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THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2020

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Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
Response to COVID-19
UPDATES FOR MENOMINEE TRIBAL MEMBERS AND RESIDENTS OF THE MENOMINEE RESERVATION/COUNTY
ALL FACILITIES OPERATED BY
THE MENOMINEE TRIBAL GOVERNMENT
ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Buildings accessible BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
All Tribal Buildings are closed to the public . If you need assistance from a tribal department please call. The tribal switchboard operator can be reached at (715) 799-5100.
Based on collective feedback, we have updated our daily case count graphic. As you can see, the changes from the previous date's totals are displayed in parentheses.

Active facility-wide public health investigations can be found on the Menominee County and Shawano County websites (see links below).

Thank you for providing recommendations to make this information as helpful as possible

Stay tuned for additional data measures that will soon be available!
- Menominee County:
- Shawano County:
Symptoms of Coronavirus
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

What you need to know
  • Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Emergency Food Relief Assistance checks go out
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin mailed out the Emergency Food Relief Assistance payments this week to all tribal members 18 years and older as of March 1.

Payments were sent to the address on file with the Tribal Enrollment Department and some of the checks are being returned to the tribe due to old/incorrect addresses.

All tribal members must ensure their addresses are updated with the Enrollment Office. Due to the Enrollment department being closed to the public, address updates can be submitted by

Updates will not be accepted over the phone.

If your check was returned, it will not be reissued until your address is updated. Checks are also not able to be picked up.

If you have any questions, please contact Enrollment at (715) 799-5121.
COVID-19 Updates: Resources and More and Data Galore!
Menominee, Shawano–From where we sit in public health, now is a more important time than ever to work hard to protect our counties. COVID-19 has not gone away and remains very contagious. People are still at risk of infection and death from COVID-19. Since we must learn to co-exist with COVID-19 for a while, we need more information to help us make decisions. The more information we have available, the easier it will be to make decisions for our activities and our community.

Vicki Dantoin, Health Officer for Shawano and Menominee Counties says “Data will tell us when it is safer to have community events and gatherings. As of right now, it is not recommended to have community events and gatherings. Please consider the health of yourselves and the community as you consider whether you will hold or attend community events and gatherings.”

DATA UPDATES
On June 23, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services released a COVID-19 Activity Level Data Dashboard . This dashboard will help us to see some statistics specific to Shawano and Menominee Counties. Additional indicators will be added to the dashboard as time progresses. Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department will look to the COVID-19 Activity Level Data Dashboard to help make some local decisions. To support the increases in data availability, we would like to make some of these local statistics more accessible to you from our website. Please check our website for some updates, you may have already noticed some updates to our information. We will continue to add more data points if we find they are helpful to our local understanding of COVID-19. We will explain some of the updates below.

Our daily updates will continue Monday through Friday. This information includes the numbers of confirmed positives, negatives, tests, pending tests, hospitalizations, deaths, and recoveries. We have recently added a way to show the increase from the previous posting.We will also continue to include information on facility wide public health investigations for workplaces, long term care facilities, group housing, health care facilities, and other facilities.

We have added a few data points that you may find interesting.We have added information that shows number of tests in a 2 week time frame, number of positive tests in a 2 week time frame, and number of positive cases for each age range.We will update this information weekly or every other week depending on the set up of the data.

We are also exploring some additional data to make available for you. For example, in the future, we hope to add a map to show where cases are more prevalent. We may also include more information that mirrors what the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Dashboard shows. Due to small numbers of cases in Menominee County, we are limited with the data we can provide to make sure no one is personally identifiable. The. Menominee County daily update will continue and we will add Menominee County data as we are able.

RESOURCE UPDATES

In order to keep similar pieces of information together without having to scroll through all of our information on one page, we have moved some of our other information. You can now access our press releases and other guidance and resources on a separate tab. You can access the tab by clicking the link on the main COVID-19 page or on the side bar.

