NewsCoronavirus

Actions

Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Updates from March 24-28

Web-Default-Image_1280x720-WTMJ.png
Posted at 9:44 AM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 10:44:12-04

Editor's note: This page features archived updates from March 24-28 and will not be updated. For the latest coronavirus 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 Sunday morning, there were a total of 124,686 confirmed cases and 2,191 deaths in the U.S., according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins. At least 2,612 people have recovered.

In Wisconsin, as of Sunday morning there were 1,063 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. 18 people have died. Here is the latest county-by-county breakdown:

Wisconsin CountyTotal Cases as of 3/29/2020Total Deaths as of 3/29/2020
Bayfield20
Brown60
Calumet10
Chippewa40
Clark30
Columbia70
Dane1581
Dodge60
Douglas60
Dunn20
Eau Claire70
Fond du Lac201
Grant10
Green40
Iowa30
Iron11
Jefferson80
Juneau20
Kenosha280
La Crosse150
Marathon10
Marinette10
Milwaukee55910
Monroe10
Oneida10
Outagamie40
Ozaukee333
Pierce40
Portage10
Racine160
Richland20
Rock120
Sauk111
Sheboygan80
St. Croix40
Vilas20
Walworth60
Washington310
Waukesha720
Waupaca11
Winnebago70
Wood20
Total1,06318

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:

Sunday, March 29

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.

There have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin so far. More than 13,000 people have tested negative.

Saturday, March 28

3:30 p.m. -- Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin approach 1,000 mark

(AP) Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Wisconsin are nearing the 1,000 mark. The state Department of Health Services reported Saturday that there were 989 cases of the coronavirus in the state, up from 842 from the day before.

The state has officially reported 13 deaths, but local health departments had confirmed 15 deaths as of Friday. Health officials say the number of people with the virus is likely much higher because so few tests have been administered.

More than 15,000 people in the state have tested negative.

2:30 p.m. -- Wisconsin's confirmed cases of coronavirus exceeds 1K

The number of confirmed cases in Wisconsin has passed 1,000. As of Saturday afternoon, there was a reported number of 1,041 positive COVID-19 cases. There have been 17 deaths.

1:58 p.m. -- Waupaca County reports first COVID-19 case has also died

Waupaca County health officials said that its first reported case of COVID-19 has also died. This brings the death toll to 17.

11:24 a.m. -- Judge tosses 1 lawsuit over Wisconsin election; plenty left

(AP) — A federal judge has tossed one lawsuit over Wisconsin's presidential primary, but plenty remain.

The judge late Friday ruled that Green Bay didn't have standing to bring its lawsuit seeking to postpone the April 7 election due to coronavirus concerns and move it to all-mail.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and top Republicans want to keep the April 7 date. But Evers has supported an all-mail election, while Republicans have not.

The state GOP on Friday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to intervene in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Clerks there have told voters they can cite the governor's stay-at-home order to avoid having to show photo ID to vote by mail.

Friday, March 27

10:25 -- Officials implore practicing safe social distancing going into the weekend

Milwaukee city and county leaders are issuing stern reminders about safe social distancing heading into the weekend.

"Whether it's parks, whether it's any public space and people are congregating, we'll use every tool we have," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

State law could allow law enforcement to issue at least a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Inspector Daniel Hughes says the force is focused right now on educating before enforcing. He said if they encounter people in violation, they will tell the group to disperse. If law enforcement sees it happen again, they may issue a citation.

"What we want to do is get voluntary compliance, I think that's what everybody wants right now," Inspector Hughes said.

8:44 p.m. -- 55-year-old Milwaukee woman dies from complications of coronavirus

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says a Milwaukee woman has died from complications of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

Officials say the 55-year-old woman died at a local hospital on Thursday.

A test for COVID-19 came back positive on Friday.

16 people have now died from coronavirus statewide. There have also been 901 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

8:18 p.m. -- El Rey donates several boxes hand sanitizer to the Milwaukee Police Department

El Rey Mexican Products Inc. has donated several boxes of hand sanitizer to the Milwaukee Police Department.

On Friday, officers worked together with employees from El Rey Mexican Products Inc. to unload the boxes. The hand sanitizer will be distributed throughout the Milwaukee Police Department.

"The Milwaukee Police Department would like to thank El Rey Mexican Products INC for their generous donation of hand sanitizer," the department wrote in a statement.

Anyone who would like to donate personal protective equipment to help keep Milwaukee police officers safe during COVID-19 can contact supportMPD@milwaukee.gov for a list of needed supplies.

7:33 p.m. -- UW-Madison says some students are coming back from spring break with coronavirus

The University of Wisconsin-Madison says students who returned from spring break have tested positive for COVID-19, better known as coronavirus.

The University Health Services department at UW-Madison says students who traveled for spring break should self-quarantine for 14 days even if they don't currently have any symptoms.

6:53 p.m. -- Milwaukee Marathon switches to virtual race amid coronavirus pandemic

The Milwaukee Marathon, half, and 5K will now be a virtual race due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

The race, which was scheduled to take place on April 11, now must be run virtually by April 30.

6:22 p.m. -- Local and state officials warn social distancing violations could result in arrests

After roughly two weeks of self-isolation, local and state officials are warning residents to either stay home or face potential arrests.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton put out a strongly worded warning to people around Milwaukee. He said, "It seems that it's possible that the Stay-at-Home order wasn't adequately laid out for some in the community, and we want to make sure the message is made loud and clear: Stay home and only go out for essential needs, or you could end up under arrest."

Ald. Cavalier Johnson supports the message but says he hopes it doesn't come to that.

"At the end of the day, we'd hope there wouldn't need to be any enforcement coming from our end," Johnson said. "We hope people heed the warnings and messages that have been coming from officials at the local and state level, and they stay home."

6:08 p.m. -- At least 13 positive cases of COVID-19 reported at Grafton senior facility, including 3 deaths

Two more people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Ozaukee County have died.

Both of them lived at Village Pointe Commons, the nursing home in Grafton, where there's been an outbreak of coronavirus.

The latest victims are an 87-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman. Both were in long-term care in the memory unit. The woman was the first person who tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility.

Another resident, Robert Blackbird, died last week. The 91-year-old was in hospice.

5:39 p.m. -- You can still fish during Wisconsin's 'Safer at Home' order

Anglers near and far, here's some good news. Even with the "Safer at Home" order, you can still head out to the water and do some fishing.

Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order went into effect on Wednesday, but that doesn't mean you need to pack up the fishing pole.

Under the order, Evers asked residents to only leave their homes for essential activities such as buying groceries or going to the doctor. However, state officials also say it is still acceptable to get outdoors.

State Parks remain open for those who want to get out, and so do public waters. If you're going to head to the nearest lake and spend the day fishing, you can.

Gov. Evers and the CDC ask that when you head to public waters, practice social distancing and leave at least 6-feet between yourself and other fishers.

Under the order, state officials aren't just allowing outdoor activities, but they're encouraging them. Such outdoor activities include fishing, so grab your pole and head to public waters! Just remember to keep your distance.

Stay safe out there, and if you have the option to stay home, please do it.

5:02 p.m. -- Salvation Army helps feed hospital staff at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's

The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County helped feed health care workers and caregivers at Ascension Columbia St Mary's Hospital on Milwaukee's East Side on March 27.

A mobile feeding truck was deployed and scheduled to be parked at the main entrance during two shift changes, once from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and again from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Hospital staff could drive-up or walk-up and receive a free sandwich, chips, cookie and a water.

The meal service was an act of kindness aimed at providing nourishment for employees working extended and exhausting shifts during the coronavirus pandemic impacting Milwaukee.

Read the full story here.

4:31 p.m. -- GOP calls Evers' mass ballot mailing idea 'complete fantasy'

(AP) Republicans are calling Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' request to convene to alter state election law in light of the coronavirus crisis a “fantasy.”

Evers tweeted Friday that he wants the Legislature to act “swiftly" and send ballots to all registered voters for the April 7 election. His attorney says he'll get sued if he tries to do it unilaterally.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement Friday afternoon calling the request a “complete fantasy.” He says there's no way clerks can procure, print, verify and mail millions of ballots in just days and acting like they can is a “hoax.”

4:07 p.m. -- How much money will you get from the $2 trillion stimulus relief plan?

If your family meets the income qualifications outlined in the $2 trillion stimulus relief plan, a typical family of four is looking at getting a $3,400 rebate check from the federal government. That's $2,400 for a married couple and $500 for each dependent child.

How much you get does depend on how much money you make. It's based on the most recent tax return data the IRS has from you. So either 2018 or 2019, if you already filed your taxes.

Those eligible for the full amount include singles earning $75,000 or less. They qualify to receive a $1,200 rebate check. Married couples who earned up to $150,000 would get $2,400. As income goes up, the payment amount goes down, dropping $5 for every $100 of income over those limits.

High-income individuals or couples won't get a check at all. That means individuals earning more than $99,000 and married couples earning more than $198,000.

However, if you have kids under 17, you will receive $500 for each child.

When can you expect the money to come? The White House has said as early as three weeks, but other financial experts have said realistically, it could be a month or longer.

If the IRS has your direct deposit details, meaning that's how you received your recent refund, your check will come via direct deposit to your bank account. Otherwise, the IRS will send a paper check in the mail, and that might take longer.

If you still aren't sure how much you or your family qualify for under this plan, click on this link to use a stimulus check calculator.

3:50 p.m. -- 4 Dane County prisoners test negative for virus

(AP) Tests of four Dane County Jail inmates in Madison for the coronavirus have come back negative, after two other inmates were shown to have COVID-19.

The sheriff's department reported Friday that four of those who had been in isolation after having fevers do not have the virus. Two other inmates with fevers also remain in isolation but have not been tested, said sheriff's department spokeswoman Elise Schaffer.

