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Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Hill Lake, Minocqua •  Reader photo by Roxanne Zuleger
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(Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Wisconsin's COVID Numbers Are Rising Again, Even With Vaccines Being Available to More People Than Ever

  • Wisconsin has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the last several days, according to the most recent statistics released by the state Department of Health Services (DHS). Over the past week, the Badger State has averaged over 2,000 new cases and 14 deaths per day attributable to the disease. On Tuesday, the department reported 3,229 new cases, the highest total in over a month.
  • The coronavirus has infected more than 812,000 Wisconsinites since officials confirmed the first case in the state in February 2020. Over that same timespan, the disease has killed 8,652 people in Wisconsin and is suspected of being the cause of death in another 950 cases.
  • Hospitals have so far fared better during this most recent surge in case counts. Patient counts have fallen or remained flat across the state when compared to the previous increases recorded between July and October. However, health officials have repeatedly cautioned over the course of the pandemic that hospitalizations tend to lag behind cases, so a new spike is expected in people soon to be in need of hospital care.
  • State leaders have continued to advocate for people to get vaccinated against the disease, as DHS currently reports just 55% of the state’s population has completed the vaccine series. The federal Food and Drug Administration recently approved Pfizer's vaccine against COVID-19 to be administered to children between the ages of 5 and 11. "Now with a COVID-19 vaccine available to nearly all school-aged children, we can do more to protect our kids from this virus," Gov. Tony Evers said in a written statement last week.
Reported by JT Cestkowski

2020 Election Was Fair and Accurate, Top Elections Official Reiterates

  • Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) administrator Meagan Wolfe emphasized that the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s (LAB) analysis into the 2020 election found that it was fair and secure and that vote tallies were accurate in her testimony before a legislative committee on Tuesday.
  • “This should be a major takeaway from today’s hearing,” Wolfe said.
  • Wolfe said she was unable to issue a full response from the WEC until it meets on Dec. 1 and drafts its response. Wolfe said that LAB did not submit the report to WEC before publication, so there were errors in the report. She said she will ask the commission to address those at the Dec. 1 meeting. Republicans on the committee, particularly Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview) and Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), criticized the “tone” of Wolfe’s public comments on those errors. Born characterized them as “really minor interpretations.”
  • “​​We should all want this to be an accurate record of the election, and I’m taken aback that folks would be so appalled that I would dare question that,” Wolfe said. “We were not given a chance to review this, and contrary to what was previously said, other agencies are given the chance to review, they are given the chance to respond, and that allows for mechanisms to make sure that if there are errors, that they are corrected.”
Reported by Christina Lieffring
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(Graphic by Morgaine Ford Workman)

Packers, Rodgers Slapped on the Wrist With Drop-in-the-Bucket Fines for COVID Issues

  • The NFL has fined the Green Bay Packers $300,000 for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard, who are both unvaccinated, also received $14,650 fines for their own violations, even though Rodgers repeatedly violated protocols and was eligible to receive a separate fine for each violation.
  • Rodgers and the Packers came under scrutiny last week when it was revealed Rodgers had contracted COVID-19 and was unvaccinated. He previously claimed to be "immunized," which turned out to be a lie. He received homeopathic treatment, which the NFL found had no effect on his immunization against the virus.
  • Last week, he gave an interview in which he spewed vaccine misinformation in explaining his decision to not receive a shot and on Tuesday said he stood by his comments.
  • The fines are likely to mean little to the Packers and Rodgers. Forbes estimates the team is worth almost $3.5 billion; $300,000 is just 0.009% of the team's overall value. Rodgers' fine amounts to just 0.07% of his 2021 salary.
—Reported by Jonathon Sadowski
Wisconsin's 2022 governor's race is set to be one of the most consequential elections since, well, the 2018 governor's race.

When Gov. Tony Evers defeated former Gov. Scott Walker, it ended nearly a decade of total Republican control over the state government. Next year, the pendulum could swing back to Republicans—and bring with it a host of new restrictions on voting rights, COVID-19 safety protocols, and abortion rights, to name a few hot topics.

To learn more about what could change if Evers loses next year, watch our video by clicking the image at right or visiting our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or reading more at our website

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(Sorry, view of Lake Wissota not included.)
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