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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 

COVID-19 Update 5-4.png Past email updates can be found HERE

Legislative Priorities Letter to Legislative Leadership 

Last week, Assembly Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Vos laying out our legislative priorities regarding COVID-19.

On April 1st, a previous letter was sent to Republican leadership detailing the policies we need to accomplish for Wisconsin families and businesses during these unprecedented times. Some of the priorities from the initial letter were signed into law in Act 185, but there is more work to be done. 

While this list is not exhaustive, the legislature must come together to:

  • Extend the Governor's public health emergency declaration — important provisions (listed in the letter HERE) of the COVID-19 bill passed by the state legislature (Act 185) are set to expire with the public health emergency on May 11th 
  • Expand access to low-interest, long-term loans and grants for small businesses
  • Support our healthcare heroes
  • Support critical workforce childcare providers
  • Support farmers & agricultural producers
  • Prevent out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing for uninsured individuals 
  • Protect businesses & single-family renters from eviction
  • Support teachers & school employees 
  • Support Wisconsin's tourism industry
  • Support UW students & campuses
  • Ensure upcoming elections are safe & secure by implementing a vote-by-mail system 

The full letter can be found HERE  

Department of Health Services Updates

Today, Governor Evers and DHS Secretary-designee Palm announced the state's plan to make Wisconsin one of the top states for COVID-19 testing per capita. Currently, Wisconsin is one of the top states for testing capacity. 

The state has provided more than 60,000 tests to hospital systems, health care facilities and clinics, local public health departments, long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, and others. 57 out of 72 Wisconsin counties have requested and received testing supplies from the state. 

Other components of the COVID-19 testing plan:   

  • Providing free COVID-19 to 373 nursing homes in Wisconsin to test all nursing home residents and staff, with a goal of testing more than 10,000 residents and staff per week for the month of May
  • Working with the Wisconsin National Guard and local health groups to test all workers and families linked to outbreaks 
  • Increasing the number of free drive-thru community testing sites throughout the state
  • Mobilizing 15 additional National Guard units to help local health departments set up testing sites & respond to outbreaks, bringing the total number of National Guard units working on testing to 25
  • Providing free tests for state-sponsored test sites for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — no doctors’ visits will be required at sites sponsored by the National Guard
  • Providing test supplies to all Wisconsin healthcare systems — the state has provided 41,255 tests to healthcare systems thus far

Waukesha County Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing 

Waukesha County Public Health and the Waukesha County Office of Emergency Management are partnering with the Wisconsin National Guard to open a three-day surge community testing site in order to meet the goals outlined in the Badger Bounce Back plan.

Testing Registration Hotline Dates and Hours

Tomorrow, May 4th, Wisconsin residents or individuals who work in the state and are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 can call 262-548-7626 to register to be tested. The registration hotline will be open on Tuesday, May 5 from 1 pm – 6 pm, and from Wednesday, May 6 through Monday, May 11 from 8 am – 6 pm each day.

Community Testing Site Dates and Hours

The community testing site will conduct drive-thru tests on registered individuals on Saturday, May 9, Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12 from 9 am – 5 pm daily. Anyone who wants to be tested must register in advance. Unregistered individuals will be turned away without being tested. After May 12th, you will need to return to contacting your primary care provider for testing. 

More information can be found HERE.

Today's Briefing Calls

Today, I participated in phone calls and virtual meetings with local health systems and state agencies to discuss updates and issues related to COVID-19.

Virtual Meeting with Local Hospital Systems

I spoke with leadership and physicians from local hospital systems to find out what they need from the state legislature. Their priorities included:

  • Patient confidence - hospitals want people to know that their health systems are safe, & they should seek care when they need to
  • Supply chain - hospitals continue to ask for needed supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) & COVID-19 testing supplies so they can maintain patient & worker safety as they resume elective & non-emergency procedures, as access to PPE & testing are critical to resuming elective & non-emergency procedures — I have been working to expand access to PPE for our healthcare workers & first responders
  • Keep an open dialogue - I have been talking with healthcare workers, patients, & hospital leaders about their concerns related to COVID-19, & intend on maintaining this open dialogue with them 

Conference Call with State Agencies

Today, leaders from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection, & the Department of Transportation spoke to legislators and staff about COVID-19 updates related to their agencies. 

Important updates include:


  • Many state parks reopened on Friday, as well as kicking off fishing season for Wisconsin
  • More information on their website HERE


  • DATCP is working to ensure the food supply chain is uninterrupted, offer support to farmers & agricultural producers, & protect consumers from scams
  • More information on their website HERE


  • Weight limits on trucks were lifted under the public health emergency declaration which is set to expire on May 11th, the state legislature would need to act to extend it
  • Driver's license renewals & registration renewals were extended, with many set to expire at the end of July
  • More information on their website HERE 

 DHS COVID-19 Update 5-4-2020.png



8,236 confirmed cases

1,621 hospitalizations (20% of cases)

80,467 negative test results

340 devastating deaths

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 3,296 confirmed cases
Waukesha -  367 confirmed cases

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

Updates on the Badger Bounce Back plan gating criteria can be found 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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