Nine more inmates who had contact with some of the eight have been removed from the general population as a precaution but none of them had symptoms.

There are four confirmed cases among workers at prisons in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections state system. The state halted new prison admissions on Monday, sending inmates to county jails instead.

Statewide, 15 people have died from the virus and more than 840 have tested positive, but health officials say the number of people with the virus is likely much higher because so few tests have been administered.

2:48 p.m. -- Milwaukee's black community hit hard by coronavirus

(AP) Deaths and confirmed cases of the coronavirus are spiking in Milwaukee’s black community, leading public health and civic leaders to sound an alarm.

They warn that decades of social, political and economic disadvantages are creating a toxic stew that puts people’s lives at risk in Milwaukee like no time before.

Fears about the virus striking inner city, poor neighborhoods harder than others was reverberating across the country, particularly in large urban areas like New York City, Detroit, New Orleans and Milwaukee.

More than half of the state's deaths from COVID-19 so far are in Milwaukee.

2:34 p.m. -- Evers asks lawmakers to modify election statutes

(AP) Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he wants legislators to act quickly to send all registered voters get an absentee ballot for the April 7 spring election and allow local clerks time to count them.

Evers tweeted Friday that he's asking the Legislature to act “swiftly" but stopped short of calling a special session. Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, says the governor is prepared to call a special session but wants to work toward consensus with Republican leaders.

The odds Republicans will convene to do anything look slim. GOP leaders said this week they think the election should continue as planned.

2 p.m. -- Wisconsin virus cases increase, patience urged

(AP) Wisconsin's top health leader is urging patience, saying Friday it will take “several weeks” before the impact on a stay-at-home order is seen in the number of cases of the coronavirus.

The state Department of Health Services reported Friday that there were 842 cases in the state, up from 707 the day before. The state said there have been 13 deaths, but local health departments have confirmed 15.

Milwaukee County had the most deaths at eight, followed by Ozaukee County with three and one each in Dane, Fond du Lac, Iron and Sauk counties.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said without implementing the stay-at-home order, DHS models show 22,000 people could be sick with the virus by April 8.

“Please don’t get discouraged," Palm said. "We need to remain to be vigilant.”


12:23 p.m. -- GOP: Clerks can't say everyone is confined to avoid photo ID

(AP) Republican legislative leaders are arguing that Democratic county clerks can't tell voters to mark themselves as indefinitely confined to avoid photo ID requirements when seeking absentee ballots.

Clerks in Dane and Milwaukee counties have advised people who can't upload a photo when applying for absentee ballots online to check themselves as indefinitely confined.

Those voters are exempt from photo ID requirements. The clerks point to Gov. Tony Evers' stay-at-home order. But GOP leaders counter that the order contains many exemptions and everyone is not confined.

They say the clerks are using the pandemic to advance a liberal agenda.

10:50 a.m. -- Medical examiner identifies 3 Milwaukee residents who died from COVID-19 complications

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner has identified the three latest Milwaukee residents who died Thursday from coronavirus complications.

The three residents were identified as Carolyn Johnson, 65; Tommy Lee Loving, 69; and Callie Roundtree, 79.

The medical examiner said all three had serious underlying health conditions.

Authorities said Johnson was admitted to Froedtert Hospital's intensive care unit on Saturday after developing a cough and fever from coronavirus. Johnson’s sister told TMJ4 News that she will be remembered as a loving and caring person who would do anything to help her friends and family.

The medical examiner said Loving was taken to the Milwaukee VA Medical Center Wednesday after suffering from a fever, cough and weakness. He passed away Thursday night.

The medical examiner said the Milwaukee Fire Department responded to a 911 call on March 16 and transported Roundtree to Froedtert after she was found in an altered mental state.

9:59 a.m. -- Two more deaths reported at Grafton senior facility with COVID-19 outbreak

Two more deaths have been reported at a Grafton senior facility where a COVID-19 outbreak happened.

Village Pointe Commons in Grafton reported that two residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 passed away. This makes three total deaths at the facility after a COVID-19 outbreak was reported earlier this month.

On March 22, a Guard Medic Team arrived at the facility on March 22 to assist with staffing during the outbreak.

“The health department sends our deepest condolences to family and loved ones. This is precisely why we have ordered long-term-care facilities and first responders to use PPE and ordered limitations on providers going into these facilities. We continue to urge the community to please stay home. We do not want other families to lose loved ones,” Kirsten Johnson, Health Officer of the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department in a press release.

The health department said they were also monitoring cases at five other long-term care facilities in Washington and Ozaukee counties.

An outbreak in a long-term care facility is defined as one resident that tests positive or two employees that test positive.

9:15 a.m. -- 2 Dane County jail inmates have coronavirus

(AP) Two inmates in the Dane County Jail in Madison have tested positive for COVID-19 and results are pending on another six inmates who are in isolation.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said Thursday night that all of the inmates were tested after they had fevers. The sheriff's office said nine more inmates who had contact with some of the eight have been removed from the general population as a precaution but none of them had symptoms.

There are four confirmed cases among workers at prisons in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections state system. The state halted new prison admissions on Monday, sending inmates to county jails instead.

Statewide, 12 people have died from the virus and more than 700 have tested positive.

8:50 a.m. -- Voting groups, unions sue to force election postponement

(AP) A coalition of voting rights groups and labor unions have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to postpone Wisconsin's spring election.

The coalition filed the lawsuit in Madison on Thursday evening. The groups want a judge to postpone the April 7 election at least until Gov. Tony Evers' stay-at-home order expires.

Right now the order ends April 24 but Evers could decide to extend it.

They also want the judge to lift requirements that absentee voters include copes of proof-of residency documents and photo IDs with ballot applications and prohibit state election officials from enforcing in-person voting requirements until the stay-at-home-order expires.

7:22 a.m. -- South side restaurant adapts to COVID-19 restrictions

To comply with health officials' request for social distancing, local restaurants and taverns have closed down their dining rooms. Most are now trying to survive solely on take-out or delivery orders.

"We've been here since 1982, so we're in our 38th year," said Tony Ingrilli of his restaurant, Caterina's Ristorante, at 92nd & Oklahoma.

Ingrilli said the business, which was started by his parents, has always relied on the quality of its food to attract customers.

With the dining room closed, Caterina's is for the first time having to try and enter the world of online delivery ordering.

Ingrilli recently filled out applications to get the restaurant's menu put on Door Dash and Uber Eats.

He's currently waiting to hear back from the apps on whether Caterina's has been approved for delivery orders. In the meantime, Caterina's is trying to stay in business through carry-out sales.

But Ingrilli noted the 25 to 40 carry-out orders his restaurant has been putting together each day don't include alcohol sales, and often don't include appetizers.

Read the full story here.

6:32 a.m. -- During tough financial times, local restaurant finds ways to give back

When you step inside Emerald City Catering you feel like you walked into Oz. The walls are decorated with pictures from the popular movie, Wizard of Oz and the man behind the curtain is Steven Ozbolt.

Ozbolt moved his business to south Milwaukee two years ago with a focus on catering events like weddings, funerals, and parties. However, the location that once housed up to 280 people, now, sits empty.

"It's a matter of keeping our head above water and paying the essential things,"said Ozbolt.

The business is taking a financial hit, but, to Ozbolt what's more important than profit is taking care of the community.

"The main thing to me is making sure no one goes hungry," said Ozbolt.

Monday through Friday, they are offering a "Pay As You May" meal. The concept is simple, you pay what you can afford. He hopes this ensures people who have lost their jobs, still have meals to eat.

Read the full story here.

6:08 a.m. -- The number of deaths due to the coronavirus outbreak continues to climb in Wisconsin.

Four deaths were reported Thursday, including three in Milwaukee County, bringing the state's total to 12.

The medical examiner's office says one was a 79-year-old Milwaukee woman who had been hospitalized since March 16.

Another Milwaukee woman, age 65, hospitalized since March 21 died Thursday afternoon. A 69-year-old man died Thursday night.

The Journal Sentine l reports the fourth death is in Iron County, the first case for the northern Wisconsin county.

The number of confirmed cases continues to climb steadily to more than 700 Thursday.

Thursday, March 26

10:15 p.m. -- Person from Iron County dies from coronavirus

The Iron County Public Health says the first death associated with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Iron County is also the first confirmed case.

"We are saddened by this death and our hearts go out to the family, friends, and community," said Katie Hampston, Director of Public Health Iron County. "We strongly encourage our residents to stay safer at home unless activities are essential. That is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our community."

8:36 p.m. -- 69-year-old man dies from COVID-19, medical examiner says

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office confirms a 69-year-old man has died from COVID-19, better known as coronavirus.

The man died shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday.

Recent Local NewsBaseball executive A.J. Ellis talks how players arestaying in shape during coronavirus pandemicREAD MOREThe 69-year-old man is the fourth to die of COVID-19 complications in Wisconsin on Thursday, the Medical Examiner's Office says.

There have been 11 total deaths statewide, 8 are in Milwaukee County.

8:19 p.m. -- Colleagues remember Milwaukee basketball and track coach who died after complications from COVID-19

Lamont Shelton knew Ralph Davis from the Washington High School Mentor program. He couldn't say enough about the big guy, with a big heart.

TMJ4 News Main Sports Anchor Lance Allan asks I've heard Lamont from numerous people...why was Ralph so beloved in your opinion?

"Oh, wow. I mean, we can go on and on—just a genuine guy. A heart of gold, compassion about what he does, about who he's around," Shelton says.

Former player Tre'Quan Martin is one of his success stories.

"He's touched a lot of people. And I know a lot of people might feel his death as a loss. But we truly gained something," Martin says.

Davis died of COVID-19 complications Wednesday morning. He was 60 and a beloved basketball and track coach, who left an impression on all he touched, even Jason Friske, who briefly worked with him in 2009.

