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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Historical updates from March 29-April 4

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Posted at 8:58 AM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 10:01:20-04

Editor's note: This page features historical updates and will not be updated. For the most recent updates, click here.

As the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country and the world, TMJ4 News is tracking how schools, businesses, governments, and more are reacting. Bookmark this page for the latest updates on how COVID-19 is affecting daily life.

As of Saturday afternoon, there were a total of 278,458 confirmed cases and 7,159 deaths in the U.S., according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins. At least 9,897 people have recovered.

Here in Wisconsin, as of Saturday afternoon, there were 2,170 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. 61 people have died. Here is the latest county-by-county breakdown:

Wisconsin CountyTotal Cases as of 4/4/2020Total Deaths as of 4/4/2020
Adams10
Ashland10
Barron30
Bayfield30
Brown270
Buffalo20
Calumet30
Chippewa160
Clark60
Columbia190
Crawford10
Dane2535
Dodge140
Door20
Douglas70
Dunn50
Eau Claire170
Fond du Lac362
Grant20
Green80
Iowa30
Iron11
Jackson30
Jefferson130
Juneau50
Kenosha930
La Crosse210
Manitowoc10
Marathon110
Marinette20
Marquette20
Menominee10
Milwaukee1,12234
Monroe50
Oconto10
Oneida30
Outagamie201
Ozaukee536
Pierce70
Portage30
Racine481
Richland30
Rock261
Rusk10
Sauk182
Shawano10
Sheboygan211
St. Croix70
Trempeleau10
Vilas30
Walworth160
Washington553
Waukesha1473
Waupaca21
Winnebago180
Wood20
Total2,17061

Editor's note: The numbers above may not match data from the state's Department of Health Services website. Many Wisconsin counties release confirmed COVID-19 cases independent of the state, and those cases are reflected in the above total.

Latest updates:

Saturday, April 4

4:40 p.m. -- Aurora Sinai Medical Center confirms refrigerated trucks are at location for COVID-19 surge planning purposes

Aurora Sinai Medical Center confirmed to TMJ4 that they now had a refrigerated truck at its location as a part of its expected surge in patients and COVID-19-related deaths.

"This unprecedented crisis requires extraordinary measures to plan for the expected surge in patients and COVID-related loss of lives," said a hospital representative. "This is why we urge everyone to do their part to stop the spread and help save lives. Our thoughts are with all patients and their families who are impacted by this heartbreaking crisis and our physicians, nurses and team members who continue their unwavering commitment to care for our patients and each other."

3:30 p.m. -- Governor Evers releases statement regarding disaster declaration

Following the approval of the disaster declaration, Governor Tony Evers released the following statement.

“I am grateful for the swift action of the federal government in reviewing our request for a major disaster declaration,” Gov. Evers said. “The assistance granted today will help ensure Wisconsin can gain access to critical assistance as we continue our work to respond to this pandemic.”

3 p.m. -- President Trump approves Wisconsin disaster declaration

Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments for emergency protective measures, including federal assistance, for all areas impacted by COVID-19.

Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments for emergency protective measures, including federal assistance, for all areas impacted by COVID-19.

10:35 a.m. -- Wisconsin GOP vows Supreme Court appeal on extended voting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans say they're asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block extended absentee voting in Tuesday's primary.

Wisconsin is moving ahead with in-person voting despite concerns about the public health risks of the coronavirus crisis.

A federal judge rejected lawsuits seeking to postpone the election but extended absentee voting by six days.

The GOP says that raises concerns about election security.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called a special session for Saturday and asked Republicans to shift the election to all-mail with absentee voting into late May.

Republicans said they wouldn't do it.

Friday, April 3

10:31 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials echo CDC cloth mask guidelines

Wisconsin health officials are echoing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control to wear a cloth mask when you leave your home.

The CDC recommends people voluntarily wear non-surgical cloth coverings over their nose and mouth while maintaining strict social distancing guidelines.

Officials say people should not wear clinical or medical-grade masks because those should be reserved for health workers and first responders on the front lines.

"If you're going to cover your face you can cover it with a scarf, you can cover it with something else," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "You don't need one of these clinical masks to do it."

The Medical College of Wisconsin released some guidelines for wearing cloth masks, some of which include washing your hands before and after putting the mask on, not touching the mask while wearing it, and staying at least six feet away from others.

Out on the street, some people have already heeded the advice. Simone Conceicao said once she heard the news, she put on her homemade mask for her afternoon walk.

"It's at least a way to protect, but we don't really know," Conceicao said.

She says her neighbors made cloth masks for her whole building.

Any kind of mask is tough to find in big box stores, so you may have to look on social media for people who are making them.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew your own.

9:48 p.m. -- 'We are getting hit hard. It's stressful': What MKE nurses are overcoming to help COVID-19 patients

The front lines in the battle against coronavirus are happening in hospitals with nurses right in the middle.

Some of the Milwaukee-area nurses say it is not easy, but they are leaning on each other to get through.

"We are getting hit hard. It's stressful. It's tiring," said Amanda Holly, a registered nurse who works at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital.

Holly, along with nurses at Ascension Wisconsin and Ascension Franklin, says the COVID-19 battle in Milwaukee is only getting harder. These nurses say they felt the change inside the hospitals a few weeks ago.

"Three weeks ago, we had multiple admissions throughout the day, and a lot of sick patients, and I turned to him and said, 'Are you getting scared yet?' Yeah, I am.' So I think that was kind of the turning point for us. And it's something new every day right now," said Jennifer Wanta, an RN in the intensive care unit at Ascension Franklin.

9:16 p.m. -- ProHealth Care welcoming donations of handsewn masks, other personal protective equipment

ProHealth Care is welcoming donations of handsewn masks and other personal protective equipment as well as hand sanitizer.

Donated products must be new in unopened packaging. ProHealth Care is accepting donations of the following items:

  • Masks – Both N95 respirator and ear loop surgical masks. These masks are sometimes used in construction, painting, dentistry, veterinary medicine and school settings.
  • Eye protection – Goggles and safety glasses. These are used in a wide variety of industries as well as by woodworkers, hobbyists and painters.
  • Hand sanitizer – Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are most effective in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Many individuals and businesses use these products.

Donations from the community may be dropped off at ProHealth Care’s administrative building at N17W24100 Riverwood Drive in Pewaukee, off Pewaukee Road just north of I-94.

8:58 p.m. -- Online learning isn't easy for elementary school students

For many students, going to class now means opening up a laptop and logging onto a video chat platform, but the some students don't do that.

Their curriculum is more play-based, and that means parents are stepping in to make sure academic goals are still being met.

"I had her sorting the color of the fruits snacks, and then we were tallying up how many of each color there were," Rachel Strelow, the mother of a 4-year-old at St. Robert School in Shorewood, said. "And then counting the total so trying to incorporate some math into things we are already doing."

"I'm also lucky that she's only four, and that I'm teaching or 'teaching' things like 123's and ABC's and that playing is a huge part of learning for them."

However, it is still extra work on top of her other mom duties.

On the other hand, elementary teachers are working hard to accommodate for the lack of an in-person involvement.

"I basically provide a tool kit of resources or like a menu of activity options for the parents, Gina Flynn, a 4K teacher at St. Robert School said.

Kindergarten teaching doesn't translate well over Zoom or Skype. Instead, she will take pictures of materials involved in an educational activity and post them online to give parents an idea of what to do. Parent involvement is vital for younger students.

"Kind of gave a little description of like you know the main focus or goal of this activity, and then they could try to replicate it; however, it works in their house."
But it's still important she manages to get a little FaceTime in with her students," she said.

Parents are filling in as substitute teachers to keep academic goals in progress. And teachers, especially elementary ones, are working hard to combat the lack of in-person instruction that is so crucial at young ages.

7:15 p.m. -- Fabulously Funny Comedy Festival postponed, Milwaukee Blues Festival canceled amid coronavirus

Coronavirus has caused many events to be canceled or postponed. Now, there's even more.

The Fabulously Funny Comedy Festival starring Mike Epps has been rescheduled from its original date of March 20, 2020, to April 9, 2021.

For those who purchased tickets already, you are able to keep the same seats for the new date. Fans who cannot attend on the rescheduled date or who wants a refund should return tickets to the place of purchase.

The Milwaukee Blues Festival, originally scheduled for March 27, 2020, was postponed but is now canceled.

If tickets were purchased through Ticketmaster with a credit card, the refund will be refunded automatically.

If tickets were purchased with cash at the box office, once it is safe you will receive a refund.

6:46 p.m. -- Country Fest postponed due to COVID-19, new dates are August 13-15

Country Fest has now been postponed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The festival will now take place on August 13-15.

The originally scheduled date of Country Fest were June 25-27. These dates have now been pushed back nearly two months as the world waits for coronavirus to slow down.

Even though the dates have changed, Country Fest has been able to keep their same headliners. Those headliners being Kane Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Thomas Rhett.

Country Fest said they are still finalizing the rest of their lineup with more information coming out in a few weeks.

Anyone purchased tickets will rollover to the new dates. If you are unable to attend the postponed August 2020 dates, you can get a refund or transfer the tickets to Country Fest 2021.

6:20 p.m. -- Medical College of Wisconsin recommends everyone wear cloth face covering in public for now

The Medical College of Wisconsin is recommending that everyone should wear a cloth face covering in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The college says they support the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that all individuals wear cloth face coverings in public, over the mouth and nose.

Recommended face coverings include scarves, bandanas and cloth masks.

"Our goal is to never reach a time when there is a shortage of hospital resources, including ICU beds and breathing machines, for patients in need," said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW. "Every individual action counts. People wearing a cloth face covering in public places like the grocery store or pharmacy will help to flatten the curve, by reducing the spread of COVID-19."

They also urge people to continue social distancing and remain at least six feet away from others.

5:57 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials: State's COVID-19 peak projected in 3-7 weeks, 'Safer at Home' helping

Based on state data, health officials project Wisconsin's peak of COVID-19 will most likely happen in the next 3 to 7 weeks.

The news comes as state health officials pointed out they believe steps like social distancing and the "Safer at Home" order are helping stem the growth of positive cases.

During a Friday briefing Dr. Ryan Westergaard, the Department of Health Services' Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, explained the number of cases is growing linearly versus exponentially.

"The fact that we're seeing cases go up by the same amount every day, 180-190, this week is actually very good news. It's actually really encouraging that we're flattening the curve," said Dr. Westergaard.

This comes as about a hundred state health workers are sent to Milwaukee, where there are nearly 800 confirmed cases.

They are tracking down people who had contact with every suspected and confirmed case of COVID-19, a time-consuming but critical task.

5:21 p.m. -- 'We are flattening the curve': Wisconsin health official says state is making progress with COVID-19

Wisconsin's chief medical officer for communicable diseases says that data on coronavirus infections continues to show that the state is "flattening the curve."

Dr. Ryan Westergaard first said on Monday that there were positive signs with the slowing increase in COVID-19 cases, a message he repeated again Thursday and Friday.

He says, "We are flattening the curve." Westergaard calls it a "glimmer of hope that what we're doing is making a big difference."

Wisconsin is under a stay-at-home order which has resulted in the closing of schools and all nonessential businesses. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have gone up each day this week between 10% and 14%. But that is a lower increase than what earlier models, based on projections through the first half of March, were showing, he said.

As of Friday, there were more than 1,900 confirmed cases in the state and 48 deaths.

Even with the positive news, state health officials have said Wisconsin may not hit a peak in cases for weeks and they won't project when it will be safe to loosen the limitations on movement and allow businesses to reopen. Gov. Tony Evers' emergency order for people to remain at home runs through April 24, but could be extended.

4:49 p.m. -- Contracted nurse at the Milwaukee County Jail tests positive for COVID-19

A contracted nurse with the Milwaukee County Jail has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department confirmed the positive test result Friday.

The nurse reported symptoms on Thursday and did not come in for work. Her last shift at the jail was Tuesday, and has not returned to the jail since.

According to the sheriff's department, the nurse was wearing protective equipment during her last shift.

No other medical staff members at the jail have reported symptoms, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says they are taking measures to ensure the safety and health of their employees and people who may have come into contact with the nurse.

4:45 p.m. -- North Shore Health Department orders all public beaches to close

The North Shore Health Department has ordered that all public beaches close beginning Friday.

Atwater Beach, Big Bay Beach/Buckley Park, Klode Beach and Tietjen Beach at Doctor’s Park have all been ordered to close.

The North Shore Health Department say they're closing these beaches in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the North Shore communities.

In a press release, they said, "It is issued in the best interest of public health, safety and welfare and to prevent gatherings in a single location."

The health department said these closures will be in effect for the entire duration of the "Safer at Home" order issued by Governor Tony Evers.

