COVID-19 Update
Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. After the Supreme Court ruling, many of our area communities rushed to implement their own local regulations. In this week's e-update, I have information on the status of those orders and links for more information for you, your family, and your business.
 
Wisconsin is receiving nearly $2 billion in federal funding from the CARES act to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of that money will go to testing, tracing, equipment, and supplies to help prepare our state if there is a localized outbreak. Governor Evers also announced programs to help farmers, small businesses, and renters. Unfortunately, he hasn't provided any information on how to apply for those funds. I will continue to keep you up-to-date when those programs are available.
 
I'm happy to announce that I am being appointed to the Wisconsin Center District Board by Senator Scott Fitzgerald. I’d like to thank him for his leadership on the Wisconsin Center District Board and look forward to taking his place on the board.
 
There are obvious challenges ahead as our state reopens after the shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe Milwaukee is a world-class destination, and it will be exciting to help bring events and people back to the city.
 
I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to all who served our great nation!

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov.

On, Wisconsin!
Update on Local Safer at Home Orders
Some local "safer at home" orders are set to expire today. Here is an update on where those orders stand.

Waukesha County:
  • Open with no restrictions.
  • Businesses are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines.

Washington and Ozaukee Counties:

Suburban Milwaukee County: (Includes Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Whitefish Bay)
  • Original order expires at midnight Thursday, May 21st 
  • Phase B begins with the following restrictions:
  • Gatherings limited to 10 people
  • Child Care to follow DCF guidelines
  • Retail occupancy limited to 25% of capacity
  • Restaurants and Bars occupancy limited to 50% of capacity
  • Gyms occupancy limited to 25% of capacity
  • Places of Worship occupancy limited to 25% of capacity
  • Phase B will last at least 14 days and the next stage will begin if gating measures (PPE, hospital capacity, testing, tracing, etc.) are met.

  • Businesses may open but must post capacity where the public can see. Begin operating at 40% of capacity.
  • Increase to 60% on Monday, May 25th
  • Increase to 80% on Monday, June 1st
  • Increase to 100% on Monday, June 8th
  • Restaurants: Patios at restaurants may open but tables must be eight feet apart until June 8th and are encouraged to remain that way.
  • Personal Care businesses (hair and nail salons) may open
  • Must follow guidelines from CDC and Washington County Health Department

  • Moving Milwaukee Forward mirrors Evers’ Safer at Home order with no end date.
  • Gatherings limited to less than 10 people
  • Bars and restaurants closed to in-person service, only curbside and pickup.
  • Retail open limited to 25% of capacity.
  • Barbershops, tattoo parlors, spas and playgrounds are open. Capacity limited to less than 10 people.

Check with your community or anywhere you plan to travel for more details and guidelines. We are all encouraged to continue practice social distancing, wash hands, and stay home if you have any symptoms.
Supreme Court Ruling Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What did the Supreme Court decide?

A: The majority opinion of the Supreme Court stated that they considered Executive Order #28 issued by Secretary Andrea Palm to be considered a rule and therefore should have been promulgated through the statutory rule making procedures. They also stated that Palm exceeded her statutory authority when she confined people to their homes, forbade travel and closed businesses.

The final conclusion was that, “Emergency Order 28 is declared unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

Q: I thought the legislature was asking for 6 days to work on a new plan with the administration.

A:The legislature had asked for a stay, if the Supreme Court was to rule in their favor, in order to allow DHS to promulgate a rule and work with the legislature on the best way to address this pandemic. The Court did not grant this stay, so the decision is effective immediately.

Q: How does this affect my business?

A. All businesses can now open with no restrictions. That being said, we would suggest that you review the recommended industry specific guidelines put together by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and implement as many as you can to protect both your employees and customers. You can find those guidelines here: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

Q: What if my city or county has issued an order continuing the Safer at Home order?

A: Local public health officials do have the authority to issue local ordinances to protect the public. So far some local counties and municipalities such as Dane County, Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, Brown County, City of Racine and Kenosha County have implemented restrictions similar to the Governor’s Safer at Home order. We would recommend you check with your local authorities to see if they have issued any local ordinances as they can vary as to what restrictions are put in place.

Q: Does this mean schools are now allowed to open?

A: No, the decision specifically states that it does not apply to schools. Schools are still closed. I understand the importance of making sure families are confident sending their love ones back to school. We will be working with legislative leaders to develop the best plan for the summer and fall school sessions.

Q: Can I go to church? Visit my extended family? Get my hair cut?

A: Yes, there are no longer restrictions on gatherings or travel (as long as your local authorities have not issued a local order as stated above). Some nursing home facilities may still have protections in place to protect residents and staff. Please check with each individual facility before visiting.

Q: I’m grateful I can now open up my business, but how can I do so safely?

A: As a business owner, it is your decision when and how to best open your business. WEDC has put together industry specific recommendations on how to safely operate. You can find those recommendations here: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

Q: What if there is a flare up again in a certain part of the state?

A: DHS could promulgate a rule to implement such regulations. We will begin working with leaders to begin the process to promulgate a rule to address future issues universities opening up in the fall, large summer concerts/events, summer camps etc.
WEDC Issues Reopening Guidelines
As I stated above, the ruling from the Supreme Court does not mean we should abandon smart and safe practices. Businesses need to put practices in place to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers.
I encourage all businesses to take a look at the reopening guidelines put together by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Click on the picture for more.
Free Testing Available
Get the Latest Information on COVID-19
The Wisconsin Hospitals Association is posting updated information on the pandemic in our state.

Click on the picture to check out their helpful dashboard to see first-hand the effect the crisis is having on our health care providers.
State Park Passes Available Online
While Governor Evers reopened most state parks last month, he made it very difficult to buy admission stickers. I heard from many constituents who tried many times without success to order passes by phone.

I contacted the Governor asking him to allow online purchasing of State Park Admission stickers and I am happy to report now you can. Click on the picture to order a pass.
How to Help
The Masked Sewists for SE Wisconsin is a group of volunteers that makes masks for workers in hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, and other organizations in need in our area.

They could use your help! Click on their logo to find more information, patterns, and where to drop off the masks.
Concordia University in Mequon is making sure health care professionals get the equipment they need during this crisis by 3D printing N95 respirator masks.

They've also created a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for the supplies they need to make more masks. Click the picture to donate if you are able.
The Coronavirus outbreak is leading to a major blood shortage. The Red Cross and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin are looking for healthy donors to give blood and platelets for patients in need.

Click on the links to schedule an appointment.