enosha – Hello, neighbor. The news is constantly changing these days, and it can be hard to keep up. In this update, you will find a review of recent news items. This week, the state Supreme Court issued its ruling on “Safer at Home”; a new national report listed Kenosha and Racine as growing Covid-19 hotspots; mobile testing is coming to Racine; and Dr. Fauci warned of a wave of new cases for states that reopen too soon. We can all use some good news, so I’ll highlight the great work of two men with Kenosha family ties, David Heide and Dan Bonanno, in helping their communities through the pandemic. These are difficult times for all of us, but we will get through it together. I hope this is helpful. Stay safe and healthy.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)
*COVID Cases Spike in Kenosha and Racine
While some parts of the state are seeing a decline in the percentage of positive Covid tests, both Kenosha and Racine have been flagged by experts as two of the fastest-growing communities for Covid cases in the country. In Racine, the outbreaks tend to be centered around workplaces; in Kenosha, officials believe it is due more to community spread. It’s been tough for all of us the last few months, missing many of our favorite activities or not able to see and spend time with loved ones, but this is not a time to relax or let up. Stay home as much as possible; avoid social gatherings; wear masks if you absolutely must go out; wash your hands often; keep a safe distance when around other people. We know these things work to slow the spread of the virus. When you do these things, it’s not just for your own health. It’s for your elderly grandma, for your neighbor who is a cancer survivor, or for your asthmatic husband. We are all in this together, and the more serious we take this now, the sooner we can get back some normalcy.
State Supreme Court Strikes Down Statewide “Safer at Home”; City of Racine Continues with Extended Order Until May 26
*Festival Hall to Become Racine Mobile Testing Site Next Week*
When: Monday, May 18 – Friday, May 22, 9 am – 6pm
What: Free Drive-through Covid-19 testing
Who Can Get Tested: Anyone in the community; Spanish language interpreters will be available
Kenosha County Officials and Business Leaders Announce Kenosha County Kickstart Plan
Racine County and RAMAC Release Guidance for Business Reopenings
Wisconsin Names 38 Nursing Homes Under Active Coronavirus Investigation, Including Two in Racine County
Wisconsin Receives an “F” on Social Distancing Scoreboard
Marquette Poll Finds Strong Majority Still Support “Safer at Home” Policy
Q22: Opinion of stay-at-home
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Fauci Testimony: States Face Serious Consequences if they Reopen Too Quickly
Kenosha Natives David Heide and Dan Bonanno Use Their Talents to Help Families, Businesses in Their Communities During Pandemic
We can all use some “feel good” news these days, and today it comes courtesy of two men with family ties to Kenosha, David Heide and Dan Bonanno, who are putting their skills to use to make this time a little easier for some families and restaurants in their communities. David, grandson of legendary children’s book author Florence Parry Heide, is a Madison-area chef and restaurateur. He has been voted best chef in Madison and is known as the owner of Liliana’s in Fitchburg and Charlie’s on Main in Oregon, both named for his children. David’s third creation, Little John’s, named for his third child, is helping feed families in need during the public health crisis. Through a charity-driven food delivery program, David has been able to feed 632 area families in need six meals a week. After exhausting his initial round of funding, Little John’s was recently the recipient of $25,000 raised by 7-year-old Morgan , Marsh-McGlone through a “virtual lemonade stand”. Wanting to find a way to help, Morgan set up a Facebook fundraising page (https://www.facebook.com/donate/279145583108094/245904603432279/). Once a person makes a donation, they are mailed a coupon for a real cup of lemonade; once life returns to “normal”, Morgan will notify donors that her real lemonade stand is open, and they can redeem their coupons. After meeting her initial goals, Morgan upped the ante, promising cookies to go with the lemonade for further donations. Heide has promised that he and his staff will help Morgan make the cookies and lemonade.
In addition to feeding hundreds of families through Little John’s, David Heide has joined with Kenosha native, award-winning chef and Madison restaurant owner Dan Bonanno, and other local chefs in creating Nom Nom Nom Kits. Bonanno is the son of recently-retired Tenuta’s Deli legend Tony Bonanno, owns Madison restaurant A Pig in a Fur Coat and Alimentari, a high-end market selling fresh pastas, sauces, cheese and charcuterie. Nom Nom Nom Kits are made with all local ingredients, coming from area farmers, and allow you to cook at home. For $80, you get the ingredients to make a four-person meal; delivery is available for $10, with proceeds going to the Dane County Farmers’ Market and a local food group.
I applaud these men for their great work to help make life a little easier for their friends and neighbors and for bringing a little sunshine into our lives during these troubled times.
