Friends and Neighbors,

I wanted to reach out to you today to provide you with another update on COVID-19 in Wisconsin. I remain thankful for the abundance of feedback and suggestions I have heard from constituents. It is extremely valuable to learn about the variety of ways COVID-19 has impacted different members of our community, as it greatly helps me in finding solutions to this crisis.

Please continue to follow the Safer At Home requirements, practice social distancing, and abide by the safety precautions being shared by the CDC and Department of Health Services so we can defeat this crisis as quickly as possible.

 I always welcome your feedback and opinions, so please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-0455 or



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COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

Test Results

Number of People as of ‎4‎/‎2‎/‎2020‎







  • Of the 2,885 positive cases, 135 are located in Kenosha County, and one individual has died.
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.

Legislative Response

There are a number of changes to state law that must be made to help Wisconsin address the current health emergency and to take advantage of available federal assistance for our state and citizens. 


Unfortunately, the state level response to this crisis has been hindered by an unwillingness by Republican legislative leaders to act on legislation to meet the state’s needs.  Negotiations began weeks ago on potential bills, but the legislature has still not convened to act.  Over the past month, Governor Evers and Democratic legislators have proposed legislation to address key components like removing the one week wait for unemployment benefits.  Inaction on this alone could jeopardize millions in federal funds for the state.


These proposals are summarized HERE and HERE.


In a positive turn of events, the legislature now appears to be on pace to meet virtually next week Tuesday, April 14th at 10:00 A.M. Sadly, while the legislation the GOP is considering do include some of the critical provisions necessary for the administration to manage this crisis, it nonetheless includes more political power grabs and does not include many of the tools and aspects that could have helped citizens and businesses in need.

I am hopeful that all controversial measures in this proposal can still be eliminated and critical assistance for first responders and healthcare workers, small business, and average citizens can be restored.  There is no time for games.  There is no time to waste.  Wisconsin must act to meet the needs of this crisis. 

Elections Update

Despite the efforts of Governor Evers and Democratic legislators to both modify the election process to ensure all voters could vote by mail or to delay the date of the in-person election, on April 7th many Wisconsinites were forced to risk their health and safety in order to vote.

This is because the Republican leaders of the Assembly and Senate refused to take action on legislation to address these issues, and instead filed suit to ask the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down an emergency order that would have delayed the date of the vote. 

Medical experts uniformly raised concerns about the risk of the decision not to alter the election date, but while all other states acted to protect their citizens regarding scheduled elections, Wisconsin did not, as two gubernatorial calls for a special session were ignored without a single vote taken by the legislature. 

In response to this dark moment in our state’s history and to be prepared for future elections, my colleagues and I have offered legislation to ensure every registered voter is mailed a ballot so that they may vote by mail and addressing other aspects of current law that caused some voters to be disenfranchised in the April election, such as witness signature requirements. 

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Assistance for Individuals and Businesses

Individuals/Families - Federal CARES Stimulus Funds: Most adults are entitled to receive up to $1,200, or $2,400 for joint married filers under the recently passed federal CARES Act.  Households can also receive up to $500 for each child that is 16 years old or younger. 

The best way to ensure you receive these funds as fast as possible is to file an income tax for last year or this year with your bank routing number.  The US Treasury Department estimates payments will begin in the coming 2-3 weeks through this method.  Further information is available from the IRS HERE.

Individuals – CARES Supplemental and Expanded Unemployment Benefits:  The new federal law expands coverage to workers who are not typically eligible for regular state UI benefits to provide temporary pandemic unemployment compensation of $600 a week to any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment insurance benefits through July 31, 2020. The $600 will be paid in addition to and at the same time as regular state UI benefits.  More information is available HERE.


NEW IMPORTANT NOTE: While individuals impacted by the expanded unemployment benefits of the new federal law are currently accruing benefits due to being out of work, the state and federal systems to verify and pay out these expanded benefits are not yet operational or built into existing state claim programs.  Anyone who believes they would only qualify for the expanded federal benefits is advised to wait until that system goes live before filing a claim, and to monitor for updates HERE.


If you are unable to work at this time, you can file for state unemployment benefits HERE.  The best and fasted way to file a claim is online and not by telephone.


