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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Updated at 12:56 p.m. ET

The Senate approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan Saturday, securing additional aid for American families, workers and businesses — and a legislative victory for the Biden administration.

After more than 24 hours of debate, the evenly divided Senate voted 50-49 to approve the measure. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was absent because he was in Alaska for a family funeral.

Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, left his home on Saturday to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and promote vaccination against the coronavirus, in what was his first public appearance in over a year.

The 85-year-old scrapped plans to receive the injection at home, opting instead to travel to a clinic in Dharamsala, India, where he's lived since fleeing China after a failed uprising in 1959.

Agnes Boisvert, an ICU nurse at St. Luke's hospital in downtown Boise, Idaho, spends every day trying to navigate between two worlds. One is a swirl of beeping monitors, masked emotion and death; the other, she says, seems oblivious to the horrors occurring every hour of every day.

The pandemic has changed how people talk and write. In English, dictionaries have noted a few dozen new entries and revisions: social distancing, frontliner, super-spreader, "Zoom" as a verb.

The state of California updated its plans Friday to allow outdoor events at stadiums, ballparks and theme parks to begin to reopen April 1.

Sports facilities and amusement parks will reopen at reduced capacity, contingent on county-level infection rates. The California Department of Public Health released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy guidelines last August, which has dictated the opening and closing of businesses at the county level ever since.

As the newest coronavirus vaccine makes its debut, the American public has a new set of deliberations before walking into their vaccine clinic — go with the new arrival or stick with the two vaccines that have already gone into the arms of more than 50 million Americans?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a few distinct advantages: only one shot is required and it can hold up in a refrigerator for several months.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

As several states face criticism for lifting coronavirus-related public health restrictions, a study published Friday confirms that state-imposed mask mandates and on-premises dining restrictions help slow the spread of COVID-19.

As hopes increase that life will soon get back to normal, there's one pandemic ritual that a lot of kids and parents are going to miss.

A year ago, as the coronavirus began to rage, fitness instructor Joe Wicks, known as The Body Coach, started a daily exercise class for kids on YouTube called "PE With Joe." The idea was to help children stay active during the lockdown.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Milwaukee County is reaching out to senior citizens in two Milwaukee zip codes with large numbers of low-income Black and Latino residents, in hopes of getting more of those older individuals their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The outreach is going to the 53206 zip code on Milwaukee's north side, and 53204 zip code on the near south side.

On Thursday, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said the goal is to remove barriers to access.

Hiring picked up steam in February as a winter wave of coronavirus infections eased and consumers spent more freely.

U.S. employers added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dipped to 6.2%.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

State health officials gave a little more insight Thursday on when people under 65 with pre-existing conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Deputy Department of Health Services Secretary Julie Willems-Van Dijk said as of Thursday, nearly 60% of people age 65 and older in Wisconsin received one or more doses of the vaccine, as part of group 1A.

Districts across the state started to vaccinate teachers Monday, as part of group 1B.

The CDC has recommended people age 16-64 with preexisting medical conditions be part of phase IC.

Australia has asked the European Commission to review Italy's decision to block a shipment of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to the Pacific Island nation this week.

One year after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered classrooms around the country and the world, U.S. parents are guardedly optimistic about the academic and social development of their children, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds.

But 62% of parents say their child's education has been disrupted. And, more than 4 out of 5 would like to see schools provide targeted extra services to help their kids catch up. This includes just over half of parents who support the idea of summer school.

This week, health care providers began administering the first doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. — the third vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to help stop the coronavirus pandemic.

That's welcome news in a country that still faces high levels of circulating virus in most regions, and a demand for vaccine that still far outstrips supply.

Senate Democrats are moving ahead with an updated version of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes several tweaks intended to satisfy some moderates ahead of an expected final vote in the coming days.

The Senate voted 51-50 along party lines to advance the bill on Thursday. Vice President Harris voted with all Democrats to break the tie and move ahead with the lengthy debate and amendment process.

Robert Muggah is a principal of the SecDev Group and cofounder of the Igarape Institute. His latest book, Terra Incognita, co-authored with Ian Goldin, focuses on the systemic threats facing our world.

