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COVID-19 Update #18

 

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the friends and families of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. The Winnebago County Health Department recently announced the passing of four more people, bringing the total number of people who have not survived this virus to 14. This is a sad reminder that COVID-19 has not left our community. As of today, Winnebago County has 718 confirmed cases. You can find the most up-to-date information on cases on the Winnebago County COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

With summer here, I understand that there may be temptation to not follow public health and safety guidelines. However, if we want to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, then it is important that we all play our part and follow the necessary measures. The Winnebago County Public Health Department strongly recommends that everyone wears a face covering, watches their physical distance, and washes their hands. You can read more about the Health Department’s recommendations HERE.

 

I want to take a moment to draw your attention to one of the recommendations in particular: wearing a face mask. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a recent study confirmed that some people who test positive for COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. This means that if masks are not worn in public, you and your loved ones are at a higher risk of being infected by someone who is asymptomatic. This also means that you could unknowingly have the virus and transmit it to others. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wears a face covering in indoor spaces, crowded outdoor settings, and when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that you must wear and take off your face mask properly to effectively prevent COVID-19 transmission. Below I’ve included a few tips on how to correctly wear and handle your face covering:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face mask.
  • Handle your face mask only by the ear loops or ties.
  • Make sure your face mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
  • Don’t put your face mask around your neck or on your forehead.
  • Wash your face mask after each use.

You learn more about the proper face covering procedures on the CDC website HERE. If you’re having trouble locating a face mask to purchase, try stores like Walgreens, Target, and Joann Fabrics; or online retailers like Old Navy and Gap. If you’re unable to purchase one, you can make a homemade face covering -- the CDC provides instructions on how to make a face mask with and without a sewing machine HERE.

 

I thank each of you for all that you are doing to keep your loved ones safe and healthy. 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, 

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Winnebago County Community Testing Site

If you are experiencing at least one COVID-19 symptom, you can visit the Winnebago County community testing site at Aurora Medical Center (855 North Westhaven Drive). Testing is available by appointment Monday-Saturday from 1:30pm-3:30pm. You can schedule your appointment online or at (877) 819-5034.

 

Statewide Effort to Distribute PPE

Governor Tony Evers announced that more than 2 million face masks and 4,200 thermometers will be distributed to K-12 public, charter, and private schools throughout the state. In addition, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will provide approximately 60,000 masks to local food processors, restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores. These masks are being supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at no cost to the state. You can read more about this effort HERE.

 

Department of Natural Resources Updates

Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) resumed in-person hunter and recreational vehicle education classes. Each class will hold 50 people or less. All participants are asked to maintain social distancing and wear face masks. Class equipment will be sanitized, hand sanitizer will be provided, and if possible, class instruction will be held outdoors. You can sign-up for a class or learn more about the course offerings HERE.

 

Also last week, the DNR opened up camping to groups of 50 or less people. Reservations are required, and can be made via phone at (1-888-947-2757) or online. Firewood and camp hosts are available at some parks. A few of the campground modifications include:

  • Capacity limits signs will be posted in open facilities such as bathrooms and open-air shelters.
  • Properties such as picnic tables will be placed 6 feet apart in order to provide for social distancing practice.
  • Indoor group camps remain closed at this time.
  • Enclosed shelters and amphitheaters remain closed at this time.

For more information, you can visit the DNR website HERE.

 

Department of Health Services Travel Guidance

The Department of Health Services (DHS) recently updated their travel guidance to reflect the continuing spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. At this time, DHS does not recommend travel within the state of Wisconsin, throughout the U.S., or internationally. However, if you are planning to travel, DHS advises that you are prepared for changing travel restrictions, self-monitoring when you have sickness, an extended stay away from home if self-isolation is required, and a 14-day self-quarantine when you return. You can find DHS’ full travel guidance HERE. The Winnebago County Health Department has also released their own travel recommendations, which can be viewed HERE.

 

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Summer Activities Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance on a variety of summer activities. As you make plans to leave your home and visit public spaces this summer, it is important to follow the necessary public health guidelines and keep in mind that COVID-19 is still active in Winnebago County. You can view the detailed recommendations for visiting parks and recreational facilities HERE, visiting beaches and pools HERE, and visiting restaurants and bars HERE.

 

Unemployment Insurance Update

I want to take a moment to provide you with the data on unemployment claims and staffing at DWD. To date, DWD has received 728,705 applications for regular unemployment benefits. They have paid over $2 billion in weekly benefits payments. In regards to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications, DWD has received 82,168 completed applications. They have paid over $15 million in weekly benefit payments.

As far as staffing goes, DWD has added 1,200 new staff since mid-March. These additional staff members have allowed DWD to answer more calls, resolve issues with claims faster, and provide claimants with their benefits in a more timely manner. These staff members have been trained on each component of the unemployment process -- there are hundreds of more adjudication staff, call center staff, and support staff.

While Wisconsin is not alone in dealing with the overwhelming amount of cases due to COVID-19 and the disastrous economic effects it has resulted in, I understand that this situation is extremely personal to anyone who has lost their job. You deserve a reasonable expectation of when you will receive your benefits. And that is what I’m working to get you. 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 250 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  

Governor Tony Evers orders face masks for state employees; state buildings remain closed to public

Last week, Governor Evers announced that state employees will be required to wear face masks at all times when inside of state buildings. In addition, the Governor decided to delay the opening of state buildings to the public, they remain closed indefinitely. You can read more HERE.

 

With recent uptick of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, response measures likely limited to local orders

Despite the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, it is unlikely that Wisconsin will implement a mask mandate. This is due in part to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that struck down Governor Evers’ Safer-at-Home order, which has led many to believe that any statewide order would be challenged. You can read more HERE.

 

Construction begins on a new, more efficient terminal at Wittman Regional Airport

I was excited to participate in Wittman Regional Airport’s groundbreaking ceremony last week. Construction has begun to replace the two existing terminals with one new terminal. The state is contributing $2 million to this project, and the county is providing $3.5 million. You can read more HERE.

 

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My colleague Senator Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) and I at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, July 16.

 

Resources

 
 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|