News – March 20, 2020


(Madison) State health officials and the Governor’s office are confirming the first deaths from COVID-19. Governor Tony Evers confirmed Thursday night that two people have died from coronavirus. One person was a man in his 50s in Fond Du Lac County, the other was a man in his 90s in Ozaukee County. Evers says that his heart goes out to the families of the victims, and that (quote) “We are committed to fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.”

(Fond du Lac) Over 150 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin. The state’s total confirmed cases by county included 62 in Milwaukee County, 27 in Dane, 14 in Fond du Lac, 12 in Waukesha, six in Sheboygan, five in Winnebago, four each in Columbia and Kenosha, three each in Racine and Ozaukee, two each in Washington, Walworth, La Crosse and Brown and one each in Bayfield, Calumet, Eau Claire, Outagamie, Pierce, Sauk and Wood. Community spread has now been confirmed in Brown, Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties.

(Juneau) Public health officials say there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dodge County as of 5:30pm Thursday. That in spite of a positive test of an employee at Waupun Correctional, which is located on the Dodge County side of the county line. Public Health Officer Abby Sauer tells DailyDodge that the prison employee does not live in Dodge County and records are tallied based on where an infected person lives, not where they work. Warden Brian Foster says that an employee at the prison contracted COVID-19.

(Waupun) Following those reports of a confirmed case of coronavirus at Waupun Correctional, city officials say they are in contact with state prison and public health officials. The city has been talking with State Representative Michael Schraa, Waupun Correctional leadership, and Fond du Lac and Dodge County public health officials to understand the potential impact on our community. The Department of Corrections (DOC) has informed city officials that they are working through recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on protocol for their staff and inmates. Mayor Julie Nickel says that it is important to note that this is a single confirmed case. Nickel says the Department of Corrections has assured her “that they are taking proper precautions to monitor the situation” and “engaged with public health officials to ensure ongoing safety of [the] community.” The mayor says city staff have been meeting for several weeks to develop safety protocols. She notes that while the Department of Corrections operates independent from municipal government, city staff routinely meet with DOC officials and other community partners to discuss current conditions and needs across the community. Nickel says COVID-19 was a recent topic at a community relations meeting and DOC officials assured city staff that proper protocols were in place.

(Madison) There’s been a major spike in unemployment claims due to the coronavirus. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the state saw 29,400 new claims this week. That figure is pulled from federal labor data. 14 thousand of those claims came on Wednesday alone. The claims come as responses to COVID-19 have sent people home from work, and shuttered the dine in sections of bars, restaurants and meeting spaces.

(Madison) The state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has issued emergency guidance for payday and licensed lenders. DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld notes that 53 percent of Wisconsinites live paycheck-to-paycheck, and many will be turning to lenders for help. DFI cautions payday and licensed lenders that increasing interest rates, fees, or any costs of borrowing in response to the COVID-19 crisis may result in license suspension or revocation. The department also encourages the reduction of rates and fees as low as operational expenses and sound lending practices allow.

(Juneau) The Dodge County District Attorney’s Office says they have taken steps to protect staff and the public from community spread of coronavirus. Currently, most employees are working remotely and those that are at the physical office are operating under strict limited contact guidelines to reduce spread and maintain services. The office lobby remains open to the public to conduct business, but visitors should note that the secured portion of the office is closed to nonemployees. People are encouraged to call the District Attorney’s Office ahead of time to determine if their business can be conducted over the phone or electronically. A number you can find on DailyDodge.com. Anyone suffering cold or flu-like symptoms should not enter the District Attorney’s Office lobby. If an in-person visit is necessary, people are asked to limit the number of guests to the office and to not bring minors unless there is a specific requirement to do so. Visitors are also asked to maintain distance from employees and to not approach District Attorney staff in the courtroom or hallway. Instead, consultations will be conducted over the phone or by other devices. District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says he wants to commend and thank the Dodge County judges, the county board and all county employees for an excellent and professional response to this current unprecedented situation. He says his office is running and there is a good plan in place to maintain their level of service through the coming weeks and months.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau remains open but officials are encouraging the public to first try alternatives before appearing in person. County Administrator Jim Mielke says in an effort to keep employees and the public safe, they recommend calling in advance with your questions (920-386-3600) or using available online resources through the Dodge County website (https://www.co.dodge.wi.gov/). He says county departments are following best practices and the latest guidelines to promote health and safety. Mielke is also requesting the public’s assistance in working together with county staff in meeting social distancing guidelines. Access to the administration building is subject to change by order of the county board chair or the county health officer.

(Madison) Young people should not assume they’re immune, from severe cases of COVID-19. Early data from China suggested covid-19 might seriously sicken or kill the elderly — but spare the young. Stark new data from the United States and Europe suggests otherwise. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of U.S. cases from February 12 to March 16 released Wednesday shows 38 percent of those sick enough to be hospitalized were younger than 55. Researchers said the data demonstrate that severe illness leading to hospitalization, including ICU admission and death, can occur in adults of any age with COVID-19.

(Beaver Dam) Starting today (Friday), Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam Pharmacy will no longer be accepting walk-up customers until further notice. The pharmacy at 705 S. University Avenue will continue to refill prescriptions. In lieu of counter pickup, the pharmacy will be offering delivery, mail-out and curbside pickup services. Curbside pick-up services will be reserved for acute and immediate needs. For delivery service, the hospital’s delivery radius will be extended beyond Beaver Dam to include the surrounding areas.

(Beaver Dam) Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam is suspending all elective ambulatory and inpatient procedures, and non-urgent ambulatory visits until further notice. Patients with an elective procedure coming up that is critical to their health and quality-of-life, will be able to have the procedure done the hospital. But by delaying care for those patients whose health will not be negatively affected by postponing their appointment, hospital officials say they can ensure the resources and staff needed to handle the coronavirus, and limit potential exposure of staff and patients.

(Madison) With the coronavirus pandemic growing in Wisconsin, flu cases remain high in the state.  The latest figures from health officials show high activity across Wisconsin, with the preliminary number of deaths at 92.

(Madison) With events canceling due to the coronavirus, the state DATCP is remind ticket holders they can get most of their money back.  They need to present their tickets within 90 days of the cancellation to get a refund.  If an event is rescheduled, a refund can still be offered for up to 30 days.  Certain fees such as service, parking and charitable donations will likely not be recovered.

(Madison) The Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the Democratic National Committee wants more time for people to register for next month’s spring election.  Their lawsuit filed in federal court wants electronic and by-mail registrations extended to April 3, suspend the requirement for copies of photo IDs accompany absentee ballots, and allow absentee ballots to be received by 8 p.m. April 7th to count.