News – October 15, 2020

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam School District is temporarily moving to virtual learning. Superintendent Mark DiStefano cited increasing cases and close contact quarantines both in school and in the community along with the impact that has on “overall district wellness and staffing levels.” Students at the high school begin virtual learning today while kids in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade start on Monday. In-person schooling will resume at all grade levels on Monday, October 26. DiStefano says that additional adjustments to the Return To School plan are possible and the school board will discuss that at their meeting later this month.

(Beaver Dam) A weekly COVID-19 testing site will be coming to Dodge County next week. Dodge County Public Health Officer Abby Sauer made that announcement yesterday to local officials and business leaders. So far, the county has only had free community testing sites available every month but starting next Monday and Wednesday, there will be community testing every week. Testing will initially be held at the Highway Shop in Mayville but the county health department is currently working with Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam to set up a location in Beaver Dam.

(Juneau) The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Dodge County was near 50-percent last week, according to the latest update from the Dodge County Health Department. From October 5th through the 11th, county health officials say 45.5-percent of all tests administered were positive; the previous week it was 22.6-percent. Due to increasing cases, Dodge County remains in phase one of its three phase Safe Restart Plan. Contact tracing and cases are in the red while hospital capacity is in the yellow. PPE and testing are the only metrics in the green.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 3,107 positive coronavirus cases in Wednesday’s daily update. There are 31,595 active cases in the state, an increase of 864 from Tuesday. State health officials recorded 28 deaths, for a total of 1,536. Dodge County has 19 deaths on record and 2,733 cases, an increase of 53 from Tuesday. County health officials are actively monitoring 896 people. Washington County now has 40 deaths while Columbia County recorded its fourth death yesterday.

(Wisconsin) A Sawyer County judge has temporarily blocked Governor Tony Evers’ order limiting indoor gatherings in Wisconsin. Evers’ order caps the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants, and many other businesses at 25-percent of capacity. A court date is set for Monday. The Tavern League of Wisconsin is suing to overturn the order. Another legal challenge to the order has already failed, but is being appealed. Evers’ order went into effect last Thursday, and it is scheduled to last until November 6th. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Ninety-two percent of state unemployment claims have now been processed. The Department of Workforce Development says it is making progress catching up — after some people say they had to wait months to hear one way or another. D-W-D says about 590-thousand of the more than seven million claims are still being evaluated. A September audit found more than 90-percent of the phone calls to the state unemployment office went unanswered between March 15th and June 30th. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin’s coronavirus emergency means people on “food stamps” will receive additional benefits. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services yesterday says people in the FoodShare program will get maximum benefits through the end of October. They have been getting maximum benefits since March. A family of four enrolled in Wisconsin FoodShare has been getting, and will continue to get, $680-dollars a month for groceries. -WRN

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin Democrats want local election officials to be able to count absentee ballots before Election Day. Several Democratic lawmakers signed a letter Tuesday asking the Republicans who control the legislature to come back for an extraordinary session and approve an early-count law. Local election managers have warned for weeks that a flood of absentee ballots next month will make it impossible to know who won the election on Election Day. Democrats say more than one-point-three million people in Wisconsin have asked for absentee ballots. -WRN

(Beaver Dam) Those interested in applying for a grant through the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation have until Friday to submit an application as part of the new organizations fall grant cycle. Grants disbursed in this second and final grant cycle of the year have the potential to fund a wide range of projects in the Dodge County area, including but not limited to youth, technology, outreach programming, health and family services, and education. Eligible 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations can submit an application for up to $2,500. A full list of grant criteria and the application are available on the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation website.