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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Beijing says it inoculated more than 73,000 people in the first two days after China's first domestic COVID-19 vaccine was approved for commercial use.

China's capital has set up 220 vaccination centers around the city to dole out the two-step vaccine. The elderly and front-line medical workers will receive the first doses.

The grim milestones are piling up as the United States experiences another surge in coronavirus cases. Nearly 300,000 new cases were reported on Saturday. The cumulative death toll crossed more than 350,000 the same day, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard.

Updated at 12:45 a.m. ET Sunday

The U.S. has hit another devastating milestone: COVID-19 has killed more than 350,000 people in the country, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The grim number comes as a new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across dozens of countries.

Authorities in France say police struggled to shut down a days-long rave that attracted some 2,500 people and was held in defiance of a curfew and ban on large gatherings.

The massive party, which was planned to run from New Year's Eve and into Tuesday, was held in an abandoned warehouse in Lieuron, not far from the northwestern city of Rennes. Some attendees reportedly came from the United Kingdom and Spain.

India's drug regulators gave the country a gift on New Year's Day: a vaccine against the coronavirus.

An Indian minister confirmed reports that an expert panel had authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use in India on Friday, making it the first coronavirus vaccine to be authorized in India.

"Last year began with corona, but this year is beginning with a vaccine," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters Saturday.

Updated at 6:41 p.m. ET

The United States has reached a sobering milestone while marking the new year.

On Friday, the first day of 2021, the U.S. recorded its 20 millionth confirmed coronavirus case since the beginning of the pandemic.

Georgia Sen. David Perdue is quarantining with his wife after coming into close contact with someone that tested positive for the coronavirus, his campaign said Thursday.

News of his possible exposure to the virus comes with just days to go until his state's runoff election for his Senate seat.

His campaign said Perdue was notified of the exposure Thursday morning. The campaign said in a statement that, "Both Senator Perdue and his wife tested negative today, but following his doctor's recommendations and in accordance with CDC guidelines, they will quarantine."

With COVID-19 cases still soaring across the U.S., it can be tempting to just ride the winter out on the couch, binging on Netflix. But psychologists say it's important in 2021 for us all to keep up human contact.

A lot of us went into 2020 with the best intentions: to be more present, to read more, to stay healthy.

The universe, however, had other plans.

We won't tick through all that went wrong in 2020. But needless to say, the coronavirus single-handedly shaped pretty much everything — from the way we go about our daily routines and see loved ones to how we celebrate milestones and grieve losses.

Florida is the third U.S. state to announce it has a case of the more contagious coronavirus strain that first emerged in the United Kingdom.

A man in his 20s, with no history of travel, tested positive for the mutated coronavirus. The state Department of Health said he is in Martin County.

Carl was in his early 70s. A Vietnam vet, he suffered from PTSD along with his diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking-induced COPD. He'd survived a bout of kidney cancer, too, along his medical journey.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

A Milwaukee pharmacist was arrested Thursday and accused of "tampering with and causing the destruction" of more than 550 doses of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus last week, Grafton, Wis., police confirmed.

In a statement, Grafton Police Department officials said the pharmacist — now fired from the Advocate Aurora Health hospital system — was arrested on recommended charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property.

Israel has vaccinated a larger share of its population against COVID-19 than any other country, and is aiming to achieve "herd immunity" from the virus by the end of spring or midsummer, the Israeli Health Ministry told NPR.

More than 800,000 of Israel's population of about 9 million have received COVID-19 vaccination shots. The country aims to vaccinate 25% of Israelis by the end of January.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Updated 5:09 p.m. CST

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

In 2020 the medical field saw more than deaths and illnesses related to COVID-19, there was also a lot of discussion about racial disparities, senior citizens, skepticism and scientific breakthroughs.

One new development was the drive-through COVID-19 testing site, whether run by government health care workers, the National Guard, or the private sector — such as at the new mobile clinic temporarily outside Barack Obama School in Milwaukee.   

Screengrab from speech video

On November 10, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers offered this chilling forecast from the University of Washington in a statewide speech: "The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates 5,000 Wisconsinites could be lost to COVID-19 by January 1st, if no further actions are taken to get this virus under control.”

