Wisconsin suggests how to hold school during a pandemic — 6/22/20

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

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The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Monday released 87 pages of guidance intended to aid districts in resuming some in-person instruction in the coming school year — as the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

“Wisconsin education officials think the majority of schools will reopen in fall, but they encouraged local leaders Monday to prepare for 18 more months of the coronavirus threat. That means considering alternatives like shortened weeks, or blends of in-person, physically distanced and virtual learning,” Samantha West and Molly Beck report for the USA Today Network-Wisconsin.

The document includes a host of other recommendations, including that staff and students wear masks as much as possible and that schools shrink class sizes and rearrange desks to allow for physical distancing, West and Beck report. 

Top Stories

Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal

Masks and acrylic dividers are now part of the experience at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, the first of six Ho-Chunk casinos to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin schools should expect coronavirus threat for next 18 months, according to new state guidanceUSA Today Network-Wisconsin

Wisconsin erected barriers to college voters. The pandemic added more.Wisconsin Watch 

‘They don’t care if you get sick’: La Crosse bar staff respond to surge of COVID-19 cases in young patronsLa Crosse Tribune 

Tribal governments ‘crippled’ by lost gambling revenue during COVID-19 pandemicWisconsin State Journal 

Dane County coronavirus cases jump by 40Madison365

Regents, chancellors voice support for mask requirements across UW SystemThe Cap Times

Pandemic pause: A quiet summer not the norm for amusement ride operatorsWisconsin State Journal 

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Government Updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization 

Quotable

“I want us to stop using the term social distancing. It’s physical distancing. And that’s what we should do … Do physical distancing, but don’t socially distance. If there was ever a time when we all need each other, it’s now.” 

Michael Osterholm, founder and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research And Policy at the University of Minnesota and one of the nation’s top experts in infectious diseases, speaking to Fresh Air host Terry Gross.

Data to note

The La Crosse metro area is now on The New York Times’ list of fastest-growing COVID-19 hotspots

With 191 recent cases and totals on pace to double every 5.5 days, La Crosse was behind just two other U.S. metro areas in the category of “highest average daily growth rate of cases.”

“Growth rates are useful measures in epidemics because they tell us whether things are getting better or worse,” the Times reports. “In places where the growth rate is high but the number of cases is relatively low, a community may still have time to flatten its curve before an outbreak becomes widespread.”

“In La Crosse County, a recent spike in cases has been connected to nearly 100 young adults under the age of 30, and several businesses have been listed as ‘high risk’ after some of their guests and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, with no way to trace exact contacts and activities while there,” the La Crosse Tribune reported Saturday

“The list included several bars in downtown La Crosse, and staff members are beginning to feel like the safety for employees and other guests isn’t being taken seriously by those that come to drink and eat.”

Resilient Wisconsin

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Church offers drive-through Communion and treatsBeloit Daily News 

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