Local Covid-19


About 2 million more Wisconsin residents, including those with certain pre-existing conditions, will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in the next round to be announced later this week.

Wisconsin Deputy Health Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Monday the new eligibility group will likely be unveiled on Thursday.

The last expansion, which included teachers and grocery store workers, was about 700,000 people.

Wisconsin DHS

  More than 1 million people in Wisconsin have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Friday.

Additionally, more than 572,000 people have been fully vaccinated, based on the latest totals from the state Department of Health Services.

As of Thursday, Wisconsin had administered at least one dose to 17.6% of its population, ranking it 18th nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That was ahead of the national average of 16.3%. More than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin.


Former President Donald Trump’s popularity stayed strong in the Northwoods throughout the 2020 election.

He won every Northwoods county by wide margins, just as he had in 2016.

But one political expert believes how Trump handled the COVID-19 pandemic cost him the state overall.

WisPolitics.com editor J.R. Ross said, if not for how Trump responded to COVID-19, he would have won Wisconsin.

“White voters who leaned Republican in years past recoiled at President Trump’s behavior and his approach to the pandemic,” Ross said. “That really hurt him.”

Wisconsin DHS

People in Wisconsin can now call a hotline to get answers to any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The hotline workers can answer questions about where to get the vaccine, assist with registration, and answer medical questions about it.

The number for the hotline is (844) 684-1064. People can call between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The Department of Health Services hopes this will help people, especially those that lack a good internet connection.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Right now, the U.S. has three vaccines available to fight off COVID-19 infections.

AstraZeneca is another company with ongoing trials for its COVID-19 vaccine. That vaccine has gotten some mix messaging on how effective it is in older adults.

The U.S. trial is trying to clear that up.

UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health is conducting a study on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. William Hartman is the principal investigator for the trial that started more than six months ago.


Michigan says all people age 50 to 64 can start getting COVID-19 vaccinations on March 22, while those in that group with medical conditions can begin being immunized next week.

It's the largest expansion of eligibility since January, when state officials allowed vaccinations of seniors 65 and older and front-line workers.

The announcement Wednesday came a day after President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough vaccine for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than expected.

State of Michigan

  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced the further loosening of the states’s coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and a host of other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings. The revised state order takes effect Friday. The Democratic governor says families will be able to visit nursing homes after being tested for COVID-19. Restaurants and bars, now limited to 25% capacity inside, will have a 50% restriction. A 10 p.m. curfew will shift to 11 p.m.


The 7-day average of new COVID-19 case has dropped below 600 for the first time since early July.

Wisconsin is now averaging 575 new cases a day. The Department of Health Services is reporting 324 new cases Tuesday and another 28 deaths.

The declining cases come as Wisconsin ramps up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Last week, more than 234,000 people got a vaccine dose. That’s the most in a single week since vaccinations started in December.


Wisconsin will receive 47,000 doses next week of the newly approved coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

Gov. Tony Evers calls this amount a “game changer” in the state’s fight against COVID-19.

That news came Monday – the same day teachers, child care workers, grocery store employees and others in a group of about 700,000 became eligible for the vaccine.

The state is urging people to check its vaccine availability map of local providers.

A new statewide vaccine registry was also launched Monday.


As COVID-19 disproportionately affects Native American communities, many tribal leaders say the pandemic poses particular risks to tribes without federal recognition.


Lacking a political relationship with the United States means those tribes are denied federal coronavirus relief funding for state, local and tribal governments.


Without federal funding, tribal leaders say they are less-equipped to prevent infections and curb the significant economic toll the pandemic has had on their communities.


Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

More than 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Wisconsin.  

The state is among the top in the nation for distributing the vaccine.  The system hasn’t been without its glitches.

One issue has been how and where people sign up to the vaccine.

Right now, vaccinators each have their own system for getting people signed up.

Hospitals and health department usually have call lines and website set up to take people’s information and either put them on waitlist or schedule an appointment.


Teachers and childcare workers can begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as March 1.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the transition to the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout Thursday.

Other newly eligible Wisconsinites include those enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, public-facing essential workers, remaining health care workers and people who live in congregate living facilities, like prisons.

Of those groups, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said educators are of the highest priority.

Lexi Buntrock

Wisconsin National Guard testing stations can now administer COVID-19 tests to children as young as 12 months old, giving people more options for keeping their families safe.

“Up until February 8, no National Guard testing site was authorized to test anyone under the age of five. Now we can conduct testing for anybody that’s 12 months or over,” said Maj. Joe Trovato. “It did take some training to ensure that our servicemembers were prepared for what could be something that’s a little bit scary to a young child.”

Department of Workforce Development

The Wisconsin Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill designed to jump-start updates to the state’s antiquated unemployment claims processing system. Gov. Tony Evers has promised to sign the bill which the Senate passed last week on a 27-3 vote. The Assembly passed it Tuesday 89-0. Evers has taken intense criticism for months over a backlog of unemployment claims stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. He has largely blamed the state’s antiquated, 50-year-old computer processing system for handling the claims.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Wisconsin will open four more community vaccination clinics across the state amid a a push to inoculate people for the coronavirus in underserved areas.

One clinic is already running in Janesville. Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that new community clinics will be in La Crosse, Racine and Marathon counties, with a fourth split between Douglas and Barron counties in northwest Wisconsin.

They are all expected to open within the next two months.