Rep. Hintz E-Update.png

COVID-19 Update #12

 

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Thank you for continuing to stay home and practice physical distancing during this difficult time. Because of the sacrifices we have all made, access to testing has significantly increased, our hospitals are better equipped to handle the pandemic, and more businesses have started to reopen. The COVID-19 crisis has not been easy for anyone, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. 

Last week, Governor Evers outlined his plan for increasing testing in Wisconsin. The strategies include testing all workers and families associated with employer outbreaks, testing all nursing home residents and staff, increasing the number of drive-thru testing sites, and providing test supplies to all Wisconsin healthcare systems. You can read the details of the plan HERE

 

A free testing site at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton is open for Winnebago, Outagamie, and Calumet County residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The testing site will operate only this week from 9am-5pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday — no appointment needed. The daily testing capacity will be set at 300 tests. For more information, visit the Winnebago County Health Department webpage HERE

 

Also last week, the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the data and metrics they are using to determine when our state can move into Phase One of the Governor’s “Badger Bounce Back Plan”. Phase One of the plan would entail restaurants opening with restrictions, non-essential businesses partially reopening, K-12 schools opening, daycares opening, and gatherings of 10 people. To move into this next phase, our state must have: 

  • Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period.
  • Downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.
  • Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
  • 95% of hospitals affirm that they can treat all patients without crisis standards of care.
  • 95% of all hospitals affirm that they have arranged for testing for all symptomatic clinical staff treating patients at the hospital per CDC guidelines.
  • Downward trend of COVID-19 cases among health care workers calculated weekly.

You can find detailed information on the gating criteria HERE. As of today (Wednesday), here is where Wisconsin stands: 

 

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Lastly, Monday, Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #36, which allows all standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time. As our state begins to meet necessary public health standards, I continue to be supportive of safely and responsibly reopening. While this is an important step forward, I understand that we still have a long way to go. You can read the full order HERE, and the Frequently Asked Questions HERE.

 

The people of Oshkosh have demonstrated true resiliency during this pandemic, and I thank each of you for all that you are doing to keep your family, friends, and neighbors safe and healthy. By continuing to physically distance, we will get through the worst of this together — we all have a role to play in defeating this virus.

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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Stimulus Payment Updates

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have your direct deposit information for your stimulus payment, you must enter it by today (Wednesday) at 11am on the “Get My Payment” tool HERE. After this deadline, the IRS will begin preparing paper checks. 

 

Road Test Waivers for Teens

Starting Monday, parents now have the option to waive road tests for their 16- and 17-year-olds who have successfully completed all of the driver training requirements. Eligible teens must complete a driver education class, behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor, and at least 30 hours of driving with their parent or sponsor. The waiver was put in place to cut down on the road test backlog and is expected to remain in effect until the end of 2020. In-person road tests will be available beginning May 26. You can read more about this change, as well as other efforts the DMV is taking to address the backlog demand, HERE.

 

Community Gardening

As we enter into the spring planting season, it is important to note that community gardening for food production is allowed under the Safer at Home order. The Department of Health Services (DHS) has developed a list of best practices for community gardens HERE.

 

Day by Day Warming Shelter Emergency Shelter

Due to the generous partnership of several local organizations and entities, the Day by Day Warming Shelter has opened a 24/7 emergency shelter. If you are able to donate items, you can do so from 9am-5pm at their location at 449 High Ave. You can view their list of immediate needs HERE.

 

ThedaCare Updates

Last week, ThedaCare began phasing in select services that had previously been postponed. These services are prioritized by patient needs and risks. In addition, ThedaCare has significantly increased its capacity for virtual visits and continues to strongly encourage this option to patients. You can read more about ThedaCare’s response to COVID-19 HERE.

 

State Parks Updates

As I mentioned in my last e-update, 34 state parks reopened on May 1. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) implemented several changes to park operations to minimize overcrowding, enforce social distancing requirements, and promote a safe and enjoyable experience for staff and visitors. Among the changes was a pre-determined safety capacity for each property. Before visiting a state park, you may find it helpful to view its real-time capacity status HERE

 

Winnebago County Data 

As of Tuesday, 86 people in Winnebago County have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person has passed away. The Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) is also now sharing confirmed cases by municipality. In the City of Oshkosh, we have 42 positive cases. For the most up-to-date information, visit the WCHD dashboard HERE.

 

COVID-19 Situational Awareness Update Tool

The COVID-19 Situational Awareness Update Tool was developed by the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) in collaboration with the Department of Health Services (DHS). The tool includes information on cases per 1,000 people, total hospital admissions, number of hospitals with 7 days or less Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), positive COVID-19 cases identified, deaths, bed count, and ventilator availability. You can access this information HERE.

 

Tax Relief for Businesses

Businesses can request tax relief from the Department of Revenue. The following taxes are included: withholding, state and county sales tax, excise tax, local expo district tax, premier resort area tax, limousine tax, rental car tax, police and fire protection fee, and dry cleaning licensing fees. Businesses can fill out the COVID-19 Tax Relief form HERE

 

Having Trouble Receiving Unemployment Benefits? 

If it has been at least three weeks since you submitted your application and you have not received your benefits, my office may be able to help you. Please email Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov with the following information: 

  • Full name 
  • Phone number
  • Issue that needs to be resolved 
  • Information on your application
    • Did you apply for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)? 
    • What date did you submit your application? 
    • What is the status of your claims? (i.e. pending due to review of ability to work) 
    • Have you received any communication from DWD since you submitted your application? (i.e. they asked you to submit pay stubs) 

My staff will send this information to DWD and request that they promptly look into your case. I understand that this is a difficult financial time for many, and I am committed to helping you receive your benefits in a timely manner.

 

Top Stories 

Wisconsin loses out $25 million in federal funding due to GOP delay in COVID action

Last week, it was reported that Wisconsin lost out on $25 million in federal funding to help pay for UI benefits during the COVID-19 because Republicans didn't act quickly enough, according to the Department of Workforce Development. You can read more HERE

 

Best Practices for Businesses Reopening unveiled by Evers Administration

Governor Evers and WEDC rolled out best practices for businesses to follow when the economy begins to re-open. The plan offers important guidelines for businesses to re-engage safely so employees and customers can feel confident in their return. You can read more HERE.

 

TMJ4 Town Hall

I took part in a virtual town hall on TMJ4 with Speaker Vos and host Charles Benson. They discussed the Safer at Home order and ideas on how to re-open Wisconsin’s economy. You can watch the virtual town hall HERE. 

 

Resource Links

 
 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|