When COVID-19 took root across the United States in early 2020 the illness quickly overshadowed other public health priorities. The effects of this novel coronavirus were identified as grave and far-reaching, and the disease eclipsed a much more familiar threat to human health.
A historically disruptive global pandemic unfolding during an era of deep social and political divisions and widespread distrust in American institutions has led to a swift and fierce politicization of public health.
The killing of George Floyd, a Black resident of Minneapolis, reignited ongoing protests against police brutality — a movement fueled in part by a widening breach between law enforcement and the local communities they are charged with serving.
Short of a cure or effective treatment for COVID-19, something that could take years to develop, state and local health officials in Wisconsin are planning for a future where contact tracing plays a central role in combating the disease.