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Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well. As you may have seen, our COVID-19 rates in Sauk, Columbia, Iowa, and Dane counties are uncomfortably high. Please make sure you are following public health guidance. Our healthcare professionals are depending on us to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash our hands. If we do not, our negligence may overload the system and cause unnecessary deaths. This will also help support our economy. These are the ways we will be able to keep our restaurants, bars, and other service industries open. By following public health guidance we protect ourselves and help our economy continue to recover.

For more information on the number of COVID-19 positive tests, COVID-19 deaths, and other COVID-19 data by county, click here. 

I also encourage you to continue accessing relevant and accurate information from these sources:

As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns. Continue reading for updates on expanded COVID-19 testing near you, open enrollment for health insurance, and more.



COVID-19 Update

Governor Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Palm announced the expansion of free community testing sites around Wisconsin. These sites will be available to anyone who resides or works in Wisconsin, and will operate into December in many counties. You can find a complete list of testing sites here. You will also be able to see site hours, whether registration is required, and more.

If you have symptoms or if you come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, public health experts advise that you get tested. You may request a test from your health care provider, or at one of the free testing sites.

If you test positive, please quarantine and help contact tracers as they notify others who may be infected. This will keep those who are vulnerable in our community, such as those with pre-existing conditions, safe from exposure.

How to Wear a Mask


Mental health resources

If you are experiencing trauma or toxic stress due to COVID-19, you are not alone. Please check out Resilient Wisconsin for resources on learning to cope during COVID-19, and for helplines, hotlines, and virtual meetings.

With COVID-19 recommendations in place, people are spending more time at home. If you feel overwhelmed or unsafe, please check out these resources:

Disaster Distress Hotline: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline
End Abuse Wisconsin: https://www.endabusewi.org/get-help/
Suicide Prevention Lifeline (free and confidential support): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Again - you are not alone. Everyone deserves to find healthy ways to cope with trauma and chronic stress.
Open Enrollment Update

I encourage you to shop around for health insurance this year during the federal open enrollment period to take advantage of lower insurance rates. Individual insurance rates have, on average, decreased for plans in 2021.

Free assistance is available to all Wisconsinites who need help selecting a health insurance plan. This assistance can also help you discover if you qualify for financial assistance. In Wisconsin, 8 out of 10 people who enroll in a HealthCare.gov plan qualify for financial help to lower their monthly payment.

For assistance, visit www.WisCovered.com or call 2-1-1 to find an expert near you.

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Unemployment Update

My staff and I have been diligently working on your behalf on this issue. I continuously advocate for your claims to be processed and for the system to be updated. Today DWD is hosting a public hearing to improve the Unemployment Insurance program. This is an important opportunity for you to let DWD know how you believe the system should be improved. The hearings are being conducted by teleconference and WebEx web conferencing technology. Registration is required and you may do so on this webpage.

If you cannot participate in one of the public hearings, you can submit your comments until tomorrow, November 11 by emailing UILawChange@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

If it has been at least three weeks since you submitted your application and you have not received your benefits, my office may be able to help you. Please reach out at Rep.Considine@legis.wisconsin.gov.


DNR Update

Right now, online-only hunter education is an option for adults and students of all ages. Starting on October 15 the Department of Natural Resources made a temporary change to allow those under the age of 18 to earn a Wisconsin Hunter Education Safety Certification through a single, online-only hunter education course.

This change is in effect until December 31, so take advantage of this safe education ASAP. For more information click here.

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I encourage you to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns during this time. It is important to me to hear from you on issues at the state level.