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COVID-19 E-Update #6

April 8, 2020

Dear Neighbors, 

I wanted to begin this week’s update with a few big thank yous, before we get into the resource round-up and other updates:

First, thank you to everyone who reached out and advocated on behalf of the health and safety of our neighbors over the last month. Things haven’t been easy, and we haven’t always gotten the results we fought for, but never doubt that your voices mattered.

Thank you to our local election officials, from our County Clerk Wendy Christensen and Racine’s City Clerk Tara Coolidge, to the City and County Clerks’ staff, City staff, poll workers, National Guard Members, County Emergency Operations staff, and volunteers who have worked so hard to try to make the election process safe and healthy for everyone in our community.

Thank you to the health workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way to care for our community. Your work is so critically important, and we are grateful every day for your care and devotion.

Thank you to the essential workers who are keeping our community running, who ensure we can access food and receive our mail, keep our community clean and our streets safe.

And thank you to all of you, who are staying at home, who are following along every week as I write to share updates and information for our community through COVID-19. Recent days have not been easy as our state navigates this pandemic, and I truly appreciate each and every one of you who has reached out, shared your thoughts, and stayed informed.

This week, I have worked with my staff to compile a number of updates on everything from childcare, mental health and resilience, and senior shopping hours to resources for our undocumented neighbors, who will not benefit from the federal CARES stimulus package. 

I am still committed to pushing for action to address COVID-19 in the state legislature. I am working with my colleagues on legislative solutions for the short and long-term as our state continues to deal with this issue, including actions necessary for Wisconsin to accept Federal CARES Act funds. I remain hopeful that the legislature will meet in the near future on the measures we must take to help support families and businesses that are facing challenges due to this crisis.

As we all navigate this pandemic, my office is here to answer questions and help you find necessary resources. While we are practicing social distancing and working from home, my staff and I are still answering the phone, checking email, and working with state and local agencies every weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Do you need help finding services or just a call to say hello? Reply to this email or call us toll-free at 888-534-0066.


The Governor's office has launched a website with information and resources throughout the state government. You can visit it HERE

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has a website tracking COVID-19 in Wisconsin, including health-related resources from the CDC. This website is updated daily by 2:00 p.m. You can visit it HERE.

The City and County of Racine have launched COVID-19/Coronavirus websites with local information and resources. You can find Racine County’s website HERE, www.racinecounty.com/coronavirus, including daily updates from the Joint Information Center. The City of Racine’s website is available HERE. https://www.racinecoronavirus.org/

This is a non-exhaustive list of resources and updates --  if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can find information for non-medical services online at 211 Wisconsin, dial 211 on your phone, or text your ZIP code to 898211. 

COVID-19 Aid for Undocumented Workers

It is a very challenging time in Racine. I know many in our community are struggling to make ends meet. This is especially true for undocumented members of our community. Undocumented people are more likely to be “essential” workers, and they cannot receive much of the government support that the rest of us can, including the coming stimulus checks. 

The Racine Interfaith Coalition (RIC) has established Racine Immigrant Support, a mutual aid fund for undocumented workers and their families. This fund was established to help support our undocumented community members through this crisis.

If you are an undocumented member of the Southeast Wisconsin community who needs assistance, please contact Jessica Diaz at (262) 238-3330 or Maria Morales at (262) 234-0652. If you would like to find out more about the fund, you can visit the website HERE.

For a round-up of resources available to Wisconsin immigrants and their families, please Voces de la Frontera’s website HERE

En Espanõl:

Es un tiempo dificil aqui en Racine. Se que muchos de ustedes están luchando para llegar al fin de mes.

Esto es especialmente cierto para los miembros indocumentados de nuestra comunidad. Personas indocumentadas tienen más probabilidad de ser trabajadores en riesgo y no pueden recibir el apoyo del gobierno que el resto del estado va a recibir, incluyendo el cheque de estímulo por parte del congreso.

Si necesita pedir recursos, por favor llamele a Jessica Diaz al (262) 238-3330 o Maria Morales al (262) 234-0652.

Estoy muy agradecida con María, quien me llamó hace unas semanas para comenzar a hablar sobre cómo podemos apoyar a nuestros vecinos indocumentados, y también con la Coalición Interreligiosa Racine (RIC), que se unió de manera importante para coordinar este fondo.

