News – May 27, 2020

Daily Dodge · WBEV Newscast 5-27-20(Waupun) The Wisconsin National Guard has begun testing at two local prisons for COVID-19. Two teams started specimen collection yesterday at Dodge Correctional in Dodge County while another two teams started collections at Waupun Correctional in Fond du Lac County. According to a press release, National Guard teams resumed statewide operations yesterday (Tuesday) supporting local health departments and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services effort to increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity. 

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says they are “well on the way” to achieving its announced goal of testing every resident and staff member in long term care facilities for COVID-19 during the month of May, according to DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. She says many nursing homes are using their own staff to conduct testing, while others are receiving assistance from the Wisconsin National Guard. Last week, the state health department said two Dodge County-area nursing homes had active public health investigations. Coronavirus cases have been reported at Bedrock HCS at Beaver Dam on Roedl (ray-dull) Court and the Waupun Christian Home on Fox Lake Road in Waupun. The state is reporting a total of three confirmed cases between the two facilities.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 279 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) daily update. The two-week daily average is 414 new infections. There is a total of 15,863 people now having tested positive. Three-point-six-percent (3.6%) of the roughly 7500 tests administered came back negative on Tuesday, continuing a declining trend in recent days. State public health officials reported three new deaths bringing the total to 517. Dodge County has 162 cases with one death on record. Nearly 60 percent of people infected in Wisconsin have recovered.

(Fond du Lac) Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says the 25 new cases they saw over the weekend were related to current outbreaks they have been addressing and actively investigating through contact tracing. She says a lot of the newly identified cases were from people attending recent birthday parties and other gatherings including funerals. Mueller says some of those who tested positive said they went to the parties thinking they weere suffering from seasonal allergies.

(Wisconsin) Julie Willems Van Dijk with the state Department of Health Services says the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Wisconsin has remained relatively steady, since the end of the Safer at Home order. Willems Van Dijk says we should be cautious as the state opens up, and continue to practice safe social distancing, because the coronavirus is still out there in our communities.

(Beaver Dam) Two people were taken into custody yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon after fleeing Beaver Dam police in a stolen vehicle from Illinois. Around 3:38pm, an officer attempted to stop the 2008 Nissan on Green Valley Road near Dodge Drive for speeding and failure to stop at a signal. The driver, a 23-year-old male from Chicago, failed to stop for police and accelerated away. The vehicle was eventually disabled by tire deflation devices. The driver and a female passenger were arrested. The driver is facing charges of felony Fleeing and several other traffic related citations.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin circuit courts may soon return to something approaching normal. Courts can resume proceedings on a county-by-county basis if each prepares a plan to clean frequently touched surfaces, and requires everyone in the courtroom to wear masks. The state Supreme Court suspended in-person hearings and jury trials in March, ordering judges to move trials to a date after May 22.

(Wisconsin) It’s estimated that nearly 250-thousand Wisconsin drivers could renew their licenses online this year. The D-M-V started a program earlier this month to cut back on the number of in-person visits to state offices during the coronavirus pandemic.  To renew online, drivers must have a regular Class-D license with no medical restrictions or further deterioration of their vision.  The D-M-V has also extended the expiration date for about 80 thousand drivers who haven’t been able to renew their licenses while the governor’s Safer at Home order was in effect.

(Wisconsin) The coronavirus could make things much worse for Wisconsin’s homeless. The Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness has a new plan to spend 70-million dollars to help find jobs and homes for the homeless. Spokesman Joseph Volk says with unemployment pushing 15-percent in Wisconsin, there could be a surge of homelessness. He says he hopes lawmakers act before it’s too late.

(Juneau) Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald discussed COVID-19 impacts with Wisconsin’s three major league sports organizations yesterday. Fitzgerald says he spoke with Brewers President Rick Schlesinger, Bucks President Peter Feigin and Packers President Mark Murphy on what assistance from Wisconsin would be helpful moving forward. The Juneau Republican says he is continuing to seek input from groups like Wisconsin’s professional sports teams on how the state can be helpful in their return to play. He adds that he will continue to keep lines of communication open with their private-sector partners and the governor as the state continues to react to COVID-19.

(Jefferson County) Alliant Energy has announced plans to acquire and advance 675 megawatts of solar in six Wisconsin Counties including Jefferson County. Once operational, the energy from the solar project will be enough to power 175,000 homes per year. Seventy-five megawatts of solar generation will be installed at Ranger Power in Jefferson County. The other 600 megawatts will be installed at sites in Grant, Sheboygan, Wood, Rock and Richland Counties

(Wisconsin) It’s going to be a great few weeks to get out and enjoy the state parks, but the DNR is asking that you do so safely. DNR Section Chief Missy Vanlanduit says there may be closures or restrictions in place to help keep people socially distanced. Campgrounds will remain closed for at least a few weeks, and wardens will examine how safe it is to reopen those at that point. Until then, Vanlandit asks people to stick to parks that are within their own counties.