A member of the Wisconsin National Guard conducts a COVID-19 nasal swab test of a passenger in a car at a testing site set up at Burlington High School in late June. The site provided two days of free testing for anyone living or working in the area. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Pandemic effects businesses, schools and everyday life

Burlington residents joined others in the state, across the country and the world in absorbing the global gut-punch that is the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The disease prompted a government-ordered shutdown of non-essential business and schools in April and May and fundamentally changed the way local residents went about their daily lives.

As businesses reopened, mask wearing became commonplace for many and for others the presence or absence of a mask became a political statement.

The pandemic placed a drag on the local economy that threatened many businesses and forced some to close. It also seeded division within communities as neighbors debated their views as to the best ways to support the economy while keeping the virus in check.

As of Monday, Jan. 11, Racine County accounted for 17,054 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 269 COVID-related deaths.