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COVID-19 E-Update #12

May 21, 2020

Dear Neighbor, 

Thank you for joining me for another weekly update on COVID-19 and the response in Wisconsin and in the Racine community. I know the last two months have not been easy, but I am so grateful all of you are working to stay informed, support our neighbors, and protect our community. 

The situation continues to change rapidly on the state level. This week, we have seen the announcement of several programs funded by the CARES Act, including programs designed to help our local health department to track new COVID-19 cases; funding to help families stay in their homes, access food, and support farmers; and programs to support long-term care facilities, EMS workers, and more. 

We also saw Republican leaders walk back on their statements in support of joint rulemaking between the Legislature, the Governor, and DHS, leaving our state vulnerable to new COVID-19 outbreaks under a patchwork of local rules. 

But even without a formal statewide plan in place, we should not stop acting in the best interest of each other. We are still in a public health emergency and, together, we can work to minimize our risk and protect each other. We can continue to physically distance ourselves from others, limit the number of trips out of our homes, wear face masks, wash our hands regularly, and practice all of the other protective measures we’ve been taking for the past two months. 

While Racine’s Safer at Home order is still in effect until May 26, many local businesses are working to develop plans to minimize risk and reopen safely. For businesses that choose to reopen, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has crafted industry-specific reopen guidelines. I strongly encourage you to follow these guidelines, as they will allow your business to maximize the safety of your employees and customers. You can read the guidelines HERE.

In the City of Racine, we are still seeing nationally significant numbers of new cases emerging. As of May 20, the City of Racine Health department reported 741 confirmed cases, 95 probable cases, and 8 deaths. You can always find up-to-date local COVID-19 information at RacineCoronavirus.org. This crisis will require a continued response from the state and local government, so please continue to visit this page regularly to stay informed.

There is still so much uncertainty and so much that we don’t understand about COVID-19. What we do know is that we will be dealing with the health and economic impacts it brings for the next several years. Decisions about schools and universities, athletic events and concerts, and other things impacted by the presence of the virus will require thoughtful consideration. 

Without an effective treatment for COVID-19, public health experts and leading healthcare providers agree that best practices on social distancing, limiting larger gatherings, wearing masks, and washing hands remain the most effective way to keep Wisconsinites safe. It will take all of us to slow the spread of this virus and protect the health of our family, friends, and neighbors. While I know this is a difficult time for everyone, we will get through this together. 

My staff and I are always here to help wherever we can. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via phone at (608) 266-0634 or via email at rep.neubauer@legis.wisconsin.gov.


In Solidarity,

 2018 NEUBAUER Signature.jpg

Greta Neubauer

State Representative

66th Assembly District


Important Links for COVID-19 Information: 

  • 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, including daily updates from the Joint Information Center. The City of Racine’s website is available HERE.
  • 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.  

CARES Act Funding Plans

Rolling Out This Week

This week, we have seen a number of new programs announced to support critical parts of our state economy, workers, and families in Wisconsin through this crisis. These initiatives are part of the $1.9 billion Wisconsin received from the federal CARES Act, and I’ll be sharing more details about each of them as news develops!

Increased Funding for Public Health

On Monday, Governor Tony Evers announced a $1 billion statewide effort to support COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, acquisition of needed supplies, emergency operations, and resources for local communities throughout Wisconsin. This funding for testing, contact tracing, and PPE will keep us safer and will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Racine and throughout Wisconsin. 

"We're All In" Assistance for Small Business Owners

On Monday, Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) unveiled a Rapid Execution Small Business Grant Program utilizing funding from the federal CARES Act. As small businesses across Wisconsin work to keep their employees and customers safe, WEDC will provide Wisconsin small businesses with cash grants to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. For more information regarding this new program, read the announcement HERE.

Rental, Farm, and Food Assistance

On Wednesday, Governor Evers announced the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, a $25 million investment to provide short-term rental assistance to eligible Wisconsinites who experience income loss as a result of COVID-19. Initial details regarding the program are available HERE.

This announcement also included the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, a $50 million investment to provide direct payments to Wisconsin farmers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a $15 million Food Security Initiative to fight hunger in Wisconsin. You can read about the Farm Support Program and Food Security Initiative Announcement HERE

FREE COVID-19 Testing Still Available Through Friday 5/22/20

Free COVID-19 testing is still available in Racine through tomorrow, 5/22/2020. Testing is available on a first-come, first-served basis for community members aged 5 and up. Interpreters will be available for Spanish speakers at the testing site.