As President Biden pushes to get U.S. schools fully open soon, an art exhibit aims to help people visualize what it means that they're closed.

It turns out a COVID-19 vaccine that stirred controversy in India may be effective after all.

As the speed of COVID vaccinations picks up, so do the reports of doses going to waste. And it's more than just a handful at the end of the day because of a few appointment cancellations. Health officials are trying to address the problems that lead to waste, but without slowing down the roll out of the lifesaving vaccinations.

Every October when the weather turns cold, Carol Clapp leaves her family farm in Epping, N.H., and travels halfway around the world to spend the next six months in New Zealand.

So when COVID-19 exploded globally last March, the long-distance snowbird became stranded in a paradise of sorts.

"I've had quite a year here," said Clapp, 73, over a Zoom call from the porch of her house in the small town of Riverton, as the birds in the eucalyptus trees chirped.

Updated at 8:38 p.m. ET

President Biden said on Wednesday that states like Texas and Mississippi are making a big mistake by ending mandates to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at a time when the nation is making a push to boost vaccinations.

"The last thing — the last thing — we need is the Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask. Forget it. It still matters," Biden told reporters as he met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Oval Office.

Timothy D. Easley / Getty Images

Around 47,000 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Wisconsin next week. While health officials are pushing the positives of the vaccine — it’s only one dose versus two and the fact that it can be shipped anywhere because it only requires refrigeration and not ultra-cold storage — some people have concerns.

Dutch police in a town north of Amsterdam are investigating an explosion outside of a coronavirus test center early Wednesday.

Police say the explosion went off at about 6:55 a.m. outside of the center in Bovenkarspel, a town about 40 miles northeast of Amsterdam. There were no injuries from the blast. Investigators told local media that the explosion appeared intentional, as remnants of an exploded metal cylinder were found outside of the building.

Joaquin Corbalan / stock.adobe.com

Wisconsin election officials cleared the way Tuesday for special voting deputies to return to nursing homes ahead of the April 6 elections.

Wisconsin law allows municipal clerks to send deputies into nursing homes to help residents complete absentee ballots. The state Elections Commission directed clerks not to send deputies to homes in March 2020 to protect residents from COVID-19 as the pandemic was taking hold. The directive remained in place for the November election and last month's spring primary.

Country music legend Dolly Parton got a taste of her own medicine on Tuesday when she received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine whose research she helped fund.

Parton, 75, documented the moment in a video posted to social media in which she encouraged eligible viewers to get the shot and broke into a modified rendition of "Jolene" to that effect.

A number of states are breaking with federal guidelines and starting to vaccinate people by age group, drawing criticism from essential workers and people with underlying conditions who are getting bumped back in line.

In Connecticut, officials say they're trying to balance equity with speeding up the pace of vaccinations. Under a new vaccination plan that began on March 1, educators are still prioritized but essential workers like grocers, security officers and janitors, who would have been next in line, now have to wait until their age group comes up.

President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

For Americans factories, business is good these days. Almost too good.

Unexpectedly strong demand for furniture, appliances and other manufactured goods is providing a windfall to many of the country's industries.

But as factory gears spin faster to meet the surging demand, a big headache is emerging: Supply chains are getting stretched more than ever, and critical components are proving a lot harder to procure.

Take the word of Drew Greenblatt, the president of Marlin Steel in Baltimore.

"The economy is snapping back in a big way," Greenblatt said.

When Latoya Jenkins talks about her mom, she likes to focus on happy memories like the games she used to play with her kids.

"She used to buy two bottles of dish soap," Jenkins said. "One bottle was for the dishes. The other bottle was for rainy days. She would take us outside and we would make bubbles."

Jenkins, who lives in upstate New York, says her mom, Sonya Hughey, had a hard life, first using crack cocaine when she was a teenager.

Concern about new coronavirus variants has grown quickly in recent months.

First, scientists in the United Kingdom spotted a more contagious coronavirus strain that spread like wildfire through the London area. Then, researchers in South Africa spotted one that appears to evade the immune system. Next, another variant was flagged in Brazil because it looked like it could infect people who had already been infected once before.

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