Milwaukee-Area Coronavirus Updates: March 23-29

Mar 23, 2020

For the most up-to-date information, read WUWM's latest coronavirus post.

WUWM is providing updates about the coronavirus and COVID-19 in Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area. Find the most recent news and information here.

Wisconsin and Milwaukee by the numbers, according to state Department of Health Services (unless otherwise noted):

  • 18 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (state and Milwaukee County reports) — 10 of those deaths were in Milwaukee County.
  • Wisconsin has at least 1,112 confirmed cases.
  • Milwaukee County has 627 confirmed cases, 498 of those cases are in the city of Milwaukee. This is according to reports from the county. The county also says, "Due to the nature of COVID-19 community spread and testing, the number of positive cases is likely much higher than that listed as a result of unreported or untested cases in our community."

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage
>>Coronavirus: Milwaukee-Area Higher Education Updates
>>Coronavirus: Milwaukee-Area K-12 School Updates

March 27, 6:51 p.m.: Evers Issues Order To 'Simplify Health Care License Renewals'

On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order eliminating time limits on temporary health care licenses. The order also eliminates an in-state credential requirement, enabling practitioners who are licensed out-of-state to practice in Wisconsin, as well as adjusts clinical education requirements so that nursing students close to graduation can take part in the state’s COVID-19 response.

Evers says the order is an effort to beef up the state's current health practitioner workforce. In a statement  Evers says, “Our health care professionals are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, and it is critical that we maximize the size of our work force and eliminate unnecessary barriers so we can effectively meet the demand for care.”

-Angelina Mosher Salazar

March 27, 6:36 p.m.: Milwaukee Launches Drive-Up Early Voting

In an effort to address concerns that Wisconsin's April 7 election would put voters and poll workers at risk of contracting the coronavirus, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission has established drive-up early voting.

Drive-up early voting starts Saturday, March 28 and will take place outside of the Zeidler Municipal Building in downtown Milwaukee. Neil Albrecht, the commission's executive director, said in a press release: “This model of early voting will provide important access to voting for city residents, but eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for election workers and the voting public.”

Drive-up early voting is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekends. Early voting ends Sunday, April 5.

-Angelina Mosher Salazar

March 27, 5:11 p.m.: GOP Calls Evers' Mass Ballot Mailing Idea 'Complete Fantasy'

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.”

-Associated Press

March 27, 3:52 p.m.: Evers Calls Milwaukee's Situation 'Crisis Within A Crisis,' CDC Officials In City's COVID-19 Hot Spots 

Gov. Tony Evers called Milwaukee's coronavirus situation a "crisis within a crisis" in a televised state COVID-19 update on Friday.

"We're seeing COVID-19 impact Milwaukee, especially the north side of Milwaukee, in a uniquely bad way. The severity of this disease in the African American community, it's a crisis within a crisis," Evers said.

So far, African American communities in Milwaukee have been the most affected by the novel coronavirus, with a majority of positive cases in black neighborhoods on the city's north side.

Eight people in Milwaukee County have died from COVID-19 — all black men and women. The virus also appears to be heavily affecting middle-aged black men.

Also, Evers says Centers for Disease Control & Prevention officials have arrived in areas considered hot spots for the virus. Evers says the CDC's presence is for "various purposes," admitting he's unsure of all the specifics right now.

-Teran Powell

March 27, 1:40 p.m. Evers Calls On Lawmakers To Send Absentee Ballots To All Registered Wisconsin Voters

Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that he is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to provide every registered voter with an absentee ballot for the April 7 election. He's also asking the state Legislature to allow absentee ballots postmarked the day of the election and clerks more time to count the influx of ballots.

"The bottom line is that everybody should be able to participate in our democracy. Period," Evers said in video posted on Twitter. "I understand that Republican leaders in the Legislature yesterday expressed their support for not delaying the upcoming election, but as elected officials our top priority has to be everyone's safety."

-Lauren Sigfusson

March 27, 1:29 p.m.: Evers Orders End To Evictions, Foreclosures

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday ordered the temporary suspension of all evictions and foreclosures due to the COVID-19 pandemic to help people suffering from a loss of income during this time.

The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason, with some caveats. Evictions can proceed if not doing so will put a person in immediate threat of physical harm.

Evers also barred mortgage lenders from proceeding with a civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days.

Evers said the order in no way relieves a person from the obligation to pay their rent or mortgage.

