COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE 3.24.2020

DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE AND RESOURCES FOR WISCONSIN COUNTY OFFICIALS

As things continue to develop and change at a quick rate, we at the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) are working alongside Governor Tony Evers, the Administration, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and our general counsel, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., (von Briesen) to provide the latest resources and updates to assist county officials during this unprecedented time.

GOVERNOR DIRECTS DHS TO IMPLEMENT "SAFER AT HOME" ORDER
Governor Tony Evers directed DHS Secretary Andrea Palm today to issue Emergency Order #12, "Safer at Home," to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is effective at 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and remains in effect until 8:00 am Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.

Wisconsin residents must comply with this order. As outlined in the order, individuals can leave their home to perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, get services and supplies necessary for staying home, and care for others.
 
After reviewing the order, if a business believes their business is doing essential work and they are not exempted in this order please go to this link.

At a media briefing today, Governor Evers was joined by Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Andrea Palm and other state officials and experts to discuss what a "Safer at Home" order means for Wisconsinites and steps people can take to avoid illness. Additional details will be forthcoming tomorrow.


STATE OF WISCONSIN AGENCY UPDATES AND RESOURCES
 

 
 



 

WCA CONTINUES WORK WITH GOVERNOR AND ADMINISTRATION
WCA continues to work with Governor Evers and the Administration to inquire when allocated federal dollars approved in the first stimulus package will be made available to counties, as well as sharing what counties are doing to combat the pandemic. Please stay tuned to future WCA COVID-19 Daily Updates, as information will be shared in this format. For specific questions or requests, please contact the Association at 866.404.2700.

WCA MEMO ON OPEN MEETINGS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
During these unprecedented times, most are working from home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. While this is all happening, the essential functions of government – federal, state and local – must continue on. This includes holding county board meetings, committee meetings, and the like.  

On March 20, 2020 the Office of Open Government (OOG) within the Department of Justice issued a memo on conducting an open meeting while complying with the restrictions put in place by the state due to this public health emergency. Conducting an open meeting remotely has challenges related to both technology and keeping the public informed.  


VON BRIESEN LEGAL UPDATE: TAX PROVISIONS IMPACTING GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERS ARISING FROM THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) imposed obligations on certain employers to make sick leave and family leave payments to certain employees affected by the COVID-19 virus. To ease the burden associated with the payment requirements, the Act created payroll tax credits which can be claimed by employers.


ICYMI: TODAY'S NACo CALL ON FEDERAL COVID-19 RESPONSE EFFORTS
In the event you missed today's NACo call with federal resources, including representatives from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor, please click on the link below.


COVID-19 DATA ANALYTICS AND COMMUNICATION
The Data Science Institute has begun collecting and modeling data to track COVID-19 infection spread, both nationally and locally, collaborating with researchers across UW-Madison, at UWM, U Chicago, UW Health, and local government and public health officials. The data scientists involved are ready to run models for Dane County, Madison, and the hospitals but are having a hard time getting inputs and are looking for suggestions on where daily updates could be obtained in a more real-time basis.
 
To be involved, you can join the communications channels we have set up:
Slack, for most communication and resource sharing: afidsi.slack.com (join via link and then enter the Slack workspace URL - afidsi.slack.com) Daily Webex meetings at noon: go to uwmadison.webex.com, enter the meeting ID 624 646 572 to join the meeting.
 
There’s also an email list for more general/broad communication and a Google Drive to keep track of resources, models, and visualizations. Email Clare Michaud to join.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 RESOURCES

von Briesen/WCA Webinar
 
von Briesen Updated Sample Emergency Declaration Template

WCA Letter to Governor Evers

von Briesen Local Health Officer Authority & County Emergency Management Powers Memo

NACo Partner Stateside Associates Report

von Briesen COVID-19 Task Force Website
ADDITIONAL UPDATES
The Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and you are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.


You may also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus web resource page for more information.


QUESTIONS
As always, do not hesitate to contact WCA with questions at 866.404.2700 or von Briesen's Andrew T. Phillips at 414.287.1570.