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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #12 (3-18-20 PM)

DHS Issues Emergency Order #6 related to Child Care

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm via Emergency Order #6 to restrict the size of all child care settings. According to the Order;

  • Centers may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and
  • May not operate with more than 50 children present at a time.

The order can be found here.

Providers are being asked to prioritize families of healthcare and essential service providers.

  • There isn’t a mechanism to check this, “using good faith to determine who those families are.”
  • Families who can keep their children at home are being asked to do so.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DHS have updated guidance for providers to implement this emergency order (link).

The Administration is working with healthcare providers, child care providers, and the National Guard to explore options to serve healthcare workers through on-site care.

DHS released updated numbers this afternoon;

  • The number of positive cases is up to 106 in Wisconsin, up from 72 in yesterday’s update.
  • There have been 1,577 negative results (1,038 yesterday) and 1 patient who tested positive in Dane County has recovered.

Number of Positive Results by County

  • Brown- 1
  • Dane*- 23
  • Fond du Lac- 12
  • Kenosha*- 4
  • La Crosse- 1
  • Milwaukee*- 47
  • Outagamie-1
  • Pierce- 1
  • Racine- 1
  • Sheboygan- 4
  • Washington- 2
  • Waukesha- 5
  • Winnebago- 3
  • Wood- 1

Total:               106

* An asterisk indicates community spread has been identified.

Governor Evers and members of cabinet join WMC All Business Webinar

This afternoon Gov. Tony Evers joined a webinar hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, open to all businesses in the state, which included Dep. DHS Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp Secretary & CEO Missy Hughes. The Governor and his cabinet gave updates on the Administration’s response to the outbreak (most of which are highlighted in this update) and answered questions submitted by webinar attendees. Of note were the following responses;

  • When asked about whether we will get to “shelter in place” in Wisconsin, Governor Evers responded he didn’t believe we will need to get to that point in Wisconsin. He noted it is important for economic activity to stay in place, and economic activity needs to be part of the solution.
  • When asked about whether delays in sales tax payments or filing of taxes are being discussed by his Administration, he said that they were and the Secretary of the Department of Revenue Peter Barca is exploring several options and will be reporting out to him soon on options.
  • DHS was asked whether employee cafeterias were allowed to stay open, and Dep. Sec. Willems Van Dijk responded yes, as long as they are for employees only, not open to the public and social distancing restrictions are observed.
  • When asked about by WMC CEO Kurt Bauer what the business community could do to support the Administration, Gov. Evers noted that there are going to be a lot of asks of the federal government, and for the business community to use their connections with the congressional delegation to advocate for the resources needed for the state.

Video of the webinar will be posted here

Gov. Evers Submits Request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance for Small Wisconsin Businesses

Gov. Tony Evers today submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance for small Wisconsin businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Gov. Evers request to SBA can be found here.

WEDC announces targeted grants to small businesses suffering losses due to coronavirus emergency

WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes announced today the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state. The WEDC Board of Directors on Tuesday approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19). The grants will be deployed by partnering with state’s 23 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Because the CDFIs have pre-existing relationships with many of these small businesses, CDFIs will be able to provide the grants quickly and directly to their clients. More information about the program is available at Applications for business assistance must be processed through the CDFIs and not WEDC. WEDC plans to identify the participating CDFIs within the next two weeks.


Legislature preparing to hold virtual session as a backup plan

We have had conversations with members of the State Senate and it has been reported by the Wisconsin State Journal that the Legislature, and specifically the State Senate are looking at meeting virtually to finish up the 2019-2020 session and to meet to pass legislation necessary to address pressing state issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. State law allows a virtual session to occur during a disaster if they determine they cannot physically meet at the seat of government due to the disaster or the imminent threat of disaster. The law requires each participant to be able to be verified and their actions authenticated. The law also says participating members should be able to hear the comments from the lawmakers who speak, read documents that are shared, and allow for the public to observe the proceedings “within technological limits.” (Link to Wisconsin State Journal story)

Past updates are now archived on our website:

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