Rep. Hintz E-Update.png

COVID-19 Update #19

 

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

I hope this update finds you safe and healthy during this strange time. It’s hard to believe the end of summer is almost here. As we near closer to fall and the start of school, it is more important than ever we must continue to practice public health and safety measures. Much of our state, including Winnebago County, continues to experience COVID-19 activity. As of August 26, Winnebago County has 1,241 confirmed cases and 18 people have lost their lives. You can view the most up-to-date information HERE.

While there is so much we still don’t know about COVID-19, we do know that we can reduce the likelihood of infecting others if we all take the initiative to wear face masks. As you know, on July 30, Governor Tony Evers issued a statewide mask mandate that requires face coverings for every person age five and older. This order stipulates that masks must be worn indoors and in other enclosed spaces when people who live outside of the household unit are present. The order strongly recommends that face coverings are worn outdoors and when social distancing isn’t possible, but does not mandate it. There are some exceptions to when masks must be worn, such as when someone is eating, drinking, or swimming. This order is effective until Monday, September 28. You can read more about the order HERE.

Masks have been demonstrated to reduce the transmission of the virus by limiting the spread of airborne droplets by those wearing a mask. According to a collection of studies that were analyzed by University of Washington researchers, if 95% of people wear cloth masks when they're out and about interacting with other people, it reduces transmission by at least 30%. As of August 12, 34 states and the District of Columbia have issued some form of a mask mandate to combat infections as they continue to rise across the country.

The Governor’s order comes at the request of businesses around the state who recognize the impact this public health crisis has had on our economy. I can tell you that many local restaurants and area businesses have contacted me in support of a mask mandate as well. I recognize there have been strong feelings and disagreement over this issue. While some view a mask mandate as an affront to personal liberty, others view it as essential to their right to not have their health endangered.

At the end of the day, this pandemic does not know party affiliation or municipal or county lines, wearing masks is simply about protecting each other, our loved ones, and our community. I know that wearing a mask takes some getting used to, but if we want to save lives, keep our economy open, and maintain the hope of in-person school this fall, it is a pretty small sacrifice to make.

You can learn more at the Department of Health Services website - You Stop the Spread.

 

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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COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin & Winnebago County

Winnebago County (As of 8am, 8/26/20)

  • Positive: 1,241 (+20 from 8/25)
  • Negative: 27,272 (+126** from 8/25)
  • Deaths: 19 (+0 from 8/25)

Wisconsin (As of 8am, 8/25/20)

Oshkosh Area School District -- Back to School Plans 

During this uncertain time, many families are facing difficult decisions regarding their children’s schooling. As the Oshkosh Area School District prepares for and navigates the 2020-21 school year, I encourage families to familiarize themselves with the guidelines put out by the district, and work with academic staff to reduce the number of disruptions due to the pandemic. 

Below are important resources that detail the 2020-21 back to school plan, in addition to the Coronavirus Webpage, information from the school board, as well as an FAQ page for families. 

Oshkosh Area School District 2020-21 Finalized Plans

Oshkosh Area School District Coronavirus Plan Webpage 

Oshkosh Area School District 2020-21 Year Plan - Board Highlights

Oshkosh Area School District 2020-21 Year FAQ

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed a tool to help parents, caregivers, and guardians determine if in-person instruction or virtual learning is best for their child. The tool assesses your family’s risk of COVID-19, as well as the feasibility of virtual learning for your child. The questionnaire is available as a fillable PDF HERE. Keep in mind, several checks in the “unsure” or “disagree” columns may warrant a conversation with your child’s school, your healthcare provider, or your employer. You can learn more about the tool HERE

Free City Busing for Students

Beginning September 1, 2020, all Oshkosh K-12 students will have access to FREE city busing via the GO Transit Oshkosh bus lines. Student riders should inform the bus driver that they are an OASD student. Additionally, students in grades 7-12 will need to present their OASD student ID; grade 6 students will need to present their OASD student ID once the 2020-21 IDs are provided. This service is made possible through a partnership between the OASD, City of Oshkosh, and private funders. Additional information including GO Transit School Routes is available: 2020 GO Transit School Routes

 

Additional FoodShare Benefits Return

On July 30, Governor Evers declared a new public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has allowed the Department of Health Services (DHS) to provide additional FoodShare benefits to eligible households for the months of July and August. These benefits were previously available in March, April, and May; however, because the Governor’s initial public health emergency ended in mid-May, the benefits were not offered in June. The additional July benefits were made available on QUEST cards on August 9, and the August benefits will be available on August 23. You can read more HERE

Eat & Shop Local

Restaurants, bars, and local small businesses have been especially hard by the pandemic.  Many of them have invested resources to accommodate public health best practices at their businesses even as their business has declined.  There are many ways to support our local businesses at your comfort level. If you are not comfortable dining in, consider take out or delivery. There are some good resources on facebook with creative promotions and reminders of Oshkosh businesses that deserve our support during this time.

Eat Local Oshkosh https://www.facebook.com/EatLocalOshkosh/

Shop Local Oshkosh https://www.facebook.com/ShopLocalOshkoshWI/

Utility Moratorium Extended

On August 20th, the Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to extend the utility moratorium until October 1. This means that utility companies cannot disconnect residential customers who are behind on their bills. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you may be eligible for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which provides assistance for heating, electric, and other utility payments. You can learn more and apply HERE. 

Winnebago County Eviction Prevention Task Force 

With the rental moratorium having been lifted, The Oshkosh COVID-19 Relief Fund launched jointly by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and Oshkosh Area United Way has been supporting residents experiencing economic hardship. They convened a Winnebago County Eviction Prevention Task Force to help residents navigate the flow of information regarding the moratorium. The task force will use the data collected to develop potential solutions and identify gaps in resources.

Resources for Tenants 

  • Rental assistance: Call ADVOCAP at 920-922-7760 to learn how to apply for the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program. 
  • Landlord-tenant eviction mediation: Call Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center at 920-236-4925 to try to resolve your dispute in a way that is agreeable to all. 
  • Legal aid for evictions: Call Legal Action of Wisconsin at 855-947-2529 for free legal aid for tenants who have received a pay or quit notice or an eviction notice. 
  • Tenant and landlord resources: Visit oshkoshunitedway.org/housing. 
  • Utility assistance: Call Energy Services at 920-231-0600 or apply online at https://esi.help. 

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 866,898 applications for regular unemployment benefits. They have paid nearly $3.5 billion in weekly benefit payments. In regards to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications, DWD has received 101,077 completed applications. They have paid over $86 million in weekly benefit payments.

As far as staffing goes, DWD has added 1,380 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, you deserve a reasonable expectation of when you will receive your benefits. 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 over 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 

COVID-19 Testing at UW Schools

Earlier this month, Governor Evers announced that over $32 million will be provided to the University of Wisconsin system for COVID-19 testing. With these funds, the UW System will purchase 276,000 tests — 246,000 of which will be allocated to campuses and 30,000 of which will be put in reserve. The UW System will also use this funding to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and pay staff for administering the tests. You can read more HERE.

Most UWO Fall Sports Canceled

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) has decided to suspend most fall sports for the 2020-21 academic year. As a result, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will not hold seasons in football, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, or men’s and women’s cross country. In addition, UWO’s women’s tennis and women’s golf seasons will be rescheduled for the spring semester. You can learn more HERE.

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|