GREEN BAY – One of Northeast Wisconsin’s most iconic TV news personalities is hospitalized with COVID-19.
Pete Petoniak, director of meteorology at WLUK-TV Fox 11 and long-time co-host of the station’s morning program “Good Day Wisconsin”, has been in hospital since November 15th after a positive test. His “Good Day Wisconsin” colleagues Rachel Manek and Justin Steinbrinck shared the news with viewers on Monday morning.
“Pete’s case is so advanced that he’s currently being hospitalized here in Green Bay. He’s been in the hospital since last Monday night, ”said meteorologist and reporter Steinbrinck during the announcement. “Now Pete wants people to know that he was fully vaccinated when he caught the virus.”
No details were given about his condition.
The news brought a flurry of well-being wishes from viewers, other local media personalities, the entire Fond du Lac fire department and others. More than 1,000 people commented on the post on Fox 11’s Facebook page.
Tammy Elliott, Steve Beylon and Aisha Morales of WBAY-TV’s “Action 2 This Morning,” WAPL-FM morning co-host Rick McNeal and retired WFRV-TV news anchor Erin Davisson were among those who posted messages of support on Twitter shared.
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Petoniak is from New Jersey and is a familiar fixture at Fox 11, where he has co-hosted Good Day Wisconsin since 1995. Viewers often see it from outside on the station’s “Weather Deck” on Lombardi Avenue, the weather forecast. He is also known for his morning jokes.
“Pete will not be able to go back to work as quickly as he would like,” said Manek, his “Good Day” co-host, as part of the announcement.
Fox 11 Steinbrinck meteorologists, Patrick Powell and Phil DeCastro will adjust their shifts to cover Petoniak during his absence.
The average number of daily COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has recently soared to levels not seen since January as health officials urge precautionary measures over the holidays.