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April 17, 2020

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Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" Order Extended

On Thursday, Governor Evers' extended his "Safer at Home" executive order until 8:00AM on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. In response to this development, I have issued the following statement:

“I have severe concerns about Governor Evers’ decision to extend his “Safer at Home” order until May 26th. Over the past weeks, businesses have been forced to close and hundreds of thousands of employees laid off or furloughed. On Monday, the Department of Health Services announced that Wisconsin saw the lowest daily increase in new cases in weeks. These results show that we are headed in the right direction but our economy has been forced to a screeching halt. I have heard from business owners and farmers in my district who are losing everything that they have worked for their entire life. They cannot endure this shutdown much longer. I am concerned about my businesses and farmers being able to survive. I will do everything I can to slowly reopen Wisconsin’s economy while keeping important health precautions in place.”

On April 24th, some changes will take effect allowing certain activities to begin again. These include:

  • All public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year
  • Public Libraries may provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials.
  • Golf Courses may open with restrictions in place. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
  • Pool maintenance will be allowed to take place.
  • Non-essential businesses can now engage in curb-side pickup and mailing/delivery of products.
  • Essential businesses will have to enact stricter sanitary and social distancing procedures and limit the number of customers in the store at a given time.
  • Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pickup of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment
  • Aesthetic or exterior lawn care or construction is allowed as long as it is done by one person.

You can view the full text of the updated executive order by clicking here.


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Coronavirus Update


As of April 17, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 42,365 negative test results and 4,045 positive test results for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive for the virus, 1,153 (29%) were hospitalized. The most up-to-date testing information can be found here.

State Updates:

  • Governor Evers has issued Emergency Order #27 giving the Department of Tourism flexibility when administering joint effort marketing grants to help restart Wisconsin's tourism industry. Click here to view the order.
  • Governor Evers joined the governors of Michigan and Pennsylvania in writing a letter to President Trump requesting additional resources for states and communities to address the pandemic. Evers notes that Wisconsin faces $2 billion in losses.
  • The Wisconsin FFA State Convention, originally scheduled for June 15-18 in Madison has been postponed indefinitely.

Federal Updates:

  • The IRS began making federal stimulus payments to individual taxpayers this week. The first people to receive payments are those who have already filed their 2019 tax return and have authorized the IRS to make a direct deposit into their bank account.
  • The IRS has launched a website for those who did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal tax return, or were not required to file, to provide information to get their federal stimulus payment. The website will soon be equipped to allow Americans to check the status of their payment. Click here to visit the website.
  • President Trump has unveiled guidelines to help state and local officials when reopening their economies. The three-phased approach is based on the advice of health experts to get people back to work and protect American lives. Click here for more information.
  • The federal Department of Commerce announced retail sales nationwide fell 8.7% in March. This represents the single largest drop in national retail sales since the department began tracking this data in 1992.


Small Business Owners:

  • The Wisconsin Bankers Association has released data showing that Wisconsin ranks 10th in the nation for approved applicants to receive federal assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Wisconsin lenders have approved over 31,000 PPP loans worth more than $7 billion as of Monday this week.
  • The SBA is no longer accepting new applications for PPP loans due to lack of funds. Congress is in discussions to provide additional funding for the program.


  • The Department of Workforce Development has launched a new page on its website with information on the Federal CARES Act as well as information for regular claimants, PUA claimants, and those seeking extended unemployment benefits.
  • DWD reports that initial applications for unemployment insurance as of Thursday for the week of April 12, 2020 have reached 45,976. Comparable claims last year at this time for the week were 3,905. This data can be found here.

  • DWD released Wisconsin's unemployment rate in March. The monthly survey pre-dated the effects of COVID-19 showing an unemployment rate of 3.4%, down from 3.5% in February.
  • Due to the unprecedented number of unemployment applications, DWD has asked that those needing to file for unemployment do so through the department’s website.

  • Those seeking unemployment are encouraged to register on This website continues to be updated with new job postings


  • Wisconsin DATCP has announced a million dollar Wisconsin dairy recovery partnership to help feed Wisconsinites and benefit state dairy farmers. Click here to view the press release.

Medical Developments:

  • Several Wisconsin health care providers announced they have hit milestones in discharging patients who had previously contracted COVID-19. Aurora Health announced the discharge of more than 1,000 patients while Froedtert has released 114.
  • Stay up to date on the number of cases treated, patients released, and the availability of supplies on the Wisconsin Hospital Association's dashboard.

Useful Links:




Best Practices:

The Centers for Disease Control have posted the following tips to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily

More information on coronavirus from the CDC can be found here

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How You Can Help

  • Support Local Business - Do your part to make sure your favorite spots are around when we get through this. Many restaurants are offering generous discounts and providing pick up and delivery service. Call your favorite spot to see what they are offering and tip a little more than usual as restaurants are serving fewer people. If you prefer to dine in, consider purchasing a gift card for later use. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is compiling a list of restaurants remaining open for pick up and delivery. If you are a restaurant owner or you know of a restaurant offering these services, feel free to add their information.


  • Give Blood - The American Red Cross reports that they are facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to learn more about how you can donate and locate a blood drive taking place in our area.


  • Give to Food Banks and Delivery Services - Organizations like Feeding America and Meals on Wheels are in need of donations and volunteers to provide food to those in need during this difficult time. Charity Navigator has also compiled a list of trustworthy charities in need of resources. Click here for a list of soup kitchens and food pantries in our area.


  • Volunteer - Volunteers are needed to staff shelters and provide food delivery services throughout the state. United Way Wisconsin has provided a dashboard to connect volunteers with organizations looking for help. Click here to view.


Stay Well and Be Safe!