News – July 10, 2020

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin leads the nation in coronavirus transmission. That’s according to The COVID Tracking Project from The Atlantic. The magazine’s data shows that for two weeks straight – the last week of June and first week of July – Wisconsin has had the fastest rate of transmission of the coronavirus. According to The COVID Tracking Project’s data, every other Midwest state is middle of the road. Illinois leads the region, ranking 11th for the slowest spread of the virus.

(Madison) Thursday’s COVID-19  numbers in Wisconsin did set two records. The Department of Health Services reported 754 new confirmed cases – a single day record – out of 13,158 tests processed in the previous 24 hours, also a record. The rate of positive tests was a relatively high 5.7 percent. There are just over 6,300 active cases in the state. Two more deaths were reported for a total of 809. Dodge County has five deaths on record and local health officials are actively following 30 people out of the 492 cases reported to date.

(Columbia County) Public health officials in Columbia County say the coronavirus activity level has increased significantly. In a press release, Health Officer Susan Lorenz says as of yesterday (Thursday), Columbia County has seen 63 new positive cases since June, more than half of the 110 cases reported since March. Thirty-four (34) people are being actively monitored by local health officials. People in their 20s making up the largest age grouping of new positive cases at 22-percent while people in their 30s are in the second largest group at 20-percent.  Lorenz says the majority of the cases are being transmitted from unknown sources, meaning they are not close contacts of a household member or a known case investigation, they are acquired in the general community.

(Watertown) The City of Watertown and Dodge County teaming up to offer free Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing at the Watertown High School Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Testing is for any Wisconsin resident five years of age or older. A photo ID is not required, but you will be asked for your name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Appointments are not necessary, but are encouraged. Contact information can be found at DailyDodge.com.

(Madison) The State Supreme Court has once again ruled in favor of Republicans in a series of lawsuits challenging the Lame Duck Laws. In an opinion issued on Thursday, the court upheld laws passed by Republicans in 2018 that limit some of the powers of the Governor’s office. One of those laws prevents the governor and the attorney general’s office from leaving federal lawsuits that the state has joined. That law was enacted to keep Governor Evers from dropping out of a number of controversial lawsuits the state was involved in during the Walker administration. The court also upheld a measure that requires the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee to sign off on lawsuit settlements for the state. That law has led to a protracted standoff between Republicans and Attorney General Josh Kaul on just how the J F C will be allowed to be read in on confidential cases.

(Waupun) An inmate at Waupun Correctional was charged with having illegal contraband. Christopher Jones and several other inmates were allegedly passing around a cellphone. While being striped searched, Jones reportedly pulled a small cellphone from his backside. Jones is serving a 40 year prison sentence for a 2007 homicide conviction in Milwaukee County. If convicted, the 32-year-old faces an additional three-and-a-half years in prison. An initial appearance is scheduled for September 1st.

(Madison) UW-Madison has new focus on racial inclusiveness. But it will mean more than just a new mandatory class for all in-coming students in Madison. Chancellor Rebecca Blank is out with her plan to address racial inequity. Blank says the U-W will also create a new Office of Inclusive Education… spend millions of dollars to bring-in minority students and faculty… and take a look at the campus history. Blank says the university has spent the past five years trying to increase the number of underrepresented students and faculty… but that it hasn’t been enough.