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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Latest COVID-19 updates, developments from across the state

Updated: 2020-03-30 23:58:34-04
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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 Monday afternoon, there were a total of 153,246 confirmed cases and 2,828 deaths in the U.S., according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins. At least 5,545 people have recovered.

In Wisconsin, as of Monday afternoon there were 1,288 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. 23 people have died. Here is the latest county-by-county breakdown:

Wisconsin CountyTotal Cases as of 3/30/2020Total Deaths as of 3/30/2020
Ashland10
Bayfield20
Brown70
Calumet10
Chippewa70
Clark30
Columbia90
Dane1831
Dodge80
Door10
Douglas60
Dunn30
Eau Claire100
Fond du Lac222
Grant10
Green50
Iowa30
Iron11
Jackson20
Jefferson100
Juneau30
Kenosha360
La Crosse160
Marathon20
Marinette10
Marquette20
Milwaukee66310
Monroe10
Oneida30
Outagamie90
Ozaukee405
Pierce60
Portage10
Racine260
Richland20
Rock150
Sauk131
Sheboygan80
St. Croix40
Vilas30
Walworth60
Washington371
Waukesha931
Waupaca11
Winnebago100
Wood20
Total1,28823

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

Latest updates:

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?

"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.

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.

hobby lobby.jpg

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

Confirmed cases: 1,288 (as of Monday evening)

Deaths: 23

Negative tests: 15,856

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Hotline: Call (414) 286-6800 (M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.)

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