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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Ann-Elise Henzl

Gov. Tony Evers says COVID-19 vaccinations of residents and staff are now underway at some Wisconsin long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. Eligible sites are paired with two large pharmacy chains, which will provide storage and handling of the Moderna brand vaccine, as well as scheduling, administering the drug and reporting its use. 

About 57,000 doses will initially be available for the long-term care facilities.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says the vaccination program at those sites will continue for about two months.

Updated on Dec. 30 at 11:15 a.m. ET

President Trump has signed a major legislative package that includes coronavirus relief and government spending for the next fiscal year.

Just after Congress passed the bill last week — and shortly before Christmas — the president called the measure a "disgrace," in part for not having high enough direct payments to Americans, a move his own party had been against.

For American families and their children, school is more than just a building. It's a social life and a community, an athletic center and a place to get meals that aren't available at home. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted — and continues to disrupt — the lives of U.S. students in profound ways.

Little Havana is a neighborhood in Miami that, until the pandemic, was known for its active street life along Calle Ocho, including live music venues. There you can find examples of the quintessential ventanita serving Cuban coffee and a historic park where men gather to play dominoes.

The New York Legislature approved a sweeping eviction ban for tenants living in the state, giving residents fearful of losing their homes during the pandemic some relief at least until May.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The House voted to increase coronavirus disaster relief payments for Americans to $2,000 per person on Monday in a bid by Democrats to capitalize on political divisions among Republicans.

Dr. James Phillips, the Walter Reed physician who criticized President Trump's decision to greet supporters outside the facility where he was being treated for COVID-19, has worked his last shift at the hospital. "I stand by my words, and I regret nothing," Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Sunday night signed a massive coronavirus relief and spending package, relenting on a measure he had called a "disgrace" days earlier.

The legislation, which combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with government funding through September 2021, was passed by large majorities in both chambers of Congress on Dec. 21 — only to see Trump blindside legislators the next day and blast the bill.

In a statement Sunday night, Trump said lawmakers will pursue some of his sought-after changes.

Sarah McCammon speaks with Dr. Teena Chopra, an infectious disease specialist, about how holiday travel will impact an already struggling American health system.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

With another COVID-19 relief bill awaiting his signature or veto, what's President Trump's end game? A new Congress begins Jan. 3, a new president in 24 days, and millions of Americans are struggling.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

A second wave of COVID-19 is rippling across Brazil. The latest hot spot is Rio de Janeiro, hometown of President Jair Bolsonaro. Even so, he is continuing to subvert efforts to control the pandemic.

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Latest On COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Dec 27, 2020

The European Union begins a rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine to its nearly 450 million people. A 101-year-old nursing home patient became Germany's first vaccinated person.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

There's no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant people or babies who are being breastfed. Dr. Adeline Goss tells Sarah McCammon why she chose to nurse after getting the shot.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Sarah McCammon looks ahead on the COVID-19 front with science writer David Quammen.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Hospital chaplain Matt Norvell has been praying with patients for more than a decade. But the last nine months during the coronavirus pandemic have been the most intense of his career.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

COVID-19 cases are spreading so fast that they're outpacing the contact-tracing capacities of some local health departments. Faced with mounting case loads, those departments are asking people who test positive for the novel coronavirus to do their own contact tracing.

The contact tracers of Washtenaw County in Michigan have been deluged with work.

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

Willy Solis never saw himself as an activist.

"I'm an introvert, extreme introvert," he said. "That's my nature."

But 2020 changed that — like so many other things.

A look at the week's COVID-19 and vaccine news, including new information from the variant out of the United Kingdom.

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

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Economic benefits for victims of the pandemic will expire soon if Congress and the president don't act to extend or replace them.

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

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

When Linsey Marr looks back at the beginning of 2020, what strikes her is how few people in the world really understood how viruses can travel through the air.

"In the past year, we've come farther in understanding airborne transmission, or at least kind of beyond just the few experts who study it, than we have in decades," says Marr. "Frankly, I thought it would take us another 30 years to get to where we are now."

In his Christmas Day address, Pope Francis appealed to the nations of the world to share the new coronavirus vaccines with the most needy.

"Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty regarding the pandemic, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines," Francis said. "But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all."

U.S. tourists aren't welcome in most countries around the world because of the high number of coronavirus cases surging in the United States. But at least one country is keeping its borders open: Mexico. And many Americans, keen to escape the cold or lockdowns, are flocking to its stunning beaches.

On a recent weekend in Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, Sharlea Watkins and her friends downed beers at a restaurant overlooking the city's marina.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that all travelers coming from the United Kingdom must present a negative coronavirus test no more than 72 hours before taking a flight to the U.S.

To a world upended by the coronavirus, Pope Francis offered a timeless message during a Christmas Eve Mass that was itself shaped by the ongoing pandemic.

The Mass was celebrated in a smaller rear section of St. Peter's Basilica, and only 100 or so people were present, Reuters reported. In normal times without a pandemic, the Mass is celebrated in the main part of the basilica before some 10,000 people.

All in attendance wore masks except for the pontiff and a small choir. Those in the pews sat at a distance from one another.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California has surpassed 2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, as the virus has spread with startling speed in the state.

It's the first state to pass that number. In the last day, according to Johns Hopkins, California saw 43,986 new cases and 319 deaths.

Updated 3:32 p.m. ET

The start of the NBA 2020-2021 season is already off to a bumpy start with the postponement of the Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder matchup Wednesday because of coronavirus issues.

It was just Day 2 of competition for the fledgling NBA season.

The equation for COVID-19 hot spots has been clear since the earliest days of the pandemic: Take facilities where people live in close quarters, then add conditions that make it hard to take preventive measures such as wearing personal protective equipment or keeping socially distant.

Major outbreaks in nursing homes this spring shocked the nation. Now, residents of those facilities are among the first in line for the vaccine.

The massive surge in coronavirus cases has left hospitals in Los Angeles County scrambling to handle the increasing numbers of patients showing up at their doors. Nowhere is that more evident than in hospitals' intensive care units, which are rapidly filling up with the worst COVID-19 cases.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned the success of his country's COVID-19 vaccine into a matter of personal pride — and national prestige.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services booked an unusual guest interviewer for one of its public health events this fall: Shulem Lemmer, the first Hasidic singer to sign with a major record label.

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