Welcome to my Weekly Pandemic Update. Throughout the week, my office does its best to collect and disperse information that may be of aid or interest to you from both state and federal entities. 

Department of Natural Resources


On Tuesday, Governor Evers directed the Department of Natural Resources to re-open many of the state parks, trails, and recreational areas that had been previously closed due to the pandemic. If you click on the above photo you can see which places are completely open, partially open, or completely closed. Please note you will need an annual parks sticker to enter but none of the parks will have this on site, so you MUST call ahead to order one:  1-888-305-0398. 


Please read the full release by the Governor for more specifics on hours of operations and capacity limits. 


And, then on Saturday, the Game Fish Season opens! You can get your fishing license, here. Read up on the 2020-21 regulations, here. And, remember to register your boat!

Orders & Updates from the Executive Branch 

Earlier this week, Governor Evers Announced Emergency Order #33, which dealt with some Department of Revenue Administrative Rule Suspensions. You can find the order here.  


On Monday, DHS announced Emergency Order #34, which made some slight changes to the current Safer At Home Order. Some of the restrictions for non-essential businesses have been loosened and will allow from some curbside drop-off/pick-up of goods and services. Some of the examples would include: dog groomers, car washes, small engine repair shops, and outdoor rental of recreational items like boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs. 


It was also announced on Monday that there will be 5% cuts across all state agencies to help free of up funds to address the pandemic. 


On Thursday, Governor Evers announced that Wisconsin received a delivery from FEMA of 230,000 N95 and was also informing the state that will in mid-May receive a new Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System to help decontaminate N95 respirator masks, helping extend the life of the supplies.

State Agencies

The Department of Military Affairs announced this week that the Wisconsin National Guard assisted a handful of County Public Health Offices this week to conduct testing of COVID-19. You can read the full release here. After my office talked with DMA, as of April 30th, the National Guard has conducted 5,077 COVID-19 tests. These test results will be included in the daily updates from DHS and results are taking 24-48 hours.


The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) has recently put out information for individual to be vigilant against scammers, especially scammers offering fake COVID-19 insurance. 


The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the DATCP worked together to promote student loan changes pursuant to the CARES Act and to raise awareness about related scams due to the changes. Under the CARES Act, borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance retroactive to March 13 for eligible loans and will last until September 30, 2020. No payments will be due and no interest will accrue during this forbearance period, but please note, the repayment terms may be extended. All auto-debit payments will be automatically suspended. For additional questions, you can also check out the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

Federal Updates
Earlier this week, President Trump announced details on the historic advances in testing that have been made over the past few weeks.  There is an 8-part plan that focuses on testing in the United State and a blueprint for testing plans. 


FEMA  - 

FEMA issued its daily briefing points, with information related to the Whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some highlights include:


 * As of April 29, FEMA, HHS, and the private sector have coordinated the delivery of or are currently shipping 77.9 million N95 respirators, 111.7 million surgical masks, 7.2 million face shields, 16.1 million surgical gowns, 888.5 million gloves, 10,653 ventilators, and 8,450 federal medical station beds.

 * As of April 29, CDC, state, and local public health labs and other laboratories have tested more than 5.8 million samples.

 * On April 29, the National Institutes of Health announced positive results of a trial using Remdesivir, showing hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement recovered faster than patients who received placebo.

Wisconsin Bankers Association

The Wisconsin Bankers Association has put together some resources related to the various COVID-19 lending options available. You can find those, here


WBA also has resources related to businesses as orders are relaxed and businesses are able to start re-opening.


WBA also has linked to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that has additional resources about the economic stimulus relief, which you can find here


There is also a list of the members of the WBA and the various COVID relief program those individuals are funding - check it out to see if your bank is a member and if there is something you might be able to apply for!
The WBA has also put together a guide for those who receive the PPP loan - and reminds those that forgiveness isn't automatic. The guide has an FAQ, timeline, documentation checklist, and forgiveness calculations to help borrowers stay on track for their loan to be forgiven. Feel free to download and print out the guide. 


One of the biggest advantages to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is that the loans can be forgiven. What’s often overlooked is that forgiveness isn’t automatic. It is the borrower’s responsibility to follow the criteria of the loan to ensure forgiveness.  The guide has an FAQ, timeline, documentation checklist, and forgiveness calculations to help borrowers stay on track for their loan to be forgiven. 

Here are the top items PPP recipients should keep in mind. 

  • Track your use of the PPP loan funds.  
  • Document and report on your fund use when applying for loan forgiveness. 
  • At least 75% of PPP funds must be used for payroll costs. 
  • 8 weeks after you have received your PPP loan funds, you can submit a forgiveness request to the lender servicing the loan. 
  • Stay in regular contact with your banker.