Evers called evictims and foreclosures a “direct and serious threat to the health and well-being of Wisconsinites.”

-Associated Press

March 27, 10:51 a.m.: Two More Senior Care Facility Deaths

Health officials say two more people at a senior care facility in Ozaukee County have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The two were residents of Village Pointe Commons in Grafton where a 91-year-old man died a week ago after contracting COVID-19. The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department did not provide any additional information about the two deaths at Village Pointe, where members of the National Guard are helping with staffing.

- Associated Press

March 27, 10:39 a.m.: Two Dane County Jail Inmates Test Positive

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.

- Associated Press

>>Fearing COVID-19 In Wisconsin Prisons & Jails, Advocates Call For Selective Inmate Release

March 26, 7:36 p.m.: Milwaukee Opens 5 Absentee Ballot Drop-Off Sites

The City of Milwaukee Election Commission announced Thursday that four library branches, as well as the Frank P. Ziedler Municipal Building, will now serve as drop-off sites for residents to return their absentee ballots.

Election Commissioner Neil Albrecht says each location will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. every day up until, and including, the April 7 election.

Voters may drop off their ballots at the following sites:

  • Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.
  • 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

Albrecht says at each site, members of the public can receive help with voter registration if they are unable to complete the process online. He says voters may also return their ballots using the postage-paid return envelope included with each ballot.

It's important to note that while four branches are serving as drop-off sites, all Milwaukee Public Library branches are closed until further notice. 

- Marti Mikkelson

March 26, 6:04 p.m.: Milwaukee Health Officials Launch PSAs Aimed At COVID-19 Prevention In The Black Community

The Milwaukee Health Department debuted a series of public service announcements with information for the public to stay safe during the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. The videos include the basics of COVID-19, prevention, what to do when sick, treatment, testing and more.

Milwaukee has more than 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the majority of them are concentrated on the north side of the city, consisting of predominantly black neighborhoods.

That being the case, local leaders are hoping to target the African American communities in the city. And they’re using local community organizers and figures to help.

“We thought this was important to put this campaign out and to use credible messengers that are known and trusted in the most impacted communities,” says Lilliann Paine, chief of staff at Milwaukee Health Department.

Some of those featured in the videos are Reggie Moore, of the Office of Violence Prevention; Homer Blow, of WNOV; and Markasa Tucker, of the African American Roundtable.

Paine says this is only the beginning, and the intention is to do more with the campaign, such as airing TV and radio spots.

- Teran Powell

March 26, 5:45 p.m.: State Launches Website For Mask, Glove, Gown Donations

On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers implored Wisconsinites to give personal protective equipment (PPE) to those working closely with COVID-19 patients. He says it’s crucial for health care workers and first responders to have the equipment they need to stay safe and healthy.

“As we face a global shortage of PPE, and are competing with other states to acquire limited resources, I am calling on companies, schools, and other organizations that may have unused protective equipment sitting in their facilities to make those materials available to those who need it most,” Evers said.

Evers says the state is seeking the following items:

  • Surgical gowns (S, L, XL, and XXL)
  • Face/surgical masks (adult, pediatric)
  • Gloves (nitrile, vinyl, or butyl)
  • N95
  • Particulate respirators
  • Isolation gowns
  • Face shields
  • Tyvek coveralls
  • Thermometers
  • Foot coverings

You can go here to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the state.

Evers says the state appreciates donations but is also prepared to pay a fair price for large quantities of equipment. The State Emergency Operations Center will then distribute the equipment to communities that need it the most.

-Marti Mikkelson

March 26, 5:36 p.m.: Voting Rights Groups Sue Wisconsin Over Absentee Ballot Witness Provision

Voting rights groups and individual voters have sued the state of Wisconsin over its requirement that voters must have a witness sign their mail-in ballot for it to count in the April 7 election. The plaintiffs allege that the severe health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent some voters from safely finding a witness.

Wisconsin is under a stay-at-home order, so election officials have been pushing the public to mail absentee ballots.

But to have their vote count: Voters must upload a photo ID, sign their mail-in ballot in front of a witness who must also sign the ballot. It’s an insurmountable burden for many, says Marlene Ott, of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans.

“How can people vote, how can people get that signature when they’re not supposed to leave their homes and they’re really being very faithful?” asks Ott, who is 79. “I think most people in my age group are following that almost to the letter.”

John Sherman, senior counsel at the Fair Elections Center, says the mandate forces people to choose between their health and their right to vote.

