April 16, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #24
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
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This is the Governor's Media Release issued moments ago:

Gov. Evers Directs DHS to
Extend Wisconsin's Safer at Home Order
 
MADISON   Gov. Tony Evers today directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to extend the Safer at Home order from April 24, 2020 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The order implements some new measures to ensure safety and support the progress we've made in containing COVID-19, but also allows certain activities to start up again. The order is available here
“A few weeks ago, we had a pretty grim outlook for what COVID-19 could mean for our state, but because of the efforts of all of you, Safer at Home is working. That said, we aren't out of the woods just yet,” said Gov. Evers. “As I've said all along, we are going to rely on the science and public health experts to guide us through this challenge. So, as we extend Safer at Home, I need all of you to continue doing the good work you've been doing so we can keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and get through this storm together.”
“Before we lift Safer at Home, the steps of testing and more robust public health measures must be in place,” explained Secretary-designee Palm. “These steps will help us reduce the risk of a second wave of the virus. If we open up too soon, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and requiring more drastic physical distancing measures again.”
The extension of the Safer at Home order includes a few changes. Some changes allow more businesses and activities to open back up, while other changes help make businesses safer for employees and customers. The changes in this order include: 
Businesses and activities ramping up service and operations:
  • Public libraries: Public libraries may now provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials. 
  • Golf Courses: Golf courses may open again, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
  • Non-essential Businesses: Non-essential businesses will now be able to do more things as Minimum Basic Operations, including deliveries, mailings, and curb-side pick-up. Non-essential businesses must notify workers of whether they are necessary for the Minimum Basic Operations.
  • Arts and Crafts Stores: Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pick-up of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE). 
  • Aesthetic or Optional Exterior Work: Aesthetic or optional exterior law care or construction is now allowed under the extended order, so long as it can be done by one person.

Safe Business Practices:
  • Safe Business Practices for Essential Businesses and Operations: Essential Businesses and Operations must increase cleaning and disinfection practices, ensure that only necessary workers are present, and adopt policies to prevent workers exposed to COVID-19 or symptomatic workers from coming to work.
  • Safe Business Practices for Retailers that Essential Businesses and Operations: Retail stores that remain open to the public as Essential Businesses and Operations must limit the number of people in the store at one time, must provide proper spacing for people waiting to enter, and large stores must offer at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations.
  • Supply Chain: Essential Businesses and Operations that are essential because they supply, manufacture, or distribute goods and services to other Essential Businesses and Operations can only continue operations that are necessary to those businesses they supply. All other operations must continue as Minimum Basic Operations.

 Other changes include:
  • Schools: Public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Local parks and open space: Local health officials may close public parks and open spaces if it becomes too difficult to ensure social distancing or the areas are being mistreated.
  • Travel: People are strongly encourage to stay close to home, not travel to second homes or cabins, and not to travel out-of-state if it is not necessary. 
  • Tribal Nations: Tribal Nations are sovereign over their territory and can impose their own restrictions. Non-tribal members should be respectful of and avoid non-essential travel to Tribal territory. Local government must coordinate, collaborate, and share information with Tribal Nations.
  • Duration: The changes in this order go into effect on April 24, 2020. The order will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on May 26, 2020.

If you have questions, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is available here for your review.
The public should continue to follow simple steps to avoid exposure to the virus and prevent illness including: 
  • Avoiding social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water; 
  • Covering coughs and sneezes;
  • Avoiding touching one's face; and 
  • Staying home. 

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website . We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook , Twitter , or dhs.wi on Instagram . Additional information can be found on the CDC website
Read Emergency Order #28 - Safer at Home here .

Emergency Order #28 FAQs here .

This information will be added to the League's Emergency Orders - State page .
League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Calls
This call is for City/Village Officials,
including mgrs./adm. & Staff Only

Friday, April 17 - 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial in 1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 459 115 667
Password: 990365

If you aren't able to connect or have a question after participating, please contact Jerry Deschane at email .

Newsletter schedule - the League's next COVID-19 Newsletter will be sent on Monday, April 20.

We will schedule additional calls as needed. Notice and call-in information will be provided on the League's website and in these Special Edition newsletters, which will also be sent as needed.
Did you see yesterday's Capitol Buzz?
April 14, 2020  - Assembly Passes COVID-19 Legislative Package
Reminder - Tracking Expenses - Helpful Guidance and Templates

Grants Portal Account and Request for Public Assistance FEMA



Note: FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75% Federal cost share.


Spreadsheet Templates are available on our website here .

Thanks to Sharon Eveland, Clintonville and Kevin Lahner, Waukesha for providing these resources!
Survey Results Already Having an Impact!
The United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities conducted a joint survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities, villages and towns with input from more than 2,400 local officials. The resulting infographic and fact sheet paint an urgent picture that Congress cannot ignore.
 
Our message is already being heard—see the Washington Post and Associated Press .

