Coronavirus

This illustration reveals the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Find the latest WUWM and NPR coverage on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, here.

See the most recent Wisconsin and Milwaukee County numbers.

People who've tested positive for COVID-19 have a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people develop mild symptoms. But some people, usually with pre-existing medical conditions, may develop more serious illness. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after contact with someone who has COVID-19, believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has shared some tips to prepare your home for community transmission of the disease. To protect yourself, health officials recommend you:

  • Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when in public settings or around people who don't live in your household.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Outside your home: Put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

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Updated at 4:13 p.m.

The Wisconsin Senate overwhelmingly passed a scaled-down COVID-19 relief package Tuesday, drawing a pledge from Gov. Tony Evers that he would sign the measure if clears the Assembly. But that looked unlikely after a key Republican leader in that chamber declared the package falls far short of what the GOP wants.

Screenshot / Wiseye.org

Update 3:26 p.m.

After little floor discussion, the full Wisconsin Senate has approved the bill and Governor Evers has announced he will sign the bill.

READ: Wisconsin Senate Approves COVID-19 Relief Package, Gov. Evers Says He Will Sign It

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

On Tuesday morning, the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site for some city of Milwaukee firefighters, emergency medical service employees and city health department workers. 

These people are in what's known as the phase 1a category of vaccine recipients. City officials emphasize the general public is not yet welcome at the Wisconsin Center site.

The health department's Nick Tomaro is helping run the vaccination effort. He says the center is a controlled environment.

Updated 2:20 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is making several big changes to its COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy, officials announced Tuesday, in a bid to jump-start the rollout and get more Americans vaccinated quickly.

The first change is to call on states to expand immediately the pool of people eligible to receive vaccines to those 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

At least three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus this week, blaming their results on their Republican colleagues' refusal to wear face masks during the hours-long lockdown last Wednesday as pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Malaysia's king approved a coronavirus emergency declaration, delaying the country's general election and giving an extended reprieve to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah's declaration suspended the national parliament and state legislatures for an unspecified period of time. No elections can be held during the emergency either, which could last until Aug. 1.

AJ Dixon / Lazy Susan

The coronavirus pandemic has absolutely decimated local restaurants in Milwaukee. Almost a year into the pandemic and with winter in full swing, carry-out ordering has become one of the only lifelines for restaurants.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Updated 4:09 p.m.

Police and firefighters in Wisconsin will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting Jan. 18, state health officials said Monday, while Gov. Tony Evers estimates that members of the general public won't be vaccinated until June.

Evers renewed his call for faster distribution of the vaccine from the federal government on Monday and state Republicans introduced a new scaled back response bill and scheduled it for a vote Tuesday.

F11PHOTO/FOTOLIA

Cities like Milwaukee have been forced to change much of how space is used over the past year. Office cubicles sit empty, restaurants have had to close their doors and more people are working from home than ever.

These changes have forced people and companies to make the best of the situation, and some of these changes might be here to stay when the pandemic ends.

For members of Luminous Voices, a professional choir ensemble in Alberta, Canada, rehearsing and performing safely during the pandemic has meant getting into their cars, driving to an empty parking lot and singing with each other's voices broadcast through their car radios.

This "car choir" solution is one that college music professor David Newman — an accomplished baritone himself in Virginia — came up with so that ensembles could sing and "be" together.

In September, after six months of exhausting work battling the pandemic, nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., voted to unionize. The vote passed with 70%, a high margin of victory in a historically anti-union state, according to academic experts who study labor movements.

One of the biggest challenges for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech is keeping it cold.

But Dr. Ellen Hodges, contending with subzero temperatures on a remote Southwest Alaska airport tarmac last month, had the opposite problem as she prepared to vaccinate front-line health care workers.

"It became immediately apparent that the vaccine was going to freeze in the metal part of the needle," she said. "It was just kind of wild."

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that if the U.S. didn't get the coronavirus outbreak under control, the country could see 100,000 new cases per day.

Six months later, the U.S. is adding, on average, more than 271,000 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 24 hours, 3,700 new deaths were recorded.

