The Badger Herald will update this article regularly as more COVID-19 information comes out. Last update: March 2 at 1:17 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2
Under the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, several select Kroger stores, including Metro Markets and Pick-n-Saves across Wisconsin, will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Kroger currently has a total of 67 stores in Wisconsin and will receive 1,552 doses of the vaccine from the state government this week, in addition to 2,340 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government. Anyone currently eligible for the vaccine in Wisconsin can check Kroger’s website or call (866) 211-5320 to schedule an appointment as they are available.
Monday, March 1
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced today it will receive 47,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine next week from the federal government. COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Dane County.
Saturday, Feb. 27
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization for the of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Friday, Feb. 26
Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched a COVID-19 vaccine provider map for eligibility and vaccine provider contact information based on location. The Wisconsin DHS updates the maps once every two weeks.
Tuesday, Feb. 23
Gov. Tony Evers announced the launch of four new community-based vaccination clinics, in addition to the Rock County clinic that started last week.
Friday, Feb. 19
PHMDC announced a partnership with several public and private organizations, including University Health Services, UW and UW Health, for vaccinating Dane County school staff at the Alliant Energy Center starting March.
PHMDC said they requested 7,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each for the first two weeks of March for K-12 staff, and added the drive will take six to eight weeks.
According to the Wisconsin DHS, school staff are eligible from March 1, but if vaccines will actually be provided to them depends on vaccine supply, PHMDC said. Though additional groups are eligible from March, school staff will be prioritized.
While cases are decreasing in Dane County, the University of Wisconsin reported a high number of positive tests this week. The seven-day positivity rate for UW students jumped up to 1%, and 62 cases were reported Feb. 18.
Thursday, Feb. 18
Public Health Madison and Dane County confirmed the COVID-19 variant strain B.1.1.7. — first seen in England in December 2020 — was found in Dane County. The strain, according to the PHMDC press release, spreads “more easily” and “more rapidly” than the original COVID-19 strain.
PHMDC Director Janel Heinrich said in the statement PHMDC expected to find the strain in Dane County as it has appeared in other regions in Wisconsin.
“While this is the first time sequencing has confirmed the strain here, we’ve been operating under the assumption that the variant is present, and that is why we continue to stress that people not let their guard down,” Heinrich said.
In an email to The Badger Herald, PHMDC Health Education Coordinator Christy Vogt said PHDMC does not know the specific region in Dane County where the strain was detected.
In a recent press release, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said this news is a “stark reminder” that though Dane County is making progress, there are several risks that remain with COVID-19.
UW reported 99 cases among students on Feb. 17, a sharp rise from the previous weeks.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
According to PHMDC, 14.2% of Dane County’s white population has received the COVID-19 vaccine, whereas only 7.4% of the Black population, 7.2% of the Asian population and 5.4% of the Hispanic population have received the vaccine, showing that Dane County’s white population is being vaccinated at twice the rate of the Black and Asian populations and three times the rate of the Hispanic population.
Over a hundred cases among students were reported at UW yesterday, which is the highest number of cases the university has seen in 2021.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
COVID-19 cases declined at the University of Wisconsin while testing increased, with the seven-day average for new cases at 35.8 and for tests at 5,609.1. According to Public Health Madison and Dane County, the number of people receiving the vaccine “far outpaces” the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. In a press release Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced it will invest $6.1 million in community-based organizations which raise awareness and increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine in communities facing both “historical and current barriers” to health care services.
Thursday, Feb. 11
Wisconsin DHS released a new data dashboard for the COVID-19 vaccine. In a media briefing this afternoon, Wisconsin DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the dashboard will be updated every day. The dashboard includes vaccine data by age, ethnicity and race. DHS does not have a database of all healthcare workers and police officers, so occupational groups are hard to track, Willems Van Dijk said.
The CDC launched a Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that will allow pharmacies, particularly Walgreens in select locations, to provide vaccines. Each Walgreens store, in select locations, will receive about 100 doses of vaccine, Willems Van Dijk said.
“The allocation of the vaccine is in the hands of the federal government,” Willems Van Dijk said.
Wednesday, Feb. 10
UW imposed restrictions to building access today, which means a student must have a green badge on the Safer Badgers app to enter any university building. Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Emergency Order #13 came into effect today. Jeré Fabick, a prominent Republican donor, asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate.
Tuesday, Feb. 9
In a press release Tuesday morning, Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced they identified a second case of variant strain B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 and was first discovered to be circulating widely in England — in Wisconsin. According to Wisconsin DHS, the new strain can result in increased death risk and spreads more rapidly and easily than the original strain. The seven-day average for COVID-19 cases at UW increased by 58.3% while the number of total tests decreased by 5%.
Monday, Feb. 8
As of Feb. 7, the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases at the University of Wisconsin was 42.1 — a 52.8% increase in the last seven days — and the positivity rate for the student population was 0.9%. Public Health Madison and Dane County issued Emergency Order #13 which increases indoor gathering limits and updates face-covering requirements. The order will go into effect Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 12:01 a.m.