4:04 p.m. -- Racine County sees first COVID-19 death, 46 confirmed cases in the county

Racine County has now seen its first COVID-19 death after a man in his 70s passed away Friday.

"Today is a heartbreaking day for all of Racine County. We send our deepest condolences to his family members and friends, and our hearts are with all those who are battling this extremely dangerous disease," said Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave.

As of Friday afternoon, Racine County has 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, according to Racine County, 46 is likely too low a number. With every one positive test result, there are likely several others showing slight symptoms who never get tested due to current testing conditions.

"We are so saddened by this death and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and community," said Margaret Gesner, Health Officer for the Central Racine County Health Department.

So far, Wisconsin has seen 44 deaths with that number expected to continue rising.

3:36 p.m. -- Milwaukee County now has more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County has exceeded 1,000 and so far, 24 people have died.

New numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services show that there are now 1,023 cases of coronavirus in Milwaukee County.

On Thursday, the department reported that there were currently 945 cases of coronavirus in Milwaukee County. That number has now increased by 78.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Milwaukee County has seen 24 deaths. That is six more than the 18 reported on Thursday.

The new state total is 1,985.

During Friday's update, Governor Tony Evers said, "we will continue to fight to make sure Wisconsinites are safe."

Evers also said that best case scenario is we will have a vaccine in a year.

1:24 p.m. -- Governor Tony Evers calls for special session days before spring election to stop in-person voting

Governor Tony Evers has called for a special session to discuss the upcoming election. The session, set to take place on Saturday at 4 p.m., will determine whether in person voting will be allowed on election day.

Governor Evers is requesting that anyone who has not received or requested an absentee ballot, get one by May 19. The receiving date would also be extended until May 26.

1:10 p.m. -- City of Racine prepares for drive-up voting on election day

In an effort to limit interactions on election day, the City of Racine has made a plan to offer drive-up, curbside voting.

Voters will simply pull up to their polling place, where volunteers will give them a ballot, vote, and drive away. You don't even need to leave your vehicle.

The City Clerk just asks that you bring your own hard surface to write on.

11:30 a.m. -- Judge rules Wisconsin clerks can't release results from Tuesday's election before April 13 absentee deadline.

With the primary election quickly approaching, a judge has ruled that results can not be released until after the April 13 absentee ballot.

Government officials asked that everyone vote absentee instead of heading to the polls, where coronavirus could spread from voter to voter.

8:50 a.m. -- Milwaukee County coronavirus deaths now at 24

The death toll from coronavirus in Milwaukee County is now at 24.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner tweeted that there were now 24 deaths from coronavirus complications.

8:40 a.m. -- Commission seeks clarity on absentees for Wisconsin election

The Wisconsin Election Commission says a federal judge who ordered an extension for absentee voting in Tuesday’s election should ensure that no results are reported until all absentee ballots are in.

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Thursday rejected lawsuits seeking to postpone the election, but gave voters until April 13 to return absentee ballots.

8:15 a.m. -- US sheds 701,000 jobs in face of virus, ending record-long hiring streak

A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak that’s all but shut down the U.S. economy.

The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from a 50-year low of 3.5%.

6 a.m. -- Walker's Point gas station offers $0.99 gas to first responders, essential workers

Walker's Point Mobil Plaza, located at 605 South 1st Street, is offering discounted regular grade gasoline for 24 hours, April 3 at 10 a.m. to April 4 at 10 am.

Thursday, April 2

9:01 p.m. -- Sofa Cinema: Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre offering online rental service

Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but they still want you to enjoy independent movies from your couch.

The non-profit is launching a new online rental service called "Sofa Cinema." Milwaukee Film calls it a new way to keep you connected.

"Even if we're not together in person, Sofa Cinema lets us be together in film," Milwaukee Film writes.

Click here to see the movies you can watch now. New movies will be added every Friday.

8:13 p.m. -- Milwaukee leaders plan 'alternative care facility' for COVID-19 patients at State Fair grounds

Milwaukee city and county officials are calling on the state to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build an alternative healthcare facility on the Wisconsin State Fair Park grounds in the coming days.

Local leaders call the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis an optimal location for a temporary hospital because it's easy to access off I-94 and has plenty of parking.

As Milwaukee County coronavirus cases climb above 900 on Thursday, city and county leaders say they're planning for the worst. They're requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turn an existing building at the state fairgrounds into an alternative healthcare facility with the hopes it won't have to be used.

Leaders say they are hopeful they'll have enough hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators if there's a surge in cases. But, according to Barrett, the new facility would provide further assistance "in the event that we need it."

"This is an attempt to prepare in the event that we need this," said Mayor Barrett. "The goal is to be prepared."

"We're entering a state of the unknown," said Chris Durkin.

Durkin lives right across the street from the fairgrounds.

"I can't say I'm necessarily a fan of it living across the street, but at the same time, as long as I'm quarantining myself, I think. Hopefully, I can reduce my risk," he said.

West Allis Mayor Dan Devine said nearby residents do not need to worry.

"We're going to do everything we can to have a minimal impact on surrounding neighborhoods," Devine said.

"We want to avoid a situation where we decide we need this facility too late when we already have patients in need," said Dr. Ben Weston, Director of Medical Services for Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said if area hospitals exceed capacity, coronavirus patients who do not need ventilators would be sent to the fairgrounds. Each patient would get their own room and a bed.

"If we didn't move at this speed, we may not have enough time," Barrett said.

"We at State Fair Park are ready to serve if needed," said John Dingling, Chairman of the State Fair Park Board. "We have the facilities, we are ready, and we're looking to make sure that we are operational as quickly as possible to provide services we hope are never needed."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already done similar projects in Detroit and Chicago.

It remains unclear when construction would begin at the fairgrounds, how many beds would be available, and where healthcare workers would come from, but Barrett expects work to start by the middle of April.

"The next step is to request the actual facility to be built," Barrett said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the Milwaukee area scouting possible sites for this temporary hospital. They toured the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee earlier this week, but Mayor Barrett's office said that location had not been selected at this time.

City leaders say funding for construction will come from the federal and state government. Local firms will be contracted to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in building the site.

7:00 p.m. -- Businesses adjust as Democratic National Convention pushes back dates

The Democratic National Convention will now take place on August 17-20, nearly a month after its initial scheduled dates in July.

The announcement was made Thursday morning, and business managers and owners with shops near the Fiserv Forum learned the news quickly.

"I'm just happy they haven't canceled it yet. I'm hoping they don't," said Demetri Itsines, general manager of Brick 3 Pizza just outside of the Deer District.

Itsines said a lack of foot traffic since Governor Evers' "Stay at Home" order had been a catalyst for slow business over the past month.

"I looked on Amazon to buy some tumbleweed, but I can't find any. I wanted to buy some so we can put on the streets," he joked.

Itsines and neighboring businesses will have to wait a little longer for that economic boost that comes with DNC business.

"Other restaurants around here, we were all planning for it. We were all getting ready, buying more products," Itsines said.

Now those efforts will shift toward mid-August as organizers tied to get the event off the ground before November's election.

It's not ideal, but business owners are still happy it's on their calendars.

"I think, first and foremost, it's a nod of positivity for things going on right now," said Sean Wille of Don's Grocery and Liquor in Walker's Point.

In the 5th Ward, Trevor Danielsen, owner of Stack'd Burger Bar, said he's operating to keep business afloat.

"I'm in survival mode right now. Basically, trying to keep my restaurant running," Danielsen said.

The DNC will now happen at the Fiserv Forum between August 17-20.

6:36 p.m. -- Down the drain: Wisconsin dairy farmers told to dump milk because of an oversupply in the market

A West Bend farm says it was told to start dumping tens of thousands of gallons of milk per day because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Golden E Dairy Farms in West Bend says an oversupply in the market is the reason they're dumping milk. They estimate 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of milk per day is going right down the drain.

"On March 31st, we got the call to tell us we need to start dumping milk immediately," Ryan Eble, whose family owns the farm, said. "My understanding is, there is a large oversupply of fluid milk."

That oversupply could spell disaster for the industry as a whole.

"We do everything we can to stop this from happening," John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Cheese Makers Association, said. "But with hundreds of thousands of restaurants, schools and universities closed, we've lost an enormous market."

Umhoefer says giving the milk away themselves could also crush the dairy industry. They've asked the USDA to step in to buy back the milk to then donate it to those who need it.

"We have asked the government to step in and buy dairy products to give to feeding programs and give to school lunch programs," Umhoefer said. "So we can get people fed and get money back to that dairy farmer."

Because right now, farms like Golden E would be losing tens of thousands of dollars every day. Money they're told they will get back.

"I don't know if this will affect us financially right now, but if we don't get paid, it will obviously," Eble said. "I'm told we will. Who is going to reimburse us? Whether it's the cooperative, the [Dairy Farmers of America], or the government, that is uncertain as of this time. But right now, we're told we will be reimbursed."

But for at least the next week, they'll continue dumping milk from their 2,400 cows.

"Who wants to go to work to know they put their heart and soul into their job for the purpose to be nothing?" Eble said. "Just for fun. These cows are not going to stop. It's not a manufacturing facility where there's no demand so they can stop production. These cows need to get milked three times a day. Nothing is going to change other than the fact that there is no milk leaving this farm."

5:59 p.m. -- Some Mayfair Mall restaurants are still open, offering curbside pickup and delivery

While Mayfair Mall has temporarily stopped retail operations due to COVID-19, some restaurants located at the mall are still open.

Options include everything from burgers and fries to traditional Italian dishes. Restaurants that remain open include:

The Cheesecake Factory
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Carryout; Delivery
(414) 257-2300

Five Guys Burgers & Fries
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Carryout; GrubHub
(414) 778-1590

Maggiano’s Little Italy
11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Carryout; Delivery available on orders of $100 or more
(414) 978-1010

P.F. Chang's
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Carryout; GrubHub
(414) 607-1029

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Carryout; GrubHub
(414) 839-1987

In addition to restaurants, Barnes & Noble is offering free curbside pickup for all online orders, and is encouraging local families to explore new adventures through books. The Mayfair Mall Barnes & Noble store can be reached at (414) 475-6070.

The Container Store is also open from noon – 6 p.m. and can be reached at (414) 930-7060.

Additional details can be found on the Mayfair Mall website.

5:42 p.m. -- 11-year-old cancer survivor from Waukesha sews safety masks for hospital and community

An 11-year-old cancer survivor from Waukesha is giving back to the community that helped save his life by sewing medical masks.

Collin Anderson started sewing these masks a few weeks ago after his mom showed him a video a hospital posted about how to make them at home in the proper way.

"I showed him, and in typical Collin fashion, it took him about 10 seconds, and he had his first mask made," Amanda Anderson, his mom, said.

Collin learned how to sew while at summer school three years ago with the Waukesha School District.

In the past few weeks, since he has started sewing medical masks, he has made about 20 or 30 masks, and the orders continue to pile up from community members.

His ultimate goal is to give them to Children's Wisconsin, which is where doctors helped him beat cancer.

4:19 p.m. -- Former Tosa basketball player discusses time in Greece during COVID-19 pandemic

Former Tosa East standout Jerry Smith has played 10 years of pro basketball. Eight of those years were overseas.

"You know, I can't complain man. I've been very, very lucky. I'm playing on a small island in Lemnos. It's about 45 minutes from Athens. A flight from Athens," Jerry Smith says.

"They love [Giannis Antetokounmpo], man. I mean, really, they love him. Everyone here, that's all the speak about. You know, the first thing when you say hey where you from? I'm from Milwaukee. They go crazy about him. So he's doing a great job for the city. You know, prior to all of this, it basically was just like you know what does he mean to Milwaukee. And what he's done for the city? This is the main thing people would ask me. And I say he's just, it's been everything for Milwaukee, the last couple years. To see his progression and continue to just keep growing as a player pro? It's been amazing for everyone in Milwaukee I believe," Smith says.

Smith says mainland Greece is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He's fortunate to have no cases where he's at, but wisely won't put himself, his girlfriend or daughter at risk.

Read the full story here.


3:58 p.m. -- Teens volunteer to make free deliveries during pandemic

With people staying home, local teenagers are picking up grocery and pharmacy orders for neighbors.

Ethan Kelly is a high school senior in Mequon who plays sports and enjoys volunteering. He is one of the countless teenagers adjusting to online learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Definitely learned you never know what might happen," said Ethan.

Ethan is also one of more than 200 volunteers with the newly formed group Mequon Teens Against COVID-19.

Partnering with specific Sendik's stores and some pharmacies in Mequon, Germantown, and Grafton, they deliver pick up orders for free, helping those who cannot leave home.

Read the full story here.


