Wisconsin’s pandemic election just became more wildly confusing — 4/6/20

Just when you thought Wisconsin’s election couldn’t get any more chaotic, Monday happened. Eighteen hours before Tuesday’s polls were set to open, Gov. Tony Evers ordered the election postponed until June 9 — an effort to protect voters from a worsening viral pandemic. Republicans called the move unconstitutional and instantly challenged the order in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court’s conservative majority agreed, reinstating voting for Tuesday.

Pandemic doesn’t stop medical debt lawsuits — 4/1/20

Life in Wisconsin has been transformed since March 12, when Gov. Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency to combat coronavirus. Businesses have shuttered, while public officials urge residents to stay at home. Today we highlight a story about one practice that has not completely stopped in recent weeks: Some hospitals continue to sue patients over medical debt, reports Bram Sable-Smith, a Wisconsin Public Radio fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom.

Wisconsin unemployment system overwhelmed by demands — 3/31/20

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across Wisconsin, we are getting a glimpse of how many systems this pandemic can overwhelm. It is not just health care. Today we highlight a story by Rob Mentzer of Wisconsin Public Radio about the state’s unemployment insurance system. Some are calling its helpline only to hear a recording that says too many are on hold, and they will be disconnected.

Resilient Wisconsin: Health care workers on the front lines — 3/30/20

The COVID-19 pandemic resembles a war in many respects. Wisconsinites, like others, speak of battling the virus, and we are watching casualties pile up; At least 1,221 people have tested positive in Wisconsin as of Monday afternoon, and at least 14 have died. Today we highlight a cartoon by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson of Creators Syndicate. It captures the spirit of a nation at war against a virus, with health care workers fighting on the front lines.

Wisconsin nurses prepare for coronavirus “storm” — 3/20/20

Today we highlight our detailed look at how Wisconsin’s hospitals are preparing for an expected flood of COVID-19 patients. Parker Schorr of the Cap Times and Bram Sable-Smith of Wisconsin Public Radio — both fellows embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom — report that the pandemic is testing health systems that were already running lean. Hospitals expect to run short on beds, protective gear and staff, though some see reason for hope.