“People are either forced to take enormous risk in getting a witness signature on their absentee ballot, or they have to just forgo voting altogether and they can't go in person because that's an even greater risk,” he says. “Especially for at-risk populations, like seniors, like people with chronic illnesses, asthma, cancer, heart disease.”

Over a quarter million seniors are living alone in Wisconsin, and many more of other demographics said to be at-risk categories for COVID-19. Then, there are others who may not live alone but don’t have an adult U.S. citizen living with them.

-Maayan Silver

March 26, 4:17 p.m.: MCTS No Longer Collecting Bus Fares Starting Saturday

Milwaukee County Transit System announced on Thursday that it will no longer collect bus fares starting Saturday at 4 a.m, lasting until further notice. The change is to help limit the interaction between drivers and passengers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

MCTS also asks that people enter and exit buses from the rear door. However, if someone needs assistance with a mobility device or other ADA accommodation, then they may still use the front door.

“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, in a press release.

-Lauren Sigfusson

March 26, 12:03 p.m.: Milwaukee Suspends Timed, Metered And Night Parking Restrictions

The city of Milwaukee has suspended parking enforcement as the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.

Alderman Khalif Rainey, the chair of the Neighborhoods and Development Committee, advocated for the measure to be added to Mayor Tom Barrett’s emergency coronavirus proclamation. Rainey says he, his colleagues and the mayor agree this is a “win-win-win” for residents.

The declaration suspends enforcement for the following parking regulations:

  • All night parking.
  • Regulations and signs restricting timed parking between 25 minutes to 24 hours.
  • Regulations restricting parking up to 15 minutes and parking for physically disabled persons continues.
  • Parking meter regulations and zones.

“People are worried, people are under stress and the last thing they need to be worrying about is getting a parking ticket from the city during this crazy time we are all going through,” Rainey says.

However, all other parking regulations contained in the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances, including signs prohibiting parking in loading zones and carryout zones, remain in effect.

-Teran Powell

March 26, 9:18 a.m.: Milwaukee Police Department Outlines Safer-At-Home Response

The Milwaukee Police Department released a video Wednesday outlining how they are responding to Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home order.

In it, Chief Alfonso Morales says officers have been instructed to be understanding as the public adjusts to the order.

However, he says, "Repeat offenders could face arrest and possible criminal penalties. We are going to do everything we can to keep people safe and help contain the spread of this virus."

- Michelle Maternowski

March 26, 9 a.m.: Wisconsin State Capitol Building Closed To The Public

At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Wisconsin State Capitol building closed to the public until further notice.

“The State Capitol building is a symbol of the strength and determination of the Wisconsin spirit, as well as a physical reminder of the generations before us who have also faced the need to make challenging decisions in periods of uncertainty,” said Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan. “Although the decision to close the building was difficult, the health of our communities and loved ones is the priority we must all be focused on.”

The building will reopen when the Legislature or Supreme Court convenes.

- Michelle Maternowski

March 25, 6:04 p.m.: African Americans Are Disproportionately Affected By Coronavirus In Milwaukee. Officials Are Investigating Why

Milwaukee officials are trying to determine why COVID-19 cases are clustered among African Americans on the city’s north side. Of the city’s 254 confirmed cases, Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik says more than half are African Americans.

“We want to understand is that due to comorbidities? Is that due to where people congregate or some event?” Kowalik said during a videoconference press briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Four deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in Milwaukee County. The first three were all black men in their 50s or 60s. Kowalik said Wednesday evening that details about the fourth fatality were not yet available.

Kowalik says the health department is conducting an epidemiological investigation to determine why the virus has spread more widely among black people in Milwaukee. The department is also working on a public information campaign, which Kowalik said will include outreach to faith leaders in the black community and social media messages to reach younger people.

Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, is one of the people diagnosed with COVID-19. During the Wednesday briefing, he said he likely contracted the virus from a Shorewood elected official and is “going through symptoms that are very intense,” including body aches, chills, fever, and a cough.

“I think there are a number of people in our community that are not taking this as seriously as they should,” Bowen said. “It’s very important they heed calls to stay home.”

To suppress the spread of the virus, Gov. Tony Evers issued a safer-at-home order asking people to practice social distancing and closing businesses deemed nonessential.

-Emily Files

March 25, 3:48 p.m.: No Date Set For When Wisconsin Legislature Will Reconvene To Deal With Coronavirus

Wisconsin's Republican legislative leaders say they want to take a deep look at the $2 trillion federal stimulus package before taking any action in the Legislature in response to the coronavirus.