In addition, we have moved and added some information related to symptoms, screening, testing, quarantine, and isolation. Feel free to access the Frequently Asked Questions tab to find this information if you are sick, if you have been exposed, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

Finally, we added a risk tab that shows risks related to activities and behaviors such as events/gatherings, travel, face covering use, and physical distancing use. At this time, risk is not0, but we decrease risk by taking precautions ourselves and as a community. This information is intended to help you think about your risks if you participate in any activities or behaviors.

We hope these updates are helpful for you. We also thank you for your work to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 and prevent deaths in our community.We will make it through this pandemic together!

Be safe and be well! Stay up to date with Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department:

•Shawano-Menominee Counties Frequently Asked Questions (Are you concerned that you or someone you know may have COVID-19?)
•Shawano-Menominee Counties Guidance and Resources (includes our press releases and other resources and guidance)
•Shawano-Menominee Counties Risks (What are the risks associated with various activities and behaviors?)

Or follow Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SMCHD/

Other COVID-19 Resources
Menominee Tribal Clinic Announcement
If you believe you are a contact with of someone who has COVID 19 please call the appointment desk at 715-799-5400 to make an appointment for testing.
 
Do not come for testing without an appointment as you will have a long wait.
 
If you are a direct contact, you should not be tested until at least 4 days after you had the contact because it takes that long for the test to be accurate.
 
Even if you are tested, you will still need to complete a 14 day quarantine at home so it is not urgent to be tested unless you have symptoms.
 
Thank you,
Dr. Slagle, MTC Medical Director
Licensing & Permits/Enrollment Update
As all tribal facilities remain closed to the public, the Menominee License and Permits Department now offers walk up window service.

Licensing and Permits is located on the lower level of the Gordon Dickie Building (FIC) in Keshena-park in the lower parking lot. There is a new walk up window area located on the lower right corner of the building.

Enrollment is also located in the back of the building-park in the lower parking lot. When you arrive, please call (715) 799-5313 and a staff member will assist you.

Operating hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm. Closed from 11am-12pm.
MISD Seeking Input For 2020-2021 School Year
Due to the holiday there will be no Farmers Market on Friday, July 3 in Keshena
Department of Health Services Urges Residents to Stay Home
Ahead of July 4th Weekend
Nearly 20% of total COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin tested positive in last two weeks

The Department of Health Services urges Wisconsin residents to stay home and follow best public health practices during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. Wisconsin has seen a recent surge in cases with half of all positive cases coming within the past five weeks. Nearly 20% of total COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin have tested positive within the past two weeks. This spike in cases is driven in part by an increase in infections among younger people, and contact tracing by some local health departments has revealed that many of these cases can traced back to bars.

“This message is especially important for younger people to hear,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We know this is a time people like to celebrate with friends, but COVID-19 is still spreading in our state, and we need everyone to take the necessary precautions.”

While there were more confirmed COVID-19 cases during early May compared to early June, more than twice the percentage of cases (14% compared to 7%) reported attending a gathering or party or meeting up with people outside their homes within two weeks of getting COVID-19. 1% reported attending a protest or rally during early June.

“23% of our total cases in Wisconsin are people in their twenties,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Compare that to our cases in early April when 11% of positive cases were in their twenties. In order to help decrease the infection rate in our state, we need younger Wisconsinites to take more precautions like staying home, physical distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings whenever possible.”

Contact tracing, an integral part of Wisconsin’s response to the pandemic, has revealed that more and more individuals testing positive for COVID-19 have recently met up with people outside their household. As the weather continues to improve, DHS encourages Wisconsinites to consult guidance on how to participate in summer activities safely, which can be found on the DHS Avoid Illness webpage

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage . We also encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook(link is external) and Twitter(link is external) , and dhs.wi on Instagram(link is external) for more information on COVID-19.
Still need to file your taxes?
Menominee Tribe's Lending and Taxes VITA site is now open for drop-off services only.

