Local Covid-19


Wisconsin has broken 500,000 positive cases of the coronavirus, two days after the state eclipse 5,000 dead.

As of Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that 502,012 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,119 have died.

Wisconsin’s death count is the 22nd highest in the country overall and the 32nd highest per capita at 94 deaths per 100,000 people.


When schools shut down last March in response to the emerging pandemic, local schools were sent into a tailspin.

A new report gives more insight into how Wisconsin’s schools responded to the statewide shutdown.

Last year in January, students attended school like normal.

They played on playgrounds, read books and practiced math – all without a mask.

But this was before COVID-19 sped through the United States and ground normal activities to a halt.


Update 2:45 p.m.: The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is divided on a coronavirus response bill that the state Assembly has passed but that the Senate GOP leader says his chamber opposes.

Even if the current bill were to somehow pass the full Legislature, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signaled his opposition and would likely veto the measure. Evers and Assembly Democrats have their own proposals that Republicans don't support.

Office of the Secretary of Defense

The first people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Sokaogon Chippewa Community are just about ready to get their second doses.

Health Director Jamie Zarda says they’ve been fortunate to get enough of the Pfizer vaccine to administer doses to all the health clinic staff as well as tribal elders.

“It was so exciting to be able to get that,” said Zarda. She was one of the first to get the vaccine.

Zarda said she didn’t have any reaction to it other than a sore arm.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Michigan will begin vaccinating seniors and front-line workers such as teachers and police against the coronavirus next week.

State officials on Wednesday announced a plan to accelerate access for people who are at least 65 years old.

The state had planned to next immunize those 75 and older and essential workers including first responders, prison guards and child care providers. But residents age 65 to 74 will be included, too.


Wisconsin surpassed 5,000 deaths from COVID-19, as the total number of cases neared half a million.

The state Department of Health Services reported 60 additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,039. There have been nearly 495,000 positive cases to date.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin peaked in mid-November and had been declining since, but started to rise again in late December.

The seven-day average of new cases on Wednesday was 2,493. That is the highest it has been since Dec. 24.


Millions of free masks are being provided to Michigan residents.

Michigan Mask Aid is an initiative from the state health department to ensure everyone has a mask.

There are a couple of locations to pick them up in Gogebic and Iron Counites.

These include the Iron County Health Department in Caspian and UPCAP Services in Ironwood.

There are also a couple of locations in Dickinson County.

It is recommended you call ahead.

Gogebic County Location:


The state of Wisconsin just finished its third week of distributing COVID-19 vaccinations to health care workers.

To date, 85,609 Wisconsinites have received the vaccine, according to Andrea Palm, the secretary-designee with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in a media briefing Tuesday.

That’s a fraction of the nearly 270,000 vaccines that have been distributed to vaccinators around the state.

Palm said vaccination efforts slowed over the holidays.


Wisconsin’s business community is coming out in support of a Republican-authored coronavirus response bill moving quickly through the Legislature that is opposed by public health officials and Democrats.

The measure was heard Tuesday by the Assembly Health Committee but appears likely to be vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers.


About 71,000 people have received the first of two rounds of coronavirus vaccinations in Michigan, where more than 480,000 virus cases have been confirmed.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have already been distributed to hospitals, local health departments and tribal health clinics.

The state says residents and staff at skilled nursing homes began receiving the Moderna vaccine on Monday.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law a $106 million plan to provide relief to businesses and fund efforts to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Though the plan was a collaborative effort between the governor and the legislature, Whitmer told reporters on Tuesday that the legislature strayed from the original and the $465 million plan that was sent to her desk had been cut.

Wisconsin DHS

People in Wisconsin can now see how many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the state has gotten and given.

The Department of Health Services launched a new COVID-19 Vaccine Data page Tuesday.

So far, Wisconsin has been allocated 265,575 doses, this includes Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Of those, 156,875 have shipped and 47,157 have been administered.

There’s also a break down of how many doses are administered each day.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Two pharmacy chains have launched an effort to inject tens of thousands of Wisconsin nursing home residents with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Rick Abrams, president of the Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living, says CVS Health and Walgreens began injecting residents and staff on Monday with the Moderna vaccine.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Changes and adjustments to operation of the Northland Pines school district in response to COVID-19 were reviewed by the district board of education this week that allows more community use of school facilities, additional leave for staff affected by the pandemic, modifications for student athletes, and vaccinations.

District administrator Scott Foster of all school staff and students they have had lower positive cases than the county.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

The latest COVID-relief package approved by Congress is getting praise and criticism for what's in it and what was left out.