Chuck Quirmbach

Innovation Reporter

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018 as Innovation Reporter, covering developments in science, health and business.

Prior to that, he worked for Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee and Madison, covering the environment, energy, and Milwaukee news of statewide interest.

He is a graduate of the UW-Madison.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Tuesday at 12:08 p.m. CT

Tuesday is election day in Wisconsin, due to an order from the state Supreme Court.

Less than 24 hours before the April 7 election was scheduled to begin, Gov. Tony Evers called off the election and postponed in-person voting to June 9. But, Monday, the state Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that Evers lacked the authority to do so.

Courtesy of Jason Eckman and Kim Mahoney

Kim Mahoney has battled the Foxconn corporation for three years. She is running against Jason Eckman, a supporter of the Mount Pleasant Foxconn development, for a seat on the Racine County Board in the spring election.

Michelle Maternowski

Updated 11:41 a.m.:

Judge rules Wisconsin clerks can't release results from Tuesday's election before April 13 absentee deadline.

Original Post:

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says a federal judge who ordered an extension for absentee voting in Tuesday’s election should ensure that no results are reported until all absentee ballots are in. The election has been roiled by fears of the coronavirus, with many municipalities saying they won’t be able to staff polling locations.

Chuck Quirmbach

Federal officials have eased blood donation restrictions on gay and bisexual men. Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she supports the change, but says it doesn’t go far enough.

The new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reduce the amount of time — from 12 months to three months — that men who have sex with men have to be same-sex abstinent before giving blood.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center is opening two voluntary self-isolation facilities on Wednesday to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. One will be at a Super 8 hotel in Milwaukee near Mitchell Airport; the other at the Lowell Center in Madison. Together, the locations have about 250 beds.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, the city of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers are among those expected to bring greater clarity this week about the status of the April 7 election. Things could change quickly, as adjustments are made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evers would like all of Wisconsin's 3.3 million registered voters to have an absentee ballot, and for those ballots to be mailed in to minimize in-person voting on April 7.  Evers is asking the Republican-controlled state legislature to formally back his plan, but GOP leaders are calling the governor "reckless."

Chuck Quirmbach

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more hospitals and doctors are promoting telemedicine, or telehealth. That typically means connecting with a physician or other medical personnel by phone or through an online video connection.  

Medical facilities are trying to discourage people without COVID-19 symptoms or other risk factors from swamping medical facilities already busy with COVID patients. Or, from putting health care workers at greater risk by possibly simply spreading the virus.

Chuck Quirmbach

The biggest financial help from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic passed the U.S. Senate Wednesday night. A House vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package may come Friday. President Trump is promising to sign the measure that his administration helped craft.

But Wisconsin and national economists say the financial and unemployment crunch will still likely get worse before it gets better. 

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Marina Andrejchenko / stock.adobe.com

Lots of people are isolating themselves these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But isolation and loneliness have long been concerns for some seniors as they grapple with the death of loved ones, health problems or retirement.

Wisconsin National Guard

As the coronavirus outbreak expands in the state, the Wisconsin National Guard is being assigned to more missions and is training for possible additional assignments. Over the weekend, six Guard medical personnel began helping at Village Point Commons, a senior housing facility in Grafton. One resident died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and a few more have tested positive.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

Here’s news for small businesses, private non-profit organizations, small agricultural co-ops, and aquaculture enterprises that have been financially harmed by the COVID-19 outbreak:  Those in Wisconsin, and in some nearby counties in neighboring states, can now apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for low-interest loans. 

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

A health warning related to the coronavirus comes from the Milwaukee-based Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin: Officials say blood drives are being canceled and the impact of possible blood shortages on hospitals and patients could be severe.

Versiti says it’s the exclusive provider of blood and blood products to more than 50 hospitals in 29 counties. Hospitals in the Milwaukee area include St. Luke’s, Children’s and Froedtert. The center says it provides more than 230,000 units of blood every year. A unit is roughly one pint.

Chuck Quirmbach

As of Thursday, Wisconsin has 155 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Hospitals in the Milwaukee area say they can still take in patients, but they worry about the number of cases possibly skyrocketing. So, some elective surgery is being delayed.

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Teran Powell / WUWM

For more up-to-date information, read WUWM's March 18 post.

Updated Wednesday at 7:29 a.m. CT

Ann-Elise Henzl / WUWM

For the most up-to-date information, read WUWM's March 15 coronavirus post.

Updated Saturday at 8:42 p.m. CT

As of Saturday afternoon, state health officials say Wisconsin now has 27 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. This is up from 19 reported cases on Friday. Twenty-six of these cases were confirmed this week and are active, while one case was reported in February in Dane County and that person has since recovered.

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