COVID-19 cases increase by 100 in a day, now 381. Court trials suspended.
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus is at least 381 on Sunday in Wisconsin, according to the state Department of Health Services.
The number of deaths remained at four and 6,239 people tested negative for the virus, according to DHS.
While state health officials provided no details on the fourth death, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner described the victim as a 69-year-old man with multiple underlying conditions who was visiting from another state, according to this report from WITI-TV
The first three victims, confirmed by state officials, were a man in his 50s from Fond du Lac County, a man in his 90s from Ozaukee County, and a man in his 60s from Milwaukee County.
A noteworthy change in how DHS is reporting on the spread of the virus is that for the first time on Saturday, the website that provides daily updates now includes a column for deaths by county.
Recent positive cases include a UW-Eau Claire student who had been studying abroad, and an employee of a Catholic voucher school in Milwaukee with more than 400 students.
Here is a digest of other stories related to the coronavirus outbreak as reported by The Associated Press, UpNorthNews, and other Wisconsin media sites.
Trials Suspended – The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Sunday ordered a halt to all jury trials and in-person proceedings statewide, with limited exceptions, while the public health emergency persists. All state courts remain open, but trials that were scheduled to begin from now through May 22 will be rescheduled. Judges, commissioners and clerks of circuit court are required to utilize e-mail, teleconferencing, and video conferencing technology instead of in-person courtroom appearances through at least April 30.
Faster Testing – La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System said it had developed a test that detects COVID-19 and now has enough supplies to run thousands of tests and analyze them in-house which will allow results to be learned faster. The test was developed under requirements given by the Centers for Disease Control. UW-La Crosse had a large amount of needed supplies because of its molecular biology research.
Drive-Up Tests – Ascension Medical Group is setting up drive-thru testing sites in West Allis, Franklin, and Milwaukee, the Racine Journal Times reports.
Barrett Isolated – Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is in self-quarantine for the next two weeks because he came into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, WISN reports.
Online Voter Registration – A federal judge ordered that Wisconsin reinstate online voter registration which will allow more people to cast absentee ballots ahead of the April 7 presidential primary and spring election for non-partisan offices. The deadline had been this past Wednesday (Mar. 18), but people now have until Mar. 30 to register online. U.S. District Judge William Conley issued the ruling Friday night, siding with Democrats who made the request but turning down a request to extend the deadline for registering by mail as well. Voter registration can be done at MyVote.wi.gov.
Some Bars Re-Open – Gov. Tony Evers amended the restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Taverns will now be treated the same as restaurants, allowing bars to open in order to provide delivery or carryout sales of food and even alcoholic beverages, if already permitted under local ordinances.
Masks Donated – The Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council donated 100 N95 masks to UW Hospital in Madison. Those will help with the shortage of masks nurses are facing, forcing them to reuse masks against medical guidelines.
Playgrounds Closed – The City of Waukesha closed all park playground areas, park restrooms, and a skatepark on Friday.
Now Hiring – Roundy’s, owner of Pick ‘N Save and Metro Market, announced it is hiring 2,500 full-time and part-time workers, per WDJT.
Loans Deferred – A Wausau committee moved to defer city loans given to small businesses affected by the pandemic, WAOW reports.
Test Kit Scam – Law officials in Rusk County are warning residents of a phone scam that offers a free coronavirus test kit in exchange for Social Security numbers, the Ladysmith News reports.
Drive-Thru Food Aid – An Eau Claire food bank has launched a drive-thru pop-up food pantry program open to anyone in need of food, WEAU reports.
Acts of Kindness – A Milwaukee landlord slashed his tenants’ rent to just $100 to help out during the outbreak, WISN reports.
Stuck in Peru – Some Wisconsinites are among more than 1,000 Americans stranded in Peru after the country shut down its borders, the Cap Times reports.
Confess On-the-Go – A Marshfield church is letting local Catholics participate in drive-up confessions, WAOW reports.
Jonathon Sadowski contributed to this report.