Coronavirus is taking a toll on young children’s development. Researchers say more attention is needed. — 8/19/20

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

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Today we highlight a story by Alia E. Dastagir of USA Today. She reports that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing major distress among children ages 5 and younger, a critical time for child development. But the national conversation has not focused enough on the problem, according to researchers with the RAPID-EC project, who are surveying caregivers of young children.

“The project has been conducting weekly surveys since April and has found caregivers of young children are experiencing distress, material hardship and loss of emotional supports,” Dastagir reports. “Since the project’s data is sequential, it also is able to show a chain reaction. When a family is stressed about meeting basic needs, the next week they report more emotional distress, (and they later) report increases in their child’s emotional distress.”

Phil Fisher, the project’s director, told Dastagir that such distress could manifest years later as health effects ranging from increased rates of heart disease to diabetes. 

Top Stories

La Crosse Tribune

Birds hang out on the first clarifier at the La Crosse wastewater treatment plant, where wastewater testing for COVID-19 will begin.

During the pandemic, are the little kids all right? Survey shows COVID is taking a toll now and will in the future.USA Today 

Here’s how Wisconsin health officials say schools should respond to a COVID-19 outbreakUSA Today Network-Wisconsin 

57 inmates at Green Bay Correctional Institution test positive for coronavirus, prompting widespread testingGreen Bay Press Gazette 

La Crosse joins state in testing wastewater for novel coronavirusLa Crosse Tribune 

Forty years ago, an international effort wiped out smallpox. Eliminating COVID-19 would be harder. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Confused about what Racine County high schools are doing for sports? Some of the coaches are tooJournal Times 

Free clinics across state are ‘challenged’ by loss of volunteersWPR 

Over 100 people gathered to protest a proposed Sheboygan County ordinance about public health ordersSheboygan Press

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Quotable

“The block in the Jenga puzzle that makes the whole thing collapse is really the piece about personal responsibility. A university can do everything in their power to make the campus safe, but if the students returning don’t do their part to make the campus safe, the whole thing falls down together.”

Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer for UW Health, as quoted by WKOW-TV

Data to note

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

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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.

The state Department of Health services on Wednesday launched a new “decision tool” that helps people weigh the risks of various activities during the pandemic.  

“The safest choices are to stay home and wear a face covering when you are out,” Gov. Tony Evers said in statement. “At the same time, we know from the data that people are choosing to participate in activities that put themselves and others at risk, and we hope this tool will assist people in making safe choices.”

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