Friends and Neighbors,


This message is to provide another update on new information and actions taken to protect the public health and provide economic support during the current pandemic.  Key highlights from this week include the announcement of the “Badger Bounce Back” framework to set the process of reopening the state, new available unemployment benefits coming online for workers in a wide variety of sectors, and bipartisan federal action on additional assistance for small businesses, hospitals, and testing capacity.


I would like to offer my continued gratitude and thanks to my Kenosha neighbors for the unity and resilience you have shown during this challenging time. I am proud to see daily examples of how our citizens have come together, often virtually, to keep everyone healthy and safe while still providing the required services to keep the community functioning.


We all know how tough this is on each of us, but I am confident we can build on the measures we have already taken if we all keep trying to move together to do everything possible to end this crisis.


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



Tod Signature.gif (1)


COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

Test Results

Number of Cases as of ‎04/‎23‎/‎2020‎








  • Of the 5,052 positive cases, 294 are located in Kenosha County, and six individuals have died.  
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.

While modeling and testing data shows that the governor’s “safer at home” order has been making an impact at slowing the spread, we are continuing to see community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, and on Wednesday the state experienced the largest single day increase in positive cases to date.  Staying home and using social distancing remains the best method to keep you, your family, and our community from increased risk of exposure.

Find the most current information on COVID-19 on the DHS website, which has guidance that is updated regularly for travel, self-quarantine, and school districts, among other resources HERE.


Badger Bounce Back Plan

This week Governor Evers announced the plan, including benchmarks, the state will use to reopen our state as we work through the response to COVID-19 together.  These metrics, mirroring the guidance from the White House Task Force, provide a process for strategically and safely getting back to normal while relying on the medical and scientific evidence. This requires substantially more testing and results that show we are meeting the need. 

As the state meets criteria that shows the virus is being managed and is not likely to substantially rebound based on premature actions, the state is able to move through the three phases of the framework to expand activities again.  We all want to get back to how things were, but we need to be smart about it.

You can find a full copy of the Badger Bounce Back plan here, a one-page fact sheet on the Badger Bounce Back here, and our WEDC worker and businesses readiness doc here

The Badger Bounce Back plan and phased approaches to reopening our economy is also laid out in the formal order which can be found here.

The governor’s release on the Badger Bounce Back announcement is here.


Safer At Home Continues with Modifications

Beginning today the state will operate under a modified version of the “Safer at Home” public health order.  This new extension of the order the state has had was issued by Health Services Secretary Palm last week and extends to May 26.  It provides some enhanced safety requirements for essential businesses that are operating in order to protect workers and customers, as well as expanded allowable operations for companies that are not designated as essential, including allowing more businesses to offer curbside pickup.

Public health experts and leading health care providers agree that the most effective thing we can do as a state to keep Wisconsinites healthy and safe is to stay home. Our economic recovery is directly tied to public health.  The data generally shows current actions are flattening the curve, but now is not the time to change course and reverse the hard-earned progress we have made. The faster we can slow the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can safely re-open the economy.

The text of the health order is HERE

For further information, a ‘frequently asked questions’ document is here.

This week legislative Republicans filed a lawsuit before the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the public health order. 


Unemployment Help for More Workers and Benefit Increases

This week, the state formally launched the application website for Wisconsinites who are out of work due to COVID-19 to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).  This federally funded program provides financial support to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited recent work history, and others who had not been eligible for standard unemployment but are unable to work due to the pandemic. 

  • If you are out of work and were you told you were not eligible for standard unemployment benefits or denied because of the type of work you do, consider applying.  More info and the application link are HERE.


The Department of Workforce Development also announced that beginning next week claimants of both standard unemployment benefits and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits will also receive an additional weekly federal supplemental payment that will boost benefits by an additional $600 per week.  No additional action is needed to receive these benefits.  Benefits will be linked to and paid through both the standard unemployment benefits system and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.  This funding is called Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).  More info on this program is HERE.


Having Trouble Receiving your Unemployment Benefits?

We are aware connecting with a claims specialist via phone to discuss unemployment benefits can be very difficult and frustrating as the department works to meet the unprecedented demand of the current pandemic.  While DWD staffing of call centers has doubled and capacity continues to expand, it is not easy to get through.

The best and fastest way to file a claim is online and not by telephone.  However, we know portions of your application can require you to speak with a claims specialist.  If you have been actively calling and need to get through, but have been unable to connect, contact my office and we will try to assist in getting you a call back.

If the website says that a claim is "pending", that just means there are eligibility issues that require further review by the department or they are in contact with your former employer for additional information.  Unfortunately, this can slow things down a bit, but you do not need to take further action unless DWD tells you otherwise while a claim is pending.  I understand that this is a tremendously difficult financial time for many out of work, and I am committed to helping you receive your benefits as soon as possible.


Federal Response Legislation

This week Congress worked in a broad bipartisan manner to approve additional federal support funds.  This latest package includes an additional funding for the newly created Paycheck Protection Program, a lending program designed to help small businesses stay afloat with forgivable loans during the crisis.  PPP was popular and ran out of its initial funding in just two weeks.  Under the program, businesses apply through an approved lender, which is often financial institution where the company does banking.  Small businesses owners should monitor for federal announcements about when these additional funds will be available. 

The bill also directs additional funding to hospitals and a new coronavirus testing program.


Support for Small Businesses

A primary source for assistance to small businesses is the US Small Business Administration.  All Covid-19 related information from the SBA is 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 State and Federal Benefits

To learn more about all benefits and assistance available at this time at the state or national level, go to and  There you can answer a brief survey that can direct you to programs that may be able to help meet your individual needs. 


Kenosha Public Libraries Curbside Pickup

Beginning today Kenosha Public Libraries will be offering curbside pickup of books and materials at the Southwest Library (7979 38th Avenue).  More information is available at their website HERE.


CDC Guidance on Face Masks

The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing requirements are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores and pharmacies.  Read more about why face coverings are important and how to make your own HERE


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.


Resource Links

The links below are constantly being updated with new information and resources. Please continue to visit them when you have questions or concerns. The link at the bottom for Kenosha County is an extremely useful tool for folks in our area and I encourage you to visit it frequently.


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.