Evers seeks FEMA workers as COVID overwhelms Wisconsin hospitals

·5 min read

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers seeks 100 FEMA workers, utilizes National Guard nurses for hospital staffing shortages as COVID-19 surges

  • Hospitals and long-term care facilities in Wisconsin are entering a crisis, state health officials said Wednesday, as COVID-19 infections rise while health care facilities experiencing staffing shortages continue to provide care for other ailments including the seasonal flu.

  • "We will do everything we can to prevent a situation where we have no hospital capacity," Timberlake said. "That said, we are already at a place in some parts of our state where there are few to no ICU beds available in particular. And that's why we need everyone to continue to participate with us in doing what we can to prevent this situation from getting any worse."

  • As of Tuesday, just 2.7% of the state's ICU beds were available. Over the last seven days, Wisconsin hospitals have admitted 212 new COVID-19 patients — the majority of whom are unvaccinated, health officials said Wednesday. More than 3,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported Wednesday and 33 new deaths. Evers and Timberlake said they are again urging vaccinations as cold weather hits the state, forcing more gatherings inside creating a larger risk of spreading the virus.

The digital divide is not just in rural America. In poorer urban neighborhoods, internet access remains elusive.

  • What's often lost in the discussion of the digital divide is the number of urban households without decent internet service, also known as broadband, even though access would seem to be a given. The families hurt the most are those who can least endure another hardship: people of color in low-income neighborhoods.

  • Estimates vary, but it's widely accepted that millions of city dwellers are at risk of falling behind in education, employment and health care — just like their rural counterparts — because they lack adequate home internet access. An Alliance for Excellent Education study last year found that about 31% of Black and Latino families didn't have home broadband, compared with 21% of white families.

  • Only about a year ago, Microsoft Corp. found that 340,000 people in Milwaukee County — more than one in three — weren't using the internet at true broadband speeds. That finding echoed Census Bureau data showing that at least 30% of households in 185 large and medium-size U.S. cities didn't have a wired broadband connection.

Four people found shot dead inside home on Milwaukee's south side in apparent murder-suicide

  • According to a news release, police responded about 11:45 a.m. to the 3100 block of South 49th Street to check on someone's welfare. Four people were found dead inside the home. One person apparently shot three others and then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. One of the dead is a juvenile.

  • Members of the city's team of violence interrupters, 414Life, were seen assisting with family members of the victims. Arnitta Holliman, director of the city's Office of Violence Prevention, which houses the 414Life team, called the incident "extremely sad and disheartening."

  • Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call them at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or use the P3 Tips app to remain anonymous.

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The Money

CATHOLIC FINANCIAL: Catholic Financial Life is listing for sale its downtown Milwaukee apartment and office tower — with the fraternal insurance organization planning to find a new corporate headquarters. The 19-story building, 1100 W. Wells St., is for sale because of a strong real estate market and evolving office space needs, Catholic Financial Life announced Wednesday.

TOM SALER: The surge in consumer spending exposes the limits to the supply chain - and especially 'just in time' inventory management.

The Fun Stuff:

DOWNTOWN SANTA: Downtown Milwaukee is decked out for the holidays, and families can see the decorations and Santa and Mrs. Claus during the first-ever Santa's Christmas Cavalcade on Dec. 12 and Dec. 17.

CONCERTS: The 10 best Milwaukee concerts of 2021 (and the year's worst show, too).

The Games

BUCKS: The Bucks came up short against a short-handed Heat team, dropping the gam in Miami 113-104.

BADGERS: Wow. Down 22 in the first half, down 17 at the half and the Badgers come all the way back to beat Indiana at the Kohl Center again, 64-59 this time. It was the Badgers' 19th win in 20 tries against the Hoosiers at the Kohl. Indiana's last win in Madison was on Jan. 25, 1998. The 17th ranked Badgers are now 8-1.

GOLDEN EAGLES: And some more wow. Marquette stole a big road win against Kansas State with Oso Ighodaro blocking a would-be winning shot as final seconds ticked off to win 64-63. A big win for an MU squad in the midst of a brutal December schedule. They return to Milwaukee to face #4 UCLA on Saturday.

Around Wisconsin

SNOW: Two winter storms are expected to hit central and northern Wisconsin in the coming days, dropping 1-3 inches in the first round and 3-8 in the second. Milwaukee is expected to largely escape with a wintry mix and rain.

LIVE X: Live X, a remote broadcasting facility, could have expanded in New York City, but it chose to invest $2 million in Green Bay instead.

Today in Wisconsin History

On Dec. 9, 1960, Marquette University announced it was dropping its football program in a cost-cutting move, catching students and the team's coach by surprise. The football team, which had been a power in the 1920s and '30s, had a record of 10-44-3 from 1954-'60. - Chris Foran

Today's Weather

A wintry mix early before temps rise to 37. Things get interesting for Friday and Saturday, but Milwaukee should escape the worst of it.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Evers seeks FEMA workers as COVID overwhelms Wisconsin hospitals