3:35 p.m. -- Federal judge refuses to postpone Wisconsin's election, but extends absentee voting window

(AP) A federal judge on Thursday refused to postpone Wisconsin's April 7 presidential primary, but did extend the state's absentee voting window.

Under the judge's order, the deadline to request an absentee ballot will now be extended one day to Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m., the Associated Press' Scott Bauer reported. Those ballots will have to be counted if they arrive by April 13. Election Day itself will still happen on Tuesday, April 7.

Governor Tony Evers had been under mounting pressure to postpone the election, including calls to do so from Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has also repeatedly stressed the importance of voting by mail as much as possible. On a Zoom call Thursday, Barrett said he feared Milwaukee's election would be the largest public gathering in the country next Tuesday.

2:51 p.m. -- Federal judge signals he won't postpone Wisconsin election

(AP) A federal judge is signaling he won't postpone or make any major changes to Wisconsin's spring election to alleviate concerns about voters and poll workers contracting the coronavirus.

Democrats and a host of liberal-leaning groups have filed three federal lawsuits asking U.S. District Judge William Conley to postpone in-person voting on Tuesday, lift requirements that absentee voters include photo ID with ballot applications and give people more time to file those ballots with local clerks.

Conley told the groups' attorneys during a hearing Wednesday that they haven't shown the crisis impinges on people's voting rights.

2:13 p.m. -- Rebel Converting Manufacturing to donate kits to make up to one million face masks

Rebel Converting Manufacturing, a Saukville company that makes disinfectant wet wipes, is creating "face mask kits" to send to local hospitals.

The company's goal is distribute enough kits to make one million masks for people working on the front lines to stop the spread and treat the coronavirus.

"If it's fighting COVID-19, all of our efforts are going towards that," said owner Mike Kryshak.

The company, which makes wet wipes and hospital grade disinfectant wipes for global companies, is working to produce upwards of 50 million hospital grade disinfectant wipes each day, according to Kryshak.

Read the full story here.

1:34 p.m. -- Dr. Anthony Fauci's face will soon be on a bobblehead

The United States' top infectious disease specialist is getting his own bobblehead.

The creation from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum features Dr. Anthony Fauci wearing a suit as he discusses the coronavirus pandemic.

Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar says Fauci was picked because many people see the plain-speaking expert on the coronavirus as a hero right now.

Sklar said the Milwaukee museum will donate $5 from every $25 Fauci bobblehead that's sold to the American Hospital Association.

The funds will go toward getting masks and other protective equipment for health care workers.

1:09 p.m. -- UWM donates personal protective gear for first responders

UWM faculty, researchers and staff have come together to support emergency health care workers and first responders by donating their personal protective equipment.

The university secured 31,300 gloves, nearly 900 masks, 125 pieces of eye protection, 20 gowns and nine hazmat suits. The UWM Police Department and University Safety and Assurances coordinated the collection.

This gear is to help protect health workers and limit the spread of COVID-19.

The supplies were donated to the Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday afternoon. From there, the materials will be distributed to local hospitals and first responders in Milwaukee County.

The collection began March 25 and ran through March 31.

12:40 p.m. -- Coronavirus outbreak could affect UW's fall semester

(AP) University of Wisconsin President Ray Cross says the coronavirus outbreak that's already led to the suspension of all in-person spring classes could also force changes to the fall semester that's scheduled to begin in August.

Cross told the university's Board of Regents on Thursday that UW was working on various scenarios based on rapidly changing conditions. The flagship UW-Madison campus announced Thursday that it was moving all in-person summer classes scheduled to start in May to online only.

Cross says plans for the fall will be made in coming weeks based on an array of ever-changing assumptions.

12:10 p.m. -- U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee warns of COVID-19 scams

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is concerned with fraud and scams surrounding coronavirus, so he's assigned an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee to deal exclusively with that problem.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger reports scammers are playing on people's fears, and they're following multiple tips into his office already.

Many of these types of scams start with a robocall.

"If you're getting robocalls, you should presume they're fake," Krueger advised. "The government is not going to contact you by a robocall."

Read the full story here.

11:39 a.m. -- 92-year-old Milwaukee man dies from COVID-19 complications, brings county death toll to 18

A 92-year-old man from Milwaukee died Thursday morning from COVID-19 complications, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.

The man was in a local hospice when he died.

The man's death brings the county death toll from coronavirus to 18.

As of Thursday morning, there were a reported 877 positive coronavirus cases in Milwaukee County.

11:08 a.m. -- Democratic National Convention postponed until August due to coronavirus pandemic

The 2020 Democratic National Convention has officially been postponed until August due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic Party announced Thursday.

The convention was originally scheduled for July 13-17. It will now be held the week of August 17.

“In our current climate of uncertainty, we believe the smartest approach is to take additional time to monitor how this situation unfolds so we can best position our party for a safe and successful convention," said Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. "During this critical time, when the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact remain unknown, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of health care professionals and emergency responders."

The move came following recent calls from major political players, including Democratic frontrunner for president Joe Biden, to postpone the convention.

10:42 a.m. -- Milwaukee Bucks SVP Alex Lasry: If you want the Bucks to win the NBA Championship, 'stay inside'

Want to help Giannis and the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks win the team's first NBA Championship since 1971? Stay inside.

That's the message from team Senior Vice President Alex Lasry, who appeared on TMJ4 News Today Thursday morning to discuss the Bucks, the Democratic National Convention, and other issues.

"If people want the Bucks to get back on the court, and want us to win the NBA Championship, stay inside," Lasry said.

Milwaukee Bucks SVP Alex Lasry: If you want the Bucks to win the NBA Championship, 'stay inside'

"Listen to the doctors, practice social distancing and physical distancing, because the more we stay inside and the more we listen to the experts, the faster we'll be able to get back outside."

When the NBA ground to a halt on the fateful evening of March 11, the Bucks had the NBA's best record (53-12) and a 6.5-game lead on the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Association's season usually runs through June. The latest major domino to fall in a now very long line of sports cancellations came on Wednesday, when the All England Club announced Wimbledon would not be held this year. The event was scheduled to run June 29 to July 12.

9:55 a.m. -- 80-year-old Milwaukee woman dies of coronavirus complications, according to medical examiner

MILWAUKEE — An 80-year-old woman has died from coronavirus complications, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner.

The woman was from Milwaukee. The death toll for the county is now at 17 deaths.

As of Thursday morning, there was a reported 877 confirmed cases in Milwaukee County.

There have been now 35 deaths from COVID-19 in the state.

9:06 a.m. -- Funding initiative pivots to seek grant applications from some MKE businesses

An organization awarding grants to revitalize Milwaukee neighborhoods is pivoting because of the pandemic.

The Local Initiative Support Corporation or LISC is working fast to get thousands of dollars in grant money and zero interest loans into the hands of struggling business owners who live in specific Milwaukee neighborhoods. They're calling it Brew City Match:

The Bronzeville Collective MKE recently applied for the Brew City Match. Lilo Allen shared where the money would go for the collective, which has more than 20 artist of color selling their work in one space.

“Right to the rent. We just want to keep the doors open if we keep the doors open it's having not just a positive impact on us but all the vendors we carry in the store as well," said Allen.

Read the full story here.

8:47 a.m. -- Joe Biden predicts Democratic convention delay until August

Prospective Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he thinks his party's nominating convention will have to be pushed back from July into August because of coronavirus.

The pandemic is forcing Democrats and Republicans to take a close look at at their summer conventions, which typically kick off the general election season.

Biden made his statement in an interview Wednesday with late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

Biden noted in a separate interview Tuesday that Democrats “have more time” to figure things out.

Republicans are expressing confidence they can pull off their convention as scheduled in late August.

But party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel still allows for the possibility the pandemic could upend GOP plans.

7:46 a.m. -- Milwaukee County total positive cases rise to 877

Milwaukee County coronavirus cases rise to 877 cases. There have been 16 deaths in the county.

6:40 a.m. -- Milwaukee auto repair shop offers discount amid COVID-19 pandemic

Heppe’s Service spans back three generations. The Heppe’s history is proudly on display at their shop located on Bluemound Rd.

The owner, Scott Heppe, said times have changed in the past few weeks and business is down 60 to 70%. With the “Safer At Home” order in place, less people are traveling and that’s had an impact on business.

“Schedules are very light for tomorrow and the rest of the week,” said Scott.

He said his main concern is taking care of his customers and his three employees.

“One is my son, so that's a little concern. The other one is a young man who we have worked together for a very long time and he has a family and a home so you do get concerned how to care for your employees,” said Scott.

To attract new customers, he is offering a 10% off discount on labor until the end of May. Scott said although times are hard, he’s trying to stay positive.

“I hope people get out and take care of the business that needs help,” said Scott.

For more information on Heppe’s Service click here.


Wednesday, April 1

10:23 p.m. -- 'It was a miserable four days on oxygen': Fox Point woman shares her battle with coronavirus

A Fox Point woman thought she did everything right to protect herself against the coronavirus but ended up in the hospital fighting for her life.

Tina Kreitlow called herself "hyper-vigilant" when it came to washing her hands and disinfecting things when she first heard of COVID-19.

She says her case of the virus started like many others. She thought she had a cold, then maybe the flu. But then a temperature of more than 104 degrees sent her to the hospital.

"Things really started to take a turn where my fever jumped up more, more significant shortness of breath," said Kreitlow.

That's when her wife drove her to Columbia St. Mary's Emergency Room. But that was as far as they could go together. COVID-19 restrictions at hospitals have done away with visitors for now.

She's unclear how she got the virus. As far as she knows, she did not come into contact with someone who had tested positive.

9:18 p.m. -- Milwaukee-area healthcare worker during pandemic: 'I don’t feel essential, I feel disposable'

A Wisconsin nurses and health workers union says hospital employees are risking their health and safety to take care of patients during this pandemic.

"I had one member talk to me yesterday and said, 'I don't feel essential, I feel disposable,'" said Jamie Lucas, executive director of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals.

The union represents a variety of workers at four Milwaukee area health systems. Those include Milwaukee VA Hospital, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health, Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories, and Ascension St. Francis. Lucas said all four of them have workers who have complained they are not able to readily get personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks while they work.

"We take all staff concerns seriously, said Michael Lappen, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division administrator. "We've increased our management communications to ensure any challenges are addressed, and everyone is receiving the most up-to-date information during this fluid time. The Mental Health Complex has had and continues to have sufficient PPE supplies necessary to follow recommended COVID-19 staff and patient safety protocols."

"The Milwaukee VA is following all CDC protocols for the safety and well-being of our Veterans and staff," said Gary Kunich, Milwaukee VA spokesperson.

8:59 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers responds to calls to delay Wisconsin spring election

Gov. Tony Evers is responding to calls to postpone Wisconsin's spring election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The League of Women Voters, the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera said last week that allowing the election to go on as scheduled would expose thousands of voters to the virus.

Gov. Evers issued the following statement regarding the upcoming April 7 election.

"If I could have changed the election on my own, I would have, but I can't without violating state law. I've asked the legislature to do its part to ensure a fair and safe election, and I hope we can get some clarity as soon as possible. The bottom line is that we have to keep folks safe, and we have to make sure everyone who wants to vote has the opportunity to make their voice heard."

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) responded with the following statement:

"Not once has the governor suggested moving the election date. In fact, not a single Democratic legislator has even introduced a bill that would move the election date. For Democrats to suggest now that their hands were somehow tied is pure cowardice. I continue to support holding the election on April 7 -- our Republic must continue to function."

There are more than 1,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wisconsin. Thirty-four people have died across the state, and nearly half are in Milwaukee County.

8:29 p.m. -- U.S. Surgeon General tells TMJ4 News why the next 30 days are critical

With COVID-19 spreading faster in Wisconsin, many people are wondering if they should be wearing masks or facial coverings.

TMJ4's Charles Benson asked about that during an exclusive interview with the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

"Originally, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization and my office recommended against the general public wearing masks," said Adams. "We looked at the preponderance of the best data available at that time, and it was not compelling that masks prevented you from catching COVID-19."

But Adams says that may now be changing.

"Emerging data suggest there is a fair amount of asymptotic spread, which means people don't know they have it, and they're spreading it. So we've asked CDC to take a look at whether or not advising more people wear masks will prevent them from spreading COVID-19 to others."

The Surgeon General stressed you wouldn't need an N95 mask. Those are desperately needed for healthcare workers. He also says facial coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.

But Adams tells TMJ4 there are signs that mitigation efforts are working even though the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths will go up, with as many as 100,000 to 240,000 people dying.

Dr. Adams: So we feel confident that if people really lean into the next three to four weeks, these 30 days to stop the spread - we can flatten our curve and not overwhelm our health care systems and ultimately come out the other side with as few people dying as possible.