"My time with him was so brief... yet he made such a lasting impression on myself personally. And you know, the other day, when they made mention of his passing, you know, I immediately thought about you and reaching out to you because he touched so many lives through the years, as a basketball and a track coach," Jason Friske says.

The Washington Purgolders basketball community says it's been an outpouring of love for Ralph and those who knew him.

7:16 p.m. -- 'There's never a break': Office of Violence Prevention remains hard at work amid crime dip, COVID-19

They're the people working to prevent crime and help victims in the City of Milwaukee.

The Office of Violence Prevention is often in direct contact with crime victims and getting them help.

Reggie Moore, Director of the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, monitors crime numbers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues globally.

He said his office is still hard at work, helping victims in the safest way possible.

"We have to stay vigilant in terms of protecting public safety and peace in our community," Moore said.

6:17 p.m. -- Wisconsin Dental Association donates medical supplies to help healthcare workers during pandemic

The WDA is donating supplies from its postponed Mission of Mercy effort - which helps low-income people with free dental cleaning and exams.

The new mission - get these masks, gloves, and protective gear to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.

They need to be used in our hospitals and care facilities, so that's why we're donating these supplies," said Dr. Thomas Rainmann, President of the Wisconsin Dental Association.

With one mission postponed, another is making progress. In the stacks of boxes are 20,000 masks, 25,000 gloves, and 1,700 gowns that will soon head to people who need it most.

"We're taking this generous donation from these gentlemen and ladies out to certain areas around Wisconsin to help fight this coronavirus and hopefully nip it in the bud, Special Ryan Emerson with the Wisconsin National Guard.

5:01 p.m. -- City of Milwaukee opens five absentee ballot drop-off locations ahead of Spring election

Voters who have completed their absentee ballot with certificate envelope can drop it off at any of the locations below:

Drop-off Location NameDrop-off Location Address
Zablocki Library
3501 W. Oklahoma Ave. (enter through the courtyard)
Bay View Library
2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Washington Park Library
2121 N Sherman Blvd.
Mill Road Library
6431 N. 76th St.
Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Bldg
841 N. Broadway

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. any day of the week through April 7. Election Commission staff are available to witness voter signatures.

The Election Commission strongly recommends that anyone planning to vote in the April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them.

4:48 p.m. -- Riding MCTS buses will be free starting Saturday, fares suspended during coronavirus pandemic

The Milwaukee County Transit System is suspending bus fares to help protect employees and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, MCTS is suspending fare collection. Bus drivers will also let riders know that they must enter and exit the bus through the rear door only unless they need assistance with a mobility device or other ADA accommodation.

Suspending fare collection limits the interaction between riders and bus drivers.

"While Congress works to create a new Federal Transit Administration grant program to help transit systems sustain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, MCTS is doing its part to help ensure continuation of mass transit in Milwaukee County in this time of need," said MCTS Managing Director, Dan Boehm.

4:21 p.m. -- Milwaukee alderman warns residents to stop breaking stay-at-home order

A Milwaukee alderman is calling on Milwaukee police to start issuing citations for those caught gathering in large groups during the stay-at-home order.

Alderman Russell Stamper said several supervisors with the Milwaukee Police Department reached out to him to share concerns about large gatherings on the north side. In this area, a majority of the city's coronavirus cases have been located.

"What that tells me is that they're either unaware or they're not taking this as serious as it is," Stamper said.

Chicago's mayor recently warned her city that the crowded beaches and public parks they've seen are frustrating and not allowed.

Under Wisconsin's order, law enforcement can issue $250 fines and up to 30 days in jail for those caught breaking the rules. Gov. Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett both said that would only happen for flagrant offenses.

"I am going to support enforcement of this stay-at-home order particularly because of the health and overall concern of the community," Stamper said.

Read the full story here.

4:10 p.m. -- Marquette Nursing students learning virtually while COVID-19 keeps them out of hospitals

With a nursing shortage and Coronavirus putting a strain on medical staff, preparing the nurses of tomorrow is more important than ever. However, because of COVID-19, some hospitals are not allowing nursing students to continue their hospital rotations.

Now, nursing students expecting to graduate this spring, may not step foot in another hospital until after they graduate. But Marquette University is making sure they continue learning.

"We've converted completely to virtual simulation," Kris Dreifuerst, Associate Professor at Marquette University said. "Three weeks ago, we met to strategize a plan and a way to infuse a whole lot more screen based, virtual simulation into the curriculum so students would be prepared."

Read the full story here.

3:58 p.m. -- TMJ4 News revisits retailers accused of price gouging in SE Wisconsin

On Wednesday, Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection sent more than a dozen businesses in Wisconsin cease and desist letters. Each of them is accused of raising prices unlawfully during the coronavirus pandemic on products like Lysol spray, toilet paper, bottled water, rice, and watermelon.

Out of those 16 in Wisconsin, 11 of the businesses are from southeast Wisconsin.

The businesses that have received a cease and desist letter have ten days to respond. Thursday, TMJ4 News went back to revisit some of the stores to look for price gouging. Our news crews went to Walmart, Menard's, two El Rey Foodmart locations, and Asian International Market. The prices of the products called into question by the state appeared normal.

DATCP spokesperson Lara Sutherlin is encouraging shoppers to report big price jumps during the pandemic but stresses a small price hike isn't illegal.

"There's a lot of stuff missing from the shelves, and it's going to cost a little bit more money to get to the shelves if there is a strain on the supply chain," she explained.

Read the full story here.


3:10 p.m. -- 65-year-old Milwaukee woman third death Thursday tied to COVID-19, medical examiner says

A 65-year-old Milwaukee woman has died from complications related to COVID-19.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says the woman was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday at a local hospital. She had been hospitalized since Saturday, March 21.

This is the third death reported on Thursday and 10th death statewide.

2:32 p.m. -- Milwaukee County adds nearly 50 more cases to statewide total

Milwaukee County's website used to travk COVID-19 data added 46 new cases Thursday afternoon, for a county-wide total of 393.

That's just over half of the current statewide total, which now stands at 759.

The county notes that the actual number of positive cases is much higher, due to unreported or untested cases in the community.

Six people have died of coronavirus-releated causes in Milwaukee County, with a total of nine statewide.

2:01 p.m. -- 79-year-old Milwaukee woman dies of complications from COVID-19; 9th coronavirus death statewide

A 79-year-old Milwaukee woman died of complications from COVID-19 Thursday,the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said.

The woman had been hospitalized since March 16.

The woman is the sixth coronavirus-related death in Milwaukee County and the ninth overall in the State of Wisconsin. Earlier Thursday, a 57-year-old West Allis woman also died of the disease.

The other three coronavirus deaths in Wisconsin have been in Dane, Fond du Lac, and Ozauke Counties.

1:45 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials report another jump in the number of positive COVID-19 tests.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Thursday reported 707 positive cases of the coronavirus. That's more than 120 cases since Wednesday, when 585 positive tests were reported.

The number of deaths in Wisconsin caused by COVID-19 stands at eight.

Milwaukee County has the most cases, 347, followed by Dane County with 114.

1 p.m. -- Medline Industries transforms Hartland facility to help produce more hand sanitizer

Medline Industries, one of the largest medical supplies providers in the country,is transforming their manufacturing facility in Hartland, Wisconsin to help meet the demand for hand sanitizer as hand-hygiene remains top-of-mind around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility typically produces infection prevention products, such as a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate solution for pre-saturated cloths designed to reduce surgical site infections, as well as skin antiseptics, body washes, lotions, over the counter drug products, povidone iodine and lubrication gel for the institutional marketplace.

Medline Industries transforms Hartland facility to help produce more hand sanitizer

Teams will work five days per week, beginning in mid-April, to produce up to 150,000 bottles of hand sanitizer per week. Leaders say more staff could also be hired.

It's a transformation fast-tracking the process to get supplies to health care workers fighting the deadly coronavirus.

12:33 p.m. -- Packers extend Lambeau Field, Titletown closures until April 24

The Packers on Monday announced that Lambeau Field and Titletown would remain closed until at least April 24.

The closure applies to all Atrium businesses, including the Pro Shop, Hall of Fame, and 1919 Kitchen & Tap.

The team says only essential personnel will remain in place for non-public operations of the facilities.

12:09 p.m. -- Medical examiner identifies 57-year-old woman who died from COVID-19

The Milwaukee County medical examiner has identified the West Allis woman who died last night from coronavirus complications.

57-year-old Sheila Staten spent a week in the hospital before she passed away.

57-year-old woman dies from coronavirus complications, according to medical examiner

The medical examiner’s office says Staten developed a fever and cough and one week ago she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with coronavirus.

The medical examiner says Staten saw a caregiver in the community earlier, but she did not improve.

Authorities say Staten was on a ventilator after developing acute respiratory distress syndrome known as "ARDs."

11:58 a.m. -- GOP asks permission to oppose Democrats' election lawsuit

(AP) The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party are asking a federal judge to let them officially oppose a lawsuit brought by Democrats seeking to ease voting regulations for Wisconsin's spring election because of the coronavirus.

The Democratic National Committee and the state Democratic Party filed the lawsuit last week.

The Republicans have asked U.S. District Judge William Conley to let them join the lawsuit, arguing they should be allowed to protect their constituents from last-minute changes to voting laws and procedures.

The April 7 election includes the presidential primary, a state Supreme Court race and hundreds of local races.

11:27 a.m. -- Data shows high concentration of COVID-19 cases near St. Joseph's, Sherman Park neighborhoods

Nearly one out of every ten positive reported COVID-19 cases in the City of Milwaukee has come from a small pocket in the city.

New data from Milwaukee County reveals a higher concentration of positive cases in neighborhoods near St. Joseph's Hospital.

Between Sherman Blvd., 51st St., Locust Ave., and Keefe Ave. sit Milwaukee's Sherman Park and St. Joseph's neighborhoods.

