(Beaver Dam) Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam began administering their first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health care workers last week. The Pfizer vaccine arrived at the facility late Wednesday night and was in the arms of staff on Christmas Eve. Chief Administrator Officer Angelia Foster says the COVID-19 vaccine represents hope and encouragement that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. She says they are thrilled and relieved to begin immunizing the frontline staff that have been taking care of our friends, family and neighbors tirelessly throughout this difficult time in our county. Due to the holiday timing, Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam immunized a limited number of staff on Thursday, with more widespread numbers receiving vaccinations beginning this week. Health care providers and staff who are at an elevated risk for COVID-19 exposure have been identified as top priority while those at a medium risk will receive the vaccine next as available. Foster says while this vaccine is the first step toward getting us closer to a new normal, we encourage everyone to continue wearing masks, observing social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, and avoiding large and indoor gatherings.
(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,506 positive coronavirus cases in Friday’s daily update. There are 31,690 active cases in the state, a decrease of 1,719 from Thursday. Active cases make up 6.8-percent of the 467-thousand people who have tested positive to date. So far, there have been 431-thousand recoveries. State health officials recorded five deaths bringing that total to 4,679. Deaths account for one-percent of all cases in Wisconsin while 4.4-percent of those known to have contracted the virus needed to be hospitalized. Of the over one-million people who have died worldwide, the CDC says 325-thousand people were from the United States. Dodge County has experienced 114 deaths and 10,236 cases, a one-day increase of 71. Washington County has seen 93 deaths along with 11,266 cases to date. Fond du Lac County has 64 deaths with 10,143 positive tests on record. The state says Jefferson County has seen 57 deaths and 6,418 cases to date. Columbia County has recorded 28 deaths and has had 4,101 positive tests. Green Lake County has reported 10 deaths with 1,371 cases on record.
(Dodge Count) A few additional cases of COVID-19 have been detected at several Dodge County prisons, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Over the last week, Dodge Correctional reported seven inmates with coronavirus for a total of 716. The number of active cases are at 20 with 694 recoveries. The prison has had 155 staff members test positive, an increase of six from a week ago. At nearby Waupun Correctional, there is currently one active case among inmates while 716 have recovered. One-hundred-and-twenty-one (121) employees have been confirmed to have COVID-19. Fox Lake Correctional is up to 889 inmate cases with 45 being active and 838 recovered. State corrections says the facility has had 139 staff members with the virus. John C. Burke Correctional dropped from 20 active cases last week to five as of yesterday (Friday) with 24 inmates having recovered. Four additional employees have tested positive since a week ago at the prison, bringing that number to 15 since the start of the pandemic.
(Wisconsin) Suicides are down in Wisconsin by almost eight-percent, but COVID-19 has increased the seriousness of mental health issues. Various Wisconsin agencies have seen 266 suicides during the coronavirus pandemic. That compares to 288 during the same time period last year and 307 the year before that. A C-D-C report shows nationwide mental health-related emergency department visits increase by 31-percent this year for children ages 12-to-17. – WRN
(Milwaukee) Milwaukee’s record-setting year for homicides continued to see this number increase during the Christmas holiday. Police say they responded to at least four shootings within a 14 hour period. The one fatal shooting took place just after 10 p.m. on Thursday. A 48-year-old man reportedly went to a neighbor’s apartment in hopes of preventing a domestic violence situation. The suspect also went to the same apartment and shot the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are still searching for suspects for the shootings as investigations continue.
(Wisconsin) It’s yet another legal defeat for the Trump Campaign in their efforts to overturn the results of the Wisconsin presidential election. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday that the Trump Campaign waited too long to complain about how the election was handled, and that their reasons for objecting were faulty. The Campaign was trying to argue that the Elections Commission should not have allowed local clerks to complete address fields on absentee ballots, and that drop boxes were an illegal way to collect ballots. The court stated that if the campaign wanted to complain about those decisions, they should have done so before the election. – WRN
(Milwaukee) Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson reports the presidential vote recount came in under budget at almost one-point-seven-million dollars. The budget was two-million. Christenson says about one-third of the cost was used to rent the space where the ballots were counted again. President Donald Trump’s campaign paid three-million dollars in advance for the recounts in heavily-Democratic Milwaukee and Dane counties. The effort actually discovered a few additional votes for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Trump lost Wisconsin by less than 22-thousand votes. – WRN
(Madison) The Madison-based 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin National Guard has resumed F-16 flights. The fighter jets are again operational, after a December 8th crash in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula killed Captain Durwood “Hawk” Jones. The Wisconsin State Journal reports pilots resumed flying December 15. The 115th’s spokeswoman told the paper she could not provide any information on an ongoing investigation into Jones’ crash. – WRN
(Wisconsin) State funding will help Wisconsin seniors with transportation. Three-point-eight-million dollars in state funding will go to public and nonprofit agencies that provide specialized transportation to seniors and people with disabilities. Governor Tony Evers announced the state and federal grants Wednesday. Fifty-seven state agencies will use the money to increase their capacity, coordinate transit services, and connect seniors and the disabled with transportation services that are available in their area. – WRN
(Neenah) Emergency responders evacuated a Neenah plant and several homes located downwind after a Wednesday industrial accident. Authorities say the problem at the Galloway plant was caused when a tanker truck carrying chlorine unloaded the chemical into the wrong tank, mixing it with acid. They were worried the chemical reaction would form a dangerous cloud of chlorine gas. Emergency crews evacuated residents for about two blocks to the north, northeast and northwest of the plant because the wind was blowing from the south. The chemical mixture was removed from the area Wednesday night. – WRN