Benson talked with U.S Surgeon General Dr. Jermone Adams from his new work-at-home studio.

Dr. Adams: I did a phone call with NAACP. I also did a phone call with the National Medical Association - which is the Black Doctors Association, and here's what I told them. Black, white, yellow, brown whatever color you identify with - you can get COVID-19, and it's important for people to know that.

But, he says some African Americans do have higher risks.

"The two biggest risk factors are advanced age and chronic diseases, heart disease lung disease and diabetes, and unfortunately, the African American population has those co-morbidities at a higher rate," said Adams. "So, they are, at essence, more at risk for COVID-19 than other populations."

6:38 p.m. -- 'Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst': Hospitals plan for 'surge' of COVID-19 cases

It's a matter of when, not if.

That's what local experts are saying about an expected surge of new COVID-19 cases in the state of Wisconsin.

Words many might not want to hear. A study from the University of Washington said Wisconsin could be several weeks away from a spike of new cases in the state around April 27.

Wisconsin medical professionals said they're doing all they can to be prepared if a surge does happen.

"Wisconsin hospitals are preparing, preparing, preparing. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst," said Dr. Mark Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer at the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Kaufman describes the surge as a "wave" and believes it's unclear how big it will be when it arrives.

"Right now, we know there are more patients coming for sure but in terms of when the surge happens and how significant. It's unclear," Kaufman said.

6:11 p.m. -- Wisconsin unemployment rate could hit record high in the next week, economist says

A state economist said on Wednesday that Wisconsin's unemployment rate could hit a record high within just the next week.

Mikaiella Smith of Milwaukee is one of the countless people out of a job.

"For it to just close without pay, it's kind of like I've got to find somewhere quick cause you know bills, that's not going to stop," Smith said.

She worked as a cleaner for a local bank, but concerns over the spread of the coronavirus forced the business to shut down.

"There's no telling like when we're opening back up yet," Smith said. On Wednesday, she went to a job fair at the East Pointe Pick ’n Save in Milwaukee, one of many across the state, as Roundy's tries to hire 500 employees to help with a rise in online ordering.

"I'm just trying to see where are my options, like what type of job is hiring right now," Smith said. Smith is not alone.

According to the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy at UW-Madison, the state unemployment rate is more than 11 percent, up from four in February.

Director Noah Williams said he wouldn't be surprised if we reach 20 percent in the next month, shattering the state's record-high unemployment rate of 12 percent set in 1983.

5:24 p.m. -- Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

The Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade will not happen this year as scheduled.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Memorial Day committee made the decision to cancel this year's parade.

Checks will be returned to those who made donations to the committee.

"We regret that this decision had to be made, but the safety of everyone that would be participating in this year's parade is our number one priority," the committee wrote in a statement.

5:07 p.m. -- Rent and mortgage are due: What to do if you can’t make the payment

Even before COVID-19 existed, the Federal Reserve reported only four out of ten adults would be able to cover an unexpected emergency expense of $400 or more.

More than 240,000 Wisconsinites have applied for unemployment since March 15. Making the first rent or mortgage payment since the pandemic surfaced, is undeniably a problem for a lot of people.

Some financial experts say your rent or your mortgage needs to be your priority during this health crisis, but if you're struggling to come up with the money for groceries and medicine, you need to reach out to your landlord.

"Talk to your landlord about what your financial situation is," said Matt Koz with the Tenant Resource Center in Wisconsin.

If you rent, Koz reminds everyone, Governor Evers has placed a ban on evictions and foreclosures until May 26. Koz says after that, tenants can look into eviction prevention funding programs.

Read the full story here.


4:27 p.m. -- Sheboygan County reports first death of COVID-19, outbreak linked to nursing home

One person has died from COVID-19 in Sheboygan County, and an outbreak has been linked to a local nursing home.

The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health says on Tuesday, they were notified that an employee and a resident of Sunny Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tested positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday, two additional residents tested positive. One of those two additional residents died from the virus.

The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health is conducting a contact investigation to identify and follow-up with people who had close contact with either of these cases. Sunny Ridge staff that begin to show symptoms will be isolated at home.

The county says 15 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 15, there are currently seven active cases, one of which is currently hospitalized. Seven others recovered from the virus and are no longer ill. Ten of the 15 cases include people over the age of 60.

The confirmed active cases have been placed into isolation and are being monitored.

3:31 p.m. -- Third Space Brewing introduces curbside bingo to support local businesses

Is Third Space Brewing giving away free beer to people for eating at their favorite restaurants? Bingo!

That's right, Third Space Brewing is encouraging people to partake in curbside bingo to help support local businesses through this tough time.

What it means is that Third Space is distributing bingo cards on social media with different Milwaukee-area restaurants on them. Once you order carryout from five of the restaurants on your chosen card, you can then post your bingo card with the restaurants crossed out on social media, tagging Third Space Brewing.

Third Space Brewing will then reach out to you on social media, and send you and a friend a voucher for a free pint at their taproom once they reopen for regular business again.

Your five chosen restaurants do not have to be in a bingo row, but you must be 21-years-old or older to participate.

To find the bingo cards, check out Third Space Brewing's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For full rules and details, visit Third Space Brewing's website.

2:35 p.m. -- Milwaukee County reports more than 120 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

Milwaukee County's total number of positive COVID-19 cases now stands at 833, a dramatic increase of 123 from just 24 hours ago, when the county reported 710 cases.

The vast majority of the county's cases come from within the City of Milwaukee (656). West Allis, Wauwatosa, and Oak Creek follow with 29, 24, and 20 cases, respectively.

Just under half (46 percent) of the county's cases are among African Americans - a disproportionate rate in a county where that group makes up just 27 percent of the population. 223 of the county's 833 cases do not have racial data reported.

Milwaukee County cases are split nearly evenly between sexes. There have been 427 female cases and 403 male cases.

1:50 p.m. -- Poll shows strong support for virus reaction in Wisconsin

(AP) A new poll shows broad support for the actions taken by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to close schools and businesses and limit gatherings to slow the spread of the disease.

The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday comes as Evers works with the Republican-controlled Legislature on a state coronavirus relief package.

Republicans say they have agreed to waive a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. The poll shows Evers has 76% support for his handling of the pandemic so far.

But Republican leaders criticized Evers for not presenting more data, including how many people have been hospitalized with COVID-19.


1:14 p.m. -- Milwaukee Co. Medical Examiner reports four additional COVID-19 deaths; county total now 16

Four more Milwaukee County residents have died due to complications related to COVID-19, the MIlwaukee County Medical Examiner said Wednesday afternoon.

The deaths include a 49-year-old Milwaukee man, a 73-year-old Oak Creek man, a 89-year-old South Milwaukee man, and a 78-year-old Milwaukee woman.

There have now been 16 total coronavirus deaths in Milwaukee, and 33 statewide.

12:48 p.m. -- WEDC: CBD stores nonessential under 'Safer at Home' order, deliveries still allowed

CBD stores are not considered essential under Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order but some operations like delivery services are still allowed, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Council (WEDC).

Such stores are still allowed to offer delivery under the state's definition of "Minimum Basic Operations," which permits one person "in a room or confined space, including a car or truck, fulfilling nonessential deliveries, mailing parcels, or receiving parcels."

Minimum Basic Operations does not include serving customers in person, WEDC notes.

12:06 p.m. -- Feeding America's donated food inventory dips low amid COVID-19 pandemic

A drop in the number of food drives and increased demand at grocery stories are two reasons why Feeding America is facing new challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit organization helps provide food for nearly 200 programs throughout eastern Wisconsin, but there has been a drop in the amount of donated food in recent weeks.

Feeding America's donated food inventory dips low amid COVID-19 pandemic

"A lot of the food that we get donated is food from grocery stores and they have less to give," said Scott Marshall, Director of Development and Communications for Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin.

Marshall said because grocery stores are meeting an increased demand for their customers, less food can be donated to Feeding America.
That means Feeding America must purchase large truckloads of fresh food in order to meet demand at local food pantries.

"The problem with that is that its much more expensive than donated food," said Marshall.

That's why feeding America is asking you to make a monetary donation at FeedingAmericaWI.Org.

Read the full story here.

11:35 a.m. -- Wisconsin court tells clerk to take down voter ID advice

The conservative-leaning state Supreme Court has ordered a Democratic clerk to take down advice telling people seeking absentee ballots online how to get around voter ID requirements.

People seeking absentee ballots online are required to upload photo identification.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell had advised applicants who can't upload photos to get around the requirement by declaring themselves indefinitely confined.

Such voters are exempt from the identification mandate.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a restraining order against McDonell directing him to remove the advice from his Facebook page and refrain from posting it again.

11:08 a.m. -- Republicans support waiving unemployment waiting period

(AP) Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders say that they support temporarily waiving a one-week waiting period for people to receive unemployment benefits.

About 240,000 people have filed for unemployment claims since March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Wednesday that work was ongoing on a legislative aid package that would supplement the federal stimulus that is bringing about $2.3 billion to Wisconsin.

Vos and Fitzgerald both said there was broad support among Republicans who control the Legislature to temporarily waive the waiting period. They say they hope to vote on the bill as soon as possible.

10:47 a.m. -- Gov. Evers deploys National Guard to help at polls

Wisconsin's governor is deploying the National Guard to help staff polling sites for the state's presidential primary.

Election clerks say poll workers are quitting in droves in fear of contracting the coronavirus during Tuesday's election.

More than 100 municipalities have reported they lack enough people to staff even one polling site.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers told a federal judge in a filing Wednesday that he'll use Wisconsin Army National Guard members as poll workers.

But Evers says even that likely won't fill all staffing needs. The election also features a state Supreme Court race and hundreds of local races.

10:29 a.m. -- Number of requests for absentee ballots exceeds 1 million

The number of requests for absentee ballots for Wisconsin's spring election has exceeded one million, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The elections commission said that there were 1,028,734 absentee ballot application requests.

“We remain encouraged that so many voters have requested absentee ballots, especially through the MyVote Wisconsin website,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official in a press release. “We want everyone who is eligible and who wants to vote to be able to do so safely. Absentee voting will also greatly reduce crowds at polling places on Election Day, which will make social distancing much easier.”

The deadline for registered voters to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them is by 5 p.m. on April 2.

To request an absentee ballot or learn more information, click here.


9:58 a.m. -- Joe Biden: 'Hard to envision' DNC happening as planned

During an interview on MSNBC'S "11th Hour," Joe Biden told Brian Williams that he wasn't sure that the Democratic National Convention will go on as planned in July.

The convention is scheduled to take place July 13 to July 16 at Fiserv Forum.

In an interview with host Williams, Biden said that holding the convention should be based on what experts recommend.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told NPR in March that the convention was not in jeopardy because of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday morning, there were over 700 positive cases of coronavirus in Milwaukee County.

9:16 a.m. -- Justin Bieber postpones summer tour, including Summerfest show

Justin Bieber has made the decision to postpone all 2020 concert dates, including his Summerfest show.

Bieber has made the decision to postpone all currently scheduled dates of The Changes Tour, due to COVID-19. He was previously scheduled to headline Summerfest on June 24.

Fear not, Beliebers. Everyone who has already purchased a ticket will be honored when Bieber is able to get back on the road and perform again.

Information on rescheduled dates will be released in the future.

Summerfest, on the other hand, announced its decision to postpone the festival until September amid the coronavirus pandemic.

7:27 a.m. -- Lakefront Brewery reopens Friday for takeout food and beer

Have you been missing the melty cheese curds and specialty beers at Lakefront Brewery? Well, good news. The brewery is opening back up for carryout orders Friday.

Lakefront Brewery made the decision to close its doors early in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal. However, as we all adjust to the new socially-distant ways of life, the brewery has decided to open back up, kicking things off with its classic Friday fish fry.

Starting Friday, the brewery will be open for takeout from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., with the last order being accepted at 7:30 p.m. Customers can then pick up their order at Lakefront Brewery 30 minutes after ordering it online.

You also have the option to preorder your meal on Thursday starting at 11 a.m. Customers who choose to do this will receive a free take-and-bake pretzel with their order.

Then on April 7, Lakefront will begin offering to-go options Tuesdays through Sundays from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. All orders must be made online.

6:59 a.m. -- Local doctor says early findings on COVID-19 and pregnancy 'reassuring'

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused fear and anxiety around the world.

One group that's been particularly shaken by the spread of the virus: women who are pregnant, or are attempting to get pregnant.

Dr. Ellen Hayes, a reproductive endocrinologist at Vios Fertility Institute in Wauwatosa, said the current COVID-19 outbreak has not been around long enough for researchers to produce definitive findings on its impact on pregnancies from start to finish.

But, she said new data available should provide some reassurance to expectant mothers.

