News – April 6, 2020

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order calling for a delay for the in-person part of the 2020 Spring presidential primary and local general election and is moving it back to June 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Via executive order, Evers said that he is setting up a special session for Tuesday instead, asking the state legislature to act upon his request. All current ballots already submitted would count for June. The Republican leaders of the state legislature, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, issued a joint statement saying they are going to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson told us this afternoon on WBEV’s Community Comment that voters should plan on there being an election tomorrow noting that the Wisconsin Elections Commission has not said anything contrary.UPDATE: The Supreme Court has sided with Republicans and the election will go on as planned on Tuesday, April 7.

(Madison) Meanwhile, Columbia County has experienced its first death from COVID-19. Columbia County Health Officer Susan Lorenz says they are “very saddened by the death of this individual and our sympathy goes out to the friends and family of this individual.” She says local health officials are “working nonstop with community partners across the county and state to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and safety of our citizens.” News of the death in Columbia County comes as the Wisconsin Department of Health reports today (Monday) that the state has experienced nine more deaths since yesterday (Sunday) bringing the total to 77, not counting the Columbia County fatality. There was an increase of 173 positive cases from Sunday with 2,440 now confirmed. Of those cases, 668 people required hospitalization, which is 27-percent. To date 26,574 Wisconsinites have been tested and were found not to have coronavirus. Dodge County has had 15 positive cases, up one from the weekend, while the number of negative results in that time has increased from 354 to 382. There are 22 cases in Columbia County.

Fond du Lac County is unchanged from yesterday with 43 positive tests and two deaths. Jefferson County remains at 14. Washington County is still at 57 with three deaths. There are no cases officially being reported in Green Lake County but 67 people there have been tested and found to not have the virus.

(Madison) There will be no Holy Week services in Wisconsin during the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Evers says it is more important for people to stay home, than to go to church for Easter or to go to temple for Passover, so he is not going to lift his Safer at Home order for that. Republican lawmakers had asked the governor to allow people to attend religious services, as this is Holy Week.

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Police Sergeant Jeremiah Jonson says there is no city ordinance on the books to cite people municipally for violating the governor’s “Safer at Home” order. However, Johnson told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that they would likely write a municipal citation for other unlawful acts that would normally receive a verbal warning first such as loitering. For example, he says if a group of people were loitering at a city park after hours and were not practicing social distancing, police would write a municipal citation whereas before, they would be likely warned first. Johnson says taking someone to jail is a last measure but notes that a person can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor for violating a public health order.

(Juneau) The Clearview Nursing Home in Juneau will undergo siding replacement after existing material was found to be failing. The material was discovered to be prematurely failing during an investigation so Clearview joined a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. Executive Director Lori Kurutz says they have received partial payment with another to be received at a later date. Beginning Monday all siding, trim and soffit will be replaced by Home Path Financial of Butler. Kurutz says that proper social distancing guidelines and recommendations will be followed throughout the project.