Inside the area with the most cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee

Seven people within those bounds have tested positive for COVID-19—the highest number in Milwaukee County, as of Wednesday.

A look at the greater area shows a higher concentration. Areas boarded by Capitol to the north, Locust to the south, 35th to the east, and 51st street to the West have a total of 23 of Milwaukee County's 295 confirmed cases.

The number also represents nine percent of the City of Milwaukee's 231 positive cases.

11:01 a.m. -- Northwestern Mutual donates more than $1.5 million toward coronavirus relief efforts

Northwestern Mutual has announced a donation of more than $1.5 million to support coronavirus relief efforts nationwide.

The grants will focus on anticipated food and supply needs, a news release from the company says.

"During this time of uncertainty, our nonprofit community will become an even more critical provider of assistance, as well as hope," said Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "Through our nonprofit partners, who are working tirelessly to respond to the elevated needs of our communities, it is of the utmost importance to us to serve as a resource as we face this unprecedented health crisis together."

The company is providing $1 million to Feeding America for efforts nationwide, and an additional $50,000 to Feeding America in Milwaukee.

Northwestern Mutual is also giving donations to ominican Center, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, Milwaukee Christian Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, United Performing Arts Fund, and the United Way of Milwaukee and New York City. These funds also include a financial commitment from the Foundation to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's MKE Responds Fund. It is also extending its annual grant of $250,000 to the American Red Cross' Disaster Recovery Program.

10:49 a.m. -- Alderman Stamper warns residents face 'severe consequences' for not following order

Milwaukee Alderman Russell W. Stamper II released a statement Thursday morning warning Milwaukeeans to take Gov. Evers' "Safer at Home" order more seriously.

"The deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading fast among Milwaukee’s African American population, and it has already claimed the lives of several African American men here. But those deaths – and a strict citywide Stay-at-Home order – don’t seem to be getting the attention of enough people in the community," Stamper said.

"The coronavirus pandemic is deadly serious, and all Milwaukee residents need to start getting the message IMMEDIATELY!"

Stamper warned that Milwaukee police would begin enforcing the order where needed, especially where they see people congregating and conducting "business as usual."

10:05 a.m. -- Evers administration closes state Capitol

(AP) Gov. Tony Evers has decided to close the state Capitol building in Madison as the coronavirus crisis deepens in Wisconsin.

The Department of Administration closed the building at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. The building will remain closed indefinitely, although DOA officials said they would reopen it if the state Legislature or the state Supreme Court decides to convene. So far neither body has announced any plans to get together, however.

Evers issued an executive order on Tuesday mandating Wisconsin residents stay home and all nonessential businesses close to stop the virus' spread. The virus has infected nearly 600 people in Wisconsin and killed eight.

DOA ended public tours of the Capitol on March 12.

9:42 a.m. -- COVID-19 cancels standardized state testing

Standardized state testing for Wisconsin students has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus outbreak that has forced schools to temporarily close. The Department of Public Instruction made the announcement on its website Wednesday.

It means elementary and middle school students won’t be taking the Forward Exam or the Dynamic Learning Maps exam for cognitively disabled children. It also cancels the ACT Aspire assessment for ninth- and 10th-graders.

Most 11th-graders have already taken the regular ACT test before schools closed statewide March 18. It's a requirement for juniors and required for admission to some colleges. The State Journal says DPI is working to provide an additional ACT exam later this year.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or even death.

Under Gov. Tony Evers “Safer at Home” directive, schools will remain closed until at least April 24.

8:21 a.m. -- Watch out for stimulus check, coronavirus scams

While we are at home, scammers are hard at work trying to get your attention.

TMJ4 News found the top four ways criminals are preying on people’s coronavirus fears to steal your money during this vulnerable time.

TMJ4 News’ Call 4 Action Office is getting flooded with COVID-19 related complaints.

“About five fold,” said Karen Stiles, “Just unbelievable, and all very, very valid stuff.”

The first scam is the newest: Fake stimulus checks.

Crooks will call or email you, claiming to be with the federal government. Stiles says you will get your “stimulus check” after you give them your checking account and social security numbers.

For more, read the full story here.

7:32 a.m. -- Waukesha County Executive reports 56 positive coronavirus cases

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow reported there were now 56 positive cases in the county.

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow shares what the county is doing in response to COVID-19

6 a.m. -- West Allis woman dies from COVID-19 complications

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said a West Allis woman died from coronavirus complications at a local hospital. She had been hospitalized since March 19.

Wednesday, March 25

9:04 p.m. -- Milwaukee County Clerk: Voters may declare themselves as 'indefinitely confined to their homes'

The Milwaukee County Clerk's Office is removing the voter ID requirement when it comes to those looking to request an absentee ballot.

The office says based on Gov. Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order, as well as guidance from the Wisconsin Election Commission, voters looking to request an absentee ballot may declare themselves as "indefinitely confined to their homes." That will make it easier for Milwaukee County voters to participate in the election by mail.

The process makes it easier for a voter looking to request a ballot that does not have the ability or equipment to upload a valid ID.

"Voters should not be reluctant to check the box that says they are indefinitely confined because this is a pandemic and this option exists in state law to help preserve everyone's right to vote," Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson says.

Click here to request a ballot. Once there, select the box that reads "I certify that I am indefinitely confined due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability and request ballots to be sent to me for every election until I am no longer confined or fail to return a ballot." The voter is then able to skip the step of uploading an ID to receive a ballot for the April 7th election.

When the "Safer at Home" order by the governor is lifted, voters can change the designation back by contacting their municipal clerk or by updating their information online.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin says municipal clerks in Madison and Milwaukee are willfully ignoring and breaking state election law when it comes to voter ID requirements. Chairman Andrew Hitt issued the following statement:

"Reports of clerks willfully ignoring state statutes is an outrageous assault on our democratic process and Wisconsin’s election laws. It represents a blatant disregard of the rule of law by those elected to protect and apply them. The Republican Party of Wisconsin will aggressively pursue any legal remedy available to put a stop to clerks unilaterally and illegally rigging an election in their favor."

8:44 p.m. -- Frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 in Wisconsin answered

As the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country and the world, many viewers have reached out to us with questions regarding COVID-19. We're learning more information each day, so here is our best effort to answer your frequently asked questions.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

Wisconsin residents can go online to request an absentee ballot through March 30. Milwaukee residents can also call (414) 286-8683.

Is my business considered "essential?"

Wisconsin residents can get that information on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's website or call (608) 210-6700.

My business is non-essential and closed, where can I go for financial help?

This is also on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's website. You can call (608) 210-6700 for more answers.

My business is open, can you let your viewers know?

Sure! Click here to fill out the form, and a member of the web team will update it on our full listings page.

I'm out of work, what do I do?

Go to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD)'s website. While there, you can find resources which include: filing for unemployment, unemployment insurance, and veterans/disability employment services. You can also call DWD by phone during business hours at (414) 435-7069.

Another great resource is the Job Center of Wisconsin. They assist those who have already filed for unemployment as well as list resources to help people find a new job.

I can't pay my rent/bills/afford groceries due to COVID-19, what do I do?

The best resource would be calling 2-1-1 on your phone. IMPACT 2-1-1 is a central access point for people in need. They are willing to provide assistance with immediate concerns.

Can I leave my home during the 'Safer at Home' order?

Yes, you can leave your home. The order prohibits "nonessential travel," but you can still go outside and to places including the grocery store, gas stations, and post offices. The order will remain into effect until 8 a.m. April 24.

8:03 p.m. -- All Milwaukee Public Schools closed 'until further notice' due to coronavirus pandemic

All Milwaukee Public Schools will be closed "until further notice" as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, MPS announced all schools would be closed through April 13.

Read the full letter posted on the Milwaukee Public Schools website below:

To enhance public health and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued statewide and local “safer at home” orders effective March 25, 2020. Wisconsin residents are asked to stay at home until April 24, 2020. Individuals are allowed to go out in public only for essential needs including food, medication, and health care, and to attend work in identified essential services such as health care and public safety.

The public is asked to limit travel only for essential purposes. This includes traveling to purchase food and other essentials; to access work, health care, and education materials; and to care for family members, the elderly, and others who need assistance. When public transportation is used, riders are required to maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.

All MPS schools will remain closed until further notice. During this time, we encourage you to help your child keep learning at home. Visit the MPS Online Resources page to find a number of educational websites with free access for families.

MPS will continue to distribute grade-level enrichment materials and breakfasts and lunches for students at 20 Stop, Grab, and Go sites, Monday through Friday from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. View a list of locations and other updates on our COVID-19 Updates page.

If you need to locate food, health care, or other assistance, Impact 2-1-1 provides a directory of community resources. Access an online resource directory, call 211 to speak to a community resource specialist, or text your ZIP code to TXT-211 (898-211) to receive a response.

We urge you to follow the “safer at home” guidelines issued by the state; read the complete Safer at Home Order on the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services web page. Please continue to keep yourself and your family safe by washing hands often, sanitizing your home, and practice social distancing by staying 6 feet or more away from others.

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath), contact your doctor or clinic or call 2-1-1 for assistance. Health professionals will answer your questions Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:45pm.

We look forward to welcoming our students and staff back to school after this emergency passes.

5:34 p.m. -- Waukesha County Parks remain open during Safer at Home order

All Waukesha County Parks and trails will remain open during the Safer at Home order, according to Waukesha County.

While this Safer at Home order requires us to stay in our homes for the most part, outdoor activities are still allowed. That includes going to parks.

Going outside and getting some fresh air is good for your health, both mentally and physically. That's why Waukesha County has agreed to keep their parks and trails open even amid the health crisis.

The parks are still asking that people visiting remain 6-feet away from others, and teams will not be permitted. It is also recommended that those using the parks bring hand sanitizer with them, as staff may not be around to wipe everything down.

