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COVID-19 Update

Dear Neighbor,

In order to support your families being able to take a deep breath, turn away from constant news updates, and create a new temporary normal, my office will continue sending a daily update on the COVID-19 public health emergency and will post online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is my hope that one reliable update each day will allow you to take a deep breath, oversee all that is happening in your own life and home, and have a reliable source of news you can count on to be up to date and accurate. As always, previous updates are on our website and linked beneath the graphic below. 

My greatest concerns right now are your lives and livelihoods. We are working hard to keep you and your loved ones safe, and to fight for our small businesses in an unprecedented crisis. 

In solidarity,

Rep. Robyn Vining 

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Past email updates can be found HERE

COVID-19 Updates from Our Office Today 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these e-updates would recap the work my office had done for the week. We decided we wanted to share what we have been working on more specifically again, but now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, my office worked in response to COVID-19 in a few key areas: housing, health care, and small business. I had virtual meetings and phone calls today to discuss these topics with local elected officials, my colleagues in the legislature, advocacy groups, and my staff. 

We are working to address housing issues in the state, specifically when it comes to foster youth, in these uncertain and unprecedented times. 

We are working on addressing the urgent needs of health care workers, first responders, and health care systems as they are on the frontlines of this pandemic.

We are working to support small businesses as they face financial hardships that they have never experienced before.

This is a brief glimpse into one day of working in response to this public health and economic crisis — we will continue to provide updates on our work and the work of our partners on the local, state, and federal level. 

Safer at Home Order Update

Governor Evers announced today Emergency Order #34 related to the COVID-19 public health emergency that, coupled with the Safer at Home order that went into effect last week, allows non-essential businesses to do more than they were able to do before. Emergency Order #34 can be found HERE.

Emergency Order #34 allows businesses in Wisconsin to do things like deliveries, mailings, curbside pick-up and drop-off services.

If a business wants to start doing deliveries, mailings, or curbside pick-up or drop-off, they still need to maintain social distancing and follow safety guidelines. That means that these operations have to be able to be performed by one staff person in a confined space, services must be paid for online or by phone, and customers can’t be inside the business or facility. For questions regarding safety precautions, businesses should visit WEDC.org

For questions about Emergency Order #34 and the Safer at Home order, please see the FAQ document available HERE. 

Community Health Centers - COVID-19 Testing in Milwaukee 

Milwaukee’s Community Health Centers (CHCs, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers) announced today that all five organizations have increased testing capacity and now offer COVID-19 diagnostic testing and care for their patients as well as community members without a regular doctor who have COVID-19 symptoms. The expansion of COVID-19 diagnostic testing at CHCs has been made possible with support from the state and county Emergency Operations Centers coupled with contributions from other community partners, including local health systems.

Individuals enrolled at a health center as well as people without a regular doctor who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their nearest Community Health Center to determine if there is a need for a diagnostic testing appointment. It is very important that all people call before coming in. This will allow the health centers to limit exposure to patients as well as staff and help the community flatten the curve. Individuals who need more information on their closest health care center should call 211. The full announcement can be found HERE

Health Center Contact Information
Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center 
(414) 383-9526

Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.
(414) 372-8080

Outreach Community Health Centers
(414) 727-6320

Progressive Community Health Centers
(414) 882-2040

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
(414) 672-1353

Children's Mental Wellness during COVID-19

In response to concerns about children's mental health during COVID-19, the Office of Children's Mental Health at the Department of Health Services has developed a biweekly Mental Wellness during COVID-19 e-newsletter with stories from families, therapists and professionals working with families on how life is looking and what we are learning that will help us on the other side of this pandemic. 

Their most recent e-newsletter can be found HERE.  

For links to all of their Mental Wellness newsletters, visit their website HERE

Wisconsin Hospital Association Update  

A helpful dashboard from the Wisconsin Hospital Association with COVID-19 information and data can be found HERE.

Hospitals would like us to convey that if you have an emergency, please do not delay seeking medical help. Help is available, and you are able to seek it. 

Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program loan applications today, Monday, April 27 at 9:30 AM from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. 

Approved lenders are encouraged to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds. Eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply for the program. More information about the Paycheck Protection Program can be found HERE

WWBIC Loan Program  

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation has a new fast track loan program to help businesses affected by COVID-19. For more information on the two types of loans available, visit their website HERE.  

 Photography Update
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Recently, an update has been made to essential businesses that affect photography and photographers. This information has been provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Photography itself does not constitute an Essential Business under Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” Order. However, there are some instances in which a photographer is able to take photos:

  1. Weddings and Funerals. Under Section 13.h of the order, weddings and funerals are considered “Essential Businesses and Operations” which require that any gathering shall include fewer than 10 people in a room or confined space at a time and adhere to Social Distancing Requirements to the maximum extent possible. A photographer is able to be in attendance and take photos if they are included in the count of fewer than 10 people in attendance.
  2. Participation in front porch project or other similar projects. The order considers outdoor activities an “Essential Activity” in Section 11.c. Photographers may engage in walking outdoors and other outdoor activity while taking photos and adhering to Social Distancing Requirements.   This does include family, baby, and engagement sessions so long as the clients are part of the same household, the photographer maintains social distancing and the scheduling and payment take place online. 

Additionally, all businesses are authorized to conduct Minimum Basic Operations under Section 14 of the Order. Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, while carrying out such operations:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business's inventory, preserve the condition of the business's physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions, including where these functions are outsourced to other entities and
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
  • Minimum Basic Operations do NOT include serving customers in person.

Minimum Basic Operations may include fulfilling Nonessential deliveries, mailing parcels, or receiving parcels if all of the operations are performed by one person in a room or confined space, including a car or truck. Delivery or parcel services may not require a signature by the recipient. Suppliers to Nonessential businesses and supply chains for Nonessential businesses are Nonessential and shall only operate under Minimum Basic Operations to provide goods or services to other Nonessential businesses operating under this section.

Additionally, beginning April 24, 2020, the following provisions also apply to Minimum Basic Operations:

  • Employee designation. Nonessential businesses and operations must determine which of their workers are necessary to conduct Minimum Basic Operations and inform such workers of that designation.
  • Curb-side pick-up. Minimum Basic Operations may include curb-side pick-up of goods, if all of the operations are performed by one person in a room or confined space at a time, including a car or truck. Goods must be purchased on-line or by phone before pick-up. The goods must be pre-packaged by the manufacturer, distributor, or store. The store may not require a signature by the customer. The store must schedule pick-ups to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in section 16 of the Safer at Home Order. Suppliers to Nonessential businesses and supply chains for Nonessential businesses are Nonessential and shall only operate under Minimum Basic Operations to provide goods or services to other Nonessential businesses operating under this section.

All businesses are encouraged to follow WEDC’s best practices for a COVID-19 response plan

Impact of COVID-19 on the Black Community Town Hall

Legis Black Caucus Town Hall 4-30-2020.jpgThe Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus will be hosting a Tele Town-hall on April 30, 2020 at 3pm. During this town hall the Caucus will discuss the impact of COVID-19 & the Black Community. Federal, state, county, and city elected officials will speak during the event and answer questions about resources intended to help individuals, families, and businesses.

If you have any questions, please contact Kenya Parker in Rep. LaKeshia Myers' office at (608) 266-5813 or Kenya.Parker@legis.wisconsin.gov.

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6,081 confirmed cases

1,415 hospitalizations (23% of cases)

61,311 negative test results

281 devastating deaths

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 2,674 confirmed cases
Waukesha -  313 confirmed cases

For daily updated information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website here. 


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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