Local doctor says early findings on COVID-19 and pregnancy 'reassuring'

"It does not appear women who contract COVID-19, who are currently pregnant, get more seriously ill or have any higher risk for maternal death," Hayes said. "Also, what we've seen so far, is that it doesn't appear a mother can transmit the virus to her baby in utero, and after delivery, breast milk does not appear to be positive for the virus."

Read the full story here.

6 a.m. Milwaukee County updates coronavirus deaths from 11 to 12, and total confirmed cases from 710 to 776 on their website.

Tuesday, March 31

10:10 p.m. -- 'I have to use the word when rather than if': Milwaukee officials warn of surge in coronavirus cases

Milwaukee health officials are preparing for a surge in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Tuesday during a discussion with the press on COVID-19 efforts in the area, "the other key area of concern right now is when the surge comes, and unfortunately, I have to use the word when rather than if."

Officials have been working with the local hospital systems to find additional critical care beds in facilities. They are doing this ahead of an expected spike in cases and hospitalizations.

"This will help us with planning and distribution of resources to better ensure that we are prepared for what's to come," said Milwaukee County Health Director, Dr. Ben Weston.

This week, projections from The University of Washington show Wisconsin's coronavirus peak will come on April 27th. The study indicates that there wouldn't be a shortage of regular hospital beds in the state, but there would be 207 additional Intensive Care beds needed.

On the projections, Dr. Weston said, "we've been reviewing their data and discussing with their team to better understand the methodology that they used to develop their predictions. Although models such as these are inherently broad and limited in their accuracy and ability to predict the future, they nonetheless serve to provide some level of insight on where we might be headed based on other countries and virus' from the past."

Locally, Weston says the county is putting together its own team of epidemiologists to analyze real-time data and come up with their own projections.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said people need to stay home and continue to practice social distancing as we approach the surge.

"As bad as things are right now, we have to keep them from getting worse. But they are going to scale up. It's going to get worse before it gets better," said Abele.

Mayor Barrett also acknowledged hospital rooms are only part of the problem. Facilities must have the equipment and the healthcare workers to staff them as well.

9:25 p.m. -- 'Pay what you can': Milwaukee's Legal Aid offers advice for those who can't pay their rent

The first of the month means bills are due for many people.

In Wisconsin, Governor Evers put a 60-day ban on evictions and foreclosures. That lasts until May 26. However, the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee Colleen Foley said that does not mean you shouldn't pay your rent.

"We are advising people pay what you can if you can," said Foley.

That means even if it is just a portion of your total rent payment. Foley said if you pay nothing in April, you will still owe the money eventually.

"At the end of the 60 days, unless it gets extended, and so far, there hasn't been any mention of that. There will be, I'm sure an onslaught of evictions," said Foley.

Click here for more information.

8:29 p.m. -- Looking for financial assistance? Here are a few local resources to help with bills

If you're looking for financial assistance at this time, here are a few resources to help you out with bills.

7:31 p.m. -- Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church broken into while church remains closed during pandemic

Milwaukee police are investigating a burglary at Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church.

Police say the burglary occurred shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday. Officers say someone went into the church and removed items.

The church says the building is currently closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Items taken include their sound and multimedia system, computers and printers, brass altar ware, and valuables out of the pastor's office.

Milwaukee Police are looking for an unknown suspect. Anyone with any information can contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS.

5:55 p.m. -- Fewer than 10 physical polling locations expected in Milwaukee on Election Day

The Milwaukee Election Commission says fewer than ten physical polling sites may be open on Election Day due to COVID-19.

"Where we see the greatest uncertainty is what Election Day voting will look like," Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, said. "In terms of operation of the city's traditional neighborhood voting sites, for a normal election, we'd be operating 180 voting sites. That will not be possible on April 7. The public needs to be prepared for that impossibility and what that might mean to the voting experience."

Albrecht says to expect under ten voting sites, though he said it's too soon to say what locations would be open.

In an effort to help people vote, the Election Commission is encouraging residents to submit an absentee ballot. So far, the city says they've issued over 70,000 absentee ballots by mail, and they expect that number to go up to nearly 100,000.

Compared to the 2016 Presidential Election, they only had 15,000 mail-in absentee ballots. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Thursday, April 2.

Click here for more information.

5:02 p.m. -- Kenosha Hobby Lobby shut down by police, state economic agency says it is not an essential business

The Kenosha Hobby Lobby abruptly shut down Tuesday after police issued a warning about breaking the statewide "Safer at Home" order.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said Hobby Lobby stores are not considered essential under the state's order.

Public health officials and Kenosha police showed up to the Hobby Lobby shortly before 5:00 p.m. to issue the warning. The store closed its doors minutes later.

A TMJ4 News crew witnessed employees taking down signs on the front entrance that claim the store is an essential business because it sells mask kits, educational, and office supplies to work from home. Those signs were replaced with others that say they are now closed until further notice.

Kenosha police said they are seeking voluntary compliance by educating businesses with a written warning.

"Your business, or identified portion of the business, must cease operation or be in violation of the order," the letter said. "Please comply with this order to avoid legal action."

4:51 p.m. -- Nannies and babysitters considered essential workers during coronavirus pandemic

Milwaukee mom Princess High has been a babysitter for decades. During this health crisis, she went to Houston to help her cousin with her two kids.

“The need for babysitters is very, very real because a lot of people who have to work or risk losing their jobs are out of childcare, out of school,” said High.

Nannies and babysitters are considered essential workers under the Governor's "Safer at Home" order. They're classified under home-based care and that includes caregivers traveling to a child's home to watch them.

While normally High would work for several different families, during this health crisis, she's not. She says she's doing her part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A member of the Wisconsin Family Child Care Association recommends providers not only care for one family, but only work the amount of time a family really needs you. A member of the organization says providers should watch for signs and symptoms of the virus, and if any come up, the caregiving service should stop immediately.

Read the full story here.

4:21 p.m. -- Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport employee tests positive for coronavirus

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport has confirmed an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials say they received notice on Tuesday that an Interflight Parking employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The person worked in the Ground Transportation booth located on the baggage claim roadway. The person was last at the airport on March 26 and worked 3rd shift.

"Steps have been taken to restrict access to those areas where the individual worked and to sanitize those areas," a spokesperson writes in a statement. "While this individual's work location is a single standalone site, MKE has increased routine cleaning services, including performing additional sanitizing measures at night, and is continuing daily high-touch cleaning efforts to help protect the health and safety of every person that visits or works at MKE."

Officials say the health and safety of every person that enters the airport remain their top priority.

3:53 p.m. -- Health leader says Wisconsin hospitals not full

(AP) Wisconsin has not been reporting how many COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, but a state health leader said Tuesday that she has not heard concerns about hospitals being near capacity at this point.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the state was working to update its data system to collect hospitalization numbers and report those “in days to come.”

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday that the state was opening voluntary isolation centers in Madison and Milwaukee on Wednesday to alleviate the strain on hospitals. Van Dijk said the Madison hotel can house 137 people and one in Milwaukee can take 110, but there were no patients yet.

She said the goal is to keep hospital rooms open for when there is an expected surge in patients, which health officials have said is expected in the next week or so. The centers are for people with mild symptoms who have no other place to go to isolate themselves and voluntarily want to check in. They need a referral from a doctor or public health official.

The Evers administration has provided guidance for other communities interested in doing something similar.

3:10 p.m. -- Wisconsin opening state-run voluntary isolation centers

Wisconsin is opening a pair of state-run voluntary isolation centers in Madison and Milwaukee for people with the coronavirus, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday.

The centers will open on Wednesday. Evers’ administration also provided other communities across the state guidance on how to open similar isolation centers if needed.

Evers said opening the sites will take a strain off of hospitals and give people who don’t want to spread the virus to others a place to go if they have no other option.

Evers said the sites will be available for people who have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or are showing symptoms and likely have it. They have to be referred by a doctor or public health official to be admitted and registration is voluntary.

The expected length of stay is 14 days or 72 hours after symptoms dissipate, Evers said.

The site in Milwaukee will be at a Super 8 hotel and the one in Madison is at a hotel and conference center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

2:50 p.m. -- Polish Fest will not be at Summerfest grounds as originally scheduled

Polish Fest will not take place at Henry Maier Festival Park on its originally scheduled dates.

A spokesperson says Milwaukee World Festival/Summerfest informed them that the grounds would not be available to open and host Polish Fest on June 12-14.

"We have been discussing alternatives already in concern for health safety to our volunteers, performers, participants, and patrons prior to this directive and will continue to do so for possible alternative dates," the spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Festa Italiana canceled their event that was also going to be at the Summerfest grounds. The Italian Community Center says Festa will be "back and better than ever in 2021."

2:13 p.m. -- 85-year-old Pewaukee woman dies of COVID-19

An 85-year-old Pewaukee woman was pronounced dead Tuesday morning from complications related to COVID-19,the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says.

The woman is the second southeast Wisconsin COVID-19 death on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, a 72-year-old Milwaukee man also died of the disease.

The death is Waukesha County's second and Wisconsin's 27th.

1:56 p.m. -- Olympus Group retools production line to produce face shields for local health care workers

Olympus Group, a company that usually produces custom flags, banners, signs and mascots is stepping up to help local hospitals stock up on face shields.

The company saw its business grind to a halt as the coronavirus spread worldwide. Sports teams and trade shows were halting orders and the company was almost forced to stop production and eliminate jobs.

Instead, CEO Brian Adam said leaders made a decision to retool the manufacturing warehouse to help produce gear needed by doctors, nurses and medical professionals, combating the coronavirus on the front lines.

Olympus Group produces face shields for local workers

The company worked with a local infectious disease expert at a local hospital to design face masks and Olympus started cranking out thousands of face shields.

They're producing up to 3,000 shields per day at their Milwaukee location, and in Orlando, Fl., up to 100,000 face masks are also being produced by the company.

Read the full story here.

1:22 p.m. -- Wisconsin lawmakers warned of Medicaid enrollment spike

(AP) Wisconsin's health secretary is warning lawmakers that Medicaid enrollment is expected to increase dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic, requiring the Legislature to take swift action to bolster the program that serves more than 1 million poor, elderly and disabled people.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm sent the warning to the co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee on Tuesday. She said the pandemic “is likely to significantly increase Medicaid expenditures” through June 2021.

Gov. Tony Evers and Republicans who control the Legislature are discussing a state aid package to complement an estimated $2.2 billion coming the state’s way as part of the federal stimulus.

12:58 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers asks President Trump for major disaster declaration for Wisconsin

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday asked President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration for the state of Wisconsin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Evers said he hoped the declaration, which covers all 72 counties and federally recognized tribes, would allow the state to access critical programs to support the state’s response including community disaster loans, public assistance and crisis counseling.

“The response to this outbreak has caused multiple deaths, exhausted many of our resources, resulted in record unemployment claims, and taken a toll on the community infrastructure that is in place to protect the public,” Evers said. “We need federal assistance to help rebuild those critical safety nets and ensure they remain strong.”

The request Tuesday came as state unemployment claims hit a daily high. The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits topped 24,600 on Monday, the highest single day total since the outbreak.

As of Tuesday, there were more than 1,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and at least 27 deaths, based on state and local health department reports.

Two more deaths in southeast Wisconsin were reported Tuesday. A 85-year-old Pewaukee woman and a 72-year-old Milwaukee man both died of complications related to COVID-19, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.


12:33 p.m. -- Wisconsin unemployment claims hit daily high

(AP) Unemployment claims in Wisconsin since the coronavirus outbreak hit a daily high on Monday, with more than 24,600 people filing for benefits.

That brings the total number of preliminary unemployment filings since March 15 to nearly 222,000. That is 17-times higher then roughly 13,000 claims that were filed over the same period last year.

The state Department of Workforce Development said that last week it received more than 1.5 million calls, including more than 160 per-second at times on Thursday.

The agency is asking people filing for unemployment benefits to do it online rather than over the phone. The department said it is working to increase staff and technology capacity to deal with the flood in calls.

Gov. Tony Evers has said the agency needs at least 80 more workers to handle the increase in calls. Evers and Republicans who control the Legislature are working on an aid package for the state to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

12:02 p.m. -- Festa Italiana canceled due to coronavirus

First Summerfest and now Festa. Organizers broke the news Tuesday that Festa Italiana 2020 will be canceled.

The Italian Community Center Board of Directors says it was the most responsible decision to cancel the festival in the midst of the global pandemic that has already closed so many other festivals and businesses.

Festa Italiana canceled due to coronavirus

"The coronavirus has impacted virtually every business and industry across the country," said Joseph T. Emanuele, Italian Community Center president and Festa general chairman. "The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, vendors, members and certainly our attendees are our highest priority to ensure a safe environment for everyone."

