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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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized the first coronavirus test that people will be able to buy at a local store without a prescription and use for immediate results at home to find out if they're positive or negative.

The test will cost about $30 and be available by January, according to the Australian company that makes it, Ellume.

The holiday season is upon us, and usually that means packed shopping malls and kisses beneath the mistletoe, long-distance travel and big family festivities — just about everything, in other words, that could make an already dire pandemic even worse. So officials in multiple European countries, caught between a yule log and a hard place, are imposing a new wave of strict coronavirus lockdowns.

UW Health

Health officials say about 10,000 doses of the first federally-approved, COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Wisconsin. That's about one-fifth of the doses expected in the state by later this week. Health care workers are supposed to be the first to get the vaccine, but most won't be vaccinated until later this month.

The Food and Drug Administration released a detailed analysis Tuesday morning of the COVID-19 vaccine from drugmaker Moderna that supports the authorization of the company's vaccine for emergency use.

The FDA's briefing document along with one from Moderna were posted two days before a group of experts will convene to advise the agency on whether to grant the vaccine emergency authorization for use, or EUA, during the pandemic.

As the U.S. marks 300,000 dead, it's impossible to capture the grief families around the country are experiencing.

Each person who dies of COVID-19 has a story. But many of those left behind no longer have access to the traditional ways of remembering the dead. Funerals are often happening over Zoom or as stripped-down, socially distant affairs.

Hugs aren't safe anymore.

At least 55 immunization sites across the U.S. received doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's long-awaited vaccine Monday morning, says Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. The effort to get the vaccine into medical professionals' hands, he said, has gone "incredibly well."

Perna credited a number of people for the success, from volunteers who helped to test the vaccine to those who worked over the weekend to prepare, ship and deliver the doses, which must be stored at very cold temperatures to remain viable.

Canada began administering doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, with elderly people and front-line workers among the first to receive shots.

In Quebec, 89-year-old Gisèle Lévesque, a resident of the Saint-Antoine nursing home in Quebec City, became the first person in the province hit hardest by the pandemic to receive a vaccine, at around 11:30 a.m.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu appeared outside the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal in the afternoon, with newly vaccinated 78-year-old Gloria Lallouz.

More than 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

It is the latest sign of a generational tragedy — one still unfolding in every corner of the country — that leaves in its wake an expanse of grief that cannot be captured in a string of statistics.

"The numbers do not reflect that these were people," says Brian Walter, whose 80-year-old father, John, died from COVID-19. "Everyone lost was a father or a mother, they had kids, they had family, they left people behind."

Nine months into the pandemic, and lines outside food pantries are still a common sight around the country: families waiting in row after row of cars, snaking as far as the eye can see.

Last year, more than 35 million people experienced food insecurity. But because of the pandemic, that number could be as high as 50 million for this year, according to the hunger relief organization Feeding America.

With nation's confirmed coronavirus infections surging, the NCAA announced Monday it plans to stage the entire Division I women's basketball tournament in one geographic area when it tips off in March.

Talks are already underway with officials in San Antonio to host the 64 teams that will compete in the single-elimination tournament.

NCAA officials said it aims to limit the spread of the virus by cutting down on the amount of travel required by teams.

Michael Clevenger - Pool/Getty Images

Health care workers in Wisconsin will start receiving the COVID-19 on Monday as hospitals begin receiving shipments of the vaccine.

UW Health said in a statement Monday that it had received its first doses, which were transported in ultra-cold storage freezers and stored for distribution. The first employees were to start receiving the shots on Monday afternoon, UW Health said.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The first people in the U.S. are receiving vaccination shots against COVID-19 on Monday, as U.S. health workers started administering the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The first widely publicized vaccination took place in New York City, shortly after 9 a.m. ET. The event was live-streamed and promoted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said, "The vaccine only works if the American people take it."

A Trump administration spokesman on Sunday said top officials in the three branches of government would be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but later in the evening, the president himself said most White House staff members will have to wait.

I come from people who did what needed to be done when faced with personal or community crisis. And I have a long history of experience with vaccines.

So, when I heard about the COVID-19 vaccine trial taking place where I live in Salt Lake City, I didn't hesitate. I already knew the research team because I'd been through two unrelated vaccine trials in the last year. I was familiar with the pin pricks, protocols, clinic visits, informed consent forms and piles of paperwork. I already knew the trial's doctor, nurses and medical assistants.

