News – March 25, 2020

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers yesterday (Tuesday) issued a statewide ‘Safer at Home’ order and provided details. He says his “Safer at Home” order is all about “flattening the curve” of COVID-19. The order is effective at 8 am today (Wednesday, March 25) and will remain in effect until 8 am Friday, April 24 or until a superseding order is issued. Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with the order as to when it is permissible to leave home. Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include, but are not limited to: Health care operations, including home health workers; Critical infrastructure; Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals; Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks; Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences; Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities; Child care facilities, with some limitations; Gas stations and auto repair facilities; Banks; Laundry businesses, dry cleaners; garbage collection; Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians; Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning; Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action. The governor says the public should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus which includes avoiding social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, having visitors in your home, or non-essential workers in your house. KILL AFTER 11am

(Madison) The need for Governor Evers “Safer at Home” order to slow the spread of COVID-19 was spelled out in the starkest possible terms, by Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm.

(Madison) State health official reports that there have now been 457 positive COVID-19 tests in the state. There have been five deaths, including a person from Fond du Lac County, where there are 18 confirmed cases. Columbia County has five confirmed cases, Jefferson County has four and Dodge County has two. Meanwhile, in Washington County, 17 positive cases have been confirmed while Waukesha County has seen 31 and Dane County 72.

(Portage) The Wisconsin Department of Corrections says a second employee is positive for the coronavirus. The worker was not identified but is employed at the Columbia Correctional Facility in Portage. A staff member at Waupun tested positive last week. Both are quarantined. The Corrections department says no inmates in Wisconsin have tested positive so far.

(Madison) How will we know, if staying at home and other actions we are being asked to take, will actually slow the spread of COVID-19? Dr. Ryan Westergaard with the Department of Health Services says it’s important to bear in mind that limited testing means we don’t know the actual number of infected people. Westergaard says, based on what’s happened in other parts of the world and even the US, doing nothing will allow COVID-19 cases to grow exponentially.

(Milwaukee) The Wisconsin National Guard wants your latex gloves, face masks, respirators, and other protective health care gear. General Paul Knapp says they’re in the process of creating a protective gear buy-back program. Knapp says they especially hope that businesses that are closed, which have personal protective gear, will give them to the cause. The Guard is taking donations at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds near Milwaukee.

(Beaver Dam) Local grocers say more social distancing is needed around their employees.  Brett Recheks of Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam says he can’t stay open for his customers if his staff is sick. Rechek is urging the public to practice social distancing around their grocers. Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel noticed that even the people who practice social distancing through force of habit are touching their face. Mannel says he watched lady in the store licking her fingers as she was going through her papers. The chief says that’s how this is going to get out of control and adds that people need to pay attention to what the CDC is saying. Daryl Schoenfeld of Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly agrees and adds that patience is also needed as grocers work tirelessly to restock shelves.

(Wisconsin) Most of Wisconsin’s health care groups are on-board with Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order. A group of Wisconsin health care organizations, including the Hospital Association, are urging people to abide by the “Safer At Home” order. The groups say staying at home will keep doctors, nurses, home health care workers, and people in long-term care facilities safer. They say in order for doctors and nurses to stay on the job, the rest of us need to stay home.

(Madison) A record number of people are filing for unemployment in Wisconsin as businesses close to fight off the spread of COVID-19. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that over 100-thousand Wisconsinites have filed for unemployment since March 15th. That’s showing the significant economic impact that social distancing and business closures has put in place in this time of distancing and safer-at-home. Unemployment is expected to jump from around three and a half percent to over five and a half percent.

(Madison) Fees are now waived for all Wisconsin State Parks and Trails that continue to remain open to the public throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department of Natural Resources says staying at home as much as possible is the best way to lower the coronavirus infection rates but should people need a place with space, getting outdoors has both physical and mental benefits. The DNR does ask people to not congregate at restrooms, self-registration stations or electronic kiosks. Additionally, do not gather in groups of 10 or more people and maintain six feet of distance from others. Parks, law enforcement and property staff will also continue to provide routine sweeps and state park system properties.

(Green Bay) The Packers are giving one-point-five million dollars in relief funds in response to COVID-19.  One million will go towards groups in Brown County, with half-a-million going to groups in the Milwaukee area.

(Hustisford) An Oconomowoc man has been charged with significantly injuring a passenger in an accident where a controlled substance was allegedly found in his system. Ryan Rhadans was the reported driver during the June 22, 2016 crash that left his passenger, Timothy Bradfield, paralyzed. Blood samples that were later tested reportedly found THC in Rhadans system. If convicted, the 38-year-old Rhadans faces no more than 12-and-a-half years in prison. An initial appearance is scheduled for July 13th.