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Dear Neighbor,

This newsletter is being sent in accordance with a law change to allow limited mass communication after April 15th of an election year for critical coronavirus updates. I am happy to be able to continue this special edition of our newsletter this week to provide you with some additional information you may need to keep your families safe and healthy.

In addition to this newsletter, you may follow me on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. You may also follow our Department of Health Services. 


I ask that you help share this newsletter with your friends and family. An informed community is a strong community, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our communities' concerns.




Sen. Patty Schachtner

Coronavirus Update

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Last week, we had our first confirmed case- and tragically, death- from COVID-19 in Burnett County. Every county in Senate District 10 now has identified cases, and many municipalities continue to see community spread. Just yesterday, an apartment complex in River Falls was identified as a hot spot that was attributing to an increase in cases in Pierce County.


Continue to follow the Department of Health Services for the most up-to-date information here.


Supreme Court Decision

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision to overturn Emergency Order 28 and immediately lift the Safer at Home order. While some counties and municipalities are putting place a patchwork of guidelines, most communities in Northwestern Wisconsin are no longer participating in a Safer at Home initiative- but that doesn’t mean that you have to.

You can continue to physically distance yourself, limit interactions with people outside your household, and limit your trips out to necessary trips to the grocery store or your favorite local restaurant to grab a to-go order. If many of us continue to do our part, we may still be able to limit the spread of this virus.

In light of the decision, Governor Evers and our Department of Health Services submitted a new plan for consideration by the legislature. Unfortunately, that new plan was quickly dismissed. Wisconsinites deserve to have a clear and thoughtful path forward, and I look forward to hearing a plan from legislative leaders that will keep our neighbors and loved ones safe. 


Supporting Small Businesses

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Yesterday, Governor Tony Evers unveiled Wisconsin’s $75 million “We’re All In” initiative that will help our state’s small businesses get back on their feet with millions in grant funding, while supporting safe re-opening strategies! Read more about this program at


This initiative will include:

  1. Grants in the amount of $2,500 to small businesses with 20 or fewer FTEs impacted by COVID-19 that have not already received WEDC COVID-19 assistance. Up to thirty thousand businesses may receive grants.
  2. A series of guides for businesses looking to implement best practices to keep employees, customers, and communities safe throughout the COVID-19 crisis. These guides are available on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s website at
  3. Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants, which provide $2 million in grants for ethnically diverse Wisconsin micro-businesses who suffered losses due to the pandemic. More details are available at
  4. An integrated public information campaign promoting We’re All In businesses and social practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and celebrate Wisconsin’s diverse and strong economy. 

Safe Reopening Strategies

With the Safer at Home order overturned, it’s more important than ever that business owners of all industries have access to guidelines that will keep their staff and customers safe.

They have drafted guidelines that will support entrepreneurs in a variety of industries in doing just that. As we head into Memorial Day weekend, here are a few outlines and things to keep in mind for business owners, employees, and customers as they consider visiting a local business.

Entertainment and Amusement

  • Ensure first aid and lifeguard staff have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear for first aid and rescues.
  • Rides or amusements that cannot be sanitized between uses (for example, play equipment in common areas) should be closed.
  • Guest touch locations such as kiosks, interactive displays and video/arcade games should have sanitizing wipes provided nearby.
  • Attractions utilizing shared equipment (e.g., controls/ handles, harnesses, helmets, shoes, balls, tables, seats) should be sanitized between uses.
  • At swimming pools and waterparks, staff must monitor table and chair usage and sanitize chair and table surfaces between patrons. Lifeguards must not be assigned to additional duties.
  • Consider use of physical barriers between adjacent areas such as bowling lanes, driving range tees or queuing areas.
  • Amusements with seating should maintain a minimum of six feet between household groups.
  • Non-compliant benches, booths, seats and machines should be physically marked with tape or barriers to prevent use.
  • Theater seating should provide at least two empty seats between household groups.
  • The maximum household group size allowed should be six people.
  • Offer cashless and contactless transactions whenever possible.

Hair and Nail Salons

  • Wipe down/disinfect all cutting and other tools (e.g., combs, brushes) between clients and at the beginning and end of each shift.
  • Alternatively, stylists should have an ample supply of combs and other tools at their disposal (all implements should then be disinfected and washed at the end of the day).
  • All nail tools should be disinfected between use or be single-use only.
  • Consider allowing returning clients the option of buying their own nail tool kit for repeated use.
  • Hairdressing and salon chairs, combs and other hairstyling tools, door handles, tables, countertops and point-of purchase credit card payment stations should be disinfected after each client.
  • Minimize the sharing of work tools and equipment such as phones, keyboards, cash registers, point-of-sale devices.
  • If sharing is necessary, disinfect the equipment before and after each use.
  • Consider covering chairs in a non-porous material for easy cleanup, or use a disposable cover as is used in dental or medical offices.
  • Limit face-to-face interaction as much as possible when cutting or otherwise working on hair (i.e., stand behind the client as much as possible).
  • Since the six-foot social distance guideline is not practical in nail salons, minimize facial contact by wearing a face shield or installing a plastic partition between the employee and client with ample space cut out where hands or feet can be slid underneath to conduct the manicure or pedicure.


  • Ensure the front desk layout allows for social distancing between employees and guests.
  • Restrict the number of check-ins allowed at one time.
  • Remove or reduce seating in indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Close fitness areas.
  • Provide signage or a flyer advising guests of safe practices.
  • Shared transport in vans, cars etc. should be avoided unless all unrelated passengers can be separated with an empty seat between them.
  • Encourage passengers to wear face coverings, and sanitize vehicles after each use
  • Schedule gaps in the use of rooms at least 24 hours.
  • Do not perform housekeeping services in rooms when occupied

You can also find guidelines for Restaurants, Professional Offices, Retail Stores, and more at

Check the Department of Health Service’s website for additional workplace safety information at Contact the state COVID-19 hotline at 211 or WEDC at 855.INWIBIZ (855.469.4249) for the latest guidance.