Charley Pride, who sold millions of records and was the first Black performer to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, among many other honors, has died at age 86. A statement posted on the singer's website said Pride died in Dallas on Saturday from complications of COVID-19.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET, Monday, Dec. 21

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency authorization for the first COVID-19 vaccines to be deployed in the U.S., you may have a lot of questions about what this means for you and the people you love. Here's what we know so far:

Who specifically is eligible for the vaccine now?

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, federal officials are mobilizing behind a vast effort to distribute the vaccine as soon as possible. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said Saturday that distribution of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine has begun.

Debbie Roberts wishes her stepbrother had just slid away from his advanced Parkinson's disease.

He died Nov. 29, just one person among many who died in an outbreak of COVID-19 at North Valley Extended Care in the Okanogan County town of Tonasket, Wash., — population about 1,000. So far, at least 16 people at the facility have died since Thanksgiving.

Federal officials have authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech in a landmark decision that promises to alter the fight against the coronavirus radically in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration released its letter to Pfizer granting the authorization Friday evening.

The Food and Drug Administration looks set to allow emergency authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shortly. With that, vaccinations will likely begin soon for health care workers and people in nursing homes.

These last few days have been chaotic at the Nimiipuu Health Clinic on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho.

The director, Dr. R. Kim Hartwig, is trying to manage testing and treating patients for COVID- 19 and other diseases, while also racing to get a plan in place to distribute a vaccine.

"It's not something that we have a timeline [for], it's like, I got a call and was told, 'You're gonna get a vaccine in two weeks, get a plan together,' " she says.

The Food and Drug Administration is likely soon to authorize distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. But the vaccine trials have so far excluded pregnant people.

She's embarrassed to admit it, but there were moments over the summer when Adriana Kaplan almost forgot about the pandemic. In the beginning, the Philadelphia native had taken the coronavirus seriously: She had all her groceries delivered and worked her software engineering job from her South Philly home. For the first two months of the pandemic, she barely left the house.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

After facing a series of delays, the Senate approved by voice vote a one-week temporary funding measure Friday afternoon to avert a government shutdown hours before a critical deadline.

The president signed the bill Friday evening. Without it, federal agencies would have run out of money at midnight Friday.

The Senate's move came as Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, relented on his demands to vote first on a measure to allow direct payments to Americans.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Nearly 4,000 people in Wisconsin have died of COVID-19, after 57 deaths were announced Thursday.  The number of confirmed cases in the state since the pandemic began now tops 426,000. State officials and medical experts say the case total could be higher if more people would be tested for the coronavirus.

Also, late Thursday, an FDA advisory panel recommended emergency authorization of a vaccine for COVID-19. Some health care providers in Wisconsin could be given the vaccine next week.

After months of wrangling over the terms of a budget and coronavirus recovery package totaling more than $2 trillion, the European Union agreed Thursday night to end a standoff with two member states that threatened to delay the much-needed relief funds.

Lauren Sigfusson / WUWM

Around 65,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will soon be headed to Wisconsin, according to local health officials.

First responders and people who live or work in long-term care facilities will be first up to be vaccinated. As more doses become available, it’s expected that the vaccination will be offered to more people.

The Food and Drug Administration's authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine could come within a day or two, a member of an FDA panel of experts that recommended an OK for the vaccine said Friday. But Dr. Paul Offit, a member of that panel, cautioned it could be next fall before life gets back to normal after the pandemic.

That fall prediction would depend on two-thirds of the American population getting the vaccine, he told NPR's Morning Edition.

Across the U.S., the first snowflakes have fallen, temperatures are dipping and the days of pandemic-friendly park hangouts and outdoor dining feel like they're fading along with the daylight hours.

But with the right mindset and know-how, outdoor socializing can keep going all year long.

"I live by myself, so I'm constantly thinking about how to meet up with my friends and family without putting them or myself in danger," says Linda Poon, a journalist in Washington, D.C. "And I'm someone who hates the cold."

Most mornings, Paulino Ramos sat under the small tree at the entrance of a busy Home Depot parking lot near Downtown Los Angeles. Other day laborers hanging around on the corner knew they could find their friend there, waiting in the shade for construction jobs. But in early September, they noticed Ramos, the sturdily built demolition worker, looked weak.

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