Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 outbreak is leading to big changes in all of our lives. In the past weeks, we’ve experienced unprecedented changes across our state, all done to try and protect vulnerable Wisconsinites. There are a lot of important measures to remember during this crisis.

I gathered many useful links for you to stay on top of up-to-date information, useful websites for parents and kids, and ways you can help. Please take a moment to review these links.

Everyone needs to do their part to make sure we get through this as quickly as possible. Our local businesses, economy, and more importantly many lives depend on us to make smart and selfless decisions. Make sure you follow the CDC guidelines of good hygiene to help avoid getting the virus.

I'm thankful we were able to expand access to Telehealth before the pandemic. I'm grateful that Governor Evers is using the tools in the bill to make sure Wisconsinites stay safe.

I'd like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and health care professionals that are on the frontline of this battle. I know we will get through this. Take care of yourself and each other.

Also, don't forget about all of our great local businesses. You can find ways to support them including ordering food for delivery or pickup. There is a link to those great restaurants below.

On, Wisconsin!
Free Testing Available
Click on the picture for more information.
Update on Local Safer at Home Orders
Several of our area communities have some restrictions in place. Here is a summary of 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)
  • The area is currently in Phase B 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.
  • Businesses are currently allowed to open at 60% of capacity
  • Increases to 80% on Monday, June 1st
  • Increases 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

The Village of Grafton is offering small businesses loans to help them through the pandemic.  Click here for more information.

  • "Moving Milwaukee Forward" mirrors Governor Evers’ "Safer at Home" order with no end date. Updates are expected in the coming days.
  • 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:

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:

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. 
Up-to-Date Hospital Data
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.
Staying Up-to-Date on Coronavirus
Wisconsin is now under a public health emergency to deal with the virus. That designation will help make our state eligible for federal funding to combat the Coronavirus.

I will continue to work on smart solutions to help people get the care they need such as telehealth, direct primary care, and other innovations.

Click on the picture above to get the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also has recommendations to help prepare your household for the coronavirus.

Area Healthcare Leaders Discuss COVID-19
Dr. John R Raymond, Sr., is the President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In this video, Dr. Raymond discusses how COVID-19 is different than most flu and stresses the importance of social distancing to prevent the spread of the illness.
Dr. Smriti Khare has served as president of Children’s Wisconsin Primary Care since 2011. In her role, she provides leadership and direction for the 25 primary care sites and seven urgent care sites in
southeastern Wisconsin.

In the video, Dr. Khare says young people are not immune from COVID-19.
Mental Health Help Available
The lock down is difficult for everyone. TMJ4 News put together a useful list of helpful services available during these tough times.

Click on the picture for resources to help in dealing with this crisis.
Childcare Help for Essential Workers
If you are an essential worker and in need of childcare,
the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families is offering help.

Click on the picture to find out more.
Free Roadside Assistance for Healthcare Workers
AAA is providing free roadside assistance for healthcare workers and first responders. You do not need to be a member to access this service.

Call 833-222-3284 if you need assistance. Click on the logo for more information.
If You Need Help With Food
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition program for pregnant women, infants, women who are breastfeeding, postpartum women, and children younger than five.

WIC is encouraging women who were recently furloughed to see if they are eligible for help. Click on the picture of find a WIC office near you.
Help for Workers
If your job is being affected by the Coronavirus, help is available from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Click on the picture to find helpful links and answers to many questions.
Thanks to the Federal CARES Act, you may be eligible for benefits even if you don’t qualify for Unemployment Insurance.

Click on the picture for more information.
Help for Businesses
The Federal Reserve is expanding the Main Street lending program to reach more small and medium-sized businesses.

The expansions include:
  • Creating a third loan option, with increased risk-sharing by lenders for borrowers with greater leverage;
  • Lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $500,000; and
  • Expanding the pool of businesses eligible to borrow.

Click on their logo to find out more.
Disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click not their logo to apply and check your application status.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is created a Small Business 20/20 program to help companies affected by the emergency declaration regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Click on the picture for more information.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce compiled an "Employer Tool Kit" to help navigate this crisis.

Click on the picture for more.
he Wisconsin Department of Revenue is allowing small businesses to request an extension to file sales and use tax returns due March 31, 2020 until April 30, 2020 and due April 30, 2020 until June 1, 2020.

Click on the picture for more information.
If You Need Food
Many schools and food banks are available if you need meals.

If you or someone you know needs food dial 2-1-1.

The Hunger Task Force also provides meals and help for low-income seniors.

Many schools are continuing to provide meals for students. Click on your school district for more information. Please contact your district directly for more information if they are not listed below.

If You Need Testing
If you need testing for COVID-19,  a number of local health care providers are providing tests.

Please call your health provider before going to a hospital or clinic.
Help for Parents and Students
Do you or anyone you know need internet access? The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has resources to help people find broadband access at a free or reduced rate during this crisis.

Find out more by clicking the picture.
Bored kids? Click on the picture to visit more than forty websites that offer virtual tours and experiences of everything from National Parks, to the White House, to the a tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Pepin.

Click on the picture to see what's available.
March is Women's History Month. The Wisconsin Historical Society is telling the amazing stories of women who helped shape our great state.

Click on their logo to read and learn about these incredible ladies and their contributions to Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee County Zoo has several games and fun activities on their website.

Click the picture to find out more.
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.
Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Tax Deadlines Extended
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) Both the  Internal Revenue Service and the  Wisconsin Department of Revenue are extending the deadlines to file your taxes to July 15th.

You will not have to file an extension.
Federal Stimulus Bill Passed
Recently, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill that could send you $1,200 per person and $500 per child under 17.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a breakdown on what the legislation could mean for you.

Click on the picture for more.
How to Help
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.
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 and the Mequon-Thiensville School district are 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 Hunger Task Force is looking for volunteers to help get food to low-income seniors in our area. They need to provide 10,000 boxes a month to meet the need. Click on the picture for more information and to fill out an application to help.
Many restaurants are still delivering and providing take out. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association maintains a statewide list of where you can still order takeout from great restaurants.

Click open the picture to find a location near you.
You can still support small business owners purchasing from by shopping from their website or by buying a gift card to use later.

Many local businesses rely on positive online reviews. Giving your favorite shops an encouraging rating can help drive more customers to their websites and help them through this difficult time.