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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #17 (3-22-20)

On Saturday afternoon, DHS released updated numbers on test results in Wisconsin;

  • The number of positive cases is up to 281 in Wisconsin, up from 206 in Friday’s update.
  • There have been 4,628 negative results (3,455 were reported on Friday). On Friday Dr. Ryan P. Westergard Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases at the Department of Health Services updated there is no mechanism in place to report out patients who tested positive and who have recovered, so we will not be reporting out that metric any longer.
  • 4 patients have died in Wisconsin

The county by county break down is at the end of this update

Legislative leaders support Governor Evers’ position of not further restricting business activity

The leaders of the State Senate and State Assembly; Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Senate President Roger Roth (R-Appleton), Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) released a statement agreeing with the Governor’s statements in his Friday press conference that a further shut down of businesses in Wisconsin is unnecessary and that maintaining as much economic activity now is important to helping the state recover from this health emergency.

“As the state of Wisconsin faces the enormous challenges of responding to a public health crisis due to COVID-19, legislative leaders from both houses would like to acknowledge the efforts made by Wisconsin’s health care workers, public health workers, and everyone else on the front lines of this pandemic. We would also like to thank the Evers’ administration for their efforts to open up lines of communication so that we, as elected officials, are able to communicate as much as possible to our constituents as the situation changes on an hour-by-hour basis.

“With news that states around the country and even Illinois are moving to suspend business operations, we as legislative leaders agree with the Governor’s statements on Friday that a further shutdown of businesses in Wisconsin is unnecessary. The consequences felt by citizens and small businesses around the state has already been tremendous.

“As we move forward together in this fight to defeat the virus, we must keep in mind that the people we serve need the jobs they have today to help weather this storm. Continued economic activity will not only help us in our fight against this virus today, it will also ensure that we don’t have to fight to recover from economic collapse tomorrow.”

 

Like the IRS, Wisconsin Extends Tax Filing Deadline to July 15

Both federal and Wisconsin income tax payment and return due dates are automatically extended to July 15, 2020. Wisconsin law will automatically extend time and waive interest and penalties for taxpayers due to a presidentially declared disaster.

Governor Tony Evers said, “this is just one more thing we can do for Wisconsinites during this challenging time. Our main goal is to assist our citizens in any way that we can.”

  • Tax filers do not have to file any extension forms to be eligible for this new due date.
  • There is no limit on the amount of payment to be postponed, and there are no income exclusions.
  • This applies to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies or corporations.
  • This relief is solely for income tax payments, estimated income tax payments and returns due April 15, 2020.
  • There will be no interest or penalty for the period of April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
  • Interest, penalties, and underpayment interest for failure to make quarterly estimated tax payments with respect to such postponed federal income tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

(Link to DOR release)

Judge orders online registration for absentee ballot voting to remain open until March 30th

On Friday, Federal Judge William Conley ordered the deadline to register online to vote and to request an absentee ballot electronically to be delivered by mail to March 30th. The original deadline was March 18th for Wisconsin’s April 7th election.  According to Wispolitics.com, Conley noted the public health concerns of exposure to the coronavirus in ordering an extension until March 30 to register online, noting the “excruciating dilemma” faced by those who didn’t register by Wednesday: “either venture into public spaces, contrary to public directives and health guidelines or stay at home and lose the opportunity to vote.”

Governor Evers and Legislative leaders have stated that the April 7th Election will go on as planned and voters are encouraged to vote absentee.

Absentee voter and all election information can be found at; https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/

Governor Evers, Insurance Commissioner Afable Ask Insurers to Offer Flexibility to Wisconsinites Facing Economic Hardship during COVID-19

At the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable on Friday asked insurers to provide accommodations for Wisconsinites suffering economic hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on the lives and livelihoods of Wisconsinites,” Afable said. “Now is the time for all of us to come together in common purpose and identify ways we can help those who are struggling.”

The bulletin issued today asks insurers to be flexible with insureds who face economic hardship through measures such as offering non-cancellation periods and deferring premium payments. The bulletin also provides guidance on how insurers can comply with regulatory requirements during the present public health emergency.

[Excerpted and abbreviated from bulletin]
  • Policyholder Flexibility
    Insurers are encouraged to offer flexibility to insureds who are incurring economic hardship.  This flexibility can include offering non-cancellation periods, deferred premium payments, premium holidays and acceleration or waiver of underwriting requirements.
  • No Filings will be Deemed Approved
    During the pendency of the public health emergency related to COVID-19, all filings that are deemed approved if OCI does not disapprove the filing within a certain period of time are hereby disapproved.  This disapproval is preliminary and OCI will continue to review the filing to determine if a final disapproval or approval is warranted.  OCI will review those filings in as timely a manner as possible and will endeavor to provide a final determination within the statutory time frame.
  • Extraordinary Dividends
    For insurers who are intending to file a request for an extraordinary dividend, please conduct a review of that dividend and the insurer’s capital requirements to determine if that request is appropriate in light of the expected economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Electronic Filings and Electronic Signatures
    Insurers are once again encouraged to file required forms electronically.
  • On-site Examinations
    OCI will fully comply with any government directives regarding public gatherings.  OCI will not conduct any on-site examination work that is contrary to the spirit of any public health directive.
  • Regulatory Filing Deadlines
    As a reminder from our last bulletin, if your company believes that it will not be able to meet a filing deadline required by law or OCI order, please contact OCI to discuss alternative arrangements.

The full bulletin can be found here.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Wisconsin’s request for small businesses low interest federal disaster loans

On Saturday, Gov. Tony Evers announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Wisconsin’s request for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to access low interest federal disaster loans. Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, businesses and non-profits may qualify for up to $2 million in loans to cover losses resulting from the pandemic. The interest rate on the loans is 3.75% for for-profit businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Participants may be able to extend payments for up to 30 years. Businesses and non-profits can begin their loan applications at www.sba.gov/disaster. The Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network and it partners are helping small businesses apply for federal disaster loans to mitigate the substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Link to release) 

Number of Positive Results by County

  • Bayfield-1
  • Brown*- 3 (+1)
  • Calumet-1
  • Chippewa-1
  • Columbia*-5
  • Dane*- 32 (+17)
  • Douglas-1
  • Dunn-1
  • Eau Claire-2 (+1)
  • Fond du Lac- 14 (+1) 1
  • Green-1
  • Jefferson-1
  • Kenosha*- 5 (+1)
  • La Crosse- 5 (+1)
  • Marathon-1
  • Milwaukee*- 126 (+41) 2
  • Outagamie-2
  • Ozaukee-11 (+8) 1
  • Pierce- 1
  • Racine-4 (+1)
  • Rock-3 (+2)
  • Sauk-2
  • Sheboygan- 6
  • St. Croix-2
  • Walworth-3
  • Washington- 3
  • Waukesha*- 20 (+5)
  • Winnebago- 5
  • Wood- 1

Total:             281

  • * An asterisk indicates community spread has been identified (Waukesha County is a new community spread location)
  • Green is a newly added county positive test result for this update
  • Red= deaths

Previous Wisconsin COVID-19 Updates

Previous COVID-19 Updates are archived here

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