Promising pandemic news in Wisconsin while national experts issue warnings — 5/12/20

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

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Wisconsin on Tuesday saw fewer than 200 new diagnoses of COVID-19 — the second straight day below that threshold, according to state Department of Health Services data. And fewer than 4% of tests in the latest daily results came back positive, the lowest proportion “since the state stopped including repeated tests of the same patients in its daily updates on March 30,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. 

Another bit of promising news on Tuesday: Wisconsin had met five of six criteria set by Gov. Tony Evers to begin his plan to reopen businesses in phases, the newspaper noted.

But local signs of promise came as experts issued stern warnings in Washington, D.C. Testifying before a U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was among those who urged the public against reopening parts of society too quickly.

“If we do not respond in an adequate way when the fall comes, given that it is without a doubt that there will be infections that will be in the community, then we run the risk of having a resurgence,” Fauci said, according to The New York Times, adding that “there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control.”

Top Stories

Rob Mentzer / WP

A voter leaves the polling place at Marathon Park in Wausau, May 12, 2020. A special election is being held in the 7th Congressional District, which includes central, Northwoods and northwestern Wisconsin.

Just 4% of new coronavirus tests in Wisconsin are positive as state meets five of six reopening goalsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

At Senate hearing, government experts paint bleak picture of the pandemicThe New York Times

‘3 times more likely to die’: Coronavirus ravages Milwaukee’s African American communityWPR

Thousands line up for free coronavirus tests in Milwaukee as National Guard adjusts to meet demandWTMJ-TV 

Brown County expands testing to residents without symptomsWBAY 

Northern Wisconsin voters head to polls for second election amid pandemicWPR 

Amid COVID-19 crisis, Republicans object to expanding meningitis vaccine requirementWisconsin State Journal 

From Neenah to New York: This U.S. Navy corpsman’s first chance to serve was during a historic pandemic Appleton Post-Crescent 

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@wisconsinwatch.org.

Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization 

Live updates 

Live coverage from USA Today-Wisconsin reporters 

Live coverage from Wisconsin State Journal reporters

Quotable

“It’s definitely not fair that we get nothing extra for putting our lives on the line and also our families’ lives to take care of these people.”

Lisa, a chef and supervisor at a Milwaukee-area assisted living facility, as quoted by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, addressing a lack of hazard pay for essential workers.

Data to note

A new Marquette University Law School survey suggests much of Wisconsin still supports Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home plan to slow the spread of COVID-19, although that support has declined in recent weeks. 

In the May survey, 69% of respondents called it appropriate to close schools and businesses and restrict public gatherings during the pandemic, while 26% called the move an overreaction. That’s compared to an 86% to 10% split in late March.

The May survey showed that 64% approved of Evers’ handling of the coronavirus crisis, while 32% disapproved. In March, 76% approved and 17% disapproved. 

Approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic declined to 44% in May, with 51% disapproving. In March, 51% approved while 46% disapproved. 

Concern about the pandemic also decreased in the latest survey, with 50% saying they were very concerned and 31% somewhat concerned. That was down from 68% who were very concerned in March and 25% who were somewhat concerned.

The poll was conducted over cell phones and landlines May 3-7, with interviews of 811 registered Wisconsin voters. The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

You can find the full survey results 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@wisconsinwatch.org.

Beloit woman recovers from virus scare, helps othersBeloit Daily News

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