News – March 26, 2020

(Dodge County) A third person in Dodge County has tested positive for COVID-19 as the statewide number of confirmed cases in Wisconsin climbs to 585. That’s according to the latest update from the Department of Health Services. There have also been two more deaths, a 60-year-old Milwaukee man, and the first death in Dane County, a person in their seventies. That brings the total number of people who’ve died to seven. It’s a number that will continue to grow, and public health officials say by how much, and how fast, depends on how closely the rest of us follow Governor Tony Evers “Safer at Home” order. The Milwaukee death was confirmed by the medical examiner’s office after DHS posted its daily update, which lists six total deaths.

(Madison) The Wisconsin state Capitol is now closed to the public, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A press release from the state Department of Administration sent Wednesday evening said the closure is effective at 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning and will continue “until further notice.” The DOA release said if the Legislature or Supreme Court convenes, the Capitol will reopen to the public.

(Beaver Dam) Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam has opened a new COVID-19 clinic aimed at providing ongoing screening, testing and symptom management. A person will be directed to the clinic by a medical professional following an over-the-phone screening to determine if they need to be tested for coronavirus. Clinic staff will then work with patients by providing guidelines for quarantine, in-clinic symptom management or a recommendation to seek emergency care for those with acute symptoms. Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam Administrative Officer Angelia Foster says having a dedicated COVID-19 clinic allows them to effectively identify and care for those with the disease. Adding that it will also allow their emergency departments to focus its resources on the most critically ill and injured patients. The clinic will not accept walk-ins, anyone with symptoms should call 877-988-0022 first. Hospital officials say the clinic does not replace their drive-thru testing site which is now open to all citizens who meet the screening requirements. The clinic is also available to everyone.

(Madison) There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding how to safely hold the state’s April 7 election. Governor Tony Evers continues to urge us to vote absentee.

(Juneau) The Dodge County Clerk is encouraging people to get their absentee ballot requests in this week. Voters have until the Thursday (April 2nd) before the election to request an absentee ballot by mail but Karen Gibson notes turnaround times can be slow and it is better to not wait until the last minute. She says the requests must also include a photo ID which does not mean sending in just a picture of yourself. Gibson says the ID’s must be a copy of your driver’s license, a passport, naturalization or military ID. She adds that selfies are not included. More information is available at DailyDodge.com.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin residents who still need to register to vote for the April 7 election can now do so online until March 30. Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot, so reopening online registration was ordered by a federal court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said anyone not currently registered who wants to vote absentee for April 7 must act immediately. The absolute deadline for most voters to request an absentee ballot is Thursday, April 2, and the Postal Service recommends giving yourself at least a week to return your ballot by mail.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam manufacturer is part of the supply chain for assembling ventilators, which are in high demand as the coronavirus takes hold in the United States. Kirsh Foundry contracts with GD Medical of Madison to make thousands of counterweights, which are located on the bottom of a ventilator to lower its center of gravity, so it does not tip over. Owner Jim Kirsh says the challenge is delaying work for other parts of the supply chain. The foundry also contributes to large water pumping systems for municipalities that feed homes and hospitals, farm equipment for John Deere needed in the field and refrigeration units for truckers to keep food cold as it is shipped to your local grocery store. Kirsh says he has been working with customers and explaining that their parts may be delayed because the ventilators get priority.

(Madison) It’s a good plan, but it needed better communication. That’s the message from state Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitgerald of Juneau says he and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says that Governor Evers’ plan to keep some businesses open and others closed could have used refinement before it was released. The order to close businesses and ban non-essential travel will last through most of April. Vos and Fitzgerald want the state to be ready to support businesses when they get a chance to reopen.

(Wisconsin) Your next trip to Pick and Save may look a little different. The store’s owners are installing Plexiglas barriers for cashiers. The idea is to give workers and customers a bit more separation during the coronavirus outbreak. Many Pick and Save stores already have social distancing spacers on their floors and are encouraging people to order groceries online rather than come to the store.

(Milwaukee) Covid-19 put an end to the Milwaukee Bucks winning season, but the team’s Fiserv Forum is supposed to host this summer’s Democratic National Convention. On CNN, host Jake Tapper asked front-runner Joe Biden if it should. The DNC is expected to bring 50,000 people to Milwaukee July 13-through-16. There’s still no official word from the party on cancellation or alternate arrangements.

(Madison) Forget the rumors you’ve heard about the National Guard’s role during the coronavirus outbreak. Wisconsin National Guard Adjutant General Paul Knapp, in charge of state Emergency Management, posted a brief video to Twitter on Wednesday, to reassure residents of the Guard’s role in assisting the state’s efforts. Rumors that the Guard is enforcing Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order or doing things like blocking entrances to grocery stores are just that – rumors.

(Beaver Dam) A former owner of the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen has died. James Edward “Jim” Conley Jr. passed away on March 20th at his South Carolina home at the age of 76. According to his obituary, Conley Jr. was a newspaperman, business leader, world traveler, philanthropist and art collector. His career in newspaper began in 1967 at the Wall Street Journal and two years later he purchased the Daily Citizen along with Francis “Bill” Connors. In 2001 the paper was sold to Capital Newspapers. Conley Jr. was a founding member of the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation, supported Beaver Dam’s Clothes 4 Kids and served several years as a member of The Hoover Institute Board of Overseers. A memorial celebration is planned for the late summer in Milwaukee.