Festa will be back and better than ever in 2021, according to the Italian Community Center.

11:34 a.m. -- 72-year-old Milwaukee man dies of coronavirus

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner has reported another death due to coronavirus.

A 72-year-old Milwaukee man was pronounced dead Tuesday morning from COVID-19 complications.

This is now the 11th person in Milwaukee to die of coronavirus, and the 26th statewide.

10:51 a.m. -- Winkie's, an arts and crafts store in Whitefish Bay, offers pick-up and delivery

Throughout the state's 'Safer at Home' order, TMJ4 News is committed to highlighting local and essential businesses in the service industry that need your help.

At Winkie's in Whitefish Bay, puzzles are in high demand for parking lot pick-up and delivery. A brand new shipment just arrived to keep people plenty busy at home.

Winkie's has been a staple of Whitefish Bay for more than 55 years, but on Monday, longtime customer Don Piper experienced a first. He didn't even have to leave his car to support the store.

"I really do want the ma and pa stores to survive," Piper said. "Winkie's is a classic, a wonderful store."

Winkie's, an arts and crafts store in Whitefish Bay, offers pick-up and delivery

Due to the statewide stay-at-home order, Winkie's is no longer allowing customers inside, and with that comes a significant blow to business.

Stuhlmacher said her store is considered an essential business, albeit with fewer open hours and employees at work.

Read the full story here.

10:20 a.m. -- Kenosha-based brand Jockey to donate 20,000 masks to Kenosha Fire Department

A Kenosha-based brand that made it big is giving back by donating critical supplies to help slow to spread of COVID-19.

Underwear brand Jockey is donating gowns, masks and scrubs to front-line doctors and first responders across the nation.

Locally, the company is supplying the Kenosha Fire Department with 10,000 N95 masks and 10,000 Level 1 surgical masks. Some of those supplies have already been delivered, while the rest are en route.

“We have been fortunate to be a part of the Kenosha community for more than 120 years and it was absolutely critical to support those first responders in our hometown who take care of us, day in and day out,” said Jockey Chairman and CEO Debra S. Waller. “Kenosha is our home, it is our family, and we will always do whatever we can to support the community that means so much to us.”

The company is also starting to manufacture Tier 3 Isolation gowns with the goal of donating 250,000 of them to high-priority medical facilities and testing sites across the nation.

Further, Jockey is donating 10,000 units of scrubs to front-line doctors and nurses at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, which has been transformed into a temporary hospital to handle patient overflow from COVID-19.

9:47 a.m. -- Tourism-dependent counties hard hit by virus

Wisconsin’s economy will be harder hit by the coronavirus pandemic in areas where there is more tourism, a study by the Wisconsin Policy Forum released on Tuesday said.

The study found that counties that depend heavily on tourism face the greatest challenges due to the concentration of jobs related to hotels, restaurants, entertainment and recreation. The virus outbreak has forced closures of nonessential businesses across the state, including many that rely on tourists like water parks in Wisconsin Dells, professional and collegiate sporting events and historical sites throughout the state.

The forum’s report said in six tourism-dependent counties, at least one out of every four jobs is in a sector heavily impacted by closures due to the virus. That includes Adams County, which covers a portion of the Wisconsin Dells area, Door County and Walworth County, which includes the Lake Geneva area. The other three are Vilas, Bayfield and Sawyer counties.

The longer the current economic situation lasts, the more it will affect summer tourism, particularly in counties where that is the majority of their tourism season, the report said.

The state’s two largest metropolitan areas, Milwaukee and Madison, large numbers of workers are affected, even though their share of jobs in the affected sectors is not as large as other more tourism-dependent counties, the report said.

9:16 a.m. -- Municipalities lack enough workers for in-person voting

(AP) A new report indicates more than 100 municipalities lack enough poll workers to offer any in-person voting on Election Day.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission released documents Tuesday that include findings from a survey of local clerks preparing to run Wisconsin's spring election on April 7 in the face of the coronavirus.

The survey found 111 municipalities are short 671 poll workers, leaving them too-short handed to offer in-person voting at the polls. Another 126 municipalities are short 2,713 poll workers, leaving them unable to staff all their polling sites. The municipalities are spread across the state.

8:51 a.m. -- Pet adoption numbers at local animal shelters skyrocket

As the coronavirus continues to spread across Wisconsin, you'll find empty animal shelters, but that's a good thing.

"But this is definitely the lowest numbers we have ever seen in my experience in the last six years," Kathy Shillinglaw, the outreach coordinator at Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC), said.

The coronavirus is playing a part in all of this, Angela Speed, the Vice President of communications for the Wisconsin Humane Society, said.

Pet adoptions up amidst coronavirus

"People have more time at home. A lot of people do. And introducing a new animal right now allows them, the animal, more time to adapt to the family. People are able to take more time to do dog training."

The Wisconsin Humane Society adopted out 159 pets in just five days.

However, just because adoption numbers are up, does not mean these animal shelters are packed with people. Adoptions are by appointment only to keep the number of people in the building below ten and to practice proper social distancing protocols.

Read the full story here.

8:07 a.m. -- UW-Madison expects to lose $100 million

The University of Wisconsin-Madison expects to lose $100 million because of the coronavirus pandemic, that's if social distancing is over by June.

The loss includes reimbursing the majority of students for room and board after the campus closed because of COVID-19.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the University Committee Monday additional expenses include hiring professional cleaners and buying software licenses and programs to move thousands of courses online.

The State Journal reports the loss is about 3.2% of UW-Madison’s $3 billion budget.

System spokesman Mark Pitsch said he doesn't have an estimate for the financial losses at its 26 campuses.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Monday, March 30

10:42 p.m. -- 'Incredibly difficult call': Milwaukee Torrent's season was canceled before it even began

Many sports have merely postponed their seasons, meaning makeup games down the road. The season for the Milwaukee Torrent is canceled before it even began.

"On the male side, I have fathers...playing. So they have their family already. But they're also sons. They're brothers. On the female side, those are daughters. There are sisters. Well, actually, I had a Mom playing for me. You know, that responsibility is much much bigger, than I think many people even think," Milwaukee Torrent Head Coach and Owner Andy Davi said.

TMJ4 News Main Sports Anchor Lance Allan asks most sports are postponing seasons...the Torrent and your league canceled right away. Why?

'Incredibly difficult call': Milwaukee Torrent's season was canceled before it even began

"Well, because I don't feel that I can secure my players. Fans. Staff. Everybody that's involved in a home or away game for the Milwaukee Torrent, I don't feel we can secure an environment where we can make secure where everybody is safe. And that's the biggest thing, and we actually made that decision before the league announced it," Davi says.

9:42 p.m. -- Health Commissioner: Too soon to turn off utilities to 'non-essential' businesses following request

Milwaukee's Health Commissioner is responding to calls for her to sign an order turning off the utilities to "non-essential" businesses that have defied the "Safer at Home" order.

In a letter, Monday, Alderman Khalif Rainey of Milwaukee's 7th District asked that the businesses that don't comply be given a warning first, but ultimately have their utilities turned off.

The move follows a similar one by the Mayor of Los Angeles who issued an order last week.

Health Commissioner: Too soon to turn off utilities to 'non-essential' businesses following request

Rainey added, "I find it incredibly selfish and reckless for any non-essential business to continue to operate during the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The north side and the 7th District are at the epicenter of the city's COVID-19 outbreak, and by (population) percentage of virus spread, Milwaukee is unfortunately in the top eight in the nation, and numerous individuals from Milwaukee have already died of the disease. A non-essential business that stays open could be the source (unwittingly) of hundreds of new COVID-19 infections, and who knows how many possible deaths."

Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said Monday afternoon, "we're phasing in different orders getting to the point of us having this stay at home order, and honing in on what's essential and what's not. We haven't had enough time yet to even go in that direction in my professional opinion. It all is very dictator-like to do something like that. It seems like that would be something you would do as a last resort. I just don't think we're there yet."

Both the Alderman and the Commissioner say community outreach should be stepped unto notify any businesses that may not be complying. Rainey did not give examples of businesses in his statement Monday.

9:11 p.m. -- 'The system was not built to handle this': People struggle to get unemployment office on the phone

As hundreds of thousands of people apply for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin, officials say the number of calls to the state office is overwhelming the system.

More than 115,000 people applied last week alone, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The office received more than 1.5 million calls during that time frame, a 6,208% increase in call volume.

8:44 p.m. -- Kohl's extends nationwide store closure indefinitely, all sales associates will now be furloughed

Due to the spread of coronavirus, Kohl's announced Monday that they are extending their nationwide store closures until further notice.

Initially, Kohl's had announced their stores would be closed for two weeks, and workers would be paid through that period.

Due to the extension of the closure, all sales associates will now be furloughed.

The company says they will "continue to provide existing health benefits to furloughed associates at this time, and those impacted may benefit from the recently passed coronavirus stimulus legislation."

Kohl's is still fully functional online, and now, they will be offering in-store pickup from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

7:55 p.m. -- Gov. Evers: Field hospitals planned, K-12 schools to stay closed until April 30th

We are learning the state is preparing for a potential surge of COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County with field hospitals and isolation centers.

Milwaukee County has the most COVID-19 cases and deaths.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with Governor Tony Evers about the state's plan.

Watch the full interview here.

6:25 p.m. -- St. Francis convent to house symptomatic homeless residents and those at risk of coronavirus

Starting Monday night, a convent in St. Francis will be sheltering members of Milwaukee's homeless community who are symptomatic or at a high risk of getting the coronavirus.

They will be housed at Clare Hall on the St. Francis De Sales campus.

According to President of the Milwaukee Rescue Mission Pat Vanderburgh, the facility will be up and running with about six patients who have symptoms of COVID-19.

6:14 p.m. -- Push to close non-essential businesses includes police work, request to shut off utilities

Work to keep non-essential businesses closed during the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

West Allis police say officers went to their local Hobby Lobby Monday morning after the store stayed open despite the governor's safer-at-home order. Police advised the store they are not an essential business and had to close. The store cooperated and closed.

However, a viewer sent TMJ4 News a picture claiming the Kenosha Hobby Lobby put up signs encouraging social distancing and notifying customers they were open as an essential business. The sign also states they offer supplies for personal protective masks, educational needs, and offices.

A worker who answered the phone confirmed the Kenosha location remains open for business.

Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey wants the city's health department to shut off water and power to businesses that continue to defy the emergency order.

In a statement, Rainey said he wants Commissioner Kowalik to create a process that gives non-essential businesses a chance to comply before shutting off utilities.

"I find it incredibly selfish and reckless for any non-essential business to continue to operate during the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency," Rainey said in the statement.

5:42 p.m. -- Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks donate $37.5K to hunger relief efforts

The Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks have teamed up and donated $37.5K to hunger relief efforts.

The money was raised during the Packers playoff run during the 2019 season. The Packers and the Bucks both sold "Go Pack Go" t-shirts during the playoffs, and those profits went toward the donation.

Their entire donation was profits from the shirts, which sold for $19.95 a piece. Those funds are now going to organizations fighting hunger in the state.

Half of the funds raised will go to Paul's Pantry in Green Bay. The other half will go to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

5:34 p.m. -- Wisconsin DWD handling 'unprecedented call volume,' wants people to apply for unemployment online

Due to the high volume of people calling in to apply for unemployment, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is urging people to apply online instead.

From March 22 through March 28, DWD saw 115,679 new applications for unemployment. While the DWD has an online phone bank where you can apply, they are asking people to apply online instead.

5:18 p.m. -- Mayor Barrett writes letter to FEMA asking for personal protection equipment, other supplies quickly

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite the process of supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, the mayor says he supports Governor Evers' request for increased laboratory testing supplies as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). Specifically, PPE for first responders and health care workers.

"Our first responders and health care workers are at the mercy of the current dwindling PPE inventory across the State of Wisconsin and especially locally in the Milwaukee area," Mayor Barrett wrote.

The items requested include testing supplies for UW Hospital and Children's Wisconsin as well as a medical PPE from the Department of Health Services. More than 62,000 respirators, 34,000 face shields, and 20,000 hospital gowns are requested in the letter.

Read the full letter here.

5:06 p.m. -- Shorewood and more Wisconsin districts start virtual learning Monday

Monday, March 30 was day one of virtual learning for Shorewood schools.

Jesse Dercks, the father of a kindergartner and first-grader, said the highlight was his girls seeing their teachers online.

"It was almost like Disney World, they were jumping around super excited to see them," Dercks said.

Tina Peador's kids are in Kenosha schools. The district also added online instruction on March 30.

"It's been going pretty good. So far the only problem that I've come across is one of the learning websites that they use is not working well and it's temporarily down," Peador said.

