Rep. Hintz E-Update.png

COVID-19 Update #15

 

***IMPORTANT NOTE***

My last e-update to you via email will be on Wednesday, June 10. Under state law, beginning April 15, Representatives who are up for re-election in November are prohibited from sending more than 49 pieces of similar correspondence from their legislative offices. This rule is in place so that incumbents do not have an unfair advantage over their political opponents. However, an exception to the rule was made for COVID-19 information, given the unprecedented time we are in and the need for regular communication. The exception for COVID-19 information ends on Wednesday, June 10. 

However, after Wednesday, I will post regular updates on my legislative website and Facebook page. I encourage you to check those frequently and continue accessing the resources below for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in our state and community: 


Dear Friends & Neighbors,

With June underway and the official beginning of summer around the corner, it may be tempting to stop practicing public health and safety measures as diligently. However, even though the weather is warmer and the temptation to leave your home more frequently is stronger, our community is still in a public health crisis. 

On Friday, the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) confirmed that they've seen a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases. In fact, they reported that Winnebago County now ranks #10 for the highest number of cases in Wisconsin and #7 for the highest number of cases based on population. After reviewing the trends in their data, WCHD reported that the number of cases began to sharply rise after the Safer at Home order was lifted on May 13. On May 18, there were 103 reported cases of COVID-19, and as of today, there are 372. This means that in just three weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases in Winnebago County has tripled. While the number of tests has tripled as well during this time, the percentage of confirmed positive cases has remained flat. However, tests are now being administered beyond people who already demonstrate symptoms, yet the percentage of positive tests remains the same.

 

While the formal Safer at Home order is no longer in place, it is extremely important that we continue to act in the best interest of each other by wearing face masks, limiting trips out of our homes, and physically distancing ourselves from others. I also highly encourage you to follow the WCHD’s recommendations on controlling the transmission of COVID-19 HERE.

 

As businesses and other parts of our community reopen, please understand that many of these businesses have just been through one of the most challenging periods they have ever faced. While relieved to be open, the owners and employees remain concerned about maintaining a safe environment and the uncertain economic future due to the virus. Please recognize these challenges as you frequent our local business and be patient and kind.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, you can reach out to my Madison office at 608-266-2254, my home at 920-232-0805, or my email at Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov. 

Sincerely, 

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Rental Assistance Program

Today, ADVOCAP, Inc. began accepting applications for the Governor’s Rental Assistance Program. This program provides grants of up to $3,000 to help pay for rent and security deposits. Payments will be made directly to landlords. Eligible applicants must have a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date, and must provide documentation showing that they’ve had significant loss of income due to COVID-19.

To apply, call ADVOCAP, Inc. at (920) 922-7760. You can also learn more about the Rental Assistance Program by visiting the Department of Administration (DOA) website HERE

 

Grants for Small Businesses

Governor Evers recently announced “We’re All In”, a grant program for small businesses. If you operate a small business and have been impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $2,500. The application portal will be open Monday, June 15 through Sunday, June 21. 

To be eligible, you must: 

  • Be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business.
  • Employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner.
  • Earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts).
  • Have started operating prior to January 1, 2020 and have been in business in February 2020.

Additional information on the “We’re All In” program is available on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website HERE.

 

The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation has offered to provide a letter of support or to discuss this program and others in further detail. Oshkosh Area Businesses can contact: Tricia.Rathermel@greateroshkosh.com or call (920) 230-3326 with any questions. For more information, you can visit the Greater Oshkosh EDC website HERE.

 

Grants for Farmers

The Governor’s Farm Support program will begin accepting applications on Monday, June 15. Eligible farmers will receive grants that range from $1,000 - $3,500. These payments will be issued after the application period closes on Monday, June 29. Farmers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible on or after June 15 to leave time for resolving any potential issues in their application. You can learn more about the Farm Support Program by visiting the Department of Revenue (DOR) website HERE.

 

Oshkosh Area Food Pantry Updates

Today, the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry reopened inside and returned to its “choice model” for food selection. Their hours are Mondays 2pm-6pm, and Tuesdays through Thursdays 10am-2:45pm. To ensure everyone’s safety, they ask that everyone wears a face mask. In addition, they’ve set a capacity limit, changed the layout of the pantry to increase room between clients, and have a spaced line outside for clients. If you do not feel comfortable or cannot go in due to sickness, you can email the pantry at info@oacptoday.org to set up a delivery. For the most up-to-date information on their operations, visit the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry Facebook page HERE.

 

Free Farmers to Families Food Boxes

Every Monday in June, Oshkosh residents are able to pick up a free Farmers to Families Food Box that includes 25 pounds of fresh produce, meat, and dairy. The boxes are distributed at the UW Oshkosh Kolf Sports Center (785 High Avenue) from 10am-12pm. The boxes are first come, first serve, and have no income requirements. You can read more HERE.

 

State Parks Update

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that state campgrounds will reopen on Wednesday with certain restrictions. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, refrain from congregating in large groups, travel only within their home communities, and follow all existing state park rules and guidelines. The DNR is also encouraging visitors to wear masks in situations where physical distancing is difficult.

A few of the campground modifications include:

  • Camping reservations will be accepted by phone (1-888-947-2757) and online only.
  • Check-in is no longer necessary at the office or visitor station when coming to a property. Property staff will visit sites to monitor occupancy.
  • Group camping, shelters, and amphitheaters will be closed through June 30.
  • All other facilities will remain closed, including towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, contact stations, and concessions.
  • Equipment rentals are unavailable at this time.
  • Firewood is not available at this time.

You can read more about these changes on the DNR website HERE.

 

Unemployment Benefit Updates

Last week, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that the recent onboarding of two contracted call centers, staffed by Alorica and Beyond Vision, has increased its ability to help more Wisconsinites with their unemployment claims. Since Alorica began taking calls on May 20, DWD has made almost 3.8 times the number of customer contacts. This has allowed DWD to answer more calls, resolve issues with claims faster, and provide claimants with their benefits in a more timely manner. You can learn about DWD’s expanded efforts HERE.

 

While I am sympathetic to the record number of applications DWD has received, I also believe that those seeking unemployment insurance should have a reasonable expectation of when they will collect their benefits. That’s why my office has stepped in to serve as another pathway to DWD. My staff has been working hard to send cases to DWD and request that they are promptly reviewed — since the end of March, we have helped nearly 200 constituents with their unemployment claims. 

If you have not received your benefits and would like my office to assist you, please email Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov with the information below. Once we have your information, we will send your case to DWD as soon as possible.

  • Full name (First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name)  
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth 
  • Last four of SSN
  • Date you submitted your application 
  • Status of your application (i.e. pending due to review of ability to work) 
  • Reason for inquiry 

 

Top Stories 

Mass testing, more quarantines: Wisconsin prisons’ plan for moving forward amid pandemic

On Monday, the Department of Corrections (DOC) began accepting new prisoners and transferring inmates again. However, to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, they’ve developed a plan that includes testing all prisoners and staff and quarantining new prisoners and transfers for 14 days. You can read more HERE.

 

Protests defy coronavirus guidelines, but health experts say engagement is 'essential.' Here's how protesters and police can reduce risk

For the past two weeks, our state and nation have struggled to come to grips with the senseless murder of George Floyd. But what happened to George Floyd is not new or unique, violence against innocent black people happens every single day in our country. That is why health experts agree that engagement, even amidst a pandemic, is important. If you choose to attend a protest, be sure to wear a mask, don’t touch your face, and practice physical distancing. You can read more HERE.

 
 If you have any comments regarding the subject of this E-Newsletter, please feel free to contact me.   


Rep. Hintz
State Capitol, Room #201 W
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 555-1234 or (608) 555-1234
Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov|