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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Three men have died in Wisconsin from COVID-19, the first to be reported in the state.
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More than 100 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Wisconsin. WisContext associate editor Will Cushman discusses the pandemic, including what has been learned since the state's first confirmed case was identified.
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Luke Zahm, owner of the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, laid off his employees and asked them to file for unemployment. While the fallout will likely continue for months, there are opportunities for community members to help those economically hit by the outbreak.
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Firearm retailers around Wisconsin are reporting spikes in gun sales of as much as 500 percent since the number of COVID-19 cases began to grow in the U.S. The most popular items are pistols, rifles and shotguns marketed for home defense.
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On March 19, the state Department of Health Services said every community in the state should expect that the novel coronavirus is there. Here are the latest updates on the rapidly evolving response to the virus.
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A doctor at the Waupun Correctional Institution has contracted COVID-19. News of the infection comes as several groups are demanding Gov. Tony Evers release inmates who are at risk of getting the new coronavirus from jails and prisons across Wisconsin.
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The early days of social distancing under the new coronavirus hit the state's workforce especially hard as more than 30,000 people filed initial unemployment claims in just four days.
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How does unemployment insurance work, and how do you apply for benefits? Caleb Frostman, Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development, and Amy Banicki, deputy administrator of the unemployment insurance division, explain.
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Manufacturing companies making products like canned foods and toilet paper are reporting increased demand as consumers stock up in response to the novel coronavirus.
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A new federal law that aims to address the COVID-19 crisis sailed through Congress with broad bipartisan votes, but Wisconsin's congressional delegation split along party lines.