News – May 18, 2020

(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born is confident that voluntary compliance with CDC recommendations will be enough to weather COVID-19. In the past week, northwest Dodge County has seen 50 new cases of coronavirus, including 16 in Beaver Dam. We asked Born Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment if the recent numbers of infections in Dodge County are enough to consider a regional lockdown. The Beaver Dam Republican says he trusts local health officials and the numbers in Dodge County are manageable through contact tracing. He says the only way he would consider another statewide lockdown would be if the hospital system were to be threatened again. Born says that is why it is important for lawmakers and the governor to agree on emergency rules. 

(Wisconsin) Governor Tony Evers says it’s going to take some time to craft emergency rules to manage the state’s coronavirus response. He says he has to put this in context, emergency rules take a long time and it’s a very arcane process, so . . . it’ll be at least to weeks before something’s done. Evers, on WISN yesterday, says he will continue to focus on testing, and making sure front line medical workers have adequate personal protective equipment.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 356 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) daily update. There is a total of 12,543 people now having tested positive. State public health officials reported no deaths from Saturday to Sunday. Dodge County has 12 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 105 with one death on record.

(Mayville) The mayor of Mayville is seeking to learn the number of positive COVID-19 cases that are in the city. Rob Boelk says since the state legislators have left it up to local municipalities on when to open up their facilities, city officials need accurate data and information. He says he has sent the Dodge County Department of Health an open records request to see the number of positive coronavirus cases that are in their community. The open records request seeks the total number of positive cases in Mayville over the past three months, the total number of recoveries over the past three months and the total number of current cases in the city. Boelk says the information is needed to make good decisions for all involved.

(Beaver Dam) The doors of the Beaver Dam Community Library could be reopening soon. Officials with the library say that they are working with the city on plans to reopen that prioritizes the safety of the community and staff. They say they know that access to library materials, services and programs are important, however the building still remains closed while materials can be checked out for home delivery through their Mailbox Library Service. Librarians can help assist the public by phone, email and text and will continue to provide remote services and virtual programs. The library says they will be offering a virtual Summer Library Program that is scheduled to begin June 1st. They say more details about the program will be announced in the coming weeks.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin is receiving around 210-thousand procedural masks from overseas to help shore up the state’s PPE supplies.  110-thousand are coming through Taiwan-based TECO, with 100-thousand coming from Wanxiang (wong-sean) America Corporation based in China.

(Wisconsin) Veteran’s homes in Wisconsin will continue to prohibit all visitors that are not medically necessary. Secretary Mary Kolar says no one at the three homes have tested positive, and they will continue to follow CDC guidelines to restrict visitation. Visitors will be allowed at end-of-life situations.

(Columbus) Staff, students and parents of the Columbus School District are working on alternative plans for their graduation ceremony. Columbus High School Principle Thomas Fischer reported he is working with a group of students to gather their feedback on a different way to conduct their commencement ceremony. Also, a committee of parents and community members are working to determine what the graduation celebration could look like. The district is also sharing senior photos and future plans on their Facebook page every day to recognize their senior class. They have also hung banners along Highway 73. 

(Wisconsin) After weeks in isolation and ‘safer-at-home’ gave many people the impetus to clean up, Goodwill and St. Vinnies are seeing a surge in donations. A number of thrift store organizations like Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul started taking donations, and this weekend people flocked to their local locations to drop off stuff they’ve cleaned out of their homes. Some locations in the Milwaukee area saw double or triple the number of donations. Goodwill says they’ll be taking major steps to ensuring that their stores will be safe and clean once they’re allowed to fully reopen.

(Wisconsin) As Wisconsin’s ‘safer at home’ orders go through a rebuilding process, travelers from Illinois packed some resort towns. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Lake Geneva in Walworth County saw a surge of day trippers from Illinois which is still under isolation orders. Walworth County currently has not issued its own health order as many other counties have. Some residents were alarmed by the number of people who were not wearing masks in public. A number of businesses said they were taking steps to stop the spread of coronavirus but that it would ruin the resort city’s economy to not be open for summer visitors.

(Wisconsin) The way people consume their news is continuing to change as people turn to social media and the political divide continues to grow. UW-Madison journalism professor Mike Wagner says claims of bias in reporting are owed to how basic journalism works. He says most fact-checkers are basically trying to take newsworthy claims made by people in positions of power and seeing if they’re true or not so when one party has the presidency that side gets more scrutiny. Wagner says that research from Madison has shown that people seem to pay more attention to the details of a news story and think about it more when it’s labeled a ‘fact check’ as opposed to just being a normal news story.

(Wisconsin) Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is planning two virtual events with a Wisconsin focus this Wednesday.  The Journal Sentinel reports will have a roundtable with Congressman Ron Kind in La Crosse that will focus on rural issues at 10 a.m.  That will be followed by a virtual rally in Milwaukee starting at 3:30.  Biden will remain at his Delaware home, with people needing to RSVP to the events in advance.

(Wisconsin) Burning restrictions remain in effect across Wisconsin. The DNR says despite recent rainfall, vegetation continues to green, so conditions remain favorable at times for wildfires to spread quickly. So far this month around 130 have taken place. Campfires for warming or cooking are strongly discouraged.