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: 3.28.2020

March 28, 2020

DOL ISSUES GUIDANCE ON DEFINITIONS OF “EMERGENCY RESPONDER” AND “HEALTH CARE PROVIDER”
With the April 1, 2020, effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) looming, on Saturday, March 28, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued critical new guidance defining which employees can be considered “emergency responders” or “health care providers.” You may recall that employees fitting one of these definitions are exempt from the FFCRA and thereby exempted from the paid sick leave and expanded FML requirements under the law.

Thanks to local government efforts over the past week, we are pleased to report that DOL has endorsed what we believe to be very expansive definitions to the terms, thus allowing counties to ensure that critical staff is available to continue providing all of the vital services counties provide to their citizens on a daily basis.

Our general counsel, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., will be updating their materials in response to this guidance as well, so please check their page for updates on the guidance, as well as additional resources.

EMERGENCY ORDER #16 SIMPLIFIES HEALTHCARE LICENSE RENEWALS
On March 27, 2020, Governor Tony Evers directed Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm to issue Emergency Order #16, which simplifies healthcare license renewals during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages recently retired professionals with expired licenses to re-enter practice. It also provides a way for licensed out-of-state practitioners to practice in Wisconsin without first requiring an in-state licensing.