Data from Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction shows several districts started some form of virtual learning for the first time March 30. Many others started the week of the 16.

The DPI is waiving the hour requirement for any school district that requests a waiver due to the during this pandemic. Click here for more information.

4:39 p.m. -- Milwaukee Bucks' George Hill teams up with Bush's Chicken to provide meals to healthcare workers

Milwaukee Bucks player George Hill teamed up with the owner of Bush's Chicken to provide meals to healthcare workers on the front lines.

Hill made the donation to Baptist Health Systems in San Antonio, Texas, where he used to play.

Hill is a point guard and shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. He started his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.

4:12 p.m. -- Milwaukee police have begun enforcing the 'Safer at Home' order, Chief Morales says

Milwaukee police are enforcing the "Safer at Home" order, which went into effect last week.

One person has been charged with a misdemeanor after they disobeyed the "Safer at Home" order and was caught driving recklessly.

Chief Alfonso Morales said enforcing the order and obeying it will get more and more difficult as time goes on.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales on 'Safer at Home' enforcement

"As it gets warmer, it is going to be difficult for many of us to stay at home," said Morales.

Morales went on to say that the more rural you are, the easier it is to go for a walk and stay away from people. If you live in the city though, that can be difficult to do.

Chief Morales also mentioned that with the warmer weather last week, MPD officers saw a lot more people out and about playing basketball and enjoying the weather.

The Milwaukee Police Department is considered essential, so even though they are out and about working, police recommend people stay at home if you can and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

3:50 p.m. -- Coronavirus will not peak in Wisconsin until April 26, reports say

Coronavirus will peak in Wisconsin on or around April 26 of this year. That's according to new data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Over the weekend, the data initially projected the peak in Wisconsin would be May 22. The new data shows the state is making progress in the fight against COVID-19.

The study examined several things surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, including the number of available hospital beds and ventilators, along with the number of deaths per day.

As of Monday morning, the number of deaths and resources used will peak on April 26. From there, numbers will slowly start to improve.

The number of deaths per day is set to reach zero by June 7. However, the number of projected deaths by then will be around 1,309. IHME is also projecting that the state of Wisconsin will need over 500 ICU beds and over 3,700 hospital beds in general.

On the peak day, IHME is projecting Wisconsin will need 390 additional ICU beds. However, the state should have enough typical hospital beds. On April 26, the projected number of deaths will be at its all-time high, as well. That number is 37.

While Wisconsin is not set to peak until April 26, the U.S. as a whole will likely see its peak on April 15.

On that peak day, projections show the U.S. will be short 61,509 hospital beds and 15,103 ICU beds.

By early August, IHME projects the U.S. will have seen over 82,000 deaths; however, the number of deaths per day due to coronavirus is projected to be at zero.

The study used data from the government, hospitals, and data from other locations to project to future of the pandemic.

3:12 p.m. -- Six Flags Great America to delay opening until around mid-May

Six Flags Great America has decided to temporarily postpone park operations.

The park plans to re-open mid-May, or as soon as they can. They're basing their opening date decision off of recommendations from officials.

There have not been any cases of COVID-19 related to the park, but they are prioritizing the health and safety of their guests and team members.

Guests with prepaid tickets will have their validity dates extended until the end of the 2020 season. 2020 season passes will be extended for the number of operating days the park is temporarily closed.

For more information regarding the park's closure and ticketing, click here.

2:36 p.m. -- West Allis police shut down Hobby Lobby

The West Allis Police Department shut down a Hobby Lobby store Monday morning after deeming it a non-essential business.

Under Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order, all businesses that are deemed non-essential are to shut down and close their doors until the pandemic is under control.

A Hobby Lobby in West Allis, however, failed to do so. TMJ4 News confirmed that West Allis police informed Hobby Lobby that their West Allis location was not in compliance with the "Safer at Home" order.

Hobby Lobby was cooperative and closed their doors.

According to the West Allis Police Department, officers had to inform several businesses that they were not in compliance. All those businesses were cooperative.

We have reached out to Hobby Lobby for comment and are waiting to hear back.

If you are a business owner and are unsure if your business is considered essential, contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

2:25 p.m. -- COVID-19 cases pass 1,200 mark in Wisconsin

(AP) The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin surpassed 1,200 on Monday, the state Department of Health Services reported.

The state recorded 14 deaths, but local health departments said that 20 people had died. Gov. Tony Evers urged people to continue to follow the order to stay at home.

He said work was ongoing to make sure the state was ready for an expected surge of cases in coming weeks. “We are headed into the worst of this, folks," Evers said.

1:59 p.m. -- MATC donates over $270,000 in medical supplies to area hospitals

Milwaukee Area Technical College is donating tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to area hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college was forced to shutdown due to the virus. Because of its students in the healthcare services pathway, the school is donating the equipment to those battling COVID-19 on the front lines.

The college is donating $272,000 worth of the following medical PPE equipment:

  • 174,500 pairs of gloves
  • 978 gowns and lab coats
  • 140 N95 masks
  • 11,200 surgical masks
  • 200 pairs of protective eyewear
  • 8 liters of hand sanitizer
  • 110 containers germicidal wipes

The college is loaning four ventilators to Aurora Sinaie and Aurora West Allis and also two ventilators and a bipap machine to Froedtert Hospital.

MATC makes large donation to hospitals

MATC delivered the donations Monday morning. Children's Wisconsin was not available for an interview but say in a statement, "We want to say thank you to everyone who has donated so far and tell them, keep the donations coming in if they can."

Children's Wisconsin says they are in need of N95 masks right now and have directions on homemade masks at their website.

Personal protective equipment donations are still being accepted at State Fair Park daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit State Fair Park's website.

1:26 p.m. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers look at Wisconsin Center for possible COVID-19 care site

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visited the Wisconsin Center Monday and toured the facility to see if it could function as a COVID-19 care site.

On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visited several locations around Milwaukee looking for possible care sites.

If the spread of COVID-19 gets bad enough, hospitals will not be able to treat everybody so we will need additional care sites.

One of these sites could very well be the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.

“If called upon, the Wisconsin Center District and our facilities are prepared to work the Corps to do our part in the fight against COVID-19 and propel Milwaukee and our region on the road to recovery," said Marty Brooks, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Center District.

While these care sites are not needed at the moment, it is very possible that they will be needed in the future. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is simply preparing for that possibility.

12:47 p.m. -- More labs helping with COVID-19 in Wisconsin

(AP) Gov. Tony Evers says Wisconsin will be able to double its capacity to process COVID-19 under a new public-private partnership.

The partnership announced Monday includes laboratory support from Exact Sciences, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Promega and UW Health. Existing labs that had been doing testing were able to complete between 1,500 and 2,000 a day, but that is expected to double initially and grow as more supplies become available, Evers’ office said in a statement announcing the agreement.

The Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab have been leading the network to get additional testing.

12:20 p.m. -- Roundy's to hold job fairs at 12 Wisconsin Pick 'n Save locations

Roundy's Supermarket Inc., owner of Pick 'n Save stores, is looking to hire 500 employees to help with pickup grocery orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roundy's will be holding job fairs at Pick 'n Save locations across Wisconsin on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Those locations are:

· Pick ‘n Save East Pointe, 605 E. Lyon St., Milwaukee WI
· Pick ‘n Save Brookfield - Calhoun North, 2205 N. Calhoun Rd, Brookfield WI
· Pick ‘n Save Waukesha - Sunset, 220 E. Sunset Drive, Waukesha WI 53189
· Pick ‘n Save Marketplace, N77 W14435 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls WI
· Pick ‘n Save New Berlin, 15445 W. National Ave., New Berlin WI
· Pick ‘n Save Pewaukee - Capitol, 1405 Capitol Drive, Pewaukee, WI
· Pick ‘n Save Mt. Pleasant South, 2820 S. Green Bay Rd., Mt. Pleasant WI
· Pick ‘n Save Madison - Mineral Point, 261 Junction Rd., Madison WI
· Pick ‘n Save Sun Prairie - Ironwood, 2538 Ironwood Drive, Sun Prairie, WI
· Pick ‘n Save Appleton West, 2400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton WI
· Pick ‘n Save Fond Du Lac West, 760 W. Johnson Street, Fond Du Lac WI
· Pick ‘n Save Green Bay South - Bellevue, 2064 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay WI

Roundy's employees enjoy benefits such as medical, dental and vision coverage, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, 401(k) savings plan, tuition reimbursement, vacation and time off and an employee assistance program.

11:54 a.m. -- Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales challenges YOU to wash your hands

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales hopped on the wash your hands trend and challenged a few community members to wash their hands. Now, it's your turn.

This challenge, which has been blowing up on social media, challenges participants to take a video of themselves washing their hands for at least 20 seconds. Why 20 seconds? Because that's what the CDC recommends.

After you wash your hands, you are supposed to challenge others to do the same. All of this is to promote the CDC's recommendation, and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

In Morales' video, he challenged Police Chief Richard Smith of Kansas City, City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik, and Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas.

11:28 a.m. -- Addiction recovery groups get creative in new social distancing era

As social distancing becomes more imperative, support groups many people rely on are forced to cancel meetings.

When it comes to addiction recovery, there are people working hard to make sure those in need can still get critical help. Leaders are trying new things to get the point across that social distance doesn’t have to mean isolation, especially when nearly everyone has a smartphone.

Addiction recovery groups get creative in new social distancing era

Meanwhile, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are going online. They are walking people through how to connect via Zoom, FaceTime or Skype. There are “virtual meetings” every night of the week in our area.

So far, some of the virtual AA meetings are getting better attendance than in-person meetings were.

For a full list of resources, click here.


10:49 a.m. -- Wisconsin election preparation moves ahead despite virus

(AP) Preparations for Wisconsin's presidential primary and spring election that's just a week away on April 7 continue, even in the face of a growing number of COVID-19 cases statewide and lawsuits seeking a delay and other changes to how the election is run.

Monday was the deadline for voters to register to vote absentee. Once registered, they had until Thursday to request an absentee ballot.

There remains a pending lawsuit in federal court that seeks to postpone the election, move to a mail-in voting only and make a number of other changes to facilitate more ballots being cast.

10:13 a.m. -- Aaron Rodgers barely sneaks out of Peru before coronavirus closures

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers narrowly avoided being trapped abroad last week.

On a podcast featuring former Packer A.J. Hawk, Rodgers said he and three others nearly got stuck in Peru nine days ago. His group flew out just before the country shut down its borders to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"When we rolled up to the airport at like 7 in the morning it was wall to wall people and you couldn't move," he said. "And I was thinking this isn't very safe. Not many masks on and there was definitely a panic in the air but I somehow made it through."

Rodgers was flying on a private plane, and said he probably would not have made it out if he had been flying commercial.

"They had a drop dead time where they were going to shut the entire airport down and we made it by about 15 minutes," he said.

Rodgers said he is currently on the west coast of the United States. He said neither he nor the other three people he was with have exhibited any symptoms.

Most of Peru's confirmed cases have been in Lima, the capital. Rodgers said he and his group were in the Cusco region of Peru.

9:51 a.m. -- Golf community hopes "non-essential" ban on courses will be lifted

Wisconsin is one of only about a dozen states to deem golf courses as "non-essential" businesses - meaning courses in the state are closed until at least April 24, when the "Safer at Home" order expires.

Rob Jansen, the executive director of the Wisconsin State Golf Association, is hoping to reverse that decision.

"We think we've put together some good guidelines as to where golf would pose no public health risk whatsoever," he said.

Jansen said the WSGA has sent letters to Governor Evers' office, but has not heard directly back.

The state's only initial acknowledgment was in an online FAQ, that simply stated golf courses were not essential businesses.

In a press briefing Friday afternoon, the state said golf courses are classified as "places of amusement or entertainment" - the same category as movie theaters and arcades - and must remain closed to "minimize contact and bend the curve."

Read the full story here.

9:14 a.m. -- Wisconsin, Milwaukee receive C grade in social distancing

A new study shows that Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin may not be doing all that well at social distancing.

Unacast recently launched a study that looks at social distancing across the country and how we are doing. Wisconsin isn't doing great but we could be doing worse.

This new study looks at change in average distance traveled as its main metric. They're looking at how much less travel is happening around us since coronavirus hit our state.

According to Unacast, "the metric captures how people adapt their everyday behavior in a few significant areas." These areas include switching to a home office, avoiding non-essential trips, and canceling travels.

States like New York and California are doing relatively well. New York has an overall grade of an A, while California is close behind with a B.

Wisconsin, however, sits at a C like many other states. Surrounding states like Minnesota and Illinois also have a C grade, while states like North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho have been given an F grade.

Since this all began, Wisconsin has seen a 21% drop in average distance traveled. While this is an improvement, it is nothing compared to California's 30%, or New York's 41%.

