MON AM News: UW-Madison to test if person’s significant other helps their weight loss process; Holiday weekend brings record COVID-19 cases

— A new study at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health is recruiting participants to test whether involving a person’s significant other in their weight loss helps the process.

The study, Partner2Lose, comes after increased public interest in quarantine weight loss trends, such as “Beat Quarantine 15” and “Quarantine Lean.” They started due to increased weight gain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is clear that many people want to do something to improve diet and exercise during these challenging times,” said UW Health in a statement. The organization noted that while people are working from home, essential workers on the frontlines, at home more because they are in a high-risk group, unemployed or caring for relatives, many people are eating more and exercising less since the pandemic began. 

Limited gym access and decreased free time also contributes to weight gain causing UW Health physicians and researchers to be concerned about the potential consequences of significant weight gain such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.  

“People are clearly worried about the effects of the safer-at-home orders,” said Dr. Corrine Voils, professor at the School of Medicine and Public Health and study lead. “I worry the people who have gained weight are going to take risky paths to try to lose it or try things that just don’t work in the long run.” 

The weight loss study requires participants to have a partner, but participants are randomized to participate either alone or with their partner in attending classes and personal consultations with a nutritionist. The patient-only group learns a curriculum about weight loss. The partner group learns weight loss and communication skills. 

“Studies have demonstrated that several options are safe and effective for long-term weight loss including a healthy diet and increased exercise,” Voils said. “These strategies are part of the Partner2Lose study.”

See the release: 

— New cases over the three-day, holiday weekend totaled 1,839. The Fourth of July accounted for 738 of the new cases, a record number in Wisconsin. 

Independence Day marked the highest percent positive of COVID-19 test results per total tests conducted since May 3 at 10.8 percent.

Yesterday, the average cases confirmed over the last seven days was 547, the highest the seven-day average has ever been.

Individuals ages 20-29 account for the majority of the state’s confirmed cases at 24 percent followed by individuals ages 30-39 (17 percent) and 40-49 (15 percent).  

The state reported 12,878 tests Thursday, and testing decreased every day of the holiday weekend: Friday (10,186), Saturday (6,822) and Sunday (4,996). Meanwhile, the state’s daily testing capacity is increasing, now at 19,014. 

The new cases bring the state’s cumulative count to 31,577.

The number of recovered patients number 24,899 or 79 percent, while 2.5 percent of patients have died. Active cases–those still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis–number 5,877 or 19 percent.

See a map of community-based testing sites here:

— Wisconsin had three new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the state’s death toll to 796.

Winnebago County reported two new deaths while Racine County reported one more.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (391), Racine (65), Kenosha (44), Brown (42), Waukesha (39), Dane (32), Rock (24), Walworth (18), Washington (16), Ozaukee (15), Grant (13), Winnebago (13), Waupaca (10), Outagamie (9), Clark (7), Fond du Lac (6), Dodge (5), Jefferson (4), Richland (4) and Sheboygan (4).

Door, Forest, Marinette and Sauk counties report three deaths each. Adams, Buffalo and Calumet counties report two deaths each.

Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Columbia, Eau Claire, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk, St. Croix and Wood counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

–Gov. Tony Evers’ office told the Wisconsin Restaurant Association it is compiling a list of businesses whose employees tested positive for COVID-19 to fulfill an open records request, not because it intended to publicly identify them, the group’s executive vice president says.

The WRA, Wisconsin Grocers Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce this week sent the guv’s office and the Department of Health Services letters raising alarm bells about the suggestion the administration planned to publish the names of businesses and the number of COVID-19 cases contracted by their employees.

WRA’s Susan Quam told the guv’s office told her the list was being compiled in response to an open records request and it wasn’t something DHS was proactively doing on its own. Quam said that doesn’t diminish the WRA’s concern about the information being made public.

“We do believe that whoever is going to get this information, based on this request, that it still can be easily misconstrued by the public or by whatever entity is going to use it in implying that businesses are unsafe because they had employees who tested positive,” Quam said.

Evers’ office declined to comment, instead referring questions to DHS.

“We have no immediate plans to list businesses with COVID-19 positives on our website,” said DHS spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsitt.

She said the agency has received hundreds of records requests and emails relating to businesses that the records custodians and legal team are currently working through to determine what DHS legally must withhold.

All three groups sent their letters to the guv on Wednesday. In its message, the WRA said it had heard from multiple sources that DHS will release the names of businesses that had two or more employees test positive for COVID-19 and had heard the information was expected to be released July 3.