“We know that our parks and trails provide opportunities for physical activity and stress relief that is needed for residents during this pandemic,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “I believe that we can continue to use our green spaces in a safe manner by maintaining social distancing requirements.”

Additionally, it is important to remember not to congregate in payment areas or in parking lots. Feel free to use the parks, but keep your distance.

5:01 p.m. -- Local employers, customers start GoFundMe pages for closed Milwaukee area businesses

Many business owners, and even local customers, are starting GoFundMe pages to help struggling businesses during this Safer at Home order.

Because of COVID-19, and this Safer at Home order, small businesses are being forced to close up shop and lose revenue for at least the next month. Now, those same businesses, and even their customers, are creating fundraisers to help stay afloat.

According to GoFundMe, they've been seeing many trends when it comes to small business fundraisers. Those trends include:

  • Business owners raising funds to keep their doors open
  • Communities raising funds for service workers and restaurant staff who have been laid off
  • Local performing arts venues facing extreme financial hardship
  • Independent contractors without work
  • The cancellation of sports events and conferences creating a ripple effect of lost gigs and funds

Some of these verified GoFundMe pages have raised thousands of dollars and they're still growing. At times like this, these businesses need help and support. That's why we're sharing a list of some of the fundraisers that you can donate to.

1. Ashling Employee Fund
2. Harp-Trinity-Vagabond Tip Jar
3. Stag Barbershop Employee Relief Fund
3. Stag Barbershop Employee Relief Fund
4. Cactus Club and Employee Relief Fund
5. The Bartolotta Restaurants Employee Support Fund
6. Rogues Gallery x Elwood's staff relief TIP JAR
7. The Vanguard Staff Relief Fund
8. Hospitality Democracy Employee Relief Fund
9. Nail Bar Milwaukee Employee Relief Fund
10. Duke’s and Scooters employee TIP JAR
11.Strange Town Business/Employee Relief Fund
12. High Dive Employee Relief Fund
13. Ca'Lucchenzo Employee Fund
14. Hooligans Bar Milwaukee Employees Fund
15.Paulina Esthetics Boutique
16.Stonetender Tip Relief Fund
17.County Clare Employee Relief Fund
18. Stubby's Virtual Tip Jar
19. Tonic Bartender Relief Fund

This list came directly from GoFundMe, who has teams working diligently to make sure these funds are distributed appropriately and in a timely fashion.

4:33 p.m. -- Versiti Blood Centers still accepting blood donations

Even with the Safer at Home order now in effect, Versiti Blood Centeris still asking and encouraging people to donate blood.

Under the governor's order, individuals can still go out for healthcare and public health operations. What this means, according to Versiti Blood Center, is you can still leave your home to donate blood.

Because it is still allowed, Versiti Blood Center is asking and encouraging those of you who can donate, does donate.

“Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin supplies blood to more than 50 hospitals across the state and is the sole provider of blood to every hospital in southeast Wisconsin. It is critically important to maintain an adequate blood supply so these hospitals can deliver life-saving blood products to trauma patients and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy,"
- Versiti Blood Center Chief Medical Officer Thomas Abshire.Versiti Blood Center is also assuring donors that they're taking precautions to protect donors and their staff. They're complying with social distancing requirements during the donation process, serving only packaged foods, and wiping down areas regularly.

If you wish to donate, it is best to schedule an appointment by calling 1-877-BE-A-HERO or visit versiti.org/Wisconsin

4:12 p.m. -- Roundy's donates over $50K in food to Wisconsin Food Banks

Roundy's Supermarket announced Wednesday that they have donated over $50,000 in food to Wisconsin Food Banks.

The company, which operates Metro Market and Pick 'N Save, donated over 15,000 packages of food to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and the Salvation Army. These donations added up to be over $50,000 in food.

The food items donated included things like yogurt, peanut butter, frozen meatballs, chicken broth, potatoes, and more.

If you wish to make a donation to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, click here. If you want to donate to the Salvation Army, click here.

3:46 p.m. -- Wis. businesses sent cease & desist letters for alleged price-gouging

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has sent cease & desist letters to several businesses in the state accused of price-gouging certain items.

DATCP sent the letters to 16 companies "suspected of raising prices unlawfully during this period of economic disruption."

“While it is not uncommon for prices to increase during times of high demand or low supply DATCP will be closely monitoring the marketplace to ensure Wisconsin consumers are being treated fairly,” said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator for the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection in a press release. “Consumers can report their concerns to DATCP’s Bureau of Consumer Protection for evaluation and follow up.”

Cease and desist letters were sent to the follow companies:

StoreLocationItem
Ace HardwareDelavanClorox Bleach/Toilet Paper
Asian International MarketMilwaukeeRice
Dollar TreeMarinetteToilet Paper
El Rey FoodmartMilwaukee (3)Rice, bleach, water, limes
MatrangasRacineBottled water
Pacific ProduceOak CreekRice
Restaurant DepotMilwaukeeToilet Paper, Cookies
WalgreensCudahy, WaukeshaToilet Paper, Lysol Spray
WalmartMilwaukee, RhinelanderToilet Paper, Milk
C&S SupermarketMilwaukeeRice
CermakMilwaukee (2)Pinto Beans, Watermelon
GraingerOnlineSurgical masks
Marketplace FoodsSt. Croix FallsToilet Paper
Menard'sWest Milwaukee, Burlington, OnlineHand cleaner, Lysol wipes, N95 Masks
N95Sales.comOnline/OshkoshN95 Masks
Point MarketStevens PointRice

To report suspected price-gouging, click here or email DATCPhotline@wisconsin.gov.

3:13 p.m. -- Braun, Yelich, donate 100K meals to Feeding America

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun, along with their California Strong family, have donated 100K meals to Feeding America.

The California Strong organization shared the news on Twitter Wednesday, with comments from its founders.

In addition to the 100K meals, California Strong says they have other initiatives in the work to help people during this health crisis. While they haven't released any other details regarding those initiatives, they're sure to be generous and beneficial to not only California, but the country.

In the video from the founders, each gave their well-wishes to our communities. While we love seeing our boys' faces, we sure do miss seeing them on the field.

2:21 p.m. -- There are now 620 cases of coronavirus in Wisconsin

There are now 620 positive cases of coronavirus in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said there have been over 10,000 negative tests.

There have been seven deaths due to COVID-19. Four people have died in Milwaukee County, one in Dane County, one in Fond du Lac County and one in Ozaukee County.

On Monday, Gov. Evers announced he would sign a 'Safer From Home' order on Tuesday, asking Wisconsinites to stay at home except for essential travel.

DHS secretary Andrea Palm said that without the Safer at Home order, public health officials predicted that 22,000 people in Wisconsin would contract the virus by April 8. During that time period, between 440 and 1,500 deaths would happen.

The DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard said that of the total COVID-19 cases, "We believe that number is higher, probably as high as 20 percent."

2:01 p.m. -- Froedtert, Medical College of Wisconsin now accepting donations of health care supplies

Due to the increasing demand for face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other health care supplies, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) are now accepting donations.

The organizations are asking that any personal health care supplies be donated to health care professionals. They are asking for items like face masks, hand sanitizer, eye protection, hand sewn masks, and more.

Eye protection equipment includes goggles and safety glasses. Froedtert and MCW are both accepting both N95 respiratory masks and ear loop surgical masks. When it comes to hand sanitizer, Froedtert and MCW can only accept sanitizers that have 60 percent alcohol or more.

Froedtert & MCW health network volunteers will accept drop offs at two locations, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. beginning Wednesday.

Menomonee Falls location
Integrated Service Center
N86 W12999 Nightingale Way
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Wauwatosa location
10000 W. Bluemound Rd.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Click here for more details.

1:53 p.m. -- Zarletti's Restaurant adapts to new 'Safer at Home' order

If you're looking for fine Italian food in downtown Milwaukee, look no further than Zarletti's Restaurant who has been serving it up strong for 16 years.

They have changed the way they do things to make sure their customers can still get their food.

They are making food available for curb side pick up.

This change over is led by general manager Bryan Boyce.

"With the times that we are now in things have changed and we are really trying to shift our thinking, shift the way we do things just a little bit so we can serve our community safely number one," said Boyce.

If you're a business supporting our community, we want to hear from you. Submit your information here to remind our communities that local businesses are still open, and employees need our support.

1:28 p.m. -- 60-year-old man dies of coronavirus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin total now at 7

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner is reporting another coronavirus death.

The medical examiner says the Milwaukee man was 60-years-old. He died in his home in the 3100 block of West McKinely.

This latest death brings the total amount of coronavirus deaths in Wisconsin to seven.

1:10 p.m. -- WTMJ, Fox Sports Wisconsin to re-air 2019 Brewers' Opening Day

Fox Sports Wisconsin and WTMJ radio will be re-airing the 2019 Brewers' Opening Day game on Thursday in place of the 2020 Opening Day, which had to be postponed due to coronavirus.

Before this health crisis took over the U.S., the Brewers were scheduled to take on the Chicago Cubs Thursday in their Opening Day game. Now, the MLB has postponed the season until at least mid-May.

Fox Sports Wisconsin and WTMJ radio are making up for the lack of baseball by airing the 2019 season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.

This game, which ended in a 5-4 win thanks to a home run-robbing catch from Lorenzo Cain, is one of the most iconic in franchise history, according to a press release from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fox Sports Wisconsin announced Wednesday that they would be airing the game three times on Thursday, beginning at noon. The second airing will begin at 3 p.m. with the final airing at 7 p.m.

Additionally, WTMJ radio will also be airing the game at 6 p.m. featuring play-by-play calling by Bob Uecker and Jeff Levering.

12:43 p.m. -- Neighbors on Milwaukee's East Side adapt to 'Safer at Home' order

Both the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin have issued new guidance on fighting the coronavirus. Milwaukee's "Stay at Home" order took effect at midnight on Wednesday and the state's 'Safer at Home' ordinance took effect Wednesday at 8 a.m.

Milwaukee's order will remain in effect until further notice, and the statewide order is set to last at least 30 days.

On Milwaukee's East Side, businesses such as Landmark Lanes and The Oriental Theatre are closed. So are salons and retail shops in the area. However, other essential businesses such as banks, grocery stores, and restaurants offering curbside, carry-out, or delivery remain open.

Neighbors are now saying it's important to stay positive and to support each other as the entire community adapts to a new "normal."

Read the full story here.

12:22 p.m. -- Milwaukee alderman asks Ascension to provide free COVID-19 testing at St. Joseph's

A Milwaukee alderman is asking for Ascension to provide free COVID-19 testing at its St. Joseph campus.

Alderman Khalif J. Rainey wrote a letter and asked Ascension Health Care to provide free COVID-19 tests for lower-income or uninsured people at St. Joseph Hospital.

According to Rainey, the 7th Aldermanic District is one of the hardest hit areas of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is community-oriented health care of the first order and a decision proportionate to the gravity of the moment. I would ask that your organization consider a similar decision for your provider network, particularly at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee,” Alderman Rainey states in his letter.

Rainey said that the coronavirus outbreak affects African Americans more than other groups in the city and region, specifically middle-aged African American men.

12:04 p.m. -- Wisconsin companies accused of price gouging

(AP) Sixteen companies in Wisconsin have been sent cease and desist letters from the state’s consumer protection agency for allegedly gouging prices on everything from toilet paper to surgical masks, cleaning wipes to limes.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Wednesday that it has sent the letters to companies including Menards, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Ace Hardware. A letter also went to N95Sales.com for allegedly price gouging for N95 masks, which are in short supply and critical for health care workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Other items that stores allegedly inflated the prices for included bleach, water, cookies, milk, pinto beans, watermelon and hand cleaner.

The consumer protection agency said it received dozens of complaints at over a hundred stores across the state. Consumers can report companies suspected of price gouging on the agency’s website or submit a complaint by email.

11:56 a.m. -- Saint Kate, other Midwest hotels close due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Marcus Corporation Marcus Hotels & Resorts division is closing a select number of its hotels across the Midwest, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milwaukee hotels included in the closures are the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and The Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel. Both hotels are closed as of Wednesday and will remain closed over the course of the week.

"The safety and well-being of our guests and associates is our number one priority," said Michael R. Evans, president of Marcus Hotels & Resorts. "The lodging industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. In light of these challenges and our current business levels, we have made the difficult decision to close a select number of properties across our portfolio."

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Wisconsin, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma and The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Nebraska are also included in the closures.

The Marcus Corporation hopes the closures will not last for an extended period of time.

11:32 a.m. -- Dane Co. officials report first COVID-19 death, brings total deaths in Wisconsin to 6

Dane County health officials have reported the first death, bringing the state total to 6, according to NBC 15.

The patient was in their 70s, according to the Public Health Madison & Dane County.

Posted: 11:31 AM, Mar 25, 2020 Updated: 11:32 AM, Mar 25, 2020DANE COUNTY — Dane County health officials have reported the first death, bringing the state total to 6, according to NBC 15.

The patient was in their 70s, according to the Public Health Madison & Dane County.

In the state of Wisconsin, there have been a total of 6 deaths. Three people have died in Milwaukee County, one person in Fond du Lac and one person in Ozaukee County.

10:51 a.m. -- Pick 'n Save, Metro Market stores to install Plexiglas shields at registers to slow spread of coronavirus

Local Pick 'n Save and Metro Market stores will be installing Plexiglas shields at cash registers to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, a company spokesperson tells TMJ4 News.

There is not an exact date for installation yet, but they will be in stores soon, the spokesperson said.

The confirmation comes after reports Tuesday that major grocery chains Kroger and Publix would both install barriers in their stores. Kroger owns Roundy's, which operates Pick 'N Save and Metro Market stores.

Kroger stores will begin installing Plexiglas partitions at cash registers this week to protect workers and customers from COVID-19, spokeswoman Erin Rolfes announced Tuesday afternoon.

The company plans for every checkout lane, including those at pharmacies and in-store Starbucks locations, to have a “sneeze guard” within the next several weeks. “Educational floor decals” will instruct customers where to stand as they wait in line.

Kroger employees will also be allowed to wear masks and gloves to work to protect themselves from the virus, Rolfes said.

10:35 a.m. -- USPS plans to hire hundreds of employees amid COVID-19 outbreak

The United States Postal Service is hoping to hire hundreds of employees for several positions throughout the state.

USPS announced Wednesday that it was hiring employees at processing facilities and post offices throughout the Lakeland District, which covers most of the state of Wisconsin and northern parts of Illinois.

No experience is required for any of the positions and training is provided, according to USPS.

The positions they are hiring for include city carrier assistant, rural carrier associate, assistant rural carrier, mail handler assistant, casual mail handlers and postal support employees.

Positions vary in hours and some are longer term positions and could lead to permanent placement. Wages range from $17.29 to $18.56.

To apply, click here.

10:30 a.m. -- Kaul coalition urges Trump to spur mask making

(AP) Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is leading a coalition of 16 attorneys general in urging President Donald Trump to use the Defense Production Act to boost production of masks and respirators in the fight against COVID-19.

Kaul says healthcare workers, law enforcement and other first responders “need resources now.” The Democratic attorney general says Trump must act now and use his broad power to address shortages in critical supplies.

Trump has balked at using his authority under the recently invoked Defense Protection Act to compel the private sector to manufacture masks and ventilators, even as he encourages them to spur production.

10:12 a.m. -- Wisconsin travelers are no longer trapped in Peru

Some Wisconsin travelers stuck in South America are a step closer to home.

Mark and Maggie Sprague, along with five others from the Milwaukee and Madison areas, are in Brazil today.

They finally got a flight out of Peru, which abruptly shut its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic last week. The group originally traveled to South America for a wedding. They'd been trying, without success, to get a flight out of Peru for days. Appeals to the U.S. Embassy, the State Department, and Wisconsin's Congressional delegation all fell short.

Sprague reports in a Facebook post that a member of his group is a citizen of Brazil, and she was ultimately able to get help from the Brazilian Embassy.

He said there was cheering on board the flight once its wheels left the ground.

In an email this morning, Sprague tells TMJ4 News the group has a late night flight this evening out of Brazil set to touch down in Atlanta Thursday morning.

9:58 a.m. -- Green Bay sues over April 7 election

(AP) The City of Green Bay has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Tony Evers and other state officials to delay the April 7 spring election and move voting to mailed ballots due to concerns about spreading the new coronavirus.

WLUK-TV reports the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court asks a judge to order state officials to mail ballots to all registered voters.

It also asks the judge to extend the deadline for voter registration to May 1 and give local clerks a June 2 deadline for counting mailed ballots.

Gov. Evers has said he would not move the election and has encouraged voters to request absentee ballots online.

Last week, the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic Party asked a federal judge in Madison to extend absentee voting.

COVID-19 has sickened more than 450 people in Wisconsin and killed five.

9:53 a.m. -- Amid new death warning, Evers clamps down on businesses

(AP) Gov. Tony Evers has issued a sweeping order to close businesses deemed to be nonessential, prohibit gatherings of any size and place new restrictions on travel across Wisconsin for a month in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Evers’ order issued Tuesday takes effect Wednesday at 8 a.m. and runs until April 24. It has numerous exceptions, but was designed to severely curtail movement around the state and force people to stay at home.

The state's top health official said models show up to 1,500 Wisconsin residents could die within two weeks without the order.

8:50 a.m. -- Wisconsin Senate gives virtual meeting a test run

(AP) The Wisconsin Senate is preparing to meet over the internet for the first time in state history if it needs to convene to take action on proposals reacting to the coronavirus outbreak.

Two state senators and 11 stand-ins met in person and remotely on Tuesday for a dry run in case the Senate has to meet virtually, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on Wednesday.

Lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers have been discussing taking emergency action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but no proposals have been introduced and no meeting date is set.

8:23 a.m. -- Individual impersonates officer to enforce 'Safer at Home' order in Wisconsin

Gov. Evers' 'Safer at Home' order for the state of Wisconsin went into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and one Wisconsin sheriff's office is already warning of a scam.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office received a report Tuesday of a person impersonating an officer to "check the 'Safer at Home' status" of a driver.

The sheriff's department is following suit to what Gov. Evers said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon, by saying they will not be conducting traffic stops for this reason.

Gov. Evers said police departments will not be pulling over anyone who is driving while the order is in effect to ask where they are traveling. The only time law enforcement may become involved in the enforcement of the order is in cases where groups of people are gathering, or where restaurants and nonessential business are functioning as normal.

The 'Safer at Home' order will be in effect for the state of Wisconsin until 8 a.m. on April 24.

Tuesday, March 24

9:38 p.m. -- 'Safer at Home' order carries potential fines, jail time if not followed

Law enforcement agencies around the state will have the duty of enforcing the governor's "Safer at Home" order, but agency heads are hoping they don't have to.

The order signed by the governor goes into effect Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, at 8 a.m. It restricts residents to their homes unless the trip is essential. More on the order can be found here.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett instituted restrictions earlier in the week. He said he hopes residents will self-police and that officers can focus on other issues unless someone is flagrantly disobeying the order.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling says his deputies have instituted different procedures to protect themselves and residents from COVID-19. "It should not be unexpected to have one of our deputies, perhaps during an interaction with a community member to have them step out of their vehicle, to have them step out of their home. To have them hold up their identification so we can accurately document that information without actually touching it," said Schmaling.

