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Contents

 

Dear Neighbor,

I am honored to represent you in the state capitol. Below, you will find updates from the capitol and around western Wisconsin. Please feel free to reach out to me with your legislative and state agency concerns. 

In addition to this newsletter, you may follow me on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. You may also follow our Department of Health Services. 

 

I ask that you help share this newsletter with your friends and family. An informed community is a strong community, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our communities' concerns.

Sincerely, 
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Sen. Patty Schachtner

Coronavirus Update

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In our district, we have confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pierce, St. Croix, and Dunn Counties.

Nearby communities in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties also have confirmed cases. So far, none of these counties have community spread which means all of the positive cases are connected to either travel or contact with another confirmed case.

Yet even if you do not believe you are at risk, people can carry this virus without any symptoms so it is possible to have been exposed or be exposing others without knowing. That is why our state is taking continued measures to limit people’s interaction with to slow the spread. If we do our part to help prevent the likelihood that we become carriers, we can support doctors and nurses on the front lines by not overwhelming the healthcare system.

You can find the most updated information on the outbreak by visiting www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm. You can follow the CDC’s update on the nationwide situation by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html.


 
 

Safer At Home

Governor Evers has announced that Wisconsin will be under a “Safer At Home” order to further prevent the spread of this virus by closing non-essential businesses and keeping more people safe and healthy at home. You can find all the Governor's emergency orders and sign up for updates here.  Essential businesses that can remain open are outlined here.

These actions are necessary to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed by a large number of patients in a short period of time. The more people that stay home and limit their contact with others, the more successful this effort will be. Together, we can all make a difference by simply staying home and spending more time with our families!

If you need any support to cope with this stressful time, please call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the Disaster Distress Helpline.

 

 

Early Voting

Last week, Wisconsin extended its online voter registration until March 30th so you still have time to get registered from the safety of your own home! Visit myvote.wi.gov to register. You will just need to upload a picture of your driver’s license or other voter ID.

Registered voters can then request an absentee ballot until Thursday, April 2nd. Voters can mail their completed absentee ballot in to their municipal clerk’s office. If a voter misses the postmark deadline, they can bring a completed absentee ballot into their polling place on Election Day.

You can direct any questions regarding absentee voting to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by email or phone at 1-866-VOTE-WIS.

Unemployment Support

While the Safer At Home order is a necessary measure to protect public health, it will certainly have an impact on our local economies.  If your workplace shuts down or you are laid off due to this pandemic, you will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits through the Department of Workforce Development. You can find more information here.

The IRS and the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR) have also pushed back the tax filing deadline until July to help alleviate some of the stress and strain on families at this time. You can find more resources from the DOR here.

We are working closely with the Governor’s office and state agencies to address the ramifications of the coronavirus spread and will continue to adjust policies and programs to support every Wisconsinites through this difficult time.

  

Helping Hands

We are all in this together and it has been heartening to see so many community members and business owners step up to help out.  

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Such as the Wisconsin Laborer’s District Council who donated 100 N95 masks and 500 gloves to their nearest hospital, or the many volunteers that have started sewing make-shift masks from home. The owners of 45th Parallel Distillery have shifted their production from gin to hand sanitizer to help meet the nationwide need. And last week, I helped out at the drive-up Ruby’s Pantry to distribute around 375 food shares to neighbors and friends.

We all have the opportunity to help during this emergency and it’s going to take a lot of helping (sanitized) hands to get through this.

So here are a few ways that you can help:

  • Give blood! The American Red Cross is reaching an unprecedented blood shortage and they are in desperate need of donations. If you are healthy and haven’t been exposed, you can still safely donate. Find out more here.
  • Support Veteran’s Organizations! Service providers across Wisconsin provide critical care and support to vulnerable veterans and their families, and they're being forced to close or scale back their services. Lift for the 22 and the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to raise funding to support these organizations. All proceeds will go to nonprofit social services providing housing, health and wellness, and economic empowerment services to veterans, service members and their families. Donate here.
  • Volunteer! If you are able to safely volunteer to support our state’s critical needs like providing meals, you can find volunteer opportunities all around the state here.