Friends and Neighbors,


Summer is here in full swing, but while in many ways life has been returning back to normal, it is important to keep in mind that we have by no means come out on the other side of this virus yet.  COVID-19 has not yet left our community.  According to the Kenosha County Health Department, as of today, we have 1,349 confirmed cases and we have lost 36 lives.  Over a quarter of people who test positive locally have not had symptoms at the time of testing. 


For the time being, the ‘new normal’ is balancing the need to get back as much as possible to our regular lives with taking the proper precautions to keep ourselves and those around us healthy and safe.  While safer at home guidelines are behind us, the threat of the virus remains and continues to spread in the Kenosha area.  The more successful we are at mitigating the transmission of the virus, the sooner we can return to normalcy and provide the consumer confidence needed to regrow sectors of the economy that have been harmed by the pandemic.   


Once again, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to each one of my Kenosha neighbors who have helped their families and our shared community in any way during this time. I encourage you to continue to offer your assistance to those in need whenever you have the time and resources, support small businesses in our community, and stay focused on the objective.


I wish you all a happy and safe summer. I look forward to continuing to keep you updated on COVID-19 developments in our state and community via my legislative website and Facebook page.  I always welcome your feedback and opinions, so please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-0455 or



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Important Note: State law prohibits elected officials from sending mass communications after certain deadlines during an election year.  Due to this restriction, last weeks update was the final e-update that will be sent via email until the end of the year.  Nonetheless, my office intends to continue to provide regular updates.  Please check my official Facebook page at or legislative website at to find updates from my office going forward.

Wisconsin COVID-19 summary


Number (%) of People as of ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2020‎

Negative Test Results


Positive Test Results



2,976 14%)




  • Of the 21,926 positive test results, 1,319 of them have come in Kenosha County, and 36 individuals have died.
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.


Kenosha County continues to see increases in the number of new cases every day.  This appears to be a mix of both increased testing and continuing spread.  The high number of asymptomatic positive cases mean even people who do not feel sick and are not aware they have the virus are potentially spreading it through their interactions. This must be a reminder to each of us in our community to maintain social distancing practices and continue to limit unnecessary interactions. Find the most current information on COVID-19 on the DHS website HERE.


If you have symptoms or have concerns you may have been exposed – get tested.

Contact your doctor or find more about available community testing sites from DHS HERE.


We’re All In Small Business Grants

Starting 8am on Monday, June 15 and going through June 21, small businesses are able and encouraged to apply for the We’re All In Small Business Grant program created by Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). This program will steer $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses to help with the costs of business interruption or health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory. The $75 million program is funded primarily by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.


The online grant application will be accessible at from June 15 through June 21. More information is available now at this website on supporting documents needed to file an application, as in addition to financial information businesses will also need to secure a letter of acknowledgement of their prior operations from a local entity.


A business may apply if it:

  • Is Wisconsin-based and for-profit
  • Employs 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, including the owner
  • Has more than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues
  • Was in business in February 2020
  • Is NOT part of a national chain, unless it is a third-party franchise
  • Is NOT covered by other Wisconsin CARES Act programs, including crop production, animal production or aquaculture, or lessors of residential buildings and dwellings


Rental Assistance Program

On Monday, Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency began accepting applications for the Governor’s Rental Assistance Program. This program provides grants of up to $3,000 to help pay for rent and security deposits. Payments will be made directly to landlords. Eligible applicants must have a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date, and must provide documentation showing that they’ve had significant loss of income due to COVID-19.


To apply, Kenosha County residents should contact Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency. They can be reached at (262) 657-0840 or You can learn more about the Rental Assistance Program on the Department of Administration (DOA) website HERE.


Summer Activity Guidelines

Beyond general guidelines for preventing COVID-19 spread, the Department of Health Services has also shared some summer specific to other summer activities. Getting out is important for our physical and mental health.  It is recommended that most people do try to get outside, while also remaining cautious. 


The Department of Health Services (DHS) provides best practices for beachgoers HERE. A few include 6 foot distancing, not wearing a mask in the water, and washing your hands before and after putting on sunscreen. Other guidance is here: 

  • Barbeques: Limit to less than 10 people, stay 6 feet apart, and wear masks. 
  • Potlucks: Everyone should bring their own dish for themselves. 
  • Camping: Try to camp in your backyard— this is the lowest risk option. If you do go camping, stay in your local community, only share a tent with people you live with, and keep 6 feet apart.
  • Play-dates with children: This is not advised at this time.
  • Vacations: Try to plan local trips that are outdoors or in areas with lots of space, avoid crowded spaces, and bring your own food and supplies. 
  • Yard sales: This is not advised at this time. 

You can read more about how you can stay safe this summer HERE  under “Questions for Summer” tab.


State Parks Update

This week state campgrounds reopened with certain restrictions. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, refrain from congregating in large groups, travel only within their home communities, and follow all existing state park rules and guidelines. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is also encouraging visitors to wear masks in situations where physical distancing is difficult.

A few of the campground modifications include:

  • Camping reservations will be accepted by phone (1-888-947-2757) and online only.
  • Check-in is no longer necessary at the office or visitor station when coming to a property. Property staff will visit sites to monitor occupancy.
  • Group camping, shelters, and amphitheaters will be closed through June 30.
  • All other facilities will remain closed, including towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, contact stations, and concessions.
  • Equipment rentals are unavailable at this time.
  • Firewood is not available at this time.

You can read more about these changes on the DNR website HERE.


Kenosha County Kickstart Plan

Kenosha County has developed a local plan to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 while bringing back our economy.  The Kenosha County Kickstart is a phased approach designed to both prevent an additional wave of COVID-19 and get our economy back in gear.  Healthcare, public safety and public health must be able to re-assess frequently regarding re-opening Kenosha.  This plan provides guidance. 


For more information on the Kenosha County Kickstart Plan, please visit HERE.

Additional statewide safe reopening guidelines from WEDC are available HERE.

The Department of Workforce Development has also updated work safety guidance HERE.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings.  Read more HERE


Unemployment Assistance

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


The best and fastest way to file and track 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 cannot get through and need assistance, contact my office.


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


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. 


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.


In response to numerous inquiries from community members on how they can help during the COVID-19 emergency, the Kenosha County Joint Information Center is publishing a weekly list of needs at local food pantries.  This list is compiled by Extension Kenosha County in cooperation with the Joint Information Center. To add your organization to the list, please contact


Current needs by organization, including the hours they are open to accept donations, are as HERE.


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



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Phone: 608-237-9530           



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