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May 1, 2020

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Coronavirus Update


As of April 30, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 69,394 negative test results and 6,854 positive test results for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive for the virus, 1,512 (22%) were hospitalized. The most up-to-date testing information can be found here.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 click here to complete an online screening and receive feedback from a medical professional.


State Updates:

  • The Assembly Committee on State Affairs held an informational hearing on Thursday to hear from a variety of stakeholders and experts regarding the "Back to Business" plan introduced by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Click here for more information on this plan and click here to view the recorded hearing.
  • Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #34 on Monday allowing for curb-side drop-off of goods or animals for service, repair, or care by a business. The order also allows for the rental of outdoor recreational rentals (golf carts, boats, ATVs) and car washes. Click here to view the order.
  • On Wednesday, the Evers' administration ordered all of the state's executive agencies to make a 5% reduction in taxpayer funded operating expenses by June 30.
  • DATCP has approved an emergency rule prohibiting late fees or penalties for missed or late rent payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Updates:


  • The Department of Health Services will provide more than $140 million in food benefits to families with school-aged children previously receiving free or reduced price school lunches. These benefits are separate from emergency FoodShare allotments announced earlier this month. Click here for more information.
  • UW-Madison announced campus-wide furloughs for an estimated savings of $30 million. As part of these furloughs, the chancellor and provosts are taking 15% pay cuts.


  • The DNR has announced that the 2020-21 Game Fish season will open as planned on May 2. All regulations and license requirements apply. Click here for more information.
  • Governor Evers has announced that 34 Wisconsin State Parks will reopen today with restrictions in place. Additional information on this announcement is provided later in this newsletter.


  • The Department of Workforce Development announced on Wednesday that it has received 479,596 applications and has distributed more than $290 million in state unemployment benefits since March 15, 2020.
  • DWD reports that 48,630 initial applications were filed for unemployment insurance last week.

  • DWD encourages employers to avoid layoffs by participating in the work-share program. Instead of layoffs, a participating employer may reduce work hours allowing those with reduced hours to apply for unemployment benefits pro-rated for partial work reduction. Click here for the news release.
  • More than one in three Wisconsinites who have applied for unemployment benefits are awaiting benefits.
  • Those seeking employment are encouraged to register on This website continues to be updated with new job postings

  • If you are having difficulty reaching the Department of Workforce Development or are having problems with your UI claim, please reach out to my office using the information at the bottom of this newsletter. We are happy to help.


Other Developments:

  • A report released by UW-Madison's Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE) suggestes moving toward a phased-in regional relaxation of distancing guidelines to best balance health risks and economic costs across the state.
  • Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Executive Director, Tim Size, notes that it is hard to imagine there won't be some rural hospitals that close as a result of the postponement of elective procedures. Click here for the story.
  • A planned care facility at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients has been placed on hold due to the area not seeing an imminent need for the facility.
  • The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is cancelling its in-person state convention and opting to hold the event virtually.
  • On Sunday, the owner of a Green Bay meat packing facility closed its doors as it saw a rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Brown County now has more than 800 confirmed cases with more than 400 of these cases being employees of meat-packing facilities within the county.

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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Wisconsin State Parks to Reopen

Governor Evers has announced that 34 Wisconsin State Parks will reopen today with restrictions in place. Parks scheduled to open in the 51st Assembly District include:

  • The Lower Wisconsin Riverway
  • Tower Hill State Park
  • Governor Dodge State Park
  • Cadiz Springs State Rec Area
  • Yellowstone Lake State Park
  • Belmont Mound State Park

Some parks including Governor Dodge State Park will operate with capacity limits. Parks will operate with reduced hours and an admission sticker will be required for entry. Annual vehicle admission stickers are only available for purchase over the phone by calling 1-888-305-0398.  Click here for more information on this announcement:

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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!