Call 715-799-5904 for questions about the drop-off process or to schedule a drop-off. they will meet you outside to review your information.

Deadline to file taxes is July 15, 2020.
Menominee Nation Counts in the 2020 Census!!
We are in need of our Menominee Tribal members to respond to the 2020 US Census!! Responding to the Census will impact our Tribe and Tribal members for the next 10 years!! Being counted impacts how federal dollars are distributed and much needed funding to our community!!

Shape Our Future! Indian Country Counts! Menominee Counts!

Complete online at https://my2020census.gov/ . Call 1-844-330-2020 to complete by phone. Or complete your Census packet and mail in!!
You can protect others from getting sick with COVID-19

•Stay home unless you need food, medicine, or medical care
•Avoid large crowds and small gatherings
•If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from other people
•Wear a cloth face covering so you don’t spread germs when you talk, sneeze, or cough. Cloth face coverings should not be used on children under 2.

Remember to follow directions from your local health officials.
Food Distribution will start conducting Curb Side distribution
for our Pantry foods Tuesdays & Thursdays of the month.
Commodities will be curb side or delivery the month of June as well.
We plan to keep the public out of the building and continue doing orders over the phone. 
We plan to keep strict social distancing in place as well.
Please call any of the phone numbers 799-5131, 799-5132, 799-5133 or 799-5164 when you are outside the building we will bring the items out. 
State Moratorium on Utility Disconnections During COVID-19 to End July 25
State emergency energy assistance available
MADISON - On Thursday, June 11, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) voted unanimously to lift the temporary moratorium on utility disconnections for nonpayment during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The move comes as the state continues to reopen and nearly a month after the state Supreme Court struck down
Safer at Home . The PSC strongly encourages customers behind on payments to arrange for a payment plan, or apply for assistance.

"As our state's businesses reopen and people return to work by following the steps in the Badger Bounce Back plan, we must calibrate consumer protections with costs to all utility customers. The longer deferral of payments are allowed, the more it will impact utility bills for everyone. Our actions today will ensure that those who are able to pay will continue do so, and those who are struggling can seek a payment plan or apply for energy assistance," said Rebecca Cameron Valcq, Chairperson of the PSC. "When working out payment plans with customers, I strongly encourage utilities to provide extra flexibility for those whose lives and employment continue to be severely impacted by this disease."

To avoid disconnection, customers who have fallen behind on payments are encouraged to first contact their utility to set up a payment plan. Contact information for the largest utilities in Wisconsin is listed below:
  • Alliant Energy 1-800-255-4268
  • Madison Gas & Electric 1-800-245-1125
  • Superior Water, Light & Power 1-800-227-7957
  • We Energies 1-800-842-4565
  • Wisconsin Public Service Corporation 1-800-450-7260
  • Xcel Energy 1-800-895-4999

If customers cannot reach an agreement with their utility, they may contact the PSC by calling 1-800-225-7729, or by  filing a complaint on the PSC website .

For more information about utility disconnections and collections, see the  PSC's fact sheet on residential customer rights .

If a customer is having difficulty paying their energy bill or receives a disconnection notice, they may be eligible for assistance from the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). To determine eligibility or find out where to apply for assistance, go to  http://homeenergyplus.wi.gov/  or call 1-866-HEATWIS."

If full payment or a payment plan cannot be agreed on, utilities will be allowed to send disconnection notices starting July 15. Customers who have a medical condition or are infected and sick with COVID-19 can still avoid disconnection with a temporary waiver from their utility.

Additionally, the PSC voted to allow utilities to commence charging late payment fees on debts incurred after July 15, refuse service for failure to provide documentation to prove identity and residency after July 25, and allow utilities to require a cash deposit as a condition of new service starting July 31.

On March 23, 2020, Governor Tony Evers and Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, ordered residents in the state to stay at home except when performing essential activities or accessing essential services.