Thanks to everyone that filled out the survey! Now, if you haven't yet, please take action!
Reminder CALL TO ACTION!!
Contact Your Congressional Delegation!
Co-Sponsor the Coronavirus Community Relief Act
The majority of America’s cities, villages and towns are not eligible for direct relief under the CARES Act, due to the 500,000 population threshold. The House has offered a proposal to address this specific funding issue - we need you to ACT NOW to build momentum. 

H.R. 6467 was introduced on April 7. The bill provides $250 billion in funding to all local governments with fewer than 500,000 residents. 

These members of Congress heard the message that cities, towns and villages below the 500,000 population threshold need direct federal aid to face mounting challenges related to COVID-19. This bill seeks to create a new fund dedicated to supporting local governments, regardless of population. 
Reach out to your members in the House to ask them to support this critical legislation. Bipartisan support from Republican and Democratic Members of Congress is key. 

Click through to the National League of Cities Take Action  page to learn more. If it doesn't let you click through, please contact your Congressional Delegation by email. Thank you! 
PLEASE NOTE
Upcoming League Conferences and Workshops
Our priority is your safety and well-being. Decisions on whether to hold, cancel or postpone League events will be made with that priority as our number-one concern. 

League's Local Gov 101 Workshops - three programs were scheduled for May and one for June 5th.  All four of these will be provided as webinars.

 NEW - Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers - CANCELLED! Please mark your calendar for June 9-11, 2021 (yes, that is next year!) at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay.  

Decisions about the other upcoming programs, including the Municipal Attorneys Institute, will also be made with health and safety in mind. We will provide notice in our newsletters and on our website regarding those and future workshops. Details on cancellation policies and more... 
POLICY ISSUES
Elections
Reminder - Notice and Certificates of Election, Oaths, and New Terms
 
Read Claire Silverman’s memo detailing the notice and certificates of election requirements, oaths and new terms here
Important - Absentee Ballot Tracking Information
From the Wisconsin Elections Commission MyVote website:

"Election participation information may take up to 30 days to appear in your voter record. Absentee ballot tracking information will only display up to Election Day for each election. Please use My Voter Info to check the My Voting Activity section and verify your participation for the 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Preference. Clerks have begun recording election participation, but it may up take to 30 days for this process to be completed."

Click here to share this information from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipalities page.
Additional Policy Issues
Gov. Evers #SaferAtHome Shelter in Place Emergency Order


Emergency Order #12 Impact on Municipalities  (PDF) by Steve Zach, Boardman & Clark LLP 

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
From the League's past COVID-19 Newsletters

Can be accessed here .
Federal
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Reminder - FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program Information Update

Eric Learn, State Public Assistance Officer, Wisconsin Emergency Management, provided the following clarifications about FEMA Public Assistance:
 
  1. Eligible Election Costs – The cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces including polling sites is an eligible cost, however election related costs are not. Costs must be tied to eligible Category B Protective Measure activities; running elections, while very important, would not fall under the Cat B umbrella. So, the time and supplies needed to clean/disinfect the public spaces would be eligible costs, unfortunately the additional costs associated with printing extra absentee ballots, postage, and time preparing/mailing/counting the ballots would not be eligible costs under FEMA’s PA program. This Fact Sheet provides a description of COVID-19 eligible expenses under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.
  2. Loss of Revenue – is not an eligible expense under the FEMA PA program.
  3. Pay Policies – FEMA determines the eligibility of overtime, premium pay, and compensatory time costs based on the Applicant’s pre-disaster written labor policy. Pay policies established after event would not be eligible.
  4. RPA Deadline – There has been some misinformation distributed that the deadline to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) is April 12, 2020. This is incorrect! FEMA has extended the deadline nationally and it will remain open for the duration of the Public Health Emergency.

If there are any questions or concerns, contact:

Eric Learn
State Public Assistance Officer
Wisconsin Emergency Management
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Update
 
On April 1 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a 124 page document with temporary regulations to implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The regulations are now final. 
 
DOL has posted a recorded webinar on the FFCRA on its site and is offering assistance with questions. To view the webinar visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
 
The DOL Wages and Hours Division (WHD) invites webinar viewers to call the agency’s toll-free help line at 866-4US-WAGE to speak with a trained WHD professional about any questions they may have.
Reminder - R & R Insurance Sample FFCRA Employee Leave Request Form

Thanks to R & R Insurance for sharing their Employee request form with us for you to use. Find it here .

The League's COVID-19 Employee Policy page.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security
(CARES) Act
Reminder - COVID-19 Update: A Deeper Dive – Community Development Block Grants Under CARES - Husch Blackwell Strategies - April 7, 2020

House Democratic Leaders have begun to brief the Democratic Caucus on the outline of the next phase of COVID-19 Response legislation and it appears that the next stimulus package will focus on replenishing funds for programs established in Congress’s $2.2 trillion virus relief bill signed into law last month but the Speaker also noted that the next stimulus bill should assist state and local governments, with an emphasis on smaller municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents. 