Businesses - CARES Support for Small Businesses:  The federal CARES Act also includes provisions designed for helping small businesses through this difficult time, largely through programs by the US Small Business Administration.  The most impactful of these is the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan that becomes forgivable if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for operations like payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.  An important component is that sole proprietor or independent contractor small businesses without additional employees can still be eligible for this program.

Businesses can apply for this loan through existing SBA lenders, which for many will be their own bank or credit union.  Lenders can currently process these loans which are available through June 30, 2020.  The application form is HERE.  More detailed information about the program is HERE

All Covid-19 related information from the SBA are available Here.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation can also be a resource for businesses through this time, or any time.  Connect with them directly or read further about available resources HERE.


All Available Federal Benefits

To learn more about all federal benefits and assistance available at this time in addition to those highlighted above, go to  There you can answer a brief survey that can direct you to programs that may be able to help meet your individual needs. 


 National Disaster Distress Helpline.

This toll-free, multilingual 24/7 phone line provides immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters, including COVID-19.  Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common during times like this.  To speak with a counselor, call:

  • 1-800-985-5990
  • 1-800-846-8517 (TTY)
  • Or Text: TalkWithUs to 66746

Local Resources

Kenosha County is currently operating an online hub for information about Covid-19, resources available for local residents, and tips for staying healthy during this crisis.

Please visit their website HERE for all of the most up-to-date and local information.

Stores Offer Special Shopping Hours for Vulnerable Populations

Kenosha - It is important that we all take the proper precautions during this time to reduce our risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.  However, senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions and compromised immune systems are at extra risk.  As a result, a number of store are offering special shopping hours for these individuals, allowing them to purchase groceries and other necessities while limiting their interactions with the general population.  These include:

  • Target - 8-9 am every Wednesday
  • Dollar General - 8-9 am everyday
  • Walmart - 6-7 am every Tuesday
  • Pick 'N' Save/Roundy's/Metro Market - 6-8 am everyday
  • Festival Foods - 5-7 am everyday
  • Meijer - 7-8 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Woodman's - 6-8 am Wednesdays
  • Costco - 8-9 am, Tuesday through Thursday
  • Blain's Farm and Fleet - 8-9 am, Monday through Saturday; 10-11 am Sundays


Helpful Resources

These links are being updated on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. Be sure to continue checking these as the situation evolves: 

Governor Evers website on COVID-19
Department of Health Services (DHS) website
Department of Workforce Development Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information
How to apply for unemployment in Wisconsin if you get laid off because of coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
Department of Public Instruction - COVID-19 guidance
Department of Transportation (including DMV updates)
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin COVID-19 Page
Department of Children and Families (Child care and Child welfare Resources)
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation - Business Resources
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs - COVID-19 updates
Worldometer - U.S. and international data updated hourly


To view any other available state resources and a link to where you can go to utilize them, please visit the Department of Health resources page HERE


 Additional Resource Phone Numbers are Here:

National Domestic Violence Hotline. Support for people experiencing domestic violence.

  • 800-799-7233
  • Text: LOVEIS to 22522

National Sexual Assault Hotline. Connect to a sexual assault service provider in your area.

  • 800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Support for people in emotional distress.

  • 800-273-8255
  • 800-799-4889 (TTY)

HOPELINE Text Service. Support for people in emotional distress.

  • Text: HOPELINE to 741741

 County Behavioral Health Crisis Hotlines. Support for people in emotional distress.

Find the hotline for your county

Veterans Crisis Line. Support for veterans struggling to cope with life's challenges.

  • 800-273-8255, press 1

Caregiver Help Desk. Connect to information needed to navigate caregiving challenges.

  • 855-227-3640

LGBTQ Youth (Trevor Project). Speak to a counselor trained to offer support in a judgment-free zone.

  • 866-488-7386
  • Text: START to 678678

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline. Connect to services in your area.

  • 833-944-4673
  • Text: your ZIP code to 898211


To view any other available state resources and a link to where you can go to utilize them, please visit the Department of Health resources page HERE.

If you have any questions regarding any information in this newsletter, or would like to speak with me or my staff, please feel free to contact me by phone at (608) 266-0455 or

Upcoming Events 





Phone: 608-237-9530           



Copyright © 2019 State Representative Tod Ohnstad, 65th Assembly District. All rights reserved.