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May 15, 2020

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Coronavirus Update


As of May 14, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 122,598 negative test results and 11,275 positive test results for COVID-19. Of those who tested positive for the virus, 1,939 (17%) were hospitalized. The most up-to-date testing information can be found here.


The Department of Health Services has launched a new website that shows community testing locations around the state. The searchable map, updated daily, allows users to locate their nearest testing location.


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


State Updates:

  • Following the Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling striking down the extension of the "Safer at Home" executive order, the Governor and legislative leadership met via phone to begin the process of working together on a plan to reopen the state.
  • On Thursday, the Evers administration released a scope statement beginning the rule-making process on restrictions to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin. You can read the entire scope statement here.
  • Governor Evers has indicated that a plan is expected soon detailing how the $1.9 billion given to the state through the federal CARES Act will be spent.
  • The Joint Finance Committee has approved $175 million in CARES Act funding to be allocated to K-12 public and private schools to improve virtual education and mental health offerings during the public health emergency. Click here to view the Co-Chair's statement.
  • After issuing a local stay at home order in response to the recent Supreme Court decision, Kenosha County has withdrawn its order after receiving additional information from the Wisconsin Counties Association suggesting that the provision struck down by the State Supreme Court may also apply to local health officers. Click here to view the release.

Federal Updates:

Business Owners:

  • The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is encouraging their members to earn the "Wisconsin Restaurant Promise," a certification for restaurants who make various commitments to protect their employees and customers. Click here for more information.
  • DATCP has reminded businesses of reopening guidelines for businesses released by WEDC. Click here to view the release.
  • According to the Census Bureau, less than 40% of small businesses have received the PPP emergency coronavirus loans. According to the survey, 75% of respondents applied for the forgivable loans.
  • Beginning Monday, May 18 and ending on Sunday, May 24, applications will be open for the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The grants are $2,000 each and will be provided to ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the pandemic.


  • Deputy State Superintendent Mike Thompson told reporters that Wisconsin schools won't be completely back to normal next fall. He also clarified that school districts do not need to follow DPI recommendations and will have the ability to decide if they re-open or continue to keep all classes online.


  • DWD has brought approximately 155 staff onboard the week of May 11 with approximately 230 more expected to start the week of May 18th to help with the increased unemployment workload. The agency is also expanding call center hours to 7:00AM-5:00PM. The hours are currently 7:35AM to 3:30PM. Click here to view the press release from DWD.
  • 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.


  • DATCP and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin have announced that the state milk assessment will be lifed for disposed milk until the end of the federal major disaster declaration made by the President. Click here to view the press release.
  • More farmers are seeking mental health counseling as the COVID-19 pandemic affects the industry, according to DATCP.


  • Wisconsin state park stickers are now available for purchase online. Click here to purchase a pass.

Other Developments:

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

Local Stay at Home Restrictions

Following the decision by the State Supreme Court striking down the extension of Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order, many county governments have implemented their own restrictions. I've included the most up to date information below for the counties I represent:

Lafayette County: No local order - requesting that residents continue to take the necessary steps to protect health and safety. Click here to view the Lafayette County Health Department's release. (Facebook)

Iowa County: No local order - requesting that preventative measurers continue in Iowa County. County Health Director Debbie Siegenthaler notes that the issuance of an order remains an option if voluntary compliancy is not sufficient. Click here to view the Iowa County Health Department's release. (Facebook)

Green County: Local order effective immediately - the county has adopted the provisions of Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order (Executive Orders #28,#34, and #36). Click here to view the Green County Public Health Department's release. (Facebook)

Sauk County: No local order - issuing guidance to help businesses, organizations, families, and individuals continue to stay safe. Click here to view the Sauk County Public Health Department's release.

Richland County: No local order - recommends that citizens wear a cloth mask when in a public setting, practice social distancing, and continue excellent hygiene habits. Click here to view the Richland County Public Health Department's release.


A full list of local governments that have enacted orders can be found here.

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Peace Officers Memorial Day

Today, on May 15th, as part of Police Week, we observe Peace Officers Memorial Day honoring local, state, and federal peace officers who have been harmed or died in the line of duty. Thank you to all those who faithfully serve our communities each day.
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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!