At the time, Wisconsin had seen 2,395 deaths. That number officially doubled by Wednesday of this week, when the state reported 35 deaths for a new total of 4,818.

So, barring a huge death toll Thursday, 5,000 won't be reached by January 1.

When Dana Tamim made the difficult decision to cancel her wedding in August, she was crushed.

"Honestly, I don't think that I'm ever going to get over it," she says.

The 24-year-old lives in Montreal and is Muslim. In her religion, she says, "you can't really live with someone unless you're married."

But Tamim and her fiancé had already signed the lease for a new apartment. They ended up having a quick ceremony to make things legal, so they could move in together.

Snowstorms, holidays and general inexperience in handling a pandemic response is to blame for a "lag" in the number of Americans so far vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to U.S. officials.

The federal government previously estimated that 20 million Americans would receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine by the end of the year. But as 2020, a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, comes to a close on Thursday, the government appears set to fall well short of that goal.

With the arrival of winter and the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in full swing, the restaurant industry expected to lose more than $230 billion in 2020 is clinging to techniques for sustaining outdoor dining even through the cold and vagaries of a U.S. winter.

Gary Carden sits on the reclining chair in front of the tavern he's owned and managed for two and half decades in the north central Washington town of Nespelem, on the Colville Reservation. The 63-year-old is on the concrete porch with his two dogs, Sissy and Harold.

"She's the older dog," he says, "and that's probably the best thing that happened to her is finding her a small buddy, 'cause he's so active and keeps her active."

A now-former employee at a Wisconsin medical center "intentionally removed" 57 vials of a coronavirus vaccine from refrigeration, forcing officials to throw out nearly 500 doses, according to an internal investigation.

Several people who were at a local New York City Republican club's Christmas party have tested positive for the coronavirus after a video surfaced showing attendees celebrating indoors without masks, Queens Daily Eagle reports.

Three cases have been identified by the Eagle. These include James Trent, who has since been hospitalized.

The new highly contagious coronavirus strain from the U.K. has spread to Southern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday.

He made the statement during an online conversation about the pandemic with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, but Newsom offered little additional information about the circumstances of the diagnosis.

The first case of the coronavirus variant in the U.S. was detected in Colorado on Tuesday. Experts have said it spreads faster than the common strain.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says a measure that would increase direct payments to many Americans has "no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate."

McConnell is moving ahead with a plan to avoid a public rift within the GOP over stimulus payments demanded by President Trump ahead of a critical runoff election in Georgia.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Federal CARES Act money provided to state, local and tribal governments impacted by COVID-19 was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. But Congress passing the $900 billion stimulus package earlier this month, means local municipalities have until the end of 2021 to use up their CARES funds. That’s according to Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

During a COVID-19 media briefing Tuesday, Crowley said the extension didn’t come with any additional funding and that could put the county in a tough spot next year.

California's telemetry nurses, who specialize in the electronic monitoring of critically ill patients, normally take care of four patients at once. But ever since the state relaxed California's mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios in mid-December, Nerissa Black has had to keep track of six.

Health officials in the U.K. authorized the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, giving the nation a second option for inoculation against the coronavirus.

The government will begin rolling out the inexpensive and easy-to-store vaccine beginning Monday. It has ordered 100 million doses — enough to vaccinate 50 million residents, or three-quarters of the country's population.

The government has already given first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than 600,000 Britons.

Updated at 2:34 p.m. ET

Democrats and President Trump hectored Senate Republicans on Tuesday to take up legislation passed by the House that would increase direct relief payments to many Americans — but the path ahead remains unclear.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged when the chamber convened that Trump had called attention to a few big issues, including the disbursements. McConnell said the Senate would "begin a process to bring [those] priorities into focus," without saying how or when.

Teran Powell / WUWM

Much of the news of 2020 was dominated by two major stories: the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests against police brutality that were accompanied by calls for immediate police reform.

Here’s how some of those stories unfolded in Wisconsin.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Updated Wednesday at 7:41 p.m. CST

Earlier this week, an employee of Aurora Medical Center - Grafton intentionally removed 57 vials of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine from refrigeration, resulting in more than 500 doses needing to be discarded. This is according to a press release sent out by Advocate Aurora Health Wednesday.

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