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Author: Wisconsin Examiner

CDC announces that masks are no longer required indoors or outside for fully vaccinated people

Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask in most situations, indoors and outdoors, federal health officials said in an updated set of recommendations on May 13 that marks a major turning point in the pandemic. The announcement is a shift from earlier federal guidance, which had urged people who are vaccinated to continue wearing a face mask when indoors with anyone not vaccinated or when in large-group settings. With a larger share of Americans vaccinated and a growing stack of studies confirming the vaccines’ effectiveness, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease...

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Milwaukee in May: Annual community march highlights immigrant rights and representation

Members of Voces de la Frontera Action, Souls to the Polls, Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES), The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and many Milwaukee residents marched on Saturday, May 1 showing support for essential and immigrant workers. This year’s annual celebration of May Day particularly focused on the plight of essential workers, immigrant families and the Biden administration’s promises to reverse punitive Trump administration policies. A Voces press release noted that two-thirds of all essential workers in the United States are undocumented and have been risking their lives and health, and that of their families, while...

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Amtrak proposal revives Milwaukee-to-Madison route as part of Midwest rail corridor for passenger service

Stu Nicholson has been trying for decades without success to get Amtrak, or any other passenger rail service, to come to Columbus, Ohio. As director of All Aboard Ohio, a passenger rail advocacy group, Nicholson helped explore possibilities, like creating a new route from Chicago to Pittsburgh, with Columbus in the middle. But for now, Columbus, a city with 878,000 people, the second-largest city in the Midwest, has no passenger rail service. It does not even have a station. That could soon change. A plan Amtrak is floating would not just restore passenger service to Columbus, but also across...

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Vice President Kamala Harris promotes $2T infrastructure plan during visit to Milwaukee

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Milwaukee on May 4, where she promoted the president’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal and toured two university research centers. Harris highlighted the federal funding the Biden administration plan would allocate for research and development programs aimed at clean energy and climate change solutions, as well as $100 billion that would be spent modernizing K-12 schools. Harris’ chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, said that next week there “will be a number of meetings at the White House with bipartisan lawmakers trying to find common ground on the Biden and GOP Infrastructure proposals,” according to White House...

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$15 minimum wage increase would substantially lift economic hardships for 3 in 10 Wisconsin workers

Doubling Wisconsin’s current minimum wage by 2025 would benefit nearly one-third of the state’s workforce without leading to job losses, according to a Wisconsin policy research group. A minimum wage hike would be especially timely because of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low-wage workers, according to COWS, an economic research and policy organization based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has published a fact-sheet online outlining its findings. “The workers who have carried the brunt of the economic burden are disproportionately people of color and women, working in our lowest wage sectors,” states a COWS...

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Wisconsin’s public health plan now depends on individuals to voluntarily wear masks to stay safe

With the only mandatory statewide measure against the coronavirus pandemic now history, a divided state Supreme Court has left battling the virus up to the voluntary choices of each Wisconsin resident — and to the power of local health departments. The 4-3 ruling on March 31 by the court’s conservative majority ended the most recent state of emergency declaration from Gov. Tony Evers to address the pandemic and blocked him from instituting a new one. With it, the court also ended the most recent statewide mask order. Coupled with last May’s ruling that canceled state’s shelter-in-place order known as...

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