The CARES Act did include $150 billion in relief resources for states and in today’s “Deeper Dive” we focus on how Community Development Block Grants under the CARES Act can be leveraged by state and local governments to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Read the full breakdown of the new updates and deep-dive analysis here .
Reminder - COVID-19 Emergency Declaration – Applying for Public Assistance
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • State and local governments are eligible to apply for Public Assistance. 
  • Eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials’ may be reimbursed under Category B of the agency’s Public Assistance program. FACT SHEET on ELIGIBLE EXPENSES
  • FEMA assistance will be provided at the 75 percent Federal cost share
  • Local governments and other eligible public assistance applicants will apply through their respective state. In Wisconsin contact Eric Learn, the State Public Assistance Officer at WEM, 608-242-3200, for more information.
  • The application deadline for the COVID- 19 disaster public assistance has been indefinitely extended by FEMA. FEMA waived the ordinary 30 day application deadline that would have otherwise closed on April 12. 
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Take this POLCO Survey and Pass it along!

"Given the gravity and complexity of the current COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, we are taking steps to bring resident voices to even more local decision-makers.

Polco and National Research Center (NRC) are measuring the impact of COVID-19 on people and communities nationwide. We hope you will take a few moments to share your experience by completing this short survey.

Your input can help guide actions for communities across the country.
Survey results will be shared with official government organizations to help them understand impacts on residents and help communities respond to the crisis and plan for recovery. Your responses are confidential and private. Polco/NRC does not report any individually identifying information. This information is solely for aggregate demographic analyses.

Thank you for taking this survey. Responses received by April 17 will be included in our report. We appreciate and value your voice on this issue." 
Communications
WE CAN GO THE DISTANCE TOGETHER: 10 WAYS YOU CAN DO YOUR PART
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Communication Collaborative for COVID-19 Response has developed 10 essential steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. They reflect the overall need for maintaining a physical distance from each other, washing you hands and staying home: Read the article...
Ohio's Ping Pong video

Have you seen this excellent 20 second video? If not, watch it and then share it >

Click here to share this video from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's page.
How to join the Wisconsin Historical Society COVID-19 Journal Project
The Wisconsin Historical Society is inviting state residents and those with a connection to the state to keep 30-, 60-, or 90-day journals in whatever format works best for the author. They can be written, recorded as audio or video, photographed or expressed through artwork.

Journals will be collected and become part of the society's permanent archives as it strives to document the COVID-19 pandemic. To take part, go to https://wisconsinhistory.org/records/Article/CS16333

Journaling through the COVID-19 pandemic to record history
The project is modeled after a similar initiative during the Civil War when some Wisconsin troops were issued journals and asked to document their war-time experience. Some of those journals are now part of the vast archives at the society, which was founded in 1846 in Madison. Read the story...

Please consider sharing Facebook posts from the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services Facebook page to your own Facebook page. Scroll down their page to see what they've posted.

Copy and paste this explanation of #SaferAtHome into your posts:

To slow the spread, limit close interaction to the same 5 people TOTAL, NOT different small groups."  #SaferAtHome
Webinars and Training
Listening sessions with Arts Wisconsin and Wisconsin Arts Board
Next sessions: Friday, April 17, 2020, 9-10 am and Tuesday, April 21, 7-8 pm
Arts Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Arts Board host Zoom listening sessions with Wisconsin’s creative sector each Friday at 9 am as the COVID-19 crisis continues, to share perspectives on the impact of the pandemic on work and life, and brainstorm recommendations on actions to take locally and globally. In addition, we’re starting an evening session, to be held every two weeks, to expand participation in the conversation.  
 
To participate in all sessions: 

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Local Government Essentials
Programs brought to you by the Local Government Center at UW-Madison Extension

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 1
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Under state law, Wisconsin municipalities issue and renew alcohol licenses. New municipal clerks and others looking for a refresher on the basics of alcohol licensing will benefit most from this session. Learn about the different types of licenses, license qualifications, notice requirements, and other statutory requirements as your municipality prepares for the upcoming license renewal period.
Presented by Attorney Carol Nawrocki of the Wisconsin Towns Association and Attorney Claire Silverman of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Part 2 is intended for both new and continuing officials who want to stay up-to-date with recent changes in the law, current issues, and Wisconsin Department of Revenue resources related to alcohol licensing. In addition to providing these updates, Mr. Quam will be available to answer any questions you submit ahead of time, and if time, those questions posed during the presentation. To submit questions, please email them by Wednesday, May 1, 2020 to  lgc@extension.wisc.edu .
Presented by Tyler Quam Special Agent-in-Charge at Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit.
General Resources
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
COVID-19 is a virus that has not previously infected humans and information about its rate of spread and its effects is still largely unknown, which makes it incredibly important to be highly cautious in dealing with the current situation. 

LATEST UPDATES
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will continue to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. You are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.


Want to share relevant and credible information to your Social Media?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Facebook & on Twitter (Scroll down to see more recent posts.)

The Wisconsin Dept of Health Services (DHS) on Facebook & on Twitter.

And the League's social media: