COVID-19 UPDATES FOR COUNTY OFFICIALS

As things continue to develop and change at a quick rate with COVID-19, the Coronavirus, we at the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) are working alongside Governor Tony Evers, the Administration, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and our general counsel, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., (von Briesen) to provide the latest resources and updates to assist county officials during this unprecedented time.

COVID-19 Daily Update: 3.23.2020

March 23, 2020

THE NEW LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS UNDER FFCRA-ISSUES UNIQUE TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA relief package includes two (2) distinct provisions that provide emergency leave to employees: (1) the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”); and (2) the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”). The provisions of the FFCRA were fine-tuned in a matter of five (5) days, with the expectation that the Department of Labor (“DOL”) will provide clarifying rules shortly following the FFCRA’s effective date of April 2, 2020. Until such time as the DOL clarifies the FFCRA’s provisions, employers are working diligently to interpret the FFCRA’s terms and prepare for implementation. In particular, the public sector is faced with the unpleasant reality that the FFCRA may serve as an unfunded mandate on a local government system that is already underfunded. This comprehensive Q & A overview from von Briesen & Roper, s.c. seeks to provide further clarification and guidance to local governments as they implement the provisions of the FFCRA while continuing to provide effective and efficient services to their constituents. Read it here.

GOVERNOR DIRECTS DHS TO IMPLEMENT “SAFER AT HOME” ORDERGovernor Tony Evers directed DHS Secretary Andrea Palm today to issue Emergency Order #12, “Safer at Home,” to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is effective through April 24, 2020. At a media briefing today, Governor Evers was joined by Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Andrea Palm and other state officials and experts to discuss what a “Safer at Home” order means for Wisconsinites and steps people can take to avoid illness. Additional details will be forthcoming tomorrow.

UPDATED: LOCAL HEALTH OFFICER AUTHORITY AND COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT POWERSFind an updated version of the local health officer authority and county emergency management powers document which originally went out on March 13, 2020.

SAMPLE ORDINANCE RELATING TO SELF ORGANIZATION OF COUNTIES
Below please find a sample ordinance relating to self organization of counties. 

NOTE: THIS TEMPLATE IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND ONLY PRESENTS A GENERAL GUIDE OF THE ELEMENTS FOR A DECLARATION OF SELF-ORGANIZED STATUS AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS. PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR LOCAL CORPORATION COUNSEL TO DISCUSS NEEDS SPECIFIC TO YOUR COUNTY.  

EMERGENCY ORDER #9: ORDER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Under the authority of Wis. Stat. § 323.12(4) and the public health emergency declared in Executive Order #72, I, Governor Tony Evers, order the Department of Corrections to implement a moratorium on admissions to the state prisons and juvenile facilities operated by the Department of Corrections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY RELEASES UPDATED COVID-19 TRACKING MAP
The Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracking map, which has become a vital worldwide resource, has launched an updated dashboard to report coronavirus cases for every county in the United States. Their COVID-19 tracking map now reports U.S. data by city and county.

DFI ISSUES EMERGENCY GUIDANCE ON REMOTE NOTARIZATION
At the direction of Governor Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has issued emergency guidance pertaining to remote online notarization in Wisconsin. “Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, remote online notarization is now authorized inthis state, subject to several safeguards to ensure the integrity of the notarial process,” said DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld.