alike (although the controversial “Herd Immunity Fest” in Wisconsin has since rebranded).

Read More

Areas of Wisconsin Deal with Significant Coronavirus Spikes

BY Dan Molloy

WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- As the country sees its highest daily increases in positive COVID-19 tests, areas of Wisconsin are dealing with significant spikes in recent weeks.

Dane County cases have doubled in the last three weeks. Jeff Pothof, an emergency medicine doctor at UW Health, said reopening plans were contingent on people following certain protective protocols, which many people have not followed.

Read More

Wedding Industry Getting Back on Track During Pandemic

BY Magaly Ayala

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Wedding celebrations require a lot of time, money, and energy, making it stressful for some couples especially during a pandemic.

The wedding industry is starting to pick up business again and coming up with creative ways to help couples navigate through this time.

Read More

Making History: Digital Archive Documents Life In Milwaukee During COVID-19

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 9:46 AM ET Jun. 29, 2020

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — As the global spread of COVID-19 has transformed our world, we’ve all been living through history these past few months. For one professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the pandemic has created an opportunity to document that history as it occurs.

“It has been remarkable to see how everyone has experienced the same thing,” says Christopher D. Cantwell, an assistant professor of public history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “I don’t think we can say that’s been true for a very long time.”

Read More

Dane County Issuing Tighter Restrictions After Coronavirus Spike

BY Savanna Tomei

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Dane County residents will be under tighter restrictions after a big spike in COVID-19 cases.

This week, the county had its biggest five-day increase since the first cases in February. Now more than 1,400 residents have tested positive, and increased testing does not explain the spike.

Read More

Employment Scams Increase During Pandemic

BY Brandon Roberts
UPDATED 6:15 PM ET Jun. 26, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Research by the Better Business Bureau shows employment scams are affecting those already suffering financially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of COVID-19 business shutdowns, the Better Business Bureau study shows employment scams continue to be the No.1 riskiest scam to job seekers, but scams overall have increased as con artists attempt to take advantage of unemployed workers and struggling businesses.

Read More

COVID-19 Positivity Rate Significantly Increases

BY Aly Prouty

WISCONSIN, (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- COVID-19 positivity rates are taking a turn for the worse in Wisconsin. As of Friday, June 26, the state's daily positivity rate sits at 5.7 percent. This is the highest positivity Wisconsinites are seeing since May 27.

This comes after seven weeks of a decreasing positivity rate.

Read More

Experts Say Masks Are Still a Must

BY Erin Billups

CDC officials say the number of Americans who have actually been infected with coronavirus may be 10 times higher than the number of confirmed cases on record. Director Robert Redfield, during a briefing Thursday, stressed the need for the public to remain vigilant; by continuing to social distance, frequently wash hands and to wear face coverings when out. It’s a very different tone and message from what was recommended in late February and early March of this year, when coronavirus cases were just emerging.

Initially the message from health officials was; don’t wear masks, save them for the frontline health care workers. As it became clear that SAR-CoV-2 was often spread through close contact, before a person started experiencing symptoms, and by those who were asymptomatic, or never showing symptoms, health officials changed the recommendation- advising the public to wear cloth or homemade face coverings. The mixed messaging may have left some lingering confusion and potentially even skepticism over the need to wear face coverings.

Read More

Chuck E. Cheese, Retailers Buckle Under Weight of Pandemic

BY Associated Press

NATIONWIDE — Chuck E. Cheese - where kids could be kids while parents nursed headaches - is filing for bankruptcy protection.

The 43-year-old chain, which drew kids in with pizza, video games, and a singing mouse mascot, was struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic. But it said the prolonged closure of many outlets due to coronavirus restrictions led to Thursday’s Chapter 11 filing.

Read More

Blinded by the Light: How UV Can Kill Coronavirus

BY Khyati Patel

ERLANGER, Ky. -- A Japanese university had help from a Northern Kentucky company on research connected to the coronavirus. This study now shows that ultraviolet led lamps can make a big difference in the virus.

For the past several months, there was a long-standing theory that ultraviolet light could help kill the coronavirus.

Read More

After Spring Surge, Health Care Workers Adapt to Live With Coronavirus

BY Nathan Phelps
UPDATED 8:32 AM ET Jun. 16, 2020

GREEN BAY, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — While many people across Wisconsin were home during the pandemic, Adam Rockman and other Intensive Care Unit nurses were busy treating those afflicted with the illness.

“Some people come in and they have a really mild illness, but the ones that are sick are very sick and they stayed with us for a very long time,” he said. “Some people were in our ICU four or five weeks and on the ventilators three, four, five weeks at a time.”

Read More

The Coronavirus Pandemic is Becoming a 'Very Rural Issue'

BY Megan Hedstrom
UPDATED 6:54 AM ET Jun. 16, 2020

NATIONWIDE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Rural health expert explains what coronavirus looks like in rural communities across the US.

Coronavirus is still present throughout communities across the US. That includes those rural communities which weren’t seeing the effects of this pandemic right off the bat.

Read More

Coronavirus Skin Care: Dermatologist Offers Tips for Mask Acne

BY Kathryn Larson
UPDATED 9:29 AM ET Jun. 15, 2020

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- A top UW Health Dermatologist says she is seeing a rise in an unsightly new skin problem, related to something we are all doing to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Apple Bodemer is treating mask acne -- or 'maskne' in places like below the chin and behind the ears where the elastic cord is irritating the skin.

Read More

What to Do If You Accidentally Throw Away Your Stimulus Payment

BY Megan Hedstrom
UPDATED 4:30 PM ET Jun. 11, 2020

NATIONWIDE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Stimulus payments of $1,200 are still making their way to millions of Americans around the U.S.

However, AARP says because of the form it's being sent in, the latest round of payments may accidentally be thrown away.

Read More

Changing Coronavirus Guidance, Safety Recommendations

BY Jason Fechner
UPDATED 9:44 AM ET Jun. 10, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Another day, another clarification from the World Health Organization this week about how COVID-19 could be spreading.

"I think where we stand is that we've gotten some preliminary results and some confusion on what's considered asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic," Dr. Laura Cassidy, an epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Medical College told Spectrum News 1. "[These] were the interpretations of a couple small studies."

Read More

Mental Health Help for Crime Victims during Coronavirus Crisis

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- When Wisconsinites overwhelmingly approved the "Marsy's Law" crime victim constitutional amendment in April, Myranda Tanck with Marsy's Law for Wisconsin says victims of crimes immediately got more rights.

But in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Tanck says some of those victims may need even more help.

Read More

Making Memories Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

BY Marti Glaser

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- The class of 2020 has missed out on a lot amid the coronavirus pandemic, but one Menomonee Falls senior wasn't going to let anything get in the way of celebrating graduation with her family.

“I’m filled with joy because today is the best day," Kenyette Edwards, a graduating senior, said.

Read More

Tying The Knot During a Pandemic

BY Savanna Tomei

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- In trying times, many people are using the opportunity to take stock of their lives. That's exactly what one West Allis couple did by choosing to get married now, instead of waiting for a big wedding.

“We gather here today, at an appropriate social distance, to celebrate the wedding of Megan and H.”

Read More

Months After Outbreak Began, Here's What Harvard Knows Now about the Coronavirus

BY Jason Fechner
UPDATED 8:30 AM ET May. 18, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As communities across Wisconsin deal with days of change tied to Wednesday's Wisconsin Supreme Court decision which essentially ended Governor Tony Evers' Safer at Home order a week-and-a-half before it was set to expire, healthcare experts nationwide have also been dealing with changes to what we know for certain about the coronavirus dubbed COVID-19.

Enter Harvard Medical School.

Read More

Municipalities enact Safer-At-Home rules in lieu of state guidelines

BY Nathan Phelps
UPDATED 9:05 AM ET May. 15, 2020

APPLETON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Less than 12 hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the extension of a Safer-At-Home order, a number of communities enacted their own — similar— rules.

Among them are Appleton and Outagamie County.

Read More

The Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 6:30 AM ET May. 15, 2020

A massive global race to find the best vaccine is on and U.S. health officials say a vaccine could potentially be available as soon as January. It’s an ambitious timeline for those in vaccine research, but the safest and fastest way to gain widespread immunity to COVID-19, and return to a pre-pandemic level of normalcy.

“Problem with vaccines is it's really slow. It takes twelve to 18 months,” said Paul Duprex, director of the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh. “Why is it slow? Because it has to be really safe. We cannot do anything fast and compromise vaccine safety.”

Read More

Wisconsin's Coronavirus Positivity Rate Hits New Low

BY Jason Fechner
UPDATED 8:28 AM ET May. 14, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- For anyone seeking more signs of hope in Wisconsin's ongoing effort to turn the corner in the fight against the coronavirus, this could be it-- this week's case positivity rate has now fallen to its lowest point since before cases started to spike back in March.

Based on the new data out Tuesday from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the state's case positivity rate (the number of all positive COVID-19 tests out of all tests administered) is now down to 5.85% since Sunday (672 positive cases out of 11,485 reportedly administered).

Read More

As Coronavirus Cases Climb, Racine Mayor Weighs In

BY Jason Fechner

RACINE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - With 763 confirmed cases and 16 deaths tied to COVID-19 so far, Racine Mayor Cory Mason knows residents still have a long road ahead of them to turn the corner in southeast Wisconsin.

"We know that all the recommendations that we're getting from health officials, to follow the Safer at Home orders, to do the social distancing," Mayor Mason told Spectrum News 1 Tuesday. "We just got over 500 cases in the City of Racine as of today so obviously we're concerned and need to make sure everybody's being smart and staying safe."

Read More

New Coronavirus Data Shows Good News in Wisconsin

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - The newest data out Sunday from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services gives a glimmer of hope to Wisconsinites working to turn the corner in the state's ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

Over the past four days, Wisconsin's coronavirus positivity rate is now down at 7.06%, edging closer to a rate not seen in Wisconsin since the week of March 22 when it hit 6.26%.

Read More

The U.S. May Face a Second Wave of Coronavirus Infections

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 7:45 AM ET May. 09, 2020

The latest data shows the country’s efforts at social distancing are beginning to have an impact. In areas hardest hit by the coronavirus, new reported cases are dropping.

While the trends are promising, health officials and scientists warn, it’s still too soon to relax social distancing measures. Easing up on restrictions could lead to a surge of deadly infections known as a “second wave.”

Read More

Together/Alone: Now Our Toes are Trying to Tell Us Something

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:38 AM ET May. 08, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I didn’t want to write this. I’m really not into over-sharing. But there’s that old saying: “Write what you know.”

Read More

Who Really Has the Power to Re-Open the Country?

BY Josh Robin

Who has the final say over what happens in states? The President, or state governors? It’s a question that has been asked since the beginning of the Republic -- but the COVID-19 pandemic is adding urgency to the matter.

States are beginning to loosen restrictions meant to stop the spread of the deadly virus. But President Trump still has criticized states for not moving quickly enough in opening up. This even as states don’t follow all of the Trump administration’s own benchmarks before ending strict quarantine orders.

Read More

Mental Health Help During the Coronavirus Crisis: Part III

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Barring a move by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, Wisconsin's current Safer at Home order is set to run until May 26, with the governor and health officials asking the public to spend as much time as possible at home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

WATCH PART I: Mental Health Stressors in Communities of Color

Read More

Mental Health Help During the Coronavirus Crisis: Part II

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As the death toll continues to climb and with more Wisconsinites seek out unemployment benefits, levels of stress, anxiety and depression may be reaching new heights for many people.

For those in Wisconsin who are refugees or immigrants, those stressors during the coronavirus crisis could be even higher.

Read More

Mental Health Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Stressed? Exhausted by the uncertain future tied to the ongoing coronavirus crisis?! Wondering whom to talk to about your emotions right now?!?

Don't worry-- you are not alone.

Read More

How to Find a Love Connection During the Coronavirus Crisis

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Some day in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future, first-dates will again take place in person in countless coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

But if you thought the dating scene was on-hold until after social distancing restrictions were lifted, think again.

Read More

Triple Crown Horses Racing in Virtual Derby to Raise Money for COVID-19 Relief

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 10:46 AM ET May. 02, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The first Saturday in May won't be the same this year, but Churchill Downs wants to make the best of a bad situation. The track announced it plans to host a day-long at-home Kentucky Derby party to raise money for COVID-19 relief.

On Saturday, May 2, the original Derby Day, NBC will air a special broadcast from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm EST featuring the 2015 Kentucky Derby. You'll remember that was the race that started American Pharaoh's historic Triple Crown Run. The network will also broadcast Churchill Downs' first-ever virtual horse race. "The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown" will be a computer-simulated version of the race. The virtual race will feature 13 past Triple Crown winners and use data and algorithms including historical handicapping information about each horse.

Read More

The Growing COVID-19 Symptom List

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 6:47 AM ET Apr. 30, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control Monday, updated its list of recognized COVID-19 symptoms to include issues many were reporting anecdotally, like loss of taste and smell, headaches, chills, repeated shakes along with chills, sore throat, and muscle aches. Fever, shortness of breath and cough still remain telltale signs of COVID-19 illness, but the additional symptoms offer more nuance and potential clarity as people seek diagnosis and testing remains elusive in many parts of the country.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Ellen Eaton says the expanded list is helpful. “Potentially more people are going to want to be tested and know how that affects their care going forward. The vast majority of folks are going to do OK. They're going to be ill, perhaps like a flu, they're going to need to stay home and hydrate.”

Read More

Together/Alone: COVID-19 is Changing 2020 Politics. That's a Good Thing.

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:18 PM ET Apr. 29, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In just a couple of weeks, we will mark the four-year anniversary of an august moment in the life of our democratic republic.

Read More

I Hoped I Already Beat the Coronavirus. Here's What a Test Said.

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As we all learned more about the coronavirus and the symptoms of COVID-19 over the past few weeks, I'm sure most people questioned coughs and colds from earlier this winter just as my friends and I did:

"I was so sick in January-- I think it was probably the coronavirus," or "I had a weird, dry cough for a week-- it might have been COVID-19," or "I was wiped out in early February-- I'll bet it was the 'rona."

Read More

Together/Alone: In Holidays of Tears, Reasons to Hope

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:20 AM ET Apr. 28, 2020

When I last saw Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie six months ago, he was chanting a prayer on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

“I've been thinking of that,” he agreed when we talked this week in advance of Passover, which starts Wednesday. “And I know when we gather again for Yom Kippur, six months from now, nothing's going to be the same.”

Read More

Think You May Already Have Had the Coronavirus? Here's How to (Possibly) Find Out

BY Jason Fechner
UPDATED 7:00 PM ET Apr. 27, 2020

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - There are two types of tests to know about in this "new normal" world of the coronavirus: a test to show if you CURRENTLY have COVID-19, and a test to show if you may have had COVID-19 PREVIOUSLY and now have built up the antibodies to the virus.

But finding an antibody test right now, at least in Wisconsin, can be tricky.

Read More

Seeking Out a Private Lab for a Coronavirus Antibody Test

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As more states roll out sweeping antibody tests and studies to determine what percent of the population may already have been exposed to the coronavirus without knowing and could now be immune, more private labs are offering antibody tests to the public.

One of those private lab companies? ARCpoint Labs.

Read More

New Data Reveals a Good Sign in Wisconsin's Coronavirus Fight

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - New data out Monday from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides a potential silver lining in Wisconsin's ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus: the state's positivity rate is at its lowest point in a month.

Calculated by analyzing the number of positive COVID-19 tests out of all the tests administered statewide, Wisconsin's positivity rate through two days this week is now at 8.62% (394 positive cases out of 4,567 administered).

Read More

UofL Breakthrough Shows Promise Fighting COVID-19

BY Michael Cadigan
UPDATED 7:05 PM ET Apr. 24, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville researchers have developed a technology that is believed to block the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2 from infecting human cells.

The technology is based on a piece of synthetic DNA - an “aptamer” - which targets and binds with a human protein called nucleoli. Early tests show that this aptamer may stop viruses, including novel coronavirus, from “hijacking” nucleoli to replicate inside the body.

Read More

Enhancing Contact Tracing, a Key to Safely Reopening

BY Erin Billups

The exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. took on too rapid a pace for the current workforce of contact tracers, also called disease investigation specialists (DIS), to have any hope of containment. But experts say before the country can safely reopen, contact tracing capabilities need to be drastically expanded so any new COVID-19 outbreaks can be quickly identified and contained.

A report released by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says “In order to trace all contacts, safely isolate the sick, and quarantine those exposed, we estimate that our public health workforce needs to add approximately 100,000 (paid or volunteer) contact tracers to assist with this large-scale effort.”

Read More

How to Avoid the 'Quarantine 15'

BY Ashleigh Mills

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Dietitians are offering advice to anyone fearing the dreaded "Quarantine 15" pounds of weight gain while staying healthy at home. Mindless eating and stress — or emotional — eating is something the University of Kentucky's Dr. Karen Bryla McNees, EdD, RD, commonly hears from her clients.

She offers this advice: when working from home, set up your work station far from the kitchen and food if possible. Get food stored away, out of sight. Don't eat straight from the bag or container, but instead portion the snacks. Start being healthy when grocery shopping, and don't buy the items you feel you can't resist binging.

Read More

Tracking the Next Round of Financial Relief tied to the Coronavirus

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - The next round of financial relief from Washington included in the $480 billion bill agreed to by Congress this week sets aside another $310 billion for small businesses, many of which couldn't get funds in the last relief package.

“My advice to small businesses as they wait for this second round of funding to come out is to make sure your application is completed," Marianne Markowitz, the CEO of First Women's Bank, told Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin."[Make sure] that it’s potentially filed with your lender, that you’re leaning into that relationship that you have with your lender, and really, this program is boiled down to relationships, it’s never been highlighted more how important your relationship with your lender is, and frankly, this is the time to lean into it or re-evaluate that relationship."

Read More

What The Data Really Shows About Wisconsin's Coronavirus Spread

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Tragically, Wisconsin's death toll tied to the coronavirus will continue to climb over the next few weeks or longer.

When it comes to the fight to slow the spread, though, data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows the rate of new confirmed cases statewide isn't climbing... but it's not falling, either.

Read More

How Coronavirus Threat Could Impact November Elections

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - With November's general elections still more than six months away, several potential scenarios are now being discussed from coast-to-coast for how certain states could handle Election Day, especially in the wake of Wisconsin's recent Spring Election with thousands of voters statewide standing in line at the polls in the midst of a global pandemic.

"We’ve [already] seen rallies canceled, we've seen the DNC, the Democratic National Convention postponed, we've seen primaries postponed," Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin said Monday "and there's a real question hanging over all of this-- what happens if there's a resurgence of COVID-19 right around the time of the general election?"

Read More

Technology Expanding the Borders of Hospitals in the Coronavirus Fight

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 6:20 AM ET Apr. 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a rapid scaling up of telehealth services outside of hospital settings and also within its walls. National Health Reporter Erin Billups takes a look at how one hospital system is leveraging technology.

As Angelica Russo, a licensed professional counselor, began developing COVID19-like symptoms, her anxiety started rising. “I had a low-grade temperature, you know 99.5. Fatigue, chills, body aches, some tightness in my chest. And I do suffer from asthma. So all the things that were concerning,”

Read More

Together/Alone: Choosing Between Health and Democracy Amid Coronavirus

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:12 AM ET Apr. 17, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid bleakness and uncertainty, there’s a lot I’m seeing inspiring me.

Read More

Evers extends Wisconsin stay-at-home order until May 26

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 3:37 PM ET Apr. 16, 2020

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday extended Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order that was originally slated to expire next week for another month, keeping non-essential businesses closed until May 26 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Schools will be closed the remainder of the academic year under the order.

Read More

Facebook Senior Picture Challenge Not All Fun and Games

BY Spectrum News Staff

NATIONWIDE — It seems harmless and a sweet way to remember your high school glory days. We're talking about the latest Facebook craze, posting your senior high school photo.

Folks aren't just posting their pictures, but also their high school name, their graduation year, all in an effort to show support for the 2020 seniors who don't get to participate in the annual rite of passage, graduation.

Read More

Stimulus Checks Are on the Way; Check the Status of Your Money

BY Spectrum News Staff

WASHINGTON, DC — The news is starting to spread by word of mouth and social media; the stimulus checks are arriving in bank accounts.

Wednesday the Internal Revenue Service and the US Treasury Department unveiled a new tool to help you track the status of your check. Get My Payment will allow you to check on the status of your check and provide the IRS with your banking information so the check can be directly deposited.

Read More

Together/Alone: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Quit Hoarding Food

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:10 AM ET Apr. 14, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My (latest) panic attack over whether we'd have enough food during the quarantine began when I searched online the other day to buy whole wheat flour. I had just used it to bake a pair of bread loaves.

Read More

On Stage At Home: Broadway’s Biggest Stars Offer Messages of Hope and Inspiration

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:10 AM ET Apr. 13, 2020

How are Broadway's biggest names adjusting to being at home instead of on stage? Watch On Stage At Home, a special two-night event featuring the best of Broadway sharing how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Frank DiLella hosts from his home, and the two episodes include personal videos sent by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marissa Tomei, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Debra Messing, Ben Vereen, Tituss Burgess, Fran Drescher, Matthew Morrison and literally dozens more explaining how they’re coping with being shut indoors, showing off their children, their pets, what they’re cooking, their hobbies, performing songs and offering words of hope and inspiration.

Read More

DEVELOPING: Model Shows Wisconsin Just Hit Coronavirus Peak

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - The projected peak of hospital usage tied to the coronavirus in Wisconsin hit suddenly on Easter Sunday, but that new projection from the oft-cited IHME model assumes one big thing: that people in the Badger State will continue to keep up with current social distancing policies and procedures through May.

That new model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, a projection model often used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, also shows the projected death toll by May 9 continues to fall, now down to 357 statewide.

Read More

Coronavirus Live Updates: Latest on COVID-19 in Wisconsin for Saturday, April 11

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 5:30 PM ET Apr. 10, 2020

WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- The information about the Coronavirus is coming in at warp speed. We want to keep everyone as informed as possible and we will be updating this "blog" with information as it comes in to Spectrum News 1.

MORE RESOURCES: CORONAVIRUS FAQS, SYMPTOMS CHECKER, UPDATES & MORE

Read More

What Are The Best Ways to Order Groceries Online?

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 9:05 AM ET Apr. 10, 2020

NATIONWIDE – As the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to change daily tasks, grocery shopping is now atop the list of high-risk activities.

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now advising Americans to avoid grocery stores and pharmacies as the next few weeks threaten a high risk for spread of COVID-19.

Read More

Racial Disparities No Surprise, So Now What?

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 6:44 AM ET Apr. 09, 2020

As snapshots of the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on communities of color continue to emerge, the reaction from the country’s leaders paints a picture of how entrenched racial health disparities are in the United States.

“We've known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionally affecting the minority population, especially African-Americans,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID director and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “The things that get people to ICU's, that require intubation and often lead to death, they are just those comorbidities that are unfortunately, disproportionally prevalent in the African-American population.”

Read More

Update: Wisconsin Coronavirus Peak Projected to Start in 10 Days

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - The latest model projecting the curve of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin has the state's peak hospital usage beginning on April 17.

That model, constantly updated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington takes into account the effectiveness of social distancing and Governor Tony Evers' ongoing "Safer at Home" order, but it has not yet factored in any potential case spike tied to Tuesday's Election Day and in-person voting taking place statewide.

Read More

Need Financial Help? State Treasurer Maps Out Options

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbed in Wisconsin Monday, hundreds of thousands of now-unemployed Wisconsinites and struggling small business owners continued to search for financial relief to help get them through to the end of the crisis.

"Our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites," Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski told Spectrum News 1 Monday afternoon, "and we know that in containing this awful, awful disease, it has come to impact our employees and small businesses..."

Read More

Wisconsin Church Hosts Parking Lot Services

BY Jason Fechner

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - The doors at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church remained closed to parishioners Sunday in the midst of Wisconsin's Safer at Home order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Its parking lot, though, was a different story.

Read More

As Stockpile Runs out of Medical Supplies, Trump Administration Changes Its Description

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 7:43 AM ET Apr. 05, 2020

As coronavirus cases just begin to surge in the United States, the Strategic National Stockpile - a supply of life-saving equipment that the federal government maintains - is nearly out of protective gear.

And now, as hospitals buckle under the strain, the federal government is changing the definition of the stockpile's precise purpose.

Read More

Former NYC Health Commissioner Shares Insight on Coronavirus Outbreak

BY Megan Hedstrom

WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS)— Peggy Hamburg holds a lot of experience under her belt as a former FDA health commissioner and former health commissioner of New York City.

“Actually for more than two decades have been working on how to prepare and respond to outbreaks of infectious disease. I have been worried that one day we might see a global pandemic like this. I didn’t know what it would be or when it would be and now that we are in the midst of it it seems a little surreal,” Former FDA health commissioner and former health commissioner of New York City, Dr. Peggy Hamburg said.

Read More

When No More Ventilators Are Left

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 9:00 AM ET Apr. 04, 2020

As political and health leaders look into the face of rapidly approaching peaks in COVID-19 cases, the need for ventilators has hit crisis levels. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Friday giving the state power to take ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) from hospitals not currently crushed with COVID-19 patients, and give them to hospitals that are.

There will likely come a point when there will be no more ventilators to shuffle around, and when that happens, what next? It’s a question Governor Cuomo refused to entertain. “I don’t want to think about that consequence, we have many options.” Cuomo said on March 31st. “We’re still in it. We’re hopeful and working it out.”

Read More

New Data Shows How States are Doing at Social Distancing

BY Courtny Gerrish

WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- With many states under a stay at home order there's now data that shows how people are moving around. So how does Wisconsin rank when it comes to efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19?

As of Thursday morning, Unacast, a location and data analytics company, puts Wisconsin in the top tier of states doing well when it comes to social distancing. Our B rating means there's been up to a 70% decrease in the average distance traveled prior to COVID-19.

Read More

Tax Deadlines and Coronavirus Checks: What to Know

BY Kevin Frey

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, both the federal government and North Carolina are extending income tax deadlines. Here is a breakdown of some key things to know. Changing Tax Deadlines The Trump White House announced in March that they are pushing back tax day by three months to July 15. You can defer income tax payments up until that time without penalty or interest. The extension is automatic and does not require additional paperwork. North Carolina is following suit, extending the deadline for state income taxes to the same day. More details on that change can be found here. The nationwide move, in particular, is a bit unusual, according to Carolina Bruckner, the managing director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University. “It’s not uncommon for [the U.S.] Treasury and IRS to issue a delay for local or regional areas, communities impacted by natural disasters and delay those tax filing deadlines,” Bruckner said. “What’s unique here is that it’s been done carte blanche for the entire country.”



Read More

Coronavirus: The Fight to Breathe

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 4:05 PM ET Apr. 01, 2020

Photo credit: John Minchillo/AP

Every day, the number of positive confirmed coronavirus cases rise, and the urgent call for ventilators increases.

Read More

UPDATE: Projection Moves Wisconsin Coronavirus Peak into late April

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - An updated projection Tuesday has shifted the potential peak for the coronavirus crisis in Wisconsin to the end of April, carrying through the first week of May.

That projection is roughly three weeks earlier than the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted on Sunday, showing a steeper spike to the curve and forecasting a death toll in Wisconsin of more than 900 people.

Read More

UW Health Ramps Up Coronavirus Preparedness Efforts

BY Jason Fechner and Kathryn Larson

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - UW Health continues to take additional steps to make sure its staff is prepared to deal with more cases of the coronavirus, specifically when it comes to PPE or personal protective equipment.

"This is an unprecedented time in our society so getting that confidence and training to go in with those high- risk patients is really important," Shannon DiMarco, the UW Health Operations Director at the Clinical Simulation Center, said. "[It] really isn’t something that we look at every single day, but now that we are faced with it, we have the opportunity to actually bridge that gap."

Read More

Where to donate PPE to support medical workers in Wisconsin

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 12:30 PM ET Mar. 30, 2020

WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Health care workers and first responders face a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) just as cases of Covid-19 are expected to spike in Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers has requested thousands of items from the Strategic National Stockpile including 54,709 N95 respirators, 130,326 surgical masks, 24,816 face shields, 20,233 surgical gowns, 104 coveralls and 72,044 gloves. On Sunday, Evers said on Twitter that about half those supplies had arrived to Wisconsin and were being distributed to communities around the state.

The Governor’s Office has launched a PPE program where companies and organizations can donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin. The state is in need of surgical gowns, face masks, gloves, Tyvek coveralls and thermometers. If organizations or businesses have fewer than 50 of any of these items, they should donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.

Read More

One Insulin Supplier Offers to Help Patients During Coronavirus Pandemic

BY Spectrum News Staff

INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Saying America is facing "uprecedented challenges," pharmaceutical giant Eli Lillly announced Monday, it wants to help diabetic patients who use Lilly insulin during the coronavirus.

The cost of insulin was skyrocketing before the COVID-19 pandemic. Lilly says it doesn't want patients who are dealing with lost jobs or lost insurance to worry about their insulin supply.

Read More

Trump adds 30 days to distancing guidelines as virus spreads

BY Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown for a month as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic rise in the U.S.

The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires Monday and Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the national guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. But instead he decided to extend them through April 30, a tacit acknowledgment he’d been too optimistic. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

Read More

Analysis Projects Wisconsin Coronavirus Cases to Peak in May

BY Jason Fechner

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - A new projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington shows Wisconsin's coronavirus crisis will peak sometime around May 22.

While the analysis shows Wisconsin likely won't deal with a sweeping shortage of hospital beds, thanks in part to the state's current Safer at Home order and ongoing social distancing practices, the death toll is projected to top 800 in Wisconsin alone.

Read More

Jobs in Essential Businesses Open During Coronavirus Pandemic

BY Savanna Tomei

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - As people are laid off during the coronavirus crisis, they could find work at an essential business. Many are busier than ever and hiring.

“With the surge in demand, we just need more people to stock shelves,” said Jim Hyland of Roundy’s Supermarkets. Pick ’N Save and Metro Markets are hiring 2,500 people across Wisconsin. “They’re all over the board. Part-time, full-time, salaried positions.”

Read More

Milwaukee aims at slowing virus in black community

BY Dan Molloy

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- More than 300 people in the city of Milwaukee have tested positive for COVID-19. The city and Milwaukee County launched an outreach campaign Thursday hoping to stop the spread among the African-American community.

The Milwaukee Health Department has noticed the virus is especially prevalent on the city’s north side in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

Read More

Coping with Anxiety and Stress in the Age of Coronavirus

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 9:05 PM ET Mar. 26, 2020

There is so much uncertainty right now because the COVID-19 pandemic is completely unprecedented here in the U.S. Local and state health officials are working to strike a balance between what is known, unknown and calming fears. But the constant stream of information and rising case counts of the new coronavirus are fueling our collective anxieties.

Spectrum News National Health Reporter Erin Billups sat down with Columbia University Clinical Psychologist Anne Marie Albano, PhD, who is also the co-clinical director of the University’s Youth Anxiety Clinic. Dr. Albano shares some thoughts and expert advice on how to cope in the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis.

Read More

Together/Alone: In Virus-Stricken Milan, a Prayer and a New Outlook

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 10:12 AM ET Mar. 26, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other day in Milan, just as Italy surpassed China in the Coronavirus death count, a priest posted a prayer on the door of a small church. It was addressed to Sebastian, the sainted protector against the plague.

Read More

Taking a Closer Look at Coronavirus Symptoms and Impact on Children

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 1:58 PM ET Mar. 25, 2020

Scientists around the globe are rapidly trying to gain insights into the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the coronavirus. Here’s some information on two new studies of note:

The first, is the largest study done on kids, focusing on 2,143 pediatric patients who either tested positive with COVID-19 or were suspected of having it. While most kids are less likely to experience severe illness with COVID-19 than adults - it doesn’t mean kids don’t fall ill to the virus. Here are some of the findings, published in the journal Pediatrics:

Read More

Gov. Evers Directs DHS to Issue "Safer at Home" Order

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:32 AM ET Mar. 25, 2020

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions.

MORE COVERAGE: Coronavirus Live Updates: Latest on COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Read More

Moe's Southwest Grill Offers Free Kids Meals

BY Spectrum News Staff

ATLANTA, Ga. — More and more restaurants are doing what they can to help during the pandemic. Moe’s Southwest Grill is the latest to step up with free meals for parents.

Until March 28, patrons can get a free kids entree with the purchase of any adult entree ordered at Moes.com or the app. Drinks and cookies are not included with the kids' meal. This deal is not good through third-party delivery such as GrubHub or UberEats.

Read More

Coronavirus and the Age Factor

BY Erin Billups

From the crush of college spring breakers flooding Florida’s beaches last week, to the numerous pick up basketball games spotted in New York City parks, it’s clear many young adults feel immune to the global pandemic sickening hundreds of thousands. But they are not.

The anecdotal stories coming out of emergency rooms inundated with coronavirus patients, and the raw data being compiled by government agencies, paint a clear picture - that people of all ages are at risk.

Read More
LOCAL RESOURCES
Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

(Source: CDC)