Vaccine Expert Rick Bright Warns of “Darkest Winter in Modern History”
Governor Evers, WEDC Release Reopening Best Practices for Businesses
Experts Explain the Importance of Finding the Right Face Mask
CDC Investigating New Illness in Children Connected to Covid-19
Fond du Lac Covid-19 Cases Related to Social Gatherings
*WEDC Provides Guidance on Hair Salon Reopening for Businesses and Consumers*
Hair and nail salons play an important role in our lives, providing a valuable service and experience that many of us enjoy. Salons and barbershops also provide a sense of community. There are more than 5,000 salons and barbershops in the state, and while many owners, practitioners and customers are eager for them to reopen, the close contact required to provide these services will make some changes necessary in order to do so safely. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has worked with industry leaders to come up with a set of guidelines for businesses and clients to follow when reopening does happen. Some of these recommendations for stylists and practitioners include: disinfecting all tools, such as combs and brushes, between clients and at the beginning and end of each shift; limiting the number of clients in a shop at one time; minimize facial contact by wearing a face shield; encouraging clients to bring their own pens to sign credit card authorizations; and using a clean cape for each client. For clients, the recommendations include: staying home if you even think you or someone in your household might be sick; wearing a mask; not entering the salon until your chair is open and has been disinfected; and washing your hands or at least using hand sanitizer before and after leaving the salon. Following these best practices will go a long way toward keeping us all safe and healthy. Find more on salon guidelines at https://wedc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/COVID-19-Hair-Nail-Salons-Guidelines-1.pdf.
*Temporary Changes to Drivers’ Licensing*
The pandemic has forced us to change and adapt in all aspects of our life. In response, the state Department of Transportation will not require teens who have completed their required driver’s education programs to take the previously-required driving test in order to receive their licenses; the teens’ parents or guardians must approve of this waiver. The other change being tested on a trial basis allows eligible drivers to renew their license online, rather than at a DMV office. Eligible drivers must be age 64 or younger; not have a commercial driver’s license; have no medical restrictions or vision changes; and not looking to upgrade to a REAL ID. More information can be found at https://wisconsindot.gov.
*Scammers Look to Cash in on Pandemic
Scammers are always looking for their next opportunity to line their pockets, and the Covid-19 outbreak has provided many. Some of the most common Covid-related scams involve: false claims of cures, treatments, vaccines or test kits; fraudulent charitable pitches; phony work-from-home opportunities; and stimulus and other financial scams. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has more information on these scams and what you can do to stay scam-free available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media?COVID19ScamAlerts.aspx.
*AARP Hosting Weekly Tele-Town Halls on COVID-19 Issues
Every Thursday at noon, AARP hosts a tele-town hall where they discuss various COVID-19 -related topics that are relevant to seniors. Experts in different fields take part each week, and participants can just listen or ask a question. Find more at: https://states.aarp.org/tag/tele-town-hall.
*Tool Connects Wisconsinites with Covid-19 Facts and Resources
A new tool for computers and smartphones developed at UW-Madison is helping answer questions and separate fact from fiction when it comes to Covid-19. Called Covid-19 Wisconsin Connect, the application also helps users find Covid-related resources in their area. It is free, available in multiple languages and can be found at https://www.covid19wisconsinconnect.org/#/home.
*2-1-1 is a Valuable Community Assistance Program
Many people are not aware of the 2-1-1 assistance line. By calling 2-1-1 (or 877-947-2211), you can connect with a live, knowledgeable person who can provide you with information on numerous government and nonprofit assistance programs in your area. You can find out more about the program, as well as other ways to access it, at https://211wisconsin.communityos.org.
*Wondering about the Status of Your Stimulus Payment?
The IRS has set up a site where, by entering your personal information, you can check the status of your federal stimulus payment. For those who have not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and are not Social Security or SSI recipients, you can use this same site to file a short form in order to receive the stimulus. Visit https://irs.gov/coronavirus and click “Check your payment status”. From there, to find out when your payment will arrive, select “Get my payment” and follow the directions. You can also use this site if you have filed your tax return but need to provide your bank information for direct deposit of stimulus funds. For non-filers who need to complete the short form, select “Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here”.
*How to File an Unemployment Claim
The Department of Workforce Development is encouraging all who have lost their jobs or whose hours have been reduced due to COVID-19 to file their unemployment claims online at https://dwd.wi.gov/ui/. The site also features a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and information on the federal coronavirus stimulus. You can find a how-to video on filing an unemployment claim here: https://media.wisconsin.gov/ui/ext/benefits/how_to_apply.htm.