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A Note from Rep. Edming

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Thank you for reading my e-update this week. Below you will find some more updates on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can imagine with the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, my office has seen a significant increase in the number of constituent contacts. My staff and I are doing our very best to assist constituents of the 87th Assembly District as quickly as we can.

During this time my physical office in Madison will be closed, but our team at the Legislative Technology Services Bureau has done a great job providing my staff the ability to work from home.  We are still able to receive phone calls and retrieve voicemails and emails, however, our response times may be a bit longer than normal.
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Asking DWD to Explore All Options

Over the past several weeks, one of the most frequent requests my staff and I have received from constituents is for assistance in seeking help with unemployment insurance (UI) claims. Most of these inquires are from folks whose applications have been placed in review and have remained in that status for a number of weeks, some for longer than a month. During this review period, claimants receive no unemployment benefits and their financial situation only continues to worsen. While the staff at the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has been working hard to process claims as quickly as possible, it is simply not fast enough for those in need of UI benefits.

That is why earlier this week several of my legislative colleagues and I sent a letter to DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman asking him and the department to explore all options to speed up the processing of claims.  While these are definitely challenging times, it is the hope of myself and my colleagues that DWD is looking outside of the box on how to address the backlog of claims.  Should a waiver from the federal government be needed to implement any changes to speed up the processing of claims, my colleagues and I are ready to support the department in their efforts to secure one. To read the full letter we sent to the DWD secretary, click here.

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A Discussion with Area Hospitals

On Monday I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual roundtable discussion with area hospital leaders that was hosted by the Wisconsin Hospitals Association.  I really appreciate being able to hear from them about their thoughts and concerns on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is impacting their hospitals. We discussed the challenges they are facing in obtaining the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), primarily N95 masks, which is making it harder to resume all normal healthcare services, such as elective surgeries, as PPE is needed for these procedures, as well. While our hospitals are working to overcome the challenges COVID-19 has put before them, Wisconsin is still blessed with some of the best hospitals in the country. I was asked to relay the message to the 87th District that our hospitals are focused on providing a safe and healthy atmosphere for their patients and that folks should not hesitate to seek medical attention if they are in need.

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Free COVID-19 Testing Available

As testing for COVID-19 continues to ramp up around the state, next week there are going to be several opportunities in our area for individuals who are showing symptoms to be tested. All testing dates shown below will be provided from 11am - 7pm.

Wednesday May 13th 

  • Thorp High School - 605 S. Clark Street, Thorp, WI 54771

Thursday May 14th 

  • Rusk County Fairgrounds - Rusk County Fairgrounds Road, Ladysmith
  • Winter Fire Hall - 5116N Crawford Street, Winter

Friday May 15th

  • Hayward Wesleyan Church - 10655 Nyman Avenue, Hayward

People who are 5 years of age and older are eligible for testing if they have the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills without shaking, muscle pain, fatigue, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, vomiting/nausea, and headache. The test is free and available for Wisconsin residents.

COVID-19 Resources

Quick Links to COVID-19 Resources: