Friends and Neighbors,


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy during these challenging times. I am writing to you again to provide an additional update on the response to COVID-19. We are continuing to boost our testing capabilities in the state, and we are focused on the containment of the virus through utilizing our testing abilities and contact tracing. We will continue to grow those efforts, and we will see additional changes in the Safer-At-Home restrictions as we move forward through the Badger Bounce Back plan.


Once again, I would like to offer my continued thanks 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. We all share in this fight, and each one of us will play a critical role moving forward to help us win.


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 ‎05/‎07‎/‎2020‎








  • Of the 9,215 positive cases, 610 are located in Kenosha County, and 14 individuals have died.  
  • For the most up-to-date data on testing, please visit the Department of Health Services website HERE.

The state’s testing results this week continue to show a consistent number of new cases every day and that the state is still not ‘out of the woods’ yet, as there has not yet been a downward trend of infection.  While modeling and testing data shows that Safer at Home restrictions have slowed the initial infection projections, we are continuing to see community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.  Find the most current information on COVID-19 on the DHS website HERE.


Re-opening Best Practices and Safety

Today Governor Evers, DHS, and WEDC released additional guidance for businesses as they plan for re-opening on best practices for safety.  As we know, some businesses never closed, some remained open with modifications, some are more recently expanding operations due to changes to the Safer at Home restrictions, and others are planning for re-opening after further restrictions are listed.  This information is HERE.


Expanding Testing and Tracing

Testing is a major component of the plans to begin re-opening and this week the Evers Administration launched a website and formal initiative through the Wisconsin National Guard to expand community testing as part of the Badger Bounce Back plan.  For example, all nursing home residents and staff will be tested as part of this effort. 

Currently symptomatic individuals or those who have come into contact with an infected person can get a test by contacting their doctor.  There are also additional drive thru clinics for symptomatic individuals around the state, including upcoming testing May 11 – May 15 from 10am-6pm at Burlington High School (400 McCanna Pkwy in Burlington, Racine County).

The National Guard has already been active in Kenosha County, testing at a meat processing facility in Pleasant Prairie and the Kenosha County Pre-trial facility and Kenosha County Detention Center.

More information about testing is available through a special DHS website HERE.

In addition to increasing expanding our testing criteria and increasing our testing capacity, we also need to bolster our contact tracing efforts. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has already trained over 400 additional contact tracers over the last two months, but the program is scaling up to match Wisconsin’s expanded COVID-19 testing with the goal of having 1,000 statewide tracers. The job posting for contact tracers can be found HERE.


Planning For Re-opening

Following the Safer at Home restrictions, Wisconsin is working toward re-opening.  The Badger Bounce Back is the plan the state is implementing for re-opening based on testing, tracking, healthcare capacity, and data that shows we are steaming the spread.  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. 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. 

New this week, DHS has launched a website portal to track infection and hospital gating criteria as part of the Badger Bounce Back Plan. The criteria, developed with input from the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, sets hospital metrics needed to be able to move forward through the phases of the re-opening plan.  That site is HERE.

The Badger Bounce Back plan and phased approaches to reopening our economy is also laid out in an emergency order that can be found HERE. The governor’s press release on the Badger Bounce Back announcement is HERE. You can find a 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.


Letter to GOP Leadership

This week, my caucus and I sent a letter to Speaker Vos laying out many of our legislative priorities regarding COVID-19. We must be capable and willing to work together to produce legislation that provides relief for Wisconsin residents, and the first step in doing so is openly communicating. With this letter, we hope to continue an open dialogue with Republican leadership and work toward solutions.

On April 1st, a previous letter was sent to Republican leadership detailing the policies we need to accomplish for Wisconsin families and businesses during these unprecedented times. Some of the priorities from the initial letter were signed into law in Act 185, but there is more work to be done. You can see the latest letter HERE.


Kenosha Food Pantry Donations

Many in our community are interested in giving back during a time of need.  The current needs and information about donations to the Kenosha County Food Pantry are available HERE.  Future updates on needs will be available on the Kenosha County website HERE.


Unemployment Help for More Workers and Benefit Increases

Wisconsin has begun making the additional $600/week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments to those receiving unemployment benefits.  These are automatic to recipients of standard unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - you do not need to take any additional action.  More info is HERE.

Wisconsinites who are out of work due to COVID-19 can 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.  More info 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 call staffing 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 cannot get through and need assistance, contact my office.


Support for Small Businesses

A primary source for assistance to small businesses is the US Small Business Administration. 

Additional federal funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable small business loan program has been approved and applications are now being accepted.  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.  They host a one-stop digital resources for Covid-19 HERE. Connect with them directly or read further about available resources HERE

Businesses can request tax relief from the Department of Revenue. The following taxes are included: withholding, state and county sales tax, excise tax, local expo district tax, premier resort area tax, limousine tax, rental car tax, police and fire protection fee, and dry cleaning licensing fees. Businesses can fill out the COVID-19 tax relief form 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. 


CDC Guidance on Face Masks

The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings such as in grocery stores and pharmacies.  Read more 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.