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.

There's currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection. 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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On the rare occasion she leaves her room, Diane Evans uses a walker to gingerly navigate San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. Most days, the 74-year-old wears a multicolored head wrap, known as a gele, an extra-large T-shirt and plaid pajama pants.

Deprived of classes and shared meals at the senior center she calls home, she is alone most of the time, beset by numerous health problems and severe clinical depression.

Germany is extending its current coronavirus lockdown measures through mid-December, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced this week.

The country will remain under measures introduced in early November that include limits on private gatherings and it will keep bars, restaurants, and museums closed.

Residents will be given some leeway around the Christmas holiday. Members of one household can meet up with 10 people between Dec. 23 to Jan. 1. Children under 14 are exempt.

Sudan's last democratically elected prime minister has died of COVID-19-related complications, his party announced early Thursday.

Sadiq al-Mahdi was 84.

He died in hospital in the United Arab Emirates, where he was receiving treatment after becoming infected with the coronavirus, the National Umma Party, which he led until his death, announced Thursday.

Far more people in the U.S. are hospitalized for COVID-19 now than at any other moment of the coronavirus pandemic — more than twice as many as just a month ago.

Hospitals in some of the hardest-hit states are exhausting every health care worker, hospital room and piece of equipment to evade the worst-case scenario, when crisis plans have to be set in motion and care may have to be rationed.

More than 2,400 hospitals and related facilities have received their first doses of new drugs that are designed to keep mild to moderately ill COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. But it's not clear how much the drugs will help these patients – and whether the medicines will reduce the demand for hospital beds.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Amtrak says ridership is substantially off this year, due to COVID-19. But the passenger rail system says many of its trains are operating, with health precautions, during what is normally a busy Thanksgiving period.

Amtrak says nationally, its ridership is down to about 20% of normal. Ridership on the Hiawatha Line, between Milwaukee and Chicago, is down about 50% compared to last year at this time.

Screenshot / Milwaukee Common Council

One of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been getting resources to those who need them most. And, that includes people who’ve been quarantined, laid off, or unable to keep up with their bills.

With new coronavirus infections raging across the nation, El Paso, Texas, which has hit particularly hard by the virus, implemented a new curfew that started just after midnight Wednesday local time.

According to the order, the curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily is slated to run through Nov. 30.

Alexandr Milodan / Adobe Stock

A Milwaukee County doctor closely following the COVID-19 pandemic said Tuesday if you feel fine that doesn't necessarily mean you are fine.

Dr. Ben Weston is with the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is director of medical services for the county's Office of Emergency Management. 

New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week for the second week in a row, signaling ongoing weakness in the job market as coronavirus infections continue to soar.

The Labor Department reported 778,000 people applied for state benefits in the week ending Saturday, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Across the state, around 85% of hospital beds are occupied. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported more than 6,200 new cases of the coronavirus. That number is down significantly from the high of nearly 8,000 cases a week ago.

Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said everyone is looking for signs that Wisconsin’s numbers are on their way down.

Officials in Illinois have ordered an independent investigation into a coronavirus outbreak that killed 27 people at a state-operated veterans' home. The state's Department of Veterans' Affairs announced the decision in a statement Tuesday, pledging to "immediately address any findings from that investigation."

Just a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, Holly Smith had already made up her mind. She was not going to reopen her restaurant to diners until there was a vaccine. She just didn't think it was safe. When she shared the decision with her staff, they asked: Would the vaccine be mandatory?

Yes, she said. It would be.

Federal health officials are likely to shorten their recommendation for how long people should quarantine to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus from the current 14 days to as few as seven.

For weeks now, the message from public health officials has been clear: The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with members of your immediate household only.

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