Good Morning, Madison!
And happy Tuesday. A bit of national news to start the day: Starting tomorrow, you'll be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests.
The Biden Administration announced last week that all Americans can request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The Wisconsin Examiner writes the move is part of the administration's efforts to curb the spread of the omicron variant, which has ravaged schools and hospitals.
Tests will ship via USPS seven to 12 days after they are ordered. Bookmark this page and remember to order your tests tomorrow.
🧪 As Covid numbers continue to climb, expect longer wait times for test results.
- Many Dane County test sites are extending their anticipated turnaround times due to the sheer number of people getting tested.
- Expect to see a three-day wait time for your test results. Patience is a virtue.
- Related: Wisconsin's Covid Condition: Omicron eruption pushes hospitals to their limits (PBS Wisconsin)
- Hot tip: How to spot a fake: The signs your N95 mask isn’t real & where to find ones that are (Channel 3000)
🏀 The UW men's basketball team is heating up and climbing up the AP Top 25 rankings.
- The Badgers are ranked No. 8 in the poll released Monday after taking down Ohio State 78-68 Thursday. The team was previously ranked No. 13 and is on a six-game winning streak.
🚌 MMSD needs volunteers.
- The Madison Metropolitan School District recently put out a call for volunteers to fill roles in the district ranging from classroom and clerical support to custodial and food service help.
- The district is also in desperate need of substitute teachers, bus drivers, and support staff.
- Want to get involved? You can find more information on volunteer and career opportunities with MMSD here. Volunteers and applicants must provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination and, depending on position, will be subject to a background check.
😷 In-person visits to Wisconsin prisons are on hold as COVID-19 cases continue to spread.
- The Wisconsin Department of Corrections announced last week it is temporarily suspending all in-person visits to adult facilities in the state. WPR reports corrections officials will review whether to extend or lift the changes in early February.
- Jails and prisons across the state have reported massive COVID-19 spikes in recent weeks and omicron is largely to blame.
- Digging in: More inmates, more illness: How an outbreak hit the Dane County Jail's COVID-vulnerable unit (Wisconsin State Journal)
😻 Happy Take Me Home Tuesday! Meet the beautiful Dazzle.
- From the Dane County Humane Society: This 7-year-old likes attention, on her terms. She enjoys short play sessions with her toy mouse. Dazzle will snuggle on your lap, but when she's had enough, she needs alone time to recharge. She would do best in a quiet home where she can bond with her people. Dazzle has been at the shelter a little longer than we would like, so she is a member of our Lonely Hearts Club. A generous donor has covered Dazzle's adoption fee.
🥕 Pass the veggies, please.
- A study from the CDC shows you're probably not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet. According to the study, in 2019 only one in 10 Wisconsinites met the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables.
- Of course there are many factors that go into food consumption and access to healthy options is not always available or affordable. In some ways, the pandemic has created more access to healthy food options. With help from American Rescue Plan Act funds, programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) were able to increase its benefits to participants.
🩸 Wisconsin needs blood, blood, gallons of the stuff.
- Unsurprisingly, Covid has greatly affected the number of people donating blood. Now the nation's supply is "dangerously low" and Wisconsin is no exception.
- WPR reports several bad donation seasons in a row has led to the current crisis — and officials are calling it a crisis.
- You do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to donate blood. But if you've tested positive for the virus or been in close contact with someone who has, officials say to wait 14 days before donating.
- The details: ‘How soon can I give blood after having COVID?’ & answers to other donation questions, amid national blood crisis (Channel 3000)
- From Madison365: "When the pandemic fully reached Wisconsin in mid-March of 2020, nonprofits had to pivot just like almost every other business. Not all nonprofits pivoted in the same direction, though."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.8%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.6%
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.
- Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022 (Wirecutter)
- What to Do if You are Sick or Possibly Exposed (PHMDC)
📅 Events: Tuesday, Jan. 18
- Virtual Animal Hangout with Dreambank Madison and Tiny Tails to You. Learn about animals including a rabbit, silkie chicken, hedgehog, bearded dragon and a tortoise. One or more of the animals will be in tiny hats. 3 p.m. Free.
- Dog Nail Trim Clinic with Bad Dog Frida at the Barrymore, benefiting Lola's Lucky Day Rescue. $15 per dog. Must reserve a time slot online. 4:30 - 7 p.m.
- Madison City Council meeting. 6:30 p.m. Virtual. Agenda here.
- Sun Prairie City Council meeting. 7 p.m. Virtual. Agenda here.
- Monona City Council meeting. 7 p.m. Virtual. Agenda here.