That brings the total number of reported cases in the U.S. to more than 22 million since the start of the outbreak — with a death toll of 373,000.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In December, all states began vaccinating only health care workers and residents and staffers of nursing homes in phase 1A, but since the new year began some states have also started giving shots to — or booking appointments for — certain categories of seniors and essential workers.

Authorities in China are imposing new coronavirus restrictions near Beijing after a spate of recent outbreaks.

The Associated Press reports that the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai, in the Hebei province, have issued seven-day stay-at-home orders after a week in which more than 300 people tested positive for the coronavirus.

As states try to broaden the reach of their coronavirus vaccination campaigns and navigate uncertain supply chains, many of the first people to receive their shots are just now completing the final act of immunity, the second dose, which boosts the efficacy of both available U.S. vaccines to about 95%.

Many health care workers and others at high risk who had the Pfizer shots in mid December lined up for their "booster" shot this week, due to be given 21 days after the initial dose.

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to take a dramatic step aimed at increasing the amount of vaccine available to states.

His transition team says he'll change a Trump administration policy that kept millions of doses in reserve, only to be shipped when it was time to administer people's second doses.

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

The city of Milwaukee plans to use the Wisconsin Center as a COVID-19 vaccination site beginning next week.

The city started vaccinating its health department workers and emergency medical personnel this week, with an initial 120 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Individuals who are getting vaccinated feel a sense of hope and relief,” Milwaukee Interim Health Commission Marlaina Jackson said during a press briefing Friday.

Justin Tallis / Getty Images

Wisconsin is still in phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. That means vaccinating health care workers and residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities.

Health officials say the process is complex, and they’re working to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will, indeed, get one.

Providers that can administer vaccines to the public are called “registered vaccinators.” Those are entities like health care systems, health departments and pharmacies.

A surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming hospitals across Lebanon, leading doctors to tell families to care for sick loved ones at home because there's no more space in the wards.

Jean Nakhoul, an executive producer for Lebanon's MTV channel, says his family has been calling around the country and finding no medical treatment for his 83-year-old grandmother who is sick with COVID-19.

The U.S. has for the first time recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day from complications of COVID-19.

Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center reported 4,085 coronavirus-related deaths on Jan. 7, bringing the total U.S. death toll since the beginning of the pandemic to 365,882. Both figures continue to far outpace the virus' toll in other nations.

In the small town of Oak Creek, Colo., — a three-hour drive from Denver, assuming the roads are clear — Gene Bracegirdle, a firefighter and EMT in training, is getting his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

"The fact that it is here is kind of mind-blowing, like, they care enough to reach out to the rural communities," Bracegirdle says.

As coronavirus cases soar in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" and says hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed.

"The threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point," Khan said in a statement on Friday.

U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as the runaway coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the U.S. labor market.

It was the first monthly job loss in eight months. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.

With thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19 each day, businesses that depend on in-person contact have struggled.

This time last year, the world was heading into a pandemic that would upend everything and cost 1.9 million lives — and counting. The promise of the new year is that vaccines are finally here and offer a way out.

Nearly two weeks before most states started vaccinating anyone in nursing homes, pharmacist Gretchen Garofoli went to a long-term care facility in Morgantown, W.Va., on Dec. 15 and administered one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.

"Psychologically, yes, it was a beacon of hope," she says.

ANDY MANIS / GETTY IMAGES

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday passed a doomed COVID-19 response bill that Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers oppose, and there’s no sign of an agreement on a plan to combat the virus that has killed more than 5,000 people in the state.

Evers and Assembly Democrats have their own proposals that Republicans do not support. The Legislature hasn't passed anything related to the pandemic since April, and recent talks between Evers and Republican leaders failed to result in a deal.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The city of Milwaukee is beginning to vaccinate frontline workers against the coronavirus. The city received 100 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine Wednesday afternoon. Eight-hundred more doses will come in staggered shipments next week.

Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters that distribution begins Thursday for some health and fire department personnel.

Health experts warned that the coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better. And that is happening. December was the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. The vaccines have made people optimistic, but the process has been slow.

Dr. Anthony Fauci — head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who will be President-elect Joe Biden's chief medical adviser — said Thursday that the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been slow because it came during the holiday period.

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