March 17, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #3
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Call
This call is for City/Village Officials & Staff Only

Today - Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.

We are limited to 150 lines through Wisline at this time.

Call: 1-855-947-8255
Passcode: 5574 824#

Please connect by landline if possible, DO NOT PUT US ON HOLD and, if you can and are not speaking, mute your phone to minimize background noise.

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

We will schedule additional calls as needed. Notice will be provided on the League's website and in these Special Edition newsletters, which will also be sent as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions

Municipal Emergency Powers During COVID-19

The situation relating to the COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving. Governor Evers has issued a State of Emergency due to this public health emergency. League members are facing difficult questions about what powers municipalities and their governing bodies have to respond to the situation.

The Wisconsin Statutes address emergency management and local emergency plans, however, these provisions do not provide comprehensive guidance for adhering to social distancing advisories resulting from a global pandemic such as COVID-19. The League attorneys have received several questions, particularly questions regarding how municipalities can conduct essential business, comply with Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law, and simultaneously practice social distancing, as many public health agencies are advising. Governmental bodies are concerned about holding meetings where large members of the public may be in attendance. Moreover, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the Governor’s direction, has now issued an order prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people throughout the state. There is also a concern about vulnerable governmental body members being required to convene physically to conduct essential business, particularly business required to address the current public health emergency. Some governmental bodies may have the capabilities to convene electronically and live broadcast their meetings, but there are numerous governmental bodies that will not have such capabilities. The League has reached out to the Governor for guidance on how to proceed in this situation.

Local governments also have the power to declare emergencies. Wisconsin Stat. § 323.11 provides that the governing body of any local unit of government may declare, by ordinance or resolution, an emergency existing within the local unit of government whenever conditions arise by reason of, among other things, a disaster or an imminent threat of a disaster, that impairs, among other things, health or police protection, or other critical systems of the local unit of government. The period of the emergency shall be limited by the ordinance or resolution to the time during which the emergency conditions exist or are likely to exist. Section 323.02(6) defines “disaster” as a severe or prolonged, natural or human-caused, occurrence that threatens or negatively impacts, among other things, health. The article (found here) summarizes local governments’ emergency powers and may provide helpful information for municipalities.

Complying with the open meetings law during the COVID-19 health emergency.  
Answer: See the League's website here . Includes Wis. Dept. of Justice guidance we received March 16, 2020.

Spending to address COVID-19 and the Expenditure Restraint Program .
Answer: See the League's website here. Guidance we received from the Wis. Dept. of Revenue on March 13, 2020.

COVID-19 Information for Election Officials   (Including a  sample news release  encouraging absentee voting)
CDC Interim Guidance for
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Guidance as of 3/15/2020

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Recommendations for  schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses  are available.
Hot Resource!
For Downtowns and Businesses

WEDC’s Errin Welty and the WEDC Downtown Development Team have compiled THIS RESOURCE for consideration for our small businesses to pivot and thrive during these times. 

Please distribute to any and all of your local businesses; retail, service, professional, etc, regardless of their Main Street or Connect Community status with the WEDC.

It is also posted to the League's COVID-19 page under "Communication Tools."
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Share these to your own Facebook page!
President Donald. J. Trump announced new guidelines to address COVID-19. Shared from the White House on March 16, 2020.

Share to your Facebook page, or the library's page or your personal page from the League Facebook page - here .

Print and post by accessing the documents on the League's COVID-19 page here and look under "Communication Tools."

As a reminder, the CDC’s official Coronavirus website – – is the best source for up-to-date information and guidance.
Click here to share this FAQ from the League's Facebook page to your own:

You've heard the term "Flattening the Curve" in relation to the Coronavirus - but what does that mean? The basic idea is to SLOW the spread of the virus so that our healthcare and response system is not overwhelmed.

See this chart provided by the  U.S. Surgeon General  on Twitter.
Click here to share this FAQ from the League's Facebook page to your own:

How can you tell if you have coronavirus or a cold or the flu?

White House INVITATION: State & Local Briefing Call on COVID-19 (Wednesday, March 18, 12:00 PM CST)

To State and Local Elected Officials –
On Wednesday, March 18, at 12:00 PM CST , please join Senior Administration Officials for a briefing call on COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Registration instructions are below. Please note that this call is intended for state and local elected officials. We encourage you to share this invitation with your county and/or municipal colleagues as well as public health officials.

Important Note: Call-in lines are limited. Please register only if you are able to join the call. State and local leaders (especially staff) working in the same office are encouraged to register once as a group and use one call-in line to maximize the number of people who can join.

Call-In Registration : CLICK HERE
Note: You must RSVP to join the call. Upon successful registration, you will receive dial-in details to the email address you use to register. Note that multiple people cannot dial-in using the same registration information.

As a reminder, WH IGA is the primary liaison between the White House and the country’s State and local elected officials and Tribal Governments.

The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs               
William F. Crozer
Special Assistant to the President/Deputy Director
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
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. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will continue 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.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus web resource page is a good place to look for more information.

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.