Each state is also broken down by county. In Wisconsin, the county doing the least social distancing is Rock County. The best, however, is Menominee County which has an A grade.

Milwaukee sits right in the middle with a C, same as the overall state. If you're like us, then you like a good grade, so to help improve our score, please stay home. For the health of everyone around you, don't leave if you don't have to.

8:48 a.m. -- Why cybersecurity is crucial while working from home

Americans around the country are being instructed to work from home during the worldwide, COVID-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Arnold, an IT instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, saidfailing to take some basic precautions while working from home could leave you and your employer vulnerable to a hack.

For starters, Arnold recommended avoiding using any of your personal storage devices, like flash drives or hard drives, to move files on and off of your work computer.

"That's how malware can sometimes spread," Arnold said.

Why cybersecurity is crucial while working from home

He said malware, stored in previous photos, music or other files you've previously downloaded from the internet, can stay inactive or dormant on a flash drive until it finds a new, uncompromised network it can spread over to.

Read the full story here.


8:22 a.m. -- Wisconsin commission won't investigate 2 county clerks

(Wisconsin State Journal/AP) The Wisconsin Elections Commission will not investigate two county clerks for encouraging absentee voters staying home because of the coronaviorus outbreak to use a provision to avoid the state's photo ID requirement.

The commission deadlocked 3-3 Sunday on motions that would have tabled investigations into the two clerks while warning them that their use of indefinite confinement violated state elections laws.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports motions by Democratic members to do away with the proposed investigations entirely also failed along party lines.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell and Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson have encouraged voters to indicate on their absentee ballot they are indefinitely confined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

7:57 a.m. -- Wisconsin dairy farmers hit hard by coronavirus

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/AP) The coronavirus has delivered a severe blow to Wisconsin dairy farmers who rely on selling milk to restaurants, schools and the hospitality industry.

The Journal Sentinel reports about one-third of Wisconsin dairy products, mainly cheese, are sold in the food service trade.

Farmers say the coronavirus outbreak has caused milk prices to drop to unprofitable levels this spring, at a time when money is needed for the upcoming planting season.

Dairy farmers are worried about processing plants closing or cutting production, forcing them to dump milk.

7:15 a.m. -- Milwaukee County first responders prepare for increase in COVID-19 calls

As paramedics throughout Milwaukee County prepare for more coronavirus related calls, officials are asking the public to only call 911 for life threatening emergencies to prevent the system from being overloaded.

"Before noon, we had nine calls on the med unit. On the Alternate Response Vehicle, they were up to seven. That's considered very high," said Milwaukee Fire Dept. Lt. Jeff Freitag.

Milwaukee Fire Department paramedics prepare for coronavirus calls.

The Milwaukee County Department of Emergency Management hasn't noticed a major increase in EMS call volume thus far, but the agency is expecting things to get busy soon.

"At this point we haven’t seen major changes in our 911 volume, and we haven’t seen major changes in our EMS response volume or our transport volume," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Department of Emergency Management.

However, leaders expect that community spread will cause the amount of paramedic calls to rise quickly.

"We do anticipate as COVID-19 continues to spread in our community we will see more responses," Dr. Weston said.

Read the full story here.

Sunday, March 29

5:06 p.m. -- Coronavirus cases increase on Milwaukee's south side

We’re starting to see more positive coronavirus cases pop up on the city’s south side.

If you look at the county’s heat map on March 21st compared to the 29th, you’ll see more cases filling in on the south side.

Tammy Rivera of the Southside Organizing Center said they’ve dedicated a section of their website to accurate information and resources on the coronavirus.

They have also increased their staff to connect with residents by phone and online.

“They need us more now than ever,” Rivera said. “All we can do is continue to increase the ways we reach people.”

Read the full story here.

4:07 p.m. -- Homeless community could stay at empty convent, Mayor Barrett says

Milwaukee's homeless residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 could soon be staying at the empty Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, Mayor Tom Barrett said on a Zoom meeting Sunday afternoon.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has reached out to the city's Health Department to offer the facility as a resource to help fight the coronavirus, the mayor said. It has been empty since earlier this year.

Both groups have also been working with the City of St. Francis to make the partnership possible.

The new space could be ready as soon as later this week, Barrett said.

The mayor said the facility is ideal because it is immediately adjacent to Lake Michigan and there are few homes in the area. It would offer 90 beds across two wings.

One wing would be focused on people who are symptomatic for COVID-19, while one would be focused on at-risk populations.

3:48 p.m. -- Racine County Jail inmate volunteers make face masks to protect fellow inmates

Inmate volunteers at Racine County Jail have began make face masks to help protect their fellow inmates.

The black face masks are being sewn within the jail and are being given to other inmates.

Laundry workers at the jail now wear jail masks and gloves when washing and cleaning personal protective equipment before it is bagged.

According to a post from the Racine County Sheriff's Office, the jail is doing everything they can to protect the inmates and those working at the jail.

2 p.m. -- There are now more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Numbers from the state Department of Health Services tracking confirmed cases of COVID-19 officially crossed the 1,000 mark Sunday.

There are now 1,153 cases statewide, an increase of about 150 from Saturday. Milwaukee County has the most cases, with 606. Dane County follows, with 172.

So far, 18 people have died in Wisconsin from complications related to the coronavirus.

1:32 p.m. -- Kenosha Woodman's employee tests positive for COVID-19

Woodman's took to Facebook Sunday to confirm that one of their own has tested positive and is now self-isolating at home.

According to their post, store management has been in contact with the Kenosha County Health Department. They are cooperating with the health department's guidelines and procedures.

Since this confirmation, Woodman's has decided to increase their cleaning to not just nightly, but during the day as well. They have also enacted social distancing for both their employees and their guests.

Woodman's also installed Plexiglas at their registers to limit the contact between employees and customers, and they will continue offering cleaning wipes to customers.

The store will remain operational, and workers are being offered leave if they would show up to work sick.

It is unknown at this time what department the employee worked in.


1:08 p.m. -- Governor Tony Evers moves forward with ventilator, mask purchases

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' administration is moving ahead with plans to buy 10,000 ventilators and 1 million protective masks in the fight against the coronavirus.

The effort comes after Evers' administration had clashed with Republican lawmakers over whether he needed their permission to make such purchases.

GOP leaders contended he already had that power after Evers gave them a bill calling for spending more than $700 million to help care for thousands of sick and jobless people in Wisconsin.

Evers' chief of staff said Saturday night that the administration has been making smaller purchases and will now move forward with the large purchase of ventilators and masks.

12:41 p.m. -- Bucks, Mavericks to face off on virtual court

The Bucks are still hitting the court...virtually at least.

With the NBA season on a hiatus due to COVID-19, players from the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks are finding another way to get some hoops in.

The Bucks’ Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Cam Reynolds will go up against the Mavericks’ Seth Curry, Antonius Cleveland and Dorian Finney-Smith in a best-of-five series of 3-on-3 action on NBA 2K20.

The games will be streamed live on Twitch beginning at 2 p.m. DiVincenzo and Curry will serve as captains for each team and will provide commentary on camera throughout the games.

The two teams were originally scheduled to play against each other on Sunday in the NBA's regular season.


12:04 p.m. -- Kenosha Unified School District to offer more online learning opportunities beginning Monday

Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) is now offering even more online learning options for their students.

Due to the coronavirus, all schools have been forced to close and offer online classes to their students. Now, KUSD is offering even more tools to help their students during this time.

Beginning Monday, staff will begin offering "appropriate and regularly updated non-graded online learning opportunities," the district's website says (emphasis from district). This is in addition to already-existing online resources and activity sheets distributed with meals.

In the next few weeks, KUSD teachers will be reaching out to their students to reinforce skills and knowledge that aligns with the district curriculum.

The district is also surveying families to see who needs technology so they can work to get devices to students. To take that survey, click here.

Families are being asked to complete the survey by Friday, April 3. A plan for distributing the technology is forthcoming, as the district needs to see the results on the survey first.

11:43 a.m. -- 6-year-old Germantown girl gets birthday parade after her party was canceled

One 6-year-old in Germantown got quite the birthday surprise when her family and friends showed up in parade form to wish her a happy birthday.

When Evelyn found out that she wouldn't be able to have her birthday party at the local bowling alley due to coronavirus, she was pretty sad. Her mom, however, had a plan.

Even with social distancing, this 6-year-old was still able to celebrate her birthday. After her party got canceled, Evelyn's mom put out an invite on Facebook, inviting friends and family to drive by and wish Evelyn a happy birthday.

6-year-old gets surprise birthday parade

The friends and family did not hesitate. Many of them got in their cars and drove by Evelyn to wish her a happy birthday.

It may not have been the birthday Evelyn was waiting for, but it was definitely one for the books.

From all of us at TMJ4 News, happy birthday, Evelyn!

11:17 a.m. -- Goodwill temporarily not accepting donations due to COVID-19

If you have any donations to give to Goodwill, hold on to them until donations can be accepted again.

Unfortunately, with Goodwill Stores & Donation Centers being temporarily closed, the organization can not accept any donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goodwill relies on donations to fund their mission to provide people with disabilities or disadvantages jobs and training.

They are monitoring their locations for anything that has been dropped off and asking their donors to help keep a safe environment around their stores by holding those donations until they can be accepted again.


10:53 a.m. -- YMCA, Oconomowoc School District offer child care services for essential workers

The YMCA at Pabst Farms and Oconomowoc Area School District have partnered to provide childcare for essential health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the closure of schools and an increased need to provide essential services for the most vulnerable in the community, the program offers child care services for essential health care workers, police officers, firefighters and EMTs.

The service is for children ages 4-12 and care will be offered from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The cost of the program is $45 per day for as many days as needed and weekly attendance is not required. The location for the child care will be at Summit Elementary School in Oconomowoc.

The program begins March 30. For more information, or to register, click here.

10:20 a.m. -- Organization that helps homeless population asks for water donations

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Repairers of the Breach is working to still meet the needs of Milwaukee's homeless population, without having access to valued volunteers.

A critical need being water.Repairers is the only source of water for many of the homeless. Since the shelter is having issues sourcing it, they're also seeking donations to help with the increased costs.

"I often think of what the homeless go through and how we can support them. I realized, with all the public places closed, we are the only place to go for water. Water! An essential need for life," said Rev. James W. West Jr, Executive Director of Repairers of the Breach.

For more information on how to make a donation visit www.repairers.org.

9:57 a.m. -- City of Milwaukee launches drive-up early voting program

The City of Milwaukee Election Commission opened its drive-up early voting program this weekend.

Lines were long as Milwaukeeans finally got another chance to cast early ballots.

Many voters TMJ4 spoke with said the wait for them was roughly about 45 minutes. The election commission said it is working to get that number down.

City of Milwaukee sets up drive-thru early voting during coronavirus pandemic

"Obviously, I’d like to see what we can do about the wait time but cars are moving. People are voting, I think we’re achieving our goal," said Neil Albrecht, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Election Commission.

Read the full story here.

9:26 a.m. -- Door County board fears COVID-19 will hurt summer tourism

The Chairman of the Door County Board says the COVID-19 spread will soon makes it way to their corner of Northeast Wisconsin.

The county has complied with Gov. Evers order saying everyone is safer at home. However, Door County is a popular vacation spot for many. The chairman fears the threat could last till the summer, but says right now they don't have a choice.

His biggest fear involves the many small businesses - a big part of Door County culture. He hopes the families who own the stores take advantage of the aid passed by state and federal levels.

"I hope they take advantage of what is being offered to them," Chairman David Lienau said. "We also have local resources, like our banks are trying to help."

Read the full story here.

8:58 a.m. -- Milwaukee Chinese Community Center holds fundraiser for COVID-19 efforts

The Milwaukee Chinese Community Center organized a fundraiser in January which collected nearly $10,000 to send medical supplies to China.

With the recent outbreak of coronavirus in Wisconsin, they are now leading a similar effort to distribute supplies back home.

The organization collected about 1,500 masks and other medical supplies this week. Those supplies were donated to the Milwaukee Police Department and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Chinese Community Center holds fundraiser for coronavirus

The organization is also trying to raise $50,000 for United Way by Monday.

If you want to donate to the cause, visit the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center website by clicking here.

Read the full story here.

8:21 a.m. -- 71-year-old Milwaukee County man latest to die from COVID-19 complications

A 71-year-old Milwaukee County man died early Sunday from complications due to COVID-19, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says.

The man is the 10th in Milwaukee County to die from the virus. 18 have died across the state.

71-year-old Milwaukee County man dies of COVID-19 complications, Medical Examiner's Office says

There have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin so far. More than 13,000 people have tested negative.

To see archived updates from March 24-28, click here.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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