In response to Governor Evers' initial  Safer at Home  order, the PSC met on March 24 and ordered that:
  • No public utility may disconnect or refuse service to any customer for nonpayment;
  • No public utility may refuse service to a new customer for failure to provide documentation to prove identity and residency;
  • Every public utility shall offer to any customer a deferred payment agreement;
  • No public utility may assess upon any customer any fee or charge for late payment; and
  • No public utility may require a cash deposit or other guarantee as a condition of new service. 
On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down  Safer at Home , ending measures put in place to manage the spread of COVID-19. The utility disconnection moratorium, however, remained in place.
Unemployment benefits Information
DWD Launches Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation; Begins Accepting Applications
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that Wisconsin residents who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits may now apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The launch of this program marks the third and final benefit available through the CARES Act.

PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular UI benefits or had their benefit year expire without requalifying for a new benefit year. Individuals who receive PEUC will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020.

"DWD successfully launched PEUC last night," DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. "The added 13 weeks of benefits will provide financial support to thousands of Wisconsinites who remain out of work through this difficult time in our state."
The Department identified all individuals who had a benefit year end and exhausted benefits from June 30, 2019 through the present and those who are currently filing weekly claims but have exhausted benefits and is notifying them by mail that they may be eligible for PEUC and instructing them how to apply.

Individuals who are still filing weekly claims for UI benefits will be provided messaging in their claimant portal prior to exhausting benefits and will be able to submit a new initial application to continue their payment under PEUC.

PEUC Benefits:
  • Payment amount is equivalent to the individual's regular UI benefit amount.
  • Duration is up to 13 weeks.
  • The first payable week is retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020 or the first week after an individual has exhausted his or her regular UI, whichever is later.
  • The last payable week will be the week ending December 26, 2020.

APPLY IF:
  • You have exhausted your regular UI, then you will need to file a PEUC initial claim.
  • You will see a link on the dashboard to file a PEUC initial claim after you log into your claimant portal. If you do not see a link in your claimant portal, then it is not yet time for you to apply for PEUC.

DO NOT APPLY IF:
  • You have a pending unemployment application OR
  • You are still receiving your regular UI benefits.

If either of the above bullets apply to you, you should not yet apply for PEUC.

Continue filing your weekly claims for the weeks you are unemployed.

For more information about PEUC, please visit: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/peuc/
Menominee Job Center can assist with filing for unemployment benefits
The Menominee Job Center staff are available to help individuals who need assistance filing for unemployment insurance.

For more information please call 715-799-6226 ext. 3300. If you prefer to email, you can contact jobcenter@menominee.edu or message us through Facebook.

FYI: Do not report your stimulus payment from the Federal Government as wages or income when filing unemployment claims.
Key messages
COVID-19 continues to be very contagious. We should continue to limit our interactions with others as much as possible to protect ourselves, our communities, and the capacity of our health care system.
  • You are safer when you are at home.
  • You should continue to limit your trips to the essentials.
  • The best way to interact with your friends, family, and neighbors is virtually.
  • Practice physical distancing. Standing at least 6 feet apart is a good rule.
  • When physical distancing is difficult, we recommend wearing a cloth face covering if you feel safe doing so.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face.
  • Enjoy the beautiful weather by getting outside, but make sure to do it safely. For more tips on summer safety, check out our Questions for Summer.
  • If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested.
  • Contact your doctor and ask to be tested. 
  • Complete an online health screening assessment, and a licensed health practitioner will contact you.
  • See if a community testing site is available near you.
You are not alone. We are in this together. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed.
MITW will release more information on the following platforms:

Please share the information with others
who may not have access to these options.
Menominee Nation News office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Devan Erdmann
Director/Editor

Joshua Sederstrom
Administrative/Design Assistant
Patrick Delabrue
Reporter

Christopher Anderson
Reporter
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin | Menominee Nation News
Ph: (715) 799-5167 | Fax: (715) 799-5250
© 2020
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