COVID-19 Updates

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I hope you are doing well and staying safe. My office has been receiving a high volume of contacts regarding COVID-19. As you all know, the situation with COVID-19 in our state and our nation is rapidly evolving. For the most up-to-date information from all Wisconsin state agencies that are developing guidance and resources during this time, visit the new COVID-19 state website here: https://govstatus.egov.com/wi-covid-19. My office is also available to assist any way we can at Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wi.gov or (608) 266-0610.

April 7th Spring Election and Presidential Preference

As of right now, the April 7th Spring Election is scheduled as planned.

Wisconsin election officials understand everyone has concerns regarding COVID-19. In order for voters to exercise their right to vote, the Wisconsin Elections Commission strongly encourages you to request an absentee ballot if you are already registered to vote, in order to avoid the lines at the polls.

You have until April 2nd to request an absentee ballot.  The ballot needs to be returned by mail or delivery to your municipal clerk no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, April 7, 2020.

If you are not currently registered to vote, you can register in person at your city clerk’s office until Friday, April 3rd, or at the polls on Tuesday, April 7th.

For more information, visit myvote.wi.gov. 


Unemployment Benefits

If you find yourself out of work during this uncertain time, you may qualify for unemployment insurance based on certain criteria. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has put together a FAQ page specific to COVID-19. The Department is confident this page should answer most questions you have, but if you feel your question is not answered on the DWD website, you can call DWD at (414) 435-7069 between 7:35am and 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Please understand they are receiving an exponentially higher number of calls than usual, so there may be wait times.

The department (DWD) suggests that people who wish to file for unemployment benefits do so online at: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/apply/. If you are currently seeking work or an employer seeking help, you may utilize DWD’s Job Center website.

Schools to Remain Closed Through the End of the Public Health Emergency

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has mandated a statewide closure of all K-12 schools for the duration of the public health emergency.

School Food Authorities are still encouraged to ensure that the nutritional needs of pupils are met. The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District has multiple drive-up locations available for student school lunch pick-up (available through April 3rd). Visit the “Meal Information” tab on the Coronavirus page of the OCFSD website for drive-up and delivery information times and dates. The South Milwaukee School District is also providing “grab and go” lunches and shelf stable breakfast options for the children of South Milwaukee. Visit the COVID-19 page of the SMSD website for drive-up and walk-up options for weekday meal pick up.

While your school-aged children are home, take advantage of free online courses from Scholastic, or utilize this fun list of 50 activities parents and kids can do together during coronavirus closures.

Support the Local Restaurant Industry

As you have probably heard, earlier this week Gov. Evers ordered all bars and restaurants close their dining areas until further notice to promote social distancing and fight the spread of COVID-19. Although dining areas are closed, takeout and delivery options are still permissible.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been compiling a list of restaurants that are still open and providing takeout and/or delivery options. If you are a restaurant owner and would like your business to be included, you can submit the online form here.

Additionally, for easy consumption by our community, my office will be compiling a list of Franklin, Oak Creek and South Milwaukee restaurants that are still providing these services to share. Contact my office if you know of a restaurant that is still open for business!

This time is especially uncertain for the hospitality industry. If you have the means, please consider supporting your local dining options by ordering takeout or delivery.

How You Can Help

  • Help your favorite small businesses. Grab a meal or snack for take-out or shop online from local businesses to help them stay afloat and in good spirits during this time of uncertainty.
  • Limit stockpiling of food and other supplies – grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.
  • Donate blood if you are healthy. Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing blood drive cancellations like no other time in recent history, and inventory is at critical levels. Sites are taking extra precautions to ensure giving blood is safe for donors. Find a blood donation location near you by calling 1-800-RedCross or visiting redcrossblood.org.