covid-19

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Michigan is lifting a mask requirement for fully vaccinated people and says the unvaccinated don't need to wear one outdoors.

A broad indoor face covering mandate will expire in July.

The announcement Friday from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Michigan’s order takes effect at 9 a.m. Saturday.

People outside won't have to wear a mask regardless of whether they have gotten a shot.

Gov. Tony Evers is praising new guidelines that allow people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to shed their facemasks in most situations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Thursday saying the fully vaccinated can resume normal activities and don't have to wear masks outdoors or indoors except in crowded environments such as on public transportation or inside hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

Wisconsin's conservative state Supreme Court struck down Evers' statewide mask mandate in March.

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Coronavirus vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds are beginning in Wisconsin after an advisory committee for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the inoculations for younger children.

The Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses for full protection, is the first and only vaccine available for the age group.

The coronavirus accounted for 1.3% of all deaths among adolescents between Jan. 1, 2020, and April 30, or 127 deaths overall. In Wisconsin, there have been three deaths from COVID-19 of people age 19 and under.

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Now is the time to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already done so, according to Governor Tony Evers.

In a COVID update with the Department of Health Services on Wednesday, the Governor urged people to get vaccinated.

Office of the Secretary of Defense

The U.S. is expanding use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday the shot is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers.

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Wisconsin health officials have ordered only a fraction of their allotted COVID-19 vaccine doses for next week in another sign of plateauing interest in the vaccine.

President Joe Biden's administration announced earlier this week that it would shift doses from states with lower demand to states with more interest.

Wisconsin has been allocated 86,580 Pfizer doses and 65,900 Moderna doses and 10,200 Johnson & Johnson doses for the week starting Monday.

Wisconsin DHS

Local and Tribal public health departments in the Northwoods are urging people to follow COVID-19 health guidelines. 14 health departments signed the message including, Oneida, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Vilas, Iron, and Price County Health Officers.

It calls for people to keep wearing masks, physically distance, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, and get vaccinated.

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In the last year and a half, 6,850 Wisconsinites have died because of COVID-19. 248 of those deaths are people from the Northwoods.

“For the nurses who knew their faces were the last their patients would see. Their hands the last they would hold. For our healthcare professionals on the frontline of this pandemic the numbers are all too real. This past year, over a year, has been a year of loss,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, Department of Health Services Deputy Director.

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Wisconsin health officials say that only 0.03% of people who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Wednesday that the number of so-called breakthrough cases was just 605 out of 1.8 million people who are fully vaccinated.

The state’s number of breakthrough cases is higher than the national national rate of 0.008% reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ron Johnson Facebook

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, questioned the need for widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, saying in a radio interview “what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” Johnson, who has no medical expertise or background, made the comments Thursday during an interview with conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna. Contrary to what medical experts advise, Johnson has said he doesn’t need to be vaccinated because he had COVID-19 in the fall. He went further on Thursday, questioning why anyone would get vaccinated or worry about why others have not.

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Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed Republican-backed bills that would have prevented health officials from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine and allowed churches to be closed during the pandemic.

Evers said in his veto messages Friday that he objected to the bills because they limited his ability to respond to the pandemic.

The action has little immediate effect.

There is no state order limiting how many people can gather in churches or any indoor venue, although there are some limited local ordinances.

Wisconsin DHS

Wisconsin seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern when it comes to COVID-19 cases and vaccinations.

The 7-day average of new cases has dropped a bit from a slight peak last week.

We’re now averaging 641 cases a day.

Wisconsin hasn’t experienced the jump in cases like Michigan saw with the variant cases increasing.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard says we’re by no means out of the woods yet.

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Michigan has extended by five weeks a pandemic order requiring masks in public, limiting capacity inside businesses and capping gathering sizes.

The measure announced Friday replaces one that had been due to expire Monday.

It includes one change. Children ages 2 to 4 in day care facilities or camps are no longer exempt from having to wear masks, starting April 26.

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Michigan will expand the use of a COVID-19 treatment in hopes of substantially reducing climbing hospitalizations and deaths.

Additional doses of monoclonal antibodies will be given to hospitals and other providers, which will be asked to add infusion sites.

The treatment has concentrated doses of lab-made antibodies to fight coronavirus infections and is geared toward people who are at high risk for severe symptoms or hospitalization.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday the treatment could save lives.

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 Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate have given final approval to a set of bills that would wrest control of billions of dollars in federal pandemic aid from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and hand it to the GOP.

The state is in line to receive $3.2 billion in federal stimulus money.

By law the funding is at Evers' disposal. But Republicans have developed legislation that would give them control, saying that would create more accountability.

Evers has signaled he'll veto the package, but Assembly Republicans passed it anyway on Tuesday.

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