Testing will be available at:

Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St.

Monday, May 18 through Friday, May 22

9 AM to 6 PM

Test results are expected within 48 hours, and members of the Wisconsin National Guard will call individuals who test negative, while the Public Health Department will call those who test positive to conduct contact tracing. 

Please remember to wear your mask and follow safety guidelines to protect medical personnel and members of the National Guard who will be staffing the site!

Minority Business Grant Applications Open Through 5/24/20

The Minority Business Development Grant, a program to help support minority-owned small businesses during COVID-19, is accepting applications through May 24, 2020. You can find out more information regarding this program HERE. The WEDC webpage is also a great resource for other Wisconsin businesses and nonprofits -- be sure to check it out if you are looking for business help during this crisis!

Flooding Updates from OCI

As communities like ours deal with flooding due to the large amount of rain we've been seeing and historically high water levels, I wanted to share these resources from the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI):

OCI is urging residents impacted by the accumulated rains this weekend in Wisconsin to review their insurance coverage and to take steps that may help their recovery.

Flood damage is typically not covered by traditional homeowner’s insurance policies, but residents with flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program or those who carry special endorsements on home or property insurance may have limited coverage for sump pump or sewer backup-related damage.

The OCI is urging impacted residents to take the following steps:

  1. Check your policy:
  • Most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding or seepage through the foundation. A separate flood insurance policy sold through the National Flood Insurance Program is necessary for this coverage.
  • Damages from sewer backup or sump pump overflow are not covered by standard homeowner's insurance or flood insurance. The purchase of a special endorsement for your homeowner's policy is required for this type of coverage.
  • Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged in a flood. But if you purchased a collision-only policy, you may not have coverage.
  1. Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim.
  2. If you have coverage, take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage as he investigates your claim.
  1. Do not throw out any damaged property without your claims adjuster's agreement. If local officials require you to dispose of damaged items for safety reasons before your claims adjuster's inspection, the photos you take of the damage will be extremely useful for your claim.


PUA Update from

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman


DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman did a live update on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program on Wisconsin Eye earlier this week. Check out the video above for more information regarding the status of the program and initial applications in Wisconsin. For more information on PUA, you can visit the DWD website HERE.

Unemployment Assistance

If you applied for unemployment benefits but have not received them, my office may be able to help. If it has been at least three weeks since you submitted your application and you have not received your benefits, please email Rep.Neubauer@legis.wisconsin.gov with the following information: 

  • Full name (first name, last name, and middle initial)
  • Date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Address and phone number
  • Issue that needs to be resolved 
  • Information on your application
    • Date of your initial application
    • Did you apply for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)? 
    • What is the status of your claims? (i.e. pending due to review of ability to work) 
    • Have you received any communication from DWD since you submitted your application? (i.e. they asked you to submit pay stubs) 

My staff will send this information to the Department of Workforce Development and request that they promptly look into your case. I understand that this is a difficult financial time for many, and I am committed to helping you receive your unemployment benefits in a timely manner.

Child Care Counts Program

Begins Taking Applications

The COVID-19 public health emergency has placed unprecedented stress on the child care sector, which was operating on razor-thin margins before the crisis, leaving too many families, especially vulnerable families, without access to quality, affordable care.

Without additional investment, many child care providers are at risk of closing permanently, hurting access to quality, affordable care and slowing our economic recovery when parents return to work. 

To support the growing demand for access to childcare, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is using CARES Act funding to assist child care providers. For more information, click HERE

Safe Shopping Resources During COVID-19:

The Racine Mobile Market

Struggling to make it to the grocery store during COVID-19? The Racine Mobile Market is continuing to make stops throughout the Racine area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is welcome to shop at the market, which is  run by the Hunger Task Force and stocked by Malicki’s Piggy Wiggly. The market accepts debit, credit and Quest/EBT cards, but not cash.


The Hunger Task Force has enacted new public health guidance at each mobile market stop to ensure shoppers maintain social distancing. The Mobile Market will take your grocery orders at the entrance, where a staffer will track and complete your shopping and then completes the payment transaction at the other end of the bus. These measures ensure that only one individual — who wears gloves at all times — is handling produce, shopping carts and grocery bags before you receive your groceries. Shoppers are asked to maintain 6 feet of distance in line. 

To find out where the Racine Mobile Market is stopping next, check the calendar HERE.