How will Wisconsin’s rural hospitals survive as COVID-19 keeps spreading? —10/16/20

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

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Today we highlight our latest story by reporter Parker Schorr. He found that Wisconsin’s rural hospitals are faring better than most around the country, thanks to generally stronger underlying financial health and the infusion of $2.8 billion in federal pandemic relief grants and loans. But warning signs remain as Wisconsin has become a center of the COVID-19 crisis, leading to record hospitalizations. And many rural hospitals across the state continue to operate in the red.

On Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported yet another daily record for new confirmed COVID-19 cases: 3,861. DHS also reported 21 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 1,547 confirmed COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic. 

Top Stories

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Doctors, nurses and medical students huddle for the daily case management meeting at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. During the meeting, staff discuss patients’ care needs for the day. The Aug. 5, 2020 meeting was held in a former waiting room, which is closed off to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin’s rural hospitals weather pandemic better than most, but warning signs remainWisconsin Watch 

Wisconsin breaks record for virus cases third time in weekAssociated Press 

Latest White House task force report on Wisconsin’s COVID-19 surge depicts ‘extreme concern,’ says situation ‘can continue to worsen’Appleton Post-Crescent

27 residents, 10 staff members contract COVID-19 at King Veterans Home since FridayWisconsin State Journal 

After Friday, Wisconsin may not report new COVID-19 cases and deaths again until Tuesday because of system updatesSheboygan Press

A Froedtert Hospital inpatient rehab unit has a COVID-19 outbreak that has sickened patients and staffMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

COVID-19 on the rise at Kenosha County long-term care facilitiesKenosha News 

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow tests positive for COVID-19Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

White House puts ‘politicals’ at CDC to try to control infoAssociated Press 


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.

Quotable

“Mr. President – you’re coming to the new national epicenter of this pandemic. Please use this opportunity to tell our state how you are going to stop this scourge. Share a vision this weekend for getting Wisconsin out of the depths of this public health crisis. Our physical, emotional, and financial health are suffering. Come to Wisconsin and embrace mask wearing. Don’t come to be political.”

— Dane County Executive Parisi in a statement Friday ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned visit to Rock County

Food access trouble?

We know that when classes are virtual, many Wisconsin students and families lose access to food schools provide. And as the school year starts, some meal sites are closing. Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.

You can also view a list of Milwaukee-area food distribution sites for students here.

Data to note

Wisconsin continues to set daily records for COVID-19 hospitalizations as the state fails to control the coronavirus. The Wisconsin Hospital Association on Friday reported 1,101 patients with COVID-19 — up from 1,043 a day earlier. 
Here are the latest trends from WHA’s dashboard.

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.

Menomonee Valley businesses carry on despite the pandemic Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

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