Report Highlights Pain Points for Michigan Kids During Pandemic

Dec 15, 2020

New data reveals what many policy experts have feared for months – the pandemic has taken a serious toll on the well-being of Michigan's children.

Using data from weekly U-S census surveys, a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that in Michigan, 15 percent of parents are struggling to put food on the table and 15 percent don't know if they'll be able to pay the rent or mortgage next month.

Kelsey Perdue is the Kids Count Project Director at the Michigan League for Public Policy. She explains some families have lost jobs or income, or health-care coverage.

The first shipments of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine are making their way to eight distribution hubs across the state.

Those shipments contain enough vaccines to vaccinate nearly 50,000 health care workers and people in long-term care facilities.

Julie Willems Van Dijk, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services’ Deputy Secretary, said healthcare providers will begin receiving Pfizer’s vaccine imminently.

“In the coming months, starting as soon as today, we will begin providing vaccines to Wisconsinites,” she said.


Health care workers in Wisconsin have started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first 10,000 doses started to arrive in Wisconsin on Monday and about 35,000 more are expected by the end of next week.

The first doses are going to front-line health care workers, and to nursing home residents in a couple of weeks.

The general public will not get the vaccine for months, leading to renewed calls for patience and vigilance as the virus continues to spread.

Wausau's Mayor Faced Unique Challenges in Her First Year

Dec 14, 2020
City of Wausau Website

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg is about to close out her first year on the job in what has without question been a year of learning on the fly. 

She says the year has been a "Great equalizer" for new Mayors like herself and those who have been in the position a long time.

“Nobody has had to deal with this, not since the early 1900’s.  So I’m calling up people who have been mayors for a while and (asking) how are you dealing with these things and they’re like your guess is as good as mine”, said Rosenberg.

Marshfield Clinic Facebook

A federal disaster aid team has set up shop at Marshfield Clinic to help with vaccine distribution.

Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team's Delta-1 squad will be helping staff at the hospital system distribute the first round of COVID-19 vaccines this week, using their special skills normally reserved for incidents such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or violent acts of terror.


Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise.

The Alzheimer’s Association combed through CDC data since the beginning of the year.

Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths are up 13.9% in Wisconsin as compared to last year.

Across the US, that’s more than 34,000 deaths on top of the 122,000 dementia-related deaths we usually see.

“These numbers, as horrific and bad as they are, are only through October thus far. We’re expecting another unfortunate spike,” said Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter’s Director of Public Policy Michael Bruhn.

Wisconsin DHS

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported the seven-day average of daily confirmed COVID cases in Wisconsin is lower now than it was a month ago.

But testing numbers have also dropped.

“That is concerning,” said DHS Secretary Designee Andrea Palm. “With our positivity rate as high as it is, we know we are not testing enough people to get an accurate picture of the virus here in Wisconsin.”

Despite a drop in daily confirmed cases, many hospitals are still overwhelmed.

Nursing Students to Help in Fight Against COVID-19

Dec 9, 2020
WAOW Television

Nursing students from the University of Wisconsin System have the opportunity to help administer COVID-19 vaccines, but that's not all.

"They (nursing students) could really advance their own experience and careers while truly helping people," said Rebecca Sommer, Assistant Dean for the School of Health and Wellness and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP).

Gov. Tony Evers says he will “absolutely” take a COVID-19 vaccine when his turn comes.

The governor said during a news conference Monday that he and his wife, Kathy, will get inoculated as soon as they're allowed. Federal officials are set to meet Thursday to discuss emergency authorization for a vaccine developed by Pfizer.

Meanwhile, the number of infections and deaths in Wisconsin continues to climb. State health officials reported 4,114 newly confirmed cases and 68 more deaths on Monday.


Wisconsin is set to receive 49,725 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine once it’s approved by the FDA.

Those will be the first of two rounds of vaccine need for immunization from COVID-19.

Those doses are being prioritized to frontline health care workers and long-term care residents.

Within that, DHS is relying on the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee to determine who gets priority.


There are just about no aspects of life that have not been impacted the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many farmers it’s meant drops in price for product they sell and a disruption in the supply chain.

“Everybody remembers the news footage of milk being dumped in the spring or produce being plowed under because there was no market for it,” said USDA’s Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Executive Director Sandy Chalmers.

She says aid farmers have already gotten for pandemic relief has made a huge difference.

COVID-19 Protocol Eased at Lakeland Union High School

Dec 4, 2020
Wikimedia Commons GP Reimer

As early as next week, Lakeland Union High School will no longer require students who come in close contact with a COVID 19-infected person to home quarantine for 14 days before returning to school, according to a school official.

District administrator Rob Way announced the timeline Wednesday after the school board voted 6-3 Monday to adopt the new covid protocol presented by school nurse Kathy Reimer. Nine parents also spoke out against the current policy of two weeks home quarantine for contact traced students.


Gov. Tony Evers is telling President Donald Trump and the state’s congressional delegation that Wisconsin needs $466 million by April to pay for vaccine distribution, coronavirus testing, contact tracing, hospitals and a public health awareness campaign. 


State health officials say Wisconsin is ready to begin distributing coronavirus vaccines by mid-December, when it hopes to receive nearly 50,000 doses.

Department of Health Services spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsitt says the state will work with 97 local health departments and tribal jurisdictions, as well as health care providers, pharmacies, community-based organizations and other public agencies to distribute the vaccine.


Officials at a Madison high school say a student has died after a brief coronavirus-related illness.

In an email to students and families, East High School’s principal said junior Isai Morocho died unexpectedly during the Thanksgiving break.

Principal Brendan Kearney described Morocho as “a caring friend and family member with a ready smile and great sense of humor,” as well as an excellent student.

The high school has set up virtual meetings for Monday and Tuesday afternoons to provide support for grieving students and staff.