The conservative Empower Wisconsin reported Wednesday that businesses with two or more COVID-19 cases would be “outed” by DHS, which the outlet reported would post the names.

Several GOP lawmakers seized on the report with Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, writing on Twitter DHS Secretary Andrea Palm should be fired if the agency posts the names of businesses with multiple coronavirus cases.

Read the WRA letter:

Read the WMC letter:

Read the Grocers letter:

— Thirty-six Wisconsin counties are ranked high by DHS for COVID-19 activity.

Counties hit with both a high burden of cases and a growing trajectory are Brown, Dane, Milwaukee and Walworth. Those four counties alone accounted for 1,057, or over 57 percent of the weekend’s newly confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In terms of infection ratios, Milwaukee emerged again as the state’s largest hotspot among other southeastern counties. In three days, Milwaukee County added 584 new COVID-19 cases to its count, giving the county a cumulative total of 12,233 confirmed cases and the highest infection ratio of 12.8 per 1,000 people. 

The second-largest hotspot in the state is Brown County which added 81 new COVID-19 cases in three days for a cumulative total of 3,018 confirmed cases and an infection ratio of 11.6 per 1,000 people. 

Racine County has an infection ratio of 11.3 per 1,000 people and a cumulative total of 2,217 confirmed COVID-19 cases after adding 30 cases in three days. Kenosha County’s infection ratio is 9.4 per 1,000 people and cases number 1,586 an increase of 55 cases in three days.

Walworth (6.7), Rock (5.6) and Dodge (5.5) counties follow.

And in terms of cases, Dane County went from ranking fourth on Thursday to third yesterday with 2,386 cumulative confirmed cases — an increase of 325 in three days. It has an infection ratio of 4.5, up from 3.9 on Thursday.  

The Northeast, South Central and Southeast Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition regions of Wisconsin are labeled as both high case burden and growing trajectory.

See DHS’ data dashboard with county and HERC region breakdown here.


# Amid Milwaukee downsizing, DNC planners spend highest monthly amount so far

# What’s Changing As USMCA Takes Effect



– Minneapolis ad agency employees walk out in protest, claiming owner Quad/Graphics muted Black Lives Matter stance 


– Study: Farmland under threat 

– Some wheat diseases starting to show up in Wisconsin 

– Fewer than expected Wisconsin farmers applied for state direct payments 

– Wisconsin Cheese Output Falls Five Consecutive Months 

– Local Meat Processing Plant to Open in Vernon County 


– Associated Bank parent expects $165M gain with completed sale of insurance agency 


– With Prices Stabilizing, State Ends ‘Abnormal Economic Disruption’ Period 


– How AIDS Shaped Wisconsin’s Response To Coronavirus 

– 2 new cases of COVID-19 in Northwestern Wisconsin on July 5 


– Can a $50M fund for diverse founders change the face of Milwaukee’s tech scene? 


– 700,000 and counting: As unemployment rises, how Wisconsin workforce agencies are helping job seekers 


– High court furthers officers’ powers to extend traffic stops 


– Month of June is about a return to operations for Strattec 

– Quad sells Kentucky book plant, still working on sale of others 

– Milwaukee Tool’s planned technology center in Menomonee Falls to be used for product testing, demonstrations 


– Report: Voter Participation Declining In Wisconsin, Civic Health Measures Mixed 

– Sen. Ron Johnson retracts amendment for Juneteenth holiday 


– 80-unit senior living center coming to Oconomowoc this fall 


– Can Governments Force People To Wear Masks? 

– ‘Terrifying’: Families worry about inmates as some Wisconsin prison staff not required to wear masks  

– Appeals court puts Safer Racine ordinance back in effect, 48 hours after local judge overturned it 


– Outdoor Dining Expanding In Wisconsin Cities As Pandemic Continues 


– Northwoods League Baseball Returns Amid Coronavirus 

– Bucks close practice facilities following coronavirus testing 


– Apple Leisure Group Vacations to lay off 149 Milwaukee employees 

– Enthusiasm, health considerations mark live music’s return in region 

– Kimpton Journeyman Hotel laying off 97 employees 

– ‘Everybody is really looking to escape’ as summer tourism destinations fill up with visitors 


– Once a desert, Lone Rock airport battles repeated flooding and now the COVID-19 pandemic


– Invest in infrastructure to boost economy

– DNC still provides marketing chance for city


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