Good Morning, Madison!
It's Thursday. Where the h*ck did the week go?
For the second day in a row, Wisconsin has set a new record for single-day confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to information from the state Department of Health Services (DHS), Wisconsin recorded 10,288 new cases Tuesday. That tops Monday's record of 8,058 cases.
I know we've been spending a lot of time here talking about COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and everything in between but that's what happens when you're waist-deep in a global pandemic.
Thankfully, I do have a bit of good news to share in the pandemic world: the Madison Metropolitan School District has acquired 15,000 PCR tests and will administer them to students, staff, and their families for free. This is HUGE considering the scarce number of tests available after the holiday season.
💊 Wisconsin has received its first dose of COVID-19 antiviral pills.
- The pills, molnupiravir (from Merck) and Paxlovid (from Pfizer), can help treat patients with mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19. They received FDA approval last month.
- The Department of Health Services has said the initial supply is extremely limited and doctors have been encouraged to only prescribe them to patients who are at the greatest risk of severe illness or hospitalization.
- Wisconsin received 940 doses of Paxlovid and 4,320 doses of molnupiravir. The pills will be distributed to select pharmacies by Friday.
- Related: Looking for a COVID test in Dane County? Here’s what you need to know about the backlog (Cap Times)
- Dig deeper: Wisconsin's Covid Condition: Omicron drives explosive case growth as hospitalizations, deaths remain high (PBS Wisconsin)
"These drugs are not a substitution for protecting yourself by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Wisconsin receives more allocations from the federal government." — DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a statement
🗳️ From School Board to County Board, it's time to start thinking about spring elections.
- Let's start with the Madison School Board.
- Incumbent board president Ali Muldrow is running for re-election unopposed.
- Former MMSD executive director of equity, partnerships and engagement Nichelle Nichols is running for Seat 5 unopposed. Unless a write-in candidate swoops in blows us all away, Nichols will take the place of Ananda Mirilli, who held the seat for one term.
- There are two candidates vying for Seat 3: Laura Simkin and Shepherd Janeway — who will appear as Shepherd Joyner on the ballot.
- Both Janeway and Smikin have emphasized focuses on school safety and transparency in decision-making in their campaigns.
- What's up with the Dane County Board? Well, because of redistricting, all 37 seats are up for election.
- Breaking it down further, 11 incumbents have decided not to run for re-election, the State Journal reports, including long-time board members Dorothy Krause, Carl Chenoweth, Shelia Stubbs, Jeremy Levin, and Carousel Bayrd.
- There are eight newcomers running unopposed for open seats. Currently, there are 12 races that have the potential to be competitive. It's still too early to make any predictions but this will definitely be an interesting election to watch.
- The nitty gritty: See who's going to be on the ballot in April (Wisconsin State Journal)
🎓 Edgewood College is delaying the start of its spring semester.
- Yes, it's because of rapidly increasing COVID-19 case numbers being reported across the country and state. Classes will resume Jan. 24.
- Channel 3000 reports graduate courses, online courses, and accelerated courses are not affected by the change.
📚 A Room of One's Own is closing its doors to the public for now.
- The East Side book store made the announcement on its social media Wednesday. The shop will be closed to the public through (at least) Jan. 15. You can still shop the store online and order pickup will be available at the front of the store from 12 - 5 p.m. daily.
🇦🇫 Your lunchtime read: Torn Apart: Local efforts to help Afghan refugees are marked by both tears and triumph.
- From Madison Magazine: "It’s not just a single family that is navigating resettlement complexities on top of personal tragedy. The Catholic Multicultural Center estimates about 136 members of the Afghan community have resettled in the Madison area since 2010, and more will soon come."
- Related: How you can support Open Doors for Refugees (Channel 3000)
🏈 Just for fun: Ever wonder how 'Jump Around' came to be THE song in Madison? TMJ4 has the answer.
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.3%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.1%
Links you can use
- Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
- Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
- Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
- Request an at-home testing kit from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- NEW: Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022 (Wirecutter)
📅 Events: Thursday, Jan 6.
- Sock Class at Fiddlesticks Knits. First of a three-part class series. 3 p.m. $50.
- Read to a Dog at Sequoya Library. “Bring a favorite book (or find one at the library) and read to a furry friend.” 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free.
- Non-alcohol wine sampling at WineStyles Sun Prairie. Try four different kinds of non-alcoholic wines. 6 p.m. $12.
- “Beat the Brewer” at I/O Arcade Bar. Play the Rhinegeist brewing team in a game of your choice. If you win, you get a free beer. 6-9 p.m.
- Trivia Night at State Line Distillery. 7-9 p.m. $1 per player.
- The Almas w/ Sit Kitty Sit & Zeroed Hero at Crucible. 8 p.m. $10.
Looking for more? Check out our weekly event roundup here.