Child Care for Essential Workers 

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has new tools to help connect our essential workforce families with safe and local child care options! DCF has an updated "Child Care Finder" webpage, where you can submit a request for care and proactively view up-to-date availability across the state with their child care map.

If you are an essential worker who needs child care, please submit your request as soon as possible. DCF uses this data to help child care centers to determine whether they should continue operating during Safer at Home to meet local demand. 

To submit a request for care, click HERE.

Visit the child care map HERE.

For more information, please visit the DCF COVID-19 Child Care webpage HERE.

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Unemployment Insurance and the CARES Act

If your workplace has shut down due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. You can find more information and apply HERE. DWD has a page for frequently asked COVID-19 unemployment questions, available HERE. If you are struggling to complete the application process, please reply to this email or reach out to my office for help!

My office has been receiving a number of questions regarding the Federal CARES Act/COVID stimulus bill and how it affects Unemployment Insurance in Wisconsin. Currently, self-employed and “gig” workers are not eligible under regular unemployment in Wisconsin. However, as many of you may have heard, they may be eligible under the “Pandemic Unemployment Insurance” in the federal CARES Act (Federal Stimulus Bill). 

Wisconsin is in the process of getting a system set up for CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Insurance. However, this system is not ready yet. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is waiting on regulations and guidance from the US Department of Labor, which may take several weeks.

If you will qualify for Unemployment Insurance under the CARES Act, but not under Wisconsin’s system, please continue to check the DWD website regularly for updates HERE. I will also share when this coverage becomes available in Wisconsin through this newsletter and on my social media.

Senior Shopping Hours

Several stores in the Racine area are offering special hours for seniors to shop during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Maliciki’s Piggly Wiggly: Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly currently has designated senior shopping hours for seniors from 6:00 - 7:00 am every Wednesday. Their Racine area location is 5201 Washington Ave, Mt Pleasant. 
  • Dollar General: All Dollar General locations are dedicating the first hour of every day, from 8:00 - 9:00 am to seniors. Dollar General locations in Racine County include: 4901 Washington Ave., Racine; 4111 Durand Ave., Racine; 3440 Douglas Ave., Racine; and 1560 15th Ave, Racine.
  • Target: The first hour of shopping every Wednesday is dedicated for vulnerable customers, including elderly and immunocompromised. The only Target location in Racine County is at 5300 Durand Ave., Racine.
  • Walmart: Every Tuesday, each Walmart location is setting aside one hour for customers 60 and older at the beginning of the workday. Walmart locations in Racine County include 3049 S. Oakes Road, Sturtevant; 5625 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant; and 1901 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.

If you know of other Racine-area businesses offering special Seniors-only hours, let me know and I’ll include them in my next update!

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Stress & Resiliency During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and we do our best to be #SaferAtHome, many of us may feel stressed, anxious, or lonely. It can be difficult to stay physically separated from our friends, family, and neighbors, and that can take a toll on our mental health. Know that you are not alone, and that even if we are physically apart, we are still a community.

We have lots of options as we all work to cope with COVID-19. The State of Wisconsin has a new program, “Resilient Wisconsin,” with resources designed to help us stay resilient in social isolation and cope with trauma, stress, and mental health struggles. Resilient Wisconsin includes support for First Responders, as well as information on how to develop healthy coping mechanisms. For more information, visit the Resilient Wisconsin webpage here

We also have any local resources available to help cope with stress, anxiety, and depression in Racine. You can access a storymap HERE with mental health resources, including important tips, links, and a map of local resources available in Racine County. If you are in crisis and need to talk, Racine County has a Crisis Hotline available 24/7 at 262-638-6741.

Finally, remember to check in with your friends and family via phone, video call, messenger, or email. Always feel free to call or email my office if you have questions or comments, or just need to hear a friendly voice. I'll be doing "phone doors" to check in on Racinians, but you can always call me too! (608-266-0634 or toll free at 888-534-0066).

If you are currently experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911. 

Social Distancing in the Great Outdoors

As we all cope with social isolation and practice being Safer at Home, it is still safe and healthy to get outside for a walk or hike (as long as you continue to practice social distancing).

Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, and trails remain open to the public, and entrance fees are currently waived. State park and forest buildings are closed except for some restrooms, and all state campgrounds are closed through April 30, 2020, and no new camping reservations will be available for dates prior to June 1, 2020. 