“Before we do anything in our state, we need to understand the full consequences of what help is coming from Washington: How it’s accessed. What law needs to be changed to access federal dollars,” said House Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday in a media teleconference.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald echoes Vos’ sentiments, adding, “We need to figure out when it would be appropriate to bring the full Legislature back together.”

Both Republican legislators expressed their support for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' decision to move forward with the April 7 election. The two are skeptical of having an election where constituents would mail in their votes instead of physicallly going to the polls.

“We are way too far in with early voting, starting on March 12, to suddenly make that proclamation that that will be the only way to vote on April 7," said Fitzgerald.

-Angelina Mosher Salazar

March 25, 3:09 p.m.: Wisconsin Extends Online Voter Registration Until March 30

Online voter registration in Wisconsin is now open until March 30 in response to the increasing number of people trying to vote absentee for the April 7 election.

Last Friday, a federal judge ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission to extend online voter registration amid the coronavirus crisis. The original deadline was March 18.

Those who want to vote absentee have until April 2 to request an absentee ballot, but election officials are asking residents to make their requests sooner because demand has skyrocketed.

“We strongly urge anyone who wishes to vote in the April 7 election to take action now online,” Wisconsin chief elections official Meagan Wolfe said in a statement. “Anyone who isn’t currently registered and wants to vote absentee for April 7 must act immediately.”

-Emily Files

March 25, 2:05 p.m.: Wisconsin Companies Accused Of Price Gouging

Limes, toilet paper, cookies, bleach, watermelon, surgical masks and pinto beans are among the items that 16 companies in Wisconsin have been accused of price gouging.

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.

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.

-Associated Press

March 25, 8:58 a.m.: Green Bay Sues To Delay April 7 Election

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.

-Associated Press

March 24, 4:20 p.m.: Without Protective Measures, Wisconsin Could See More Than 20,000 Coronavirus Cases By April 8

Comparing data from Wisconsin to that of Wuhan and Italy, experts say that Wisconsin needs to flatten the curve to prevent the crisis seen abroad.

Experts predict that based on Wisconsin's current path — before implementing Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home practices — 22,000 Wisconsinites could test positive for COVID-19 by April 8, Department of Human Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm said during a call on Tuesday.

In addition, there could be “an estimated 440 to 1,500 deaths. This means thousands of Wisconsinites would need hospitalization, and we would exceed our current hospital bed capacity,” says Palm.

Evers' safer-at-home order starts Wednesday, and is in effect until April 24. During that time, Palm encourages people to limit the number of individuals they're around. She advises that you see no more than five individuals.

If people are feeling lonely or stressed while the safer-at-home order is in effect, people can call the state hotline at 1-800-985-5990 to speak with crisis counselor or text “Talk with us” to 66747.

-Olivia Richardson

March 24, 1:15 p.m.: Playgrounds In Milwaukee Parks Close

The Milwaukee Department of Public Works announced Tuesday that playgrounds in city parks are now closed. While the playgrounds are closed, the parks remain open.

-Lauren Sigfusson

March 24, 12:04 p.m.: Barrett Urges Wisconsin Officials To Conduct April Election By Mail

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is urging Wisconsin representatives and the governor to modify election procedures for the April 7 primary and conduct the process through mail ballots.

In a letter to Rep. Robin Vos, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gov. Tony Evers, Barrett says he initially supported their desires to hold the spring primaries as usual. But with the consistency of increased positive cases of COVID-19 in the city of Milwaukee and across the state, he says neither in-person absentee voting nor in-person voting is feasible.

In addition, Barrett says the Milwaukee Election Commission is having trouble maintaining daily staff to operate the three in-person absentee or “early” voting locations, including staff supervisors and chief inspectors. He says he’s heard from Neil Albrecht, the commission’s executive director, that staffing has become more complicated because of the stay at home orders from the governor.

He says leaders should focus energy on retaining and attracting people to handle absentee ballots.

Groups like the League of Women Voters, the African American RoundTable, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a host of others, are also calling for all Wisconsinites to request absentee ballots.

Last week, the groups sent a letter to the governor, state Legislature, and Wisconsin Elections Commission calling for increased opportunities for every person in the state to cast an absentee ballot.

