Series: The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 And Wisconsin

Billions of people around the world are closer to one another through an unprecedented network of connections, from commerce to tourism to education. One risk posed by this growing number of links, fueled by denser populations and swifter travel, is the speed at which infectious diseases can race across continents and leap over oceans. A novel coronavirus originating in China is an example of this phenomenon. Barely more than a month after the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified, an infected patient was confirmed in Wisconsin, with many hundreds more cases confirmed in subsequent weeks. The emerging disease called COVID-19 has tested Wisconsin's public health infrastructure as the state's public officials, health care providers and residents respond to the global pandemic. The crisis has also underscored how more common respiratory diseases like influenza challenge health authorities and the public.
 
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On March 21, state health officials confirmed that there were 281 cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, including four deaths.
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While shoppers may see some empty shelves in their grocery stores, the head of the grocery industry association in Wisconsin is confident that suppliers and retailers will weather this crisis, with help from consumers.
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The spread of COVID-19 continues in Wisconsin. On March 20, the state Department of Health Services announced 206 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide, as well as 3,455 negative tests. However, the number continues to grow as counties announce positive cases.
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As COVID-19 continues to spread in Wisconsin, and health care workers begin to test positive along with their patients, medical providers are expressing concern about supplies of protective equipment needed to stay healthy.
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Hospitals around Wisconsin are preparing for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients by increasing the bed capacity at their facilities.
Over the course of a single historic week, daily life in Wisconsin and across much of the United States ground to a halt as a dangerous new virus arrived in communities across the nation. A flurry of shutdowns raced to keep up with the spread of COVID-19 and the growing realization of its looming human impact.
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One of the nation's top public health officials leading the fight against the new coronavirus said Friday that recent comments from Wisconsin Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson were "way out."
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Three mayors from northeast Wisconsin are calling for the postponement of the state’s April 7 election, citing concerns about election workers’ health and challenges processing a recent flood of mail-in ballot requests.
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Gov. Tony Evers says if Wisconsinites continue good practices, he won't need to issue a shelter-in-place order.
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Nursing students who are unable to assist patients are helping health care workers instead by offering child care.