WUWM is providing updates about the coronavirus and COVID-19 in Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area. Find the most recent news and information here.
Wisconsin and Milwaukee by the numbers, according to state Department of Health Services (unless otherwise noted):
- 86 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (state and Milwaukee County reports) — 49 of those deaths were in Milwaukee County.
- Wisconsin has at least 2,440 confirmed cases.
- Milwaukee County has 1,324 confirmed cases, according to reports from the county. The county also says, "Due to the nature of COVID-19 community spread and testing, the number of positive cases is likely much higher than that listed as a result of unreported or untested cases in our community."
April 6, 6:49 p.m. Absentee Ballots Must Be Submitted In-Person Or Postmarked By Tuesday
Absentee ballots need to be submitted in-person or postmarked by April 7 to be counted in Wisconsin's Tuesday election per an order from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
The order overturns an earlier decision made by U.S. District Judge William Conley, which allowed absentee ballots to be turned in as late as 4 p.m. on April 13 – six days after the election.
April 6, 6:38 p.m.: After Virus Fades, Service Industries May Be Changed Forever
The coronavirus crisis is upending service businesses, and the crisis may permanently change the way Americans work, shop and socialize, even after the disease fades away.
Amanda Tikalsky is a personal trainer in Milwaukee. When the athletic club where she worked closed last month, she scrambled to organize online exercise sessions to keep money coming in. Now she predicts that many customers will continue to exercise from home long after the virus restrictions are lifted.
She says the shutdown is also likely to change her own shopping habits. She has a new appreciation for the ease of buying groceries online.
April 6, 5:12 p.m.: Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Evers Cannot Postpone Tuesday's Election
Wisconsin’s spring election and presidential primary election will proceed Tuesday under an order from the state Supreme Court. This comes just hours after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to postpone voting as part of a last-ditch effort amid growing fears over the coronavirus.
The court ruled 4-2 on Monday that Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own.
The Wisconsin election is being viewed as a national test case in a broader fight over voter access in the age of the coronavirus with major implications for the presidential primary contests ahead and, possibly, the November general election.
-Associated Press, Lauren Sigfusson
April 6, 12:58 p.m.: Evers Orders Delay Of Wisconsin's Tuesday Election To June
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order on Monday to delay the state’s scheduled Tuesday election for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is Wisconsin's spring election and presidential primary.
"Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem ... I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part — just as the rest of us are — to help keep people healthy and safe,” Evers said in a news release. “But as municipalities are consolidating polling locations, and absent legislative or court action, I cannot in good conscience stand by and do nothing. The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”
The move on Monday injects more chaos and last-minute uncertainty amid growing criticism about the state’s harried efforts to allow for in-person voting. The Democratic Evers had previously opposed moving the election. But he acted as poll sites closed because nervous volunteers were unwilling to staff them and as criticism about holding the election grew.
Republicans say they are immediately challenging Evers' order.
Since there's a chance the court could side with the Republicans’ challenge, the Wisconsin Elections Commission told local clerks to proceed as if the election will happen on Tuesday.
-Lauren Sigfusson, Emily Files, Associated Press
April 6, 8:42 a.m.: 264 Wisconsin National Guard Members To Help With In-Person Voting In Milwaukee County
Monday, 264 Wisconsin National Guard service members are reporting to help Milwaukee County's municipal clerks conduct in-person voting. The members will be in civilian clothes and have completed online election and COVID-19 training.
Gov. Tony Evers announced last week that he was deploying the National Guard to help staff polling sites for Wisconsin's April 7 election. Election clerks said poll workers were quitting in droves in fear of contracting the coronavirus.
According to a press release, "Service Members will serve as poll workers, assist with curbside voting, greet voters, perform sanitation duties, and help with set up and tear down of polling stations. They will consist of younger individuals that are not in any at-risk categories."
During this pandemic, WUWM's Bubbler Talk is focusing on the coronavirus and its impact on the Milwaukee area. If you have a question, submit it below.