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The COVID-19 public health crisis needs to be taken seriously, and we all have an important role to play in mitigating the spread of the virus. While, COVID-19 has caused massive disruption to our state and our lives, Wisconsin is committed to protecting the health and well-being of everyone in our state and preventing a greater spread of this disease within our communities.

As you know, this is a rapidly-moving situation. Below you will find updates and resources related to COVID-19. However, to stay up to date on the latest information, Governor Evers set up a centralized site that contains resources from across state government, and also the Department of Health Services (DHS). 

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Jon Erpenbach
Wisconsin State Senate, District 27

 

Protect yourself and those around you. Follow CDC and DHS guidelines to stay safe. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are able.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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Resources - 

During this difficult time it is worth reminding Wisconsinites that 211 exists to help when you don’t know where to turn. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

 

If all the talk about #COVID19 is making you feel overwhelmed or frightened, support is available. Call @distressline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. You are not alone. 


Resources for Employers and Employees  

Department of Workforce Development (DWD) -  Governor Tony Evers waived the work search requirement for citizens receiving unemployment. That means that if you are filing a weekly benefit claim you do not have to perform four "work search actions" during this public health crisis. The governor has also asked the state legislature to repeal the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. 

DWD is encouraging people to go online for faster service delivery. DWD's Unemployment Insurance Division is experiencing heavy call volume and longer than normal wait times.

Find frequently asked UI question here. 

Learn more about unemployment benefits here. 

Apply for UI Benefits here.

Find other DWD program information here. 

 

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

Gov. Evers continues to work on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance. This is a top priority for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Wisconsin Emergency Management and they are actively working to collect all the needed information from regional economic development directors across the state in order to make the SBA declaration request.

You can read more about what WEDC is doing to help small businesses during this unprecedented pandemic on the website created by the Governor’s Administration here.

The Governor also took part in a webinar with the business community that you can access here.


Department of Transportation - All Wisconsin DMV offices will be closed on Friday, March 20 to conduct a deep clean and modify public spaces for social distancing.

When DMV service centers reopen Monday, March 23, in-person visits will be limited to issuing new driver licenses and identification cards by appointment only. Start online: wisconsindmv.gov/DLGuide

All vehicle-related tasks can be done online at wisconsindmv.gov, by mail or through our third-party partners.

DMV is also implementing temporary changes to other services:

-Driver licenses and CDLs that expire during this public health emergency will be automatically extended 60 days. Late fees will be waived. Law enforcement will be aware of the extension and that the driver license is valid.

-All driver skills tests are being cancelled as of March 18 until further notice.

-Customers are being notified that Administrative Suspension hearings will be offered by phone or paper, not in-person.

 


Department of Public Institutions (DPI) -

Extended school closure for students with IEPs due to COVID-19 special education FAQs. 

Resources for schools. 

 

 

Public Service Commission (PSC) - Following the governor’s public health emergency declaration, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission directed water, electric, and natural gas utilities to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment and also directed utilities reconnect services to dwellings that had been disconnected until the state public health emergency is lifted.

PSC has resources on our website for people who need help getting their electricity, natural gas, or water reconnected.

They also we have a page with information about internet service providers who have offered special or discounted service during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

 

 

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, (DATCP)DATCP has resources available for farmers, consumers, and agribusinesses as they respond to COVID-19. For information, links, and FAQs, click here. 

Additionally, Wisconsin laws prohibiting price gouging are now in effect after Governor Tony Evers issued Exec. Order #72.

Report price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) at (800)-422-7128 or www.datcp.wi.gov.

 

 Governor Evers Executive Orders 

 

 

 

 

What Can I Do to Help 

Update from Department of Children and Families (DCF): DCF is seeking early childhood educators to help provide child care and meet the school-age needs of Wisconsin’s essential personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an educator who is able to serve, we’re seeking your help in providing care to Wisconsin’s essential personnel. Please fill out this survey with your information and availability so we can connect you with local service needs. By filling out this survey, you may be considered to assist in providing child care for individuals who provide essential services in Wisconsin. 

Hope House - Hope House of South Central Services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour helpline at 1-800-584-6790. The Hope House team will not be attending community meetings or trainings in an effort to prevent the illness from entering the building.

During this challenging time, Hope House would appreciate donations to help us continue to support those in need, including:

• Toiletries
• Cleaning Supplies
• Hygiene supplies
• Canned and Boxed Foods

United Way - To connect potential volunteers and organizations, the United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association created the COVID-19 Response Initiative on the Volunteer Wisconsin website.

Red Cross - the Red Cross is experiencing blood drive cancellations like no other time in recent history and their inventory is at critical levels. Their sites are taking extra precautions to make sure giving blood is safe. If healthy, please consider giving blood by calling 1-800-RedCross or going to redcrossblood.org.

DWD - Secretary Caleb Frostman has called on Wisconsin's construction industry, labor organizations, and private industry to donate any available N95 masks to local hospitals. 

WRA - Establishments around the state are offering services during COVID-19. Find a list of restaurants open for delivery/pick-up and add yours to the list here. 

 

 

 


DATCP Update: DATCP Reminds Farmers to Check Runoff Risk Prior to Spreading Manure

Learn more.

DNR Update: Wisconsin State Parks and Trails Remain Open To Public

While these properties are open to the public, property buildings (with the exception of restroom facilities) will be closed.  Admission fees will be voluntary at self-registration stations or electronic kiosks.  All DNR campsites will be closed through April 30th.

State Park and Trail visitors are reminded to practice proper personal hygiene and limit group sizes to under 10 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Learn more. 

Wisconsin National Guard Update: Wisconsin National Guard posturing forces and ready to support state, if needed

Approximately 300 troops have been mobilized to state active duty to posture the Guard for further state support, if needed.

Learn more. 

 

Contacting My Office

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.