If you are going to head out and enjoy Wisconsin’s public lands, DNR is encouraging you to stay as close to home as possible, and reminding visitors to practice proper personal hygiene. Please also limit group sizes as much as possible, and practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

2020 Hunting and Fishing Licenses are also now available! Remember that while you can get out to hunt or fish, you should only do so with members of your household, and you should maintain social distancing while you are out and about.

You can purchase hunting and fishing licenses over the phone from 7:00 am - 10:00 pm daily at 1-888-936-7463 or online anytime at GoWild.WI.Gov.

CDC Recommendation: Wear Home-made Face Masks

The CDC now recommends that we wear homemade (not commercial) face masks outside of our homes to slow the spread of COVID-19. These masks are not a replacement for social distancing -- we still need to maintain 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible and leave our homes only for the most essential trips. 

There are a number of ways to make cloth masks for personal use. You can find patterns and how-to instructions HERE for sewn masks, no-sew t-shirt masks, filtered bandanna masks, and more.

Racine County’s Coronavirus homepage also has information for people looking to sew homemade masks to donate to those in need in our community, including first responders and healthcare workers, including a dedicated page that includes a map of drop-off locations and info on how to sew facemasks. 

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PPE Buyback Program

The State of Wisconsin also has a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) buyback program for professionally manufactured PPE. If you are a business, education institution, or other large organization and have masks, hospital gowns, gloves, and other PPE on-hand, the State of Wisconsin will accept donations or buy back your supplies to help our frontline healthcare workers and first responders.

If you have Personal Protective Equipment, please consider donating it so we can keep our healthcare workers and first responders safe from COVID-19. You can find out more about this program HERE.

 Complete the Census Today!

Have you completed the Census yet? The Census takes place every ten years, and the results impact federal funding for critical programs in Racine and in Wisconsin. The results also impact our representation in Congress and the services our state can receive!

It's quick and easy to respond to the 2020 Census online at my2020census.gov. It took me about five minutes to complete! You don't need to be a citizen -- you just need to be a member of our community. Let's all be counted together.

Recaps and Reminders
Red Cross: Blood Donors Needed

The Red Cross needs your help! With the advance of COVID-19, the American Red Cross is seeing a major shortage of blood donations. People who are healthy and feeling well are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible, so we do not have a shortage as our neighbors go to the hospital for COVID-19 and other medical treatment. Please make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or visiting http://RedCrossBlood.org. 

Scams & Cybersecurity

Please be suspicious of unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 Coronavirus tests, supplies, or cures. Please be cautious online, in person, and on the phone during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Scammers are trying to take advantage of the confusion and fear surrounding the pandemic and may try to take advantage of you, your family members, your neighbors during this emergency.

Never give your personal information out over the phone, on social media, online, or to someone you don’t know. Learn more about avoiding COVID-19/Coronavirus scams and how to report them HERE.

More Tips to Avoid COVID-19 Scammers:

  • Beware of phishing email, phone calls, and texts that request personal information from you. 
  • Be wary of claims of cures or special treatments. Always verify this information with the Department of Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • Please report all possible scams to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection at DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov or (800) 422-7128.

Small Business Resources

Due to the CARES Act (more info above), small businesses and non-profits can get up to a $10,000 advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan even if your previous application was declined or still pending. 

To apply now, click HERE.

To learn more, visit the SBA website HERE. 

Connecting with Essential Employers

The Department of Workforce Development announced a new program to help connect unemployed job seekers with essential businesses and service providers during COVID-19. If you’re receiving unemployment insurance due to COVID-19, you aren’t required to look for work, but you can potentially earn additional income and still receive benefits through this program if you work part-time. 

To connect with essential jobs, visit HERE.

For other resources available to our community, please see last week’s e-update, available HERE.


Thank you for following along through this important update. I will continue to work on your behalf, and I will continue to share information and updates as I have them. Together, we can get through this. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office via email at rep.neubauer@legis.wisconsin.gov or via phone at 888-534-0066. While my legislative office is working remotely, we are here to help between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

In Solidarity,

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Greta Neubauer

State Representative

66th Assembly District


We can all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Please join me in practicing social distancing as the Safer at Home order takes effect. Let's all stay further away from others in public, and stay home except for essential travel.

Other ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Covering coughs & sneezes with an elbow or a disposable tissue.
  • Avoid shaking hands and touching your face or eyes.
  • Regularly cleaning and sanitizing commonly touched surfaces in your home and workplace.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill, and call your doctor before going in for a visit if you suspect you are sick.