Barrett recognizes that a ballot by mail election has its challenges — it’ll take more time and couldn’t be completed by April 7. He’s asking for photo ID requirements to be waived and accommodations for witness requirements to be made as well.

“We could see as many as 130,000 absentee ballots cast in Milwaukee, compared to 62,000 in the 2016 presidential election. We need a significantly longer processing period that begins prior to any election date," Barrett says.

-Teran Powell

March 24, 11:24 a.m.: Evers Officially Issues Safer-At-Home Order For Wisconsin, Ordering Closure Of Nonessential Businesses For Next Month

Gov. Tony Evers issued what he calls a safer-at-home order on Tuesday.

Basically, it says people should only leave their homes to perform essential jobs or to meet essential needs, such as shopping for food or medicine. It goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, and will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on April 24.

Under the order, bars and restaurants may continue to operate, offering only carry-out and deliveries. According to a press release, businesses that are allowed to operate under his safer-at-home order include:

  • 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
  • Law and safety, and essential government functions

Read more about the safer-at-home order.

-Lauren Sigfusson

March 23, 6:19 p.m.: Summerfest Postponed To September

Summerfest announced Monday that it is pushing back its 2020 events due to the coronavirus pandemic. The music festival was originally scheduled for June 24-28, June 30-July 5. The new dates are Sept. 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19.

-Lauren Sigfusson

March 23, 5:28 p.m.: Donations Needed For First Responders, Milwaukee Health Official Urges People To Dial 911 Only When 'Absolutely Necessary'

Dr. Ben Weston, medical director for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, is worried about the region's first responders — police, firefighters and paramedics. Not only are they putting their lives on the line, but they must also worry about the possibility of exposing their own families and friends to COVID-19. 

But the community can help. First, by staying at home if possible. Weston also says it would be helpful if people only called 911 when "absolutely necessary." 

Another way the public can help is by donating much-needed items to protect first responders. The following items are needed (regardless of quantity or expiration date):

  • N95 masks
  • Dust masks or surgical masks
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective gowns or suites
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes or sprays
  • Disposable medical gloves

Starting Tuesday, donations can be made at the Wisconsin State Fair Expo Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you're making donations, they ask that you please enter through gate 5, which is located at the intersection of S. 84th Street and W. Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.

Donations will be accepted at the gate, so you don't need to get out of your vehicle. You can find more information about donating here.

-Susan Bence

March 23, 2:13 p.m.: YMCA In Milwaukee Opens Emergency Child Care Programs For Health Care Workers & First Responders

The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee is opening two emergency child care programs this week specifically for health care workers and first responders amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The initiative is starting with locations at the Rite-Hite Family YMCA in Brown Deer and the Advocate Aurora Conference Center in Milwaukee, but the program could expand beyond those two facilities. According to the YMCA, additional safety precautions will be taken to keep children and workers safe, including screening every person who enters with a temperature check. The centers will comply with Gov. Tony Evers’ directive to limit child care operations to no more than 50 children and no more than 10 staff.

The childcare facility at Advocate Aurora opens March 24 and the location at the Rite-Hite YMCA opens April 25. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children ages 4-13 are welcome. The cost is $70 per day. Hours, ages served, and locations may be changed depending on demand. 

-Emily Files

March 23, 10:53 a.m.: Evers To Order Wisconsinites To Stay Home

Read more up-to-date information about Evers' safer-at-home order.

Gov. Tony Evers tweeted Monday that he's going to order Wisconsinites to stay at home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The order will be issued on Tuesday.

This comes three days after he said he didn’t think he would need to implement a shelter-in-place order like Illinois, New York and California have done. 

All of the information on Evers' order hasn’t been released. Based on Evers' tweets, here’s what we know the safer-at-home order entails:

  • Only take necessary trips, and limit travel to essential needs (going to doctor, grocery shopping, getting prescriptions).
  • Workers who provide essential care or services will still be allowed to travel to and from work. Those workers include health care professionals, grocers, and family caregivers.
  • If you must go outside, stay 6 feet away from others and shared spaces (park shelters, visitor centers).

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the stay-at-home order for Milwaukee is going into effect before the state but it aligns with the state order. He says the city order is being issued Monday and is slated to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. He adds that 75% of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, cases are in the city of Milwaukee — most are seen in the northern part of the city. 

-Lauren Sigfusson, Teran Powell, Susan Bence

During this pandemic, WUWM's Bubbler Talk is focusing on the coronavirus and its impact on the Milwaukee area. If you have a question, submit it below.

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