Rep. Hintz E-Update.png

COVID-19 Update #16

 

***IMPORTANT NOTE***

THIS IS MY LAST E-UPDATE TO YOU VIA EMAIL. 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 today, June 10. 

However, I will still post regular updates on my legislative website (gordonhintz.com) 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


Dear Friends & Neighbors,

COVID-19 has not yet left our community. According to the Winnebago County Health Department, as of today, we have 395 confirmed cases and we’ve lost 8 lives. The threat of this virus is not only real, but it is rising in the Oshkosh area. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Oshkosh is #6 in the nation for highest average daily growth rate of cases. Right now in our community, the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing by 7% every day and doubling every 10.2 days. The New York Times projects that Oshkosh could be one of the cities where we see the next large outbreak. You can learn more HERE.

 

While it may seem like life is returning back to normal, it is important to keep in mind that we have not come out on the other side of this virus. As you enjoy your summer, remember to always practice public health and safety measures. For detailed information on how you can limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, you can view the Winnebago County Health Department’s recommendations HERE

 

In addition to following the Health Department’s guidance, I encourage you to take special precautions when engaging in summer activities such as going to the beach, socializing with friends outside, and taking vacations. The Department of Health Services (DHS) provides best practices for beachgoers HERE. A few of the recommendations include keeping a distance of 6 feet from other people, not wearing a mask in the water, and washing your hands before and after putting on sunscreen. DHS has also released the following guidance on popular summer activities: 

  • Barbeques: Limit to less than 10 people, stay 6 feet apart, and wear masks. 
  • Potlucks: Everyone should bring their own dish for themselves. 
  • Camping: Try to camp in your backyard— this is the lowest risk option. If you do go camping, stay in your local community, only share a tent with people you live with, and keep 6 feet apart.
  • Play-dates with children: This is not advised at this time.
  • Vacations: Try to plan local trips that are outdoors or in areas with lots of space, avoid crowded spaces, and bring your own food and supplies. 
  • Yard sales: This is not advised at this time. 

You can read more about how you can stay safe this summer HERE (“Questions for Summer” tab). 

 

I wish you all a happy, healthy summer. I look forward to continuing to keep you update on COVID-19 developments in our state and community via my legislative website and Facebook page. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, 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, 

gordon-sig.jpg


Rental Assistance Program

On Monday, 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.

 

 Emergency Food Assistance Program Update

Earlier this week, the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that more households will be eligible to get food through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Households with incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level may receive a monthly share of locally grown food that includes meat, vegetables, fruit, and more. To locate the nearest participating pantry, call 2-1-1.

 

Oshkosh Area Food Pantry Update

On Monday, 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

Today, state campgrounds have reopened 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 Department of Natural Resources (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 Update

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  

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.

 

Nearly 18,000 Workers Participating in Work-Share Plans in Wisconsin 

The Department of Workforce Development’s Work-Share program is designed to help employers keep employees during slow business periods by reducing employees’ hours and allowing them to file for partial unemployment benefits. Due to COVID-19, this program has seen a significant increase with 520 entities and 17,986 workers now participating. 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|