Friends and Neighbors,


This week I write again to provide an update on the state response and announced recovery programs associated with the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the ongoing public health situation, the past week has also witnessed demonstrations in Kenosha and across the nation as citizens gathered to speak out against racial injustice and excessive force used by law enforcement, most recently leading to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While the protests have been substantially positive, there have also been outbursts of vandalism after the peaceful protests had concluded. 


We know gatherings are a risk factor for increased spread from a public health perspective, but I also believe in the exercise of our First Amendment rights.  If you plan to participate in a public event, please remember to wear a mask and maintain social distancing where possible to protect yourself and others, as I had when I joined in several events this week.  The message being sent is an important one, but always bear in mind the virus continues to spread and individuals continue to lose their lives. 


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 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 upcoming restriction, this will be 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 ‎6‎/‎4‎/‎2020‎

Negative Test Results


Positive Test Results



2,739 (14%)




  • Of the 19,892 positive test results, 8,684 of them have come in Kenosha County, and 33 individuals have died.
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.

Kenosha County is again seeing a substantial increase in the number of new cases each day. This appears to be a mix of both increased testing and continuing spread. County testing is showing as many as 26% of individuals with positive cases have been asymptomatic at the time of testing, meaning they had likely been spreading the disease to the people around them without being aware they had been carrying it. 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.


Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program

Beginning June 8, individuals will be able to apply for the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, which provides grants of up to $3,000 to help Wisconsinites pay for rent and security deposits. All 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. Eligible applicants must also provide documentation showing that they’ve had significant loss of income due to COVID-19 and are unable to pay their rent.


Kenosha County residents should contact Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency to inquire about the application process.  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.

We’re All In Small Business Grants

From June 15 to June 21, small businesses are 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.


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


CARES Act Funding

In addition to the new programs highlighted above, the Evers Administration has also rolled out a series of additional targeted initiatives aimed at addressing the COVID-19 crisis with funding received from the CARES Act. The Wisconsin COVID-19 relief fund will be utilized to support our communities, families, and small businesses.  Below is a summary of each initiative. 

CARES Act.jpg

National Guard Offering Free Testing

The National Guard is currently providing free drive through COVID-19 testing in Kenosha County, including for people who do not currently have symptoms. Anyone over age 5 can get a test by going to Tremper High School (8560 26th Ave) or Westosha Central High School (24617 75th St., Salem) from 10am-6pm June 5 and 6. Watch a video for more information HERE.


This is part of a major investment in testing, contact tracing, operations, and resources for local communities. Testing and information will be the critical tools to combat the virus. More info HERE.  More information about testing is available through a special DHS 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

This week, The Department of Workforce Development announced the actions they have taken to help resolve the 140,000 pending unemployment claims yet to be adjudicated. They are setting up and currently training 600 new employees to work in three separate call centers to help with answering questions, adjudicating claims, and assisting with PUA claims.


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