Friends and Neighbors,

I wanted to reach out to you today to provide you with another update on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, resources that are available at the state and federal levels, what you should be doing to help flatten the curve, and what we are doing in Madison.

While the number of positive cases continue to grow, my staff and I remain working every day, answering phone calls and emails, discussing legislation, and participating in briefings from the Governor’s office for the newest information available. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my office for information, and for resources. I strongly encourage all my constituents to continue to contact me for anything I can assist you with during this time.

I am thankful for the abundance of feedback and suggestions I have heard from constituents as well. 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.

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 1,730 positive cases, 67 are located in Kenosha County.
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.

New Federal Law Provides Stimulus Payments to Many Americans

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.

To receive the full amount, an individual may have an income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples).  Higher income individuals will receive a smaller payment as the program phases out for individuals who earn over $99,000 ($198,000 if married).  These income limits are the same for the benefit for families with qualifying children and there is a similar phase out for higher incomes.

The US Treasury Department has said the income data and payments will largely come from information from an individual’s recent tax filings. 2019 tax returns will be used for those who have filed, or the 2018 filing will be used.  This allow the payment to be directly deposited into the back account that is on file. 

If you have not filed for either year you are encouraged to do so because this will likely be the best way to ensure you receive this payment quickly, however late this week Treasury announced that Social Security recipients do not need to file a tax return to receive the payment. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

The US Treasury Department estimates payments will begin in the coming 2-3 weeks.  Further information is available from the IRS HERE.

Federal Law Boosts and Expands Unemployment Benefits

Understanding this public health crisis has meant lost work for many Americans, the new federal law expands the types of employment eligible for unemployment, the amount out-of-work workers receive, and the amount of time benefits can be claimed for.

The law expands coverage to workers who are not typically eligible, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers, and workers who do not have a sufficient work history to qualify for regular state UI benefits. It also covers those who have exhausted their regular state UI benefits, so long as their unemployment is connected to COVID-19.  The law also provides an additional possible 13 weeks of coverage, meaning benefits will be possible for up to 39 weeks.

Perhaps most impactful, under the law the federal government will provide temporary pandemic unemployment compensation of $600 a week to any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment insurance benefits from March 27 through July 31, 2020. The $600 would be paid in addition to and at the same time as regular state UI benefits.  The federal supplement would not affect income eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

More information is available HERE.

If you are unable to work at this time, you can file for unemployment benefits HERE.  If you are unsure if you qualify for unemployment benefits, you are encouraged to file a claim with the Department of Workforce Development. Once you file, they will assist you in determining your eligibility. Each case will be examined on a case-by-case basis. 

Due to the dramatic increase in filings in recent weeks, filing online is the best and fastest way to successfully complete a claim as the call center has been inundated with requests.  While DWD has already nearly doubled the amount of staff answering calls and continues to build capacity, the need has been substantial with as many as 160 calls per second during peak times.  If you need to connect with DWD staff via phone about a claim but have struggled to get through, call my office and we can try to assist further.

Federal Support for Small Businesses

The federal CARES Act also includes provisions designed for helping small businesses through this difficult time.  These come largely through programs by the US Small Business Administration.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a new SBA loan designed for help companies keep workers on their payroll.  The loan becomes forgivable if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. 

Businesses can apply for this loan through existing SBA lenders, which for many will be their own bank or credit union.  Lenders can process these loans beginning on April 3 and they are available through June 30, 2020.  The application form is HERE.  More detailed information about the program is HERE.  An important note is that sole proprietor or independent contractor small business without additional employees can still be eligible for this program.

Another option is the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance which allows qualifying companies to receive up to $2 million in loans to overcome temporary revenue losses due to the virus.  The application can be accessed HERE.

For more information, visit the SBA website HERE, or contact our local Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Development Director Jon Bartz at or 608-210-6846.

The SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.  Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with your local SBA District Office 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. 

“Safer at Home” Order

On March 25, Governor Evers put in place a “Safer at Home” order (also known as “Shelter in Place”.) This is an all-hands on deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Because of how contagious the virus is, limiting the interaction of people is crucial.  If too many older individuals or those with weakened immune systems require medical attention at the same time, our hospitals will become overwhelmed and their ability to effectively treat patients will be compromised. Individuals that are infected and yet do not show any symptoms can transmit the virus.  That is why everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread. 

Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with this Order as to when it is permissible to leave home. Similarly, if a business is an Essential Business or Operation as defined in this order, it does not need documentation or certification to continue its work that is done in compliance with this Order. The order is available HERE.

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Here’s what you need to know:

  • People are still be able to go to grocery stores and pharmacies
  • People are still able to go outside to exercise or walk their dogs.
  • Restaurants will still be able to provide curbside takeout and delivery service.
  • No sleepovers, play dates, or dinner parties with friends and neighbors.
  • All playgrounds in Wisconsin are closed until further notice.


Businesses providing essential services and operations as defined in the order can remain open. However; if after reviewing the order a business still has a question or is not exempted but believes their business is doing essential work, WEDC will be reviewing those cases. People can visit for more information.

If a business is considered essential (as defined in the order) it does not need documentation or certification to continue work that is done in compliance with the order. 

Support Local Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to local businesses. I encourage those who can support our local businesses and restaurants to do so at this time. Here are some ways you can help out small businesses in our community: 

  • Purchase gift cards to local restaurants to use at a later date. 
  • Order delivery or takeout where possible. 
  • Visit the websites of your favorite local businesses, many are offering discounts or telling their customers how they can assist. Other businesses are offering services remotely or shipping merchandise to their customers. 
  • If you're online shopping, seek out local businesses to make these purchases.

Every dollar means a lot right now, so please do whatever you can to help support our local Kenosha community. 

Visit Kenosha has the latest up-to-date information on area businesses and restaurants with their hours and take out options. 

Elections Update

As you may know, Governor Evers called on the legislature to approve a plan to send absentee ballot to every registered voter ahead of the April 7, 2020 Spring Election or make other changes to how it is administered.  However, these modifications were not acted on, and the election is planned to go forward on this date.  A law change had been needed because the date and administration of elections are written in state statute.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 2, a federal court ruled that absentee ballots could still be requested until April 3 at 5pm for the April 7 election. If you haven't, request one immediately via the City Clerk.

The decision also provides that an absentee voter does not need a witness signature if they attest in writing that they could not safely obtain one, and it extends the deadline for ballots to be received until 4pm April 13.

The City of Kenosha is consolidating polling places for the April 7 presidential preference spring election, in response to social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following is a list of the 10 polling locations:

  • Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave.
  • Journey Church, 10700 75th St.
  • Kenosha Bible Church, 5405 67th St.
  • Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road
  • Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave.
  • KUSD Educational Support Center, 3600 52nd St.
  • Lincoln Park Oribiletti Center, 6900 18th Ave.
  • Moose Lodge, 3003 30th Ave.
  • Northside Library, 1500 27th Ave.
  • Southwest Library, 7979 38th Ave.

Residents may find out their polling place by visiting or

Other options include emailing or calling the City Clerk’s office: 262-653-4020.

Election Day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The city announced these polling place procedures:

Poll workers will be supplied with hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, paper towel and disinfectant.

They will be instructed to maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of pens, surfaces, voting equipment, and other elements of the work environment.

The city will provide hand-washing stations and plexiglass barriers will be placed between the workers and voters. A police officer will be stationed at polling places.

Voters will be instructed to stand in line six feet apart and will be allowed into the polling place in small groups, no larger than 10.

Absentee voting: Voters are encouraged to participate by voting an absentee ballot by mail.

To receive a ballot, requests can be made on, or at, or send request to City Clerk, 625 52nd Street, Kenosha, WI 53140. Include a copy of acceptable photo ID

If you are delivering an absentee ballot in person.  It is recommended that people drop their ballot off in the white drop box on Eighth Avenue near the driveway of the visitor parking lot, or the white drop box near the west entrance of City Hall, 625 52nd St. Do not bring them to a polling place on Election Day.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donation / buyback program

The Evers Administration is looking for companies, educational facilities and other organizations that may have personal protective equipment (PPE) that could be used in the state’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. The state appreciates donations, and is willing to reimburse large quantities of PPE at fair market value. 

Please visit THIS FORM if you can assist in getting the listed items to health care professionals. 


Governor Evers Suspends Evictions and Foreclosures during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Governor Evers directed DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to temporarily order the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The order can be found here.

The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason unless failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person and mortgagees from commencing civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days. Wisconsinites who are able to continue to meet their financial obligations are urged to do so.

Tenants and property owners struggling to make payments are also encouraged to reach out to their landlords or lenders directly to discuss their circumstances and a potential payment plan or solution.  

Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting changes to our lifestyles, can make anyone anxious or even depressed. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed. Call 800-985-5990 to speak to a trained crisis counselor or text TalkWithUS to 66747.

If you or someone you know may be struggling during this, please do not hesitate to get yourself or your neighbor help. We are all suffering in different ways, and we need to be willing and eager to help one another.

Access to Broadband Internet

Spectrum will offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll call 844-488-8395. 

AT&T home internet customers will be allowed to use unlimited data. In addition, AT&T will not terminate the service of any broadband residential or small business customer, will waive late fees, and will keep public hotspots open. 

Kenosha K-12 School Update

UPDATE: KUSD’s food service program will continue distributing cold lunches that also contain a breakfast snack for the following morning to any child under 18 in our community in the weeks ahead, with the exception of spring break (no meals April 10-19).
To help with social distancing, and for the health and safety of all, the district will begin distributing meals on Mondays and Wednesdays only as of Monday, March 30. For more information, please visit or

Please bring a bag or box to carry lunches home.

Individuals willing to assist with food distribution should contact the Boys and Girls Club, Shalom Center, churches and other community entities.

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Utility Cutoff to be Frozen

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) directed water, electric, and natural gas utilities to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment until the state public health emergency has been lifted. Additionally, utilities must make reasonable attempts to reconnect service to homes that have been disconnected. You can learn more HERE.

Cybersecurity Reminders

Be cautious about who may be trying to take advantage of you during this public health emergency. 

  • Beware of phishing email, phone calls, and texts that request personal information from you. 
  • Be wary of claims of cures. Instead, always verify with the Department of Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Report possible scams to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection at or (800) 422-7128.

State Parks, Trails and Forests

  • Wisconsin state parks, trails and forests are open to the public.
  • Entrance fees are waived.
  • Stay as close to home as possible and in your community.
  • Buildings are closed except for some restrooms.
  • All public events are canceled.
  • All campgrounds are closed through April 30, 2020.
  • No new camping reservations will be taken for dates prior to June 1, 2020.
  • Visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to limit group sizes to under ten people when enjoying state properties.
  • Park users will see DNR parks, law enforcement and property staff, ensuring everyone’s safety as they enjoy the outdoors; and, to ensure social distancing guidelines are being practiced for everyone’s health.

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.

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.