March 23, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #8
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
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League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Call
This call is for City/Village Officials, including mgrs./adm.
& Staff Only

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.

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.
Gov. Evers to Announce #SaferAtHome Shelter in Place Effective Tomorrow March 24, 2020

Please note that we do not have the Order yet. See the Governor's announcement on his Facebook page here .

The League staff will be analyzing the impact of the Order, including the affect on the election. We will provide information as we have it. Please check the League's COVID-19 page for updates.
Continuing to conduct meetings in these times  

The  Office of Open Government  in the Wisconsin Department of Justice has issued two advisories indicating that governmental bodies may meet remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency and still comply with the open meetings law.  March 16 Advisory March 20 Advisory

Local Government Options for Conducting Meetings Remotely (PDF) by Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities explains the options and the Advisories. It has been shared with the other local government associations, including the Clerks Association.
Reminder - Gov. Evers Suspends Utility Rules and Allows for Additional Consumer Protections
March 22, 2020

Immediately following the governor’s emergency order, PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq directed regulated utilities in the state to take the following actions for the duration of the emergency:

  • Stop utility disconnection for nonpayment for all customers, including commercial, industrial, and farm accounts. Previously this applied to residential accounts only;
  • Cease assessing late fees to customer accounts;
  • Halt the practice of requiring deposits from customers for reconnection of service;
  • Allow deferred payment agreements for all customers who request them;
  • Remove any administrative barriers for customers establishing or reestablishing utility service; and
  • Authorize water utilities to provide budget billing arrangements to customers. Electric and natural gas utilities are allowed to do this under current rules.

Letter on Elections to Governor Evers

At the request of a group of your peers, the League sent this letter to Governor Evers, Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Vos, Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Please note regarding the list of signatories that the list currently includes 221 local leaders. Because we gave signers a short deadline, not all names have been added to this list. There is an additional list of at least 65 local leaders whose names are being inputted. An updated list will be available Monday.
Local leaders warn Wisconsin governor: Voters at risk from COVID-19
Scores of local leaders sent Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers a letter Sunday warning him that the state isn’t doing enough to protect voters from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as the spring election approaches.

The April 7 election features Wisconsin’s presidential primary, a state Supreme Court race and hundreds of local races. A number of states have postponed primaries in hopes of slowing the virus’ spread. But Evers has insisted Wisconsin’s election go on as scheduled, saying people should vote by absentee ballot rather than travel to the polls.

Wisconsin health officials said Sunday that the state’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 jumped to 381, up from 281 a day earlier. Four people in the state have died from the respiratory disease. The number of confirmed cases reported in Dane County has grown to 61, up from the 49 cases reported Saturday.  Read the State Journal article...
Take Action! Advocate for Additional Considerations at the Federal Level

The National League of Cities is advocating for all municipalities across the US and needs you to take action. Request changes to the recently enacted Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. TAKE ACTION HERE...
Reminder - Important:
Coordinating with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Updated additional guidance from FEMA here .
Includes "What Local Governments Should Do."

Note: FEMA recommends that local governments follow the guidelines for Procurement Under Grants Conducted Under Exigent or Emergency Circumstances .”

The National League of Cities CitiesSpeak blog on seeking FEMA assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
From past COVID-19 Newsletters

March 20, 2020

Summary of the recently enacted Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response  SUMMARY  

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response  Paid Sick Leave  

March 19, 2020

Wisconsin Elections Commission’s Latest Actions Regarding Spring Election Preparedness
Answer: See the League's website here .

Effect of DHS’ Order #5 on Municipalities
(Prohibitions on gatherings of 10 or more people)
Answer: See the League's website here.

Can Restaurants Providing Meals for Carry-out and Delivery Sell Alcohol?
Answer: See the League's website here .

Municipal Emergency Powers During COVID-19
Answer: See the League's website here .

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. Includes guidance we received from the Wis. Dept. of Revenue on March 13, 2020.

If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
What could someone say to you...
Taking survey can help thwart COVID-19, spread Wisconsin Idea
In a fast-moving response to COVID-19, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities are joining forces to help slow the spread of the disease. And they need your help. Read the article... Share the League's Facebook post...

Note! We may close the survey by the time you read this. The survey went live on Thursday at noon, had 600 responses by Friday morning and at this point on Sunday evening, we have more than 30,000 responses! Thank you to everyone who participated.
Share this with your residents to your Facebook Page

The US faces 'severe blood shortage' as coronavirus outbreak cancels blood drives and regular donations. Read the USA Today story here...

Share the League's Facebook post to your own page.
Small Business & Downtown Support

Wisconsin's Small Business Administration (SBA) office is offering daily webinars to answer your questions regarding the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans , for small businesses owners impacted by COVID-19.

Register now.

10 am webinars:

2 pm webinars:

City of Racine to Launch Small Business Emergency Fund in Wake of COVID-19
City of Racine – During the COVID-19 crisis small businesses will be forced to make some tough decisions as they will be the first to economic impacts of the virus. The City of Racine is taking a proactive step in trying to assistance businesses by redirecting $250,000 in federal funding to create a Small Business Emergency Fund for businesses that are under distress from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the media release...

WEDC announces targeted grants to small businesses suffering losses due to coronavirus emergency
In another step toward assisting small businesses that suffer losses related to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state, WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes announced today.

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). Read more...
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. You are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.

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.
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.

And the League's social media: