COVID-19 UPDATES FOR COUNTY OFFICIALS

As issues 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: 3.25.2020

March 25, 2020

RESOLUTION FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR ON “EMERGENCY RESPONDER” AND “HEALTH CARE PROVIDER” EXEMPTION FROM FFCRA
With the April 1 effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) fast approaching, many public sector employers across the state are discussing how to apply the FFCRA’s exemptions from the new extended leave and paid sick leave entitlements for employees considered an “emergency responder” or “health care provider.” Information concerning the FFCRA and its application to public employers in Wisconsin can be found below.

JOIN NACO CALL THURSDAY: COUNTY PRIORITIES IN FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE EFFORTS
Please join NACo for a membership call tomorrow, Thursday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. EDT for an update on counties’ federal policy priorities regarding the third coronavirus relief package.

COUNTY AND CITY OFFICIALS HOLD JOINT CONFERENCE CALL
Over 150 county and city officials participated in a joint conference call today to receive state and federal updates, as well as share best practices. The call was initiated by Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson and City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. 

Today’s call included:
State Update: Deputy Administrator, Division of Public Health, DHS, Chuck Warzech
Federal Update: National Association of Counties Deputy Executive Director and Director of Government Affairs Deborah Cox
Wisconsin Elections Commission: WEC Member Marge Bostelmann
Wisconsin Hospital Association: WHA Vice President, Workforce and Clinical Practice Ann Zenk, RN, BSN, MHA

WISCONSIN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ISSUE BRIEFS
Executive Order #72 and the Public Health: Emergency Related to COVID-19
On March 12, 2020, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #72 in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, declaring a state of emergency relating to public health and designating the Department of Health Services (DHS) as the lead agency to respond to this emergency. This issue brief describes the Governor’s statutory authority to declare a public health emergency, the provisions ofExecutive Order #72, and subsequent emergency orders issued by the Evers administration. The information in this issue brief is current as of March 24, 2020, and will be updated regularly.

Authority of Public Health Officials During a Public Health Emergency
This information memorandum provides a general overview of the authority of the Governor and local governments to declare states of emergency and of the authority of state and local health officials to respond to public health emergencies.

COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIES
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in which we live and work. Information is changing by the minute, and the impact on the workplace, your responsibilities and our communities is overwhelming. No one has a definitive answer on what the next best steps are, should be or how federal and state guidelines will change the narrative on a daily basis. And levels of panic and anxiety due to the unknown length of this outbreak are rapidly increasing. But in the midst of it all, you are being asked to lead. If you need assistance in developing a comprehensive communications strategy, or simply need help developing ongoing communications materials, we encourage you to reach out to our long-standing strategic partner – Wood Communications Group. Contact Kennan Wood directly at 608.444.9546 or via email.

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT COVID-19 RESOURCES
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR MODEL POSTER AND POSTER FAQS

ADDITIONAL UPDATES
The Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and you are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.

You may also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus web resource page for more information.

QUESTIONS
As always, do not hesitate to contact WCA with questions at 866.404.2700 or von Briesen’s Andrew T. Phillips at 414.287.1570.

For questions regarding this WCA COVID-19 Daily Update, please contact WCA Communications Consultant Michelle Gormican Thompson at 866.404.2700.