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Wisconsin sees its first two coronavirus deaths

Wisconsin sees its first two coronavirus

The state's first deaths from coronavirus, a jump in the number of confirmed cases and a skyrocketing volume of new unemployment claims confirmed Thursday how deeply the highly contagious disease is affecting the health and economic well-being of Wisconsin. Two people — a man in his 50s from Fond du Lac County and a man in his 90s from Ozaukee County —  died from COVID-19, Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday."Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by these deaths and to all those suffering from this virus," Evers said in a news release. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Wisconsin have surged to 155 across 21 counties, according to an update from the state Department of Health Services Thursday. The cases spanned the state, from Milwaukee to Bayfield and Pierce to Outagamie counties. So far, nearly 2,200 Wisconsinites have tested negative. Daily life has slowed to a crawl — traffic is all but non-existent in many locations, stores are open fewer hours or closed, schools are pivoting as best they can to online classwork, and employers are continuing to keep employees working from home, or not working at all.

first two coronavirus deaths 

On Thursday, Menomonee Falls-based Kohl's joined other retailers that have temporarily closed, saying it would shut down all its stores until the situation is safer. Later in the day, the 950-employee Bartolotta Restaurants group in Press Release Distribution Milwaukee Services ended its takeout service and closed its restaurants entirely. Live updates: The latest on coronavirus in WisconsinDaily digest: What you need to know about coronavirus in WisconsinMore coverage: Coronavirus in the U.S. and around the world early 30,000 new unemployment claims have been filed in Wisconsin so far this week — nearly six times the amount made last week in the state, according to preliminary data released from the U.S. Department of Labor. The number likely will balloon even more as more people lose work at bars, restaurants and other businesses, and as employers trying to keep workers on the payroll temporarily give in.

Milwaukee News

Savannah Bierma, of Milwaukee, is among those filing for unemployment this week. She and her boyfriend work in the entertainment industry for hourly pay.“My household at the moment is making zero income and we don’t know where that will be coming from,” she told the Journal Sentinel. Coronavirus also is taking a toll on health care workers serving on the front lines of the pandemic. The Journal Sentinel has heard from nearly a dozen health care Milwaukee News workers from hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison who report they have no protective masks or that they have been required to wear a single mask all day. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said nurses and other health providers may need to use homemade masks from scarves and bandannas as a "last resort" if the supply of FDA-cleared masks run out. The pandemic has killed close to 10,000 people across the globe. On Thursday, Italy marked a grim milestone as the number of deaths there — 3,405 —  surpassed those in China, while the U.S. State Department told Americans not to travel abroad at all in its strongest advisory yet.

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