Local Covid-19

Ascension Wisconsin

Above: Critical Unit Registered Nurse Bob Towne receives the COVID-19 Vaccine at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander from Licensed Practical Nurse Marna Bauer.

The first caregivers at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander got COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday.

Ascension St. Mary’s will serve as the initial location in the Northwoods for COVID-19 vaccinations for Ascension Wisconsin associates and clinicians.

Wisconsin DHS

A phone app meant to help with contact tracing in Wisconsin is now available to download.

It’s called WI exposure notification. We first told you about it last week on WXPR.

The app is meant to speed up the contact tracing process and let you know sooner if you’ve been potentially exposed to COVID-19.

WI Exposure Notification does not use, collect, or store any GPS data or personal details.

LUHS Budget Sees Impact From COVID-19

Dec 23, 2020
Wikimedia Commons GP Reimer

The financial cost of mitigating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations at Lakeland Union High School continues to climb, according to a school official. But some relief is in sight.

At the Dec. 14 school board meeting, director of business finance Greg Kopp reported that covid-related expenses dating back to July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, are nearing the $140,000 mark.

Vault Medical Services

Wisconsin reported another new record for daily deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, as 120 more people died statewide.

The report comes on the same day as the state introduced a free, at-home testing option.

Wednesday marked the third time Wisconsin has tallied more than 100 deaths in a daily reporting period. All have come in the last month.

The total number of deaths in the state has now surpassed 4,500.

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

Wisconsin got its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

The state got the 16,000 doses of its first 100,000 that have been allocated.

More than 10,000 Wisconsinites have gotten their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. These first doses are designated for frontline healthcare workers and people living in long-term care facilities.

DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says knowing how many doses the state gets is a key part in knowing when we can make a dent in the pandemic.  

The state government will roll out a new app that allows people to participate in COVID-19 contact tracing from their phones.

It’s called WI Exposure Notification, and will be available next Wednesday.

“This smartphone apps uses Bluetooth technology to let you know if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Android and iPhone users will see a notification on their phones to download or enable the app next Wednesday.”


The Pfizer vaccine is shown to be 95-percent effectiveness against COVID-19.

Like any medicine you take, there are possible side effects.

Your arm will likely be a bit sore at the injection site. You could feel fatigued, have muscles aches, headache, or even a slight fever.

National Foundation of Infectious Diseases President Patsy Stinchfield says that’s all to be expected.


Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Wisconsin at a time when deaths from the virus are high.

Of every 100 people living in a nursing home in Wisconsin, two have died from COVID-19 in the past month, according to a recent study by AARP.

The death rate in Wisconsin’s nursing homes is the highest it’s been since the pandemic started.

Sokaogon Chippewa Health Clinic Facebook Page

The Sokaogon Chippewa Health Clinic will start vaccinating its highest risk staff members Thursday.

SCC Health Clinic staff was at Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay Tuesday to pick up the first COVID-19 vaccines for the Sokaogon Chippewa Community.

In a Facebook post, the Clinic says it will start with high-risk staff members and those in the community who are at highest risk.

These will be some of the first people in the Northwoods to get vaccinated.

This is a developing story. Stay with WXPR for updates.


Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are made from what is called messenger RNA or mRNA.

To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. That protein then fights off the virus.

That’s not the case with theses COVID vaccines.

The mRNA vaccines teach the cells in our bodies how to a make a protein and that protein triggers an immune response in our bodies.

Dr. Paul Offit is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


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.


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.


On an average day, Aspirus is treating 125 COVID-19 patients in their homes.

The healthcare system is using different technologies to help keep hospital beds free.

Aspirus Senior Vice President Jesse Tischer said Friday they’ve now treated well-over 1,000 patients from home.

He said this is just one way Aspirus has been able to treat more people along with antibodies therapies.
Like many people, Tischer is happy about the news of a vaccine, but warns we still have a long road ahead of us and importance of following COVID safety guidelines.

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.