Schmaling and Barrett hope that their officers won't have to spend time enforcing the order, but there are consequences built into "Safer at Home." South Milwaukee Police Chief William Jessup says, "we also want to be clear that individuals that choose to ignore the governor's order and willfully put the health of others at risk could face sanctions." The order calls for a $250 fine and a potential for 30 days in jail for violators.

The governor's order is set to expire on April 24th, 2020, if it isn't suspended before that.

8:56 p.m. -- 'We'll put on the best show possible': Summerfest CEO talks decision to postpone music festival

Summerfest made a difficult but decisive decision: postpone the World's Largest Music Festival until September.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with CEO Don Smiley about why he made the decision now versus waiting.

"There's so much to do to prepare the grounds, right now, to get ready for June. As each day passed by, it just didn't seem feasible to get it all done," said Smiley.

Summerfest has a substantial financial impact on the Milwaukee area. Its yearly contribution adds up to $187 million for the regional economy.

This will be the Big Gig's 53rd year on Milwaukee's lakefront.

"We made a decisive decision. We thought it was the safe thing to do for our customers, our fans, and our sponsors and the bands," said Smiley, "and it was the proper thing to do under this circumstances."

Why wait until September? Smiley says it will give Summerfest more time to work with bands, tours, sponsors, and fans: "We believe this was the best chance to host a festival the size and scale of Summerfest by moving to the September dates."

Smiley is also hoping all the social distancing and all the worries about jobs, paychecks, and the economy will have started to take a positive turn.

"We are hopeful by that time, people will be ready to go out, and they will be back to work, their life will have stabilized somewhat, and their psyche will allow them to be around other people and go out to restaurants, and golf tournaments, and concerts and so on."

He also knows a Summerfest in September will look and feel different, and the music line up will have to be reshuffled, but the show will go on.

"The fact of the matter is, at this point in time, at least we are having a festival because the alternative was to cancel it altogether," said Smiley, "there's been other music festivals throughout the world that have just flat out canceled.

The new dates are September 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19.

"We chose to operate over nine days and do the best job we can," said Smiley. "We have loads of experience in doing this, and we'll put on the best show possible."

8:13 p.m. -- Milwaukee buildings light up in red, white, and blue as a sign of hope

Buildings in downtown Milwaukee are glowing in red, white, and blue as a sign of hope during this health crisis.

Building owners in downtown Milwaukee were encouraged to illuminate their facades with red, white, and blue lights. They did just that.

This beacon of hope comes as the city of Milwaukee, and Wisconsin faces significant financial and health issues that seem to be just beginning.

"Now is the time for our community and nation to come together," said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. "Already, there's been a tremendous outpouring of support for businesses, employees, artists, and musicians, and we remain committed to furthering this goodwill."

Several buildings took part in the event Tuesday night, and Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 asks that other businesses join in. Monday's illuminations included the U.S. Bank Center, Northwestern Mutual, The Gas Light Building, 833 East Michigan, The Pfister Hotel, and the M-K-E letters at General Mitchell International Airport.

These buildings, and any who join in, should remain lit through March 31.

7:51 p.m. -- Miller Lite says they are donating $1 million to restaurant, bar workers

Miller Lite announced Tuesday that they are donating $1 million to restaurant and bar workers, and they're asking that you donate too.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants and bars have been forced to close their doors. Some even had to let go of employees to stay afloat. Now, Miller Lite is doing what they can to help.

The company announced that they would be donating $1 million to the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) National Charity Foundation who is helping bartenders during this pandemic.

Miller Lite took to Twitter to ask their followed to join them in "supporting those that support us."

They're asking that everyone join in and donate to USBG to help these bars get through this health crisis.

If you wish to donate and help struggling bars and restaurants, click here.

7:14 p.m. -- Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese: Holy Week masses canceled

The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has canceled all Holy Week masses due to coronavirus concerns.

In a letter, Archbishop Jerome Listecki said all Holy Week masses such as Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday Mass, are canceled. However, Listecki announced he would livestream these services.

Additionally, the Archbishop said all baptisms, first communions, and confirmations would be postponed until the coronavirus crisis has passed.

The suspension of all daily and Sunday masses continues as well.

Listecki is also asking families to postpone funerals if possible, as large gatherings are prohibited under Governor Tony Evers' Safer at Home order.

Listecki added, "If there is no way to delay, they need to be cautious about keeping the number of people to a minimum and maintaining the proper social distancing between people. This is especially difficult at such a sensitive time."

6:59 p.m. -- Two MPD members test positive for COVID-19, other staff still reporting to work

Two Milwaukee Police Department members have contracted COVID-19, but the staff is still reporting to work.

WTMJ reports Chief Alfonso Morales said one officer and one civilian have tested positive for the virus, and others are self-quarantining.

Because of how law enforcement works, there are many times when officers are forced to break the 6-feet apart protocol from the CDC. However, fear isn't taking over MPD, and staff is still going to work.

"Everybody's coming in at the districts. They're still reporting. We have some quarantines, but – knocking on wood – small (numbers)," said Morales.

While everyone is still returning to work, the staff is taking action to help keep the districts safe and healthy by wiping down spaces. They've also gotten some face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

5:47 p.m. -- Milwaukee, state officials prepare for potential of hospital overflow amid coronavirus pandemic

As the country sees more positive cases of the coronavirus, the possibility of a surge becomes more concerning. Now Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the city has been talking with local businesses and organizations about potential plans for hospital overflow.

Wisconsin Secretary of Health Services Andrea Palm said now more than ever, and residents need to stay home and social distance.

If Governor Tony Evers' orders weren't implemented, Palm said the number of cases would spike.

5:22 p.m. -- Milwaukee County Supervisors propose free bus service for three weeks during coronavirus pandemic

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is proposing a free bus service amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Several board members proposed this idea to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, asking for three weeks of free MCTS rides.

Those asking for this change are Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Felesia Martin, Marcelia Nicholson, Sylvia Ortiz Velez, Steve Shea, Sequanna Taylor, and John Weishan.

They are also proposing that passengers enter through the rear door, in order to limit contact between riders and the driver.

5:04 p.m. -- Over 100K people have applied for unemployment since March 15

Since March 15, more than 100,000 people in Wisconsin have applied for unemployment.

On Monday, over 21,000 people applied for unemployment alone. The numbers from last week and this week exceeds 100,000.

All this, coming from the Department of Workforce Development. Monday's 21,000 is the highest daily rate we have seen throughout this whole pandemic, and the numbers are expected to rise even more.

On Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers officially announced the Safer at Home order which goes into effect Wednesday. With this order, many businesses are closing and workers are being forced to stay home.

For more information, click here.

4:49 p.m. -- When local law enforcement is more likely to intervene during the 'Safer at Home' order

The Racine County Sheriff's Office mentions three separate instances where law enforcement is more likely to intervene. They include:

  • Crowds of people gathering, especially if packed closely together or not social distancing
  • Flagrant violation – such as a bar or restaurant having a room full of customers eating in
  • Employees being asked to report to work in-person where the business is not supposed to be open or appropriate social distancing precautions are not taking place

4:06 p.m. -- Donate your unused protective medical gear to Milwaukee County first responders

First responders in Milwaukee County are asking you to donate your unused protective medical gear, especially masks, gowns, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

You can drop off these items, and any other protective medical equipment you can share, at State Fair Park Gate 5 in West Allis. There is a truck that will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.

First responders say it's heartwarming to see the good side of humanity.

"People call us on their worst day, and it's wonderful to see the community coming together and helping people who are helping them," said Capt. Suarez Del Real.

3:55 p.m. -- City of Milwaukee playgrounds close amid COVID-19 pandemic

Though going outside is still encouraged under Gov. Tony Evers "Safer at Home" order, playgrounds in Milwaukee are closed.

The City of Milwaukee announced it was closing playgrounds due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The city said that the closures are "to slow the spread of the virus and preserve the health of our community."

Though the playgrounds are closed, the parks remain open. The city asks guests to continue to maintain social distancing when visiting parks.

The Safer at Home order goes into effect at 8 a.m. and encourages Wisconsin residents to stay inside to slow the spread of COVID-19.

3:17 p.m. -- Companies offer payment plans during pandemic

If you lost your job, or had your hours cut, because of the coronavirus, making ends meet is a real concern.

But before you dip into savings or borrow money to pay your phone, cable or utility bill, contact your collector because there are options to get you through this rough financial time.

In Wisconsin, WE Energies said it won't be shutting off anyone's power during this pandemic. The utility company is also working with customers worried about making their payments.

Also, don't panic if you can't make that monthly credit card bill. Chief credit analyst, Matt Schulz, with Lending Tree said many credit card issuers are waiving fees or offering what's called hardship programs to customers, which are essentially payment plans.

"The important thing to understand is that you are not going to get these breaks unless you ask for it," said Schulz.

"Call the 800 number on the back of your credit card and the best time to do that is today," he continued.

Major cell carriers like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have announced different ways to ease the burden of phone bills whether it's waiving late fees, offering cheaper phone plans, or extra data at no cost.

If you find that a financial firm or another provider isn't willing to work with you, you have the option of filing a complaint with consumer protection groups like Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

2:33 p.m. -- Models show up to 1,000 could die in Wisconsin if order is not followed

(AP) Wisconsin’s top health leader said Tuesday that without more restrictions to limit human interaction, up to 1,000 people in the state could die in two weeks.

Over that same time period, models estimate 22,000 would contract the virus, said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm.

Palm released the projections on the same day that Gov. Tony Evers ordered the closure of nonessential businesses and said restricted the reasons people can leave their home.

As of Tuesday, there were five deaths and 457 confirmed cases due to COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Health officials had previously estimated that 10% of the people who test positive for the virus are hospitalized. It’s now believed to be closer to 20%, said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin's chief medical officer for communicable diseases.

Evers and health officials stressed that the only way to slow the spread of the virus was for people to avoid contact with others. That’s especially important, they said, given that many people who have the virus spread it unknowingly because they have minor or no symptoms.

2:01 p.m. -- COVID-19 hospitalization rate in Wisconsin may be as high as 20 percent

The hospitalization rate for those who have contracted COVID-19 in Wisconsin is higher than we previously thought, the state Department of Health Services said at its daily news conference Tuesday.

As many as 20 percent of those who have the disease associated with the novel coronavirus in Wisconsin need hospitalization, DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard. A figure of 10 percent was reported at Monday's news conference.

"I had said that we had about 10 percent of individuals tested positive for COVID-19 that were hospitalized. In reality, we believe that number is higher, probably as high as 20 percent," Dr. Westergaard said.

The discrepancy in figures comes from the way the state collects information about positive cases. The state uses numbers from reference labs rather than hospitals themselves, Westergaard explained. In many cases, the information about whether or not a patient is hospitalized is missing in those numbers.

"One of the things we're really working hard to do is to develop new, better, and innovative strategies" to improve this data, he said.

That 20 percent number is on the lower end of ranges for hospitalization rates across the US, according to data from the CDC. For all age groups, data as of March 16 shows rates of 20.7-31.4 percent.

1:30 p.m. -- Unemployment numbers continue to skyrocket

(AP) The number of people filing for unemployment in Wisconsin continues to skyrocket.

The Department of Workforce Development reports that on Monday, more than 21,000 people filed claims. That is the largest single day total since the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent orders to close schools and businesses to slow the pandemic's spread.

Gov. Tony Evers is ordering even more businesses to close starting on Wednesday.

Last year on the same day, there were just over 1,400 claims. The total this year for Monday was 15 times higher.

On Sunday, there were nearly 11,000 claims compared with less than a thousand a year ago.

Evers wants the Legislature to waive a one-week waiting period for people to receive unemployment benefits. That could be applied retroactively, if the Legislature would agree. Lawmakers have not said if or when they would take up such a proposal.

Between March 17 and Monday there were more than 95,000 claims made compared with 4,700 a year before.

12:32 p.m. -- Fond du Lac officials ask residents to stop calling dispatch for emergency order questions

The Fond du Lac County Emergency Management is asking for residents to stop calling dispatch for information about emergency orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers.

Director of Communications and Emergency Management in Fond du Lac County Bobbi Hickens said that since Evers announced his "Safer at Home" order, an increase of calls has been noted at the dispatch center. Hickens said that people called and wanted more information about the emergency order and becoming frustrated with dispatchers when they did not know the information.

"The dispatchers need to be available to take calls for people who need police, fire and EMS assistance," said the county. "Even if you call the non-emergency number, you are taking a dispatcher out of service, not allowing them to provide the emergency assistance they need to."

Evers released more details about the order on Tuesday.

12:20 p.m. -- Fees for Wisconsin State Parks and Trails waived

Did someone say free? The Department of Natural Resources has waived all fees for Wisconsin State Parks and Trails beginning Tuesday.

Gov. Evers has issued a statewide 'Stay at Home' order that goes into effect Wednesday at 8 a.m.; however, individuals are still allowed to leave their homes to go for walks and be in nature, according to the order.

That being said, state parks and trails will remain open and all entrance fees will be waived, so take advantage! Restrooms will also be open, but the DNR reminds the public not to congregate in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

State buildings such as park headquarters, offices, visitor centers, nature centers, ranger stations, etc. will be closed, but staff will still be available at recreational areas such as trails and fishing and hunting areas.

Boat launches and waters remain open. Those who have a fishing license are still able to fish.

If you do choose to go in public during this time and explore Wisconsin's trails, remember to wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face and avoid social gatherings.

12:01 p.m. -- Republicans increase criticism of Evers amid closing order

The largely bipartisan approach to attacking the coronavirus in Wisconsin is showing signs of cracking after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he was ordering all nonessential businesses to close to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 by keeping more people at home.

Republican state lawmakers and Evers had largely been in agreement last week as the governor issued orders limiting the size of gatherings.

But criticism increased after Evers on Monday said he would order all nonessential businesses to close.

Evers released more details about the order on Tuesday.

11:43 a.m. -- Greendale Schools is now offering child care to health care workers, first responders amid pandemic

The Greendale School District is responding to a request made to provide child care services for health care workers and first responders amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The request was made by Governor Tony Evers on March 19, after the Wisconsin Hospital Association made it clear that the need for child care was not being met, according to leaders within the Greendale School District.

On March 24, Greendale Middle School was opened to 16 kids. Each of them are children of "essential workers."

The free child care services are currently available to district families where parents are health care workers, police officers, paramedics or firefighters, among other essential services.

Read the full story here.

11:12 a.m. -- Mayor Barrett to hold news conference to discuss letter regarding upcoming election

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Neil Albrecht, of the Election Commission, will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. today to elaborate on a recent letter the mayor sent to Governor Tony Evers, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos regarding the upcoming spring election.

Wisconsin's spring primary is currently scheduled for April 7, though pressure has mounted on Gov. Evers in recent days to delay that date or hold the election completely by mail.

We'll bring you that news conference live at TMJ4.com.

10:43 a.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers issues 'Safer at Home' order, will go into effect at 8 a.m. March 25

Gov. Tony Evers has issued a "Safer at Home" order that will go into effect on Wednesday, March 25 at 8 a.m.

The order prohibits "nonessential travel," though it does allow some exceptions.

“I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. Issuing a Safer at Home order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do and it’s not something I take lightly, but here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” said Gov. Evers in a press release. “Each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work.Let’s all do our part and work together.”

Essential businesses will be allowed to continue operations. According to Evers, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • Health care operations, including home health workers;
  • Critical infrastructure;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;
  • Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;
  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;
  • Child care facilities, with some limitations;
  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
  • Banks;
  • Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
  • Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and
  • Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

If a business is not sure if they are considered "essential," they are asked to contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on March 25 and will remain into effect until 8 a.m. April 24.

To read Evers' full order, click here.

10:20 a.m. -- Kwik Trip plans to hire 2K employees amid COVID-19 outbreak

Kwik Trip announced that it plans to hire at least 2,000 workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said that they were hoping to hire people quickly in order to help stores, production facilities and distribution and transportation efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to year-round and seasonal positions, we understand that individuals may have been displaced due to COVID-19 and are looking for work temporarily until they are able to return to their current employment. The increased volume we are experiencing right now provides an opportunity for those individuals to earn income during this time," said Kwik Trip Recruiting Manager Stephanie Cormican.

The company is looking to hire full and part-time workers. Online job fairs are being offered.

To apply or for more information, visit their website.


8:45 a.m. -- Mayor Barrett requests mail-only ballots for April 7 spring election

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is requesting that the April 7 spring election consist of mail-only ballots, in place of in-person absentee and in-person voting.

Barrett sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Robin Voss Monday with the request in order to comply with the standards set during the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin.

"Under the present circumstances, in-person voting, particularly with lines of people, is simply not safe, feasible, or responsible," said Barrett in the letter. "In good conscience I would not ask one of my loved ones to sit in a room for hours greeting dozens of people during this pandemic. I can't expect citizens of my city to do that either."

The Elections Commission for the City of Milwaukee continues to lose staff daily due to coronavirus, and can no longer operate the three in-person early voting locations in the city. The same rings true for election workers who are staying home to comply with state and local 'Stay at Home' orders.

The Commission has also already been forced to relocate 15 voting sites, and still needs to address 10 more.

As part of the request, Barrett recommended photo ID requirements be waived altogether for registered voters, as some voters may not have the ability to upload their ID with a cellphone, or through the internet.

The mayor says he realizes that the shift to mail-only ballots would mean the election would take more time, and could not be completed by April 7.

"Timing is of the essence. Every day spent preparing for in-person voting is a lost opportunity for municipalities to retool their election systems and regain traction with meeting the already heavy demands for absentee ballots," said Barrett. "Like all of you I have hoped that this step would not be necessary. Unfortunately it is."

8:07 a.m. -- Glendale first responders in short supply of face masks, sanitizers

First responders with the Glendale Police Department are in critically short supply of essential items, and are asking for your help.

The department is asking for face masks (N95 or higher), sanitizers or wipes. All fire, police and EMS are in critical supply.

This comes during a time when many people have stocked up on these items due to the global pandemic of COVID-19

If you are willing to donate these items, contact Officer DeJonge at k.dejonge@glendalewi.gov, or call Glendale police front desk at 414-228-1753 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

7:25 a.m. -- 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to be delayed for 'up to a year' due to coronavirus pandemic

Japan and the IOC have agreed to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo for up to one year.

The Summer Games will now likely take place in Tokyo in 2021.

According to The Washington Post, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that IOC President Thomas Bach "agreed 100 percent" that the games should be postponed.

“In light of the current conditions and for all the athletes, we made a proposal of a postponement of about a year, to hold them securely and safely,” Abe said Tuesday, according to The Post.

The reports come moments after Japan’s NHK public television said Abe would propose a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with Bach.

Earlier this week, the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

The decision comes two days after Canada said it would not send athletes to the 2020 games should they take place as scheduled, and a day after the United States joined the growing list of countries pushing for a postponement.

7:01 a.m. -- Cooped up inside? Here are free, live classes to keep your children busy

If you are cooped up in the house with your children, nonprofit Friendship Circle of Wisconsin’s Facebook page is featuring free, live classes each day. This includes kids' yoga, story time and music class.

The global branch of Friendship Circle came together to create content for children and their families at home.

The mission is for everyone to still feel connected.

Cooped up inside? Here are free, live classes to keep your children busy

They hope the classes help keep people at home, like the governor and others have asked the state to do, so that everyone can do these things face-to-face sometime soon.

Friendship Circle of Wisconsin’s Facebook page plans to have live events Tuesday. This includes karate, zumba, science and art. You can learn more by clicking here.

See historical updates from March 20-23 here.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

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

Latest news and headlines here.