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: 4.1.2020

April 1, 2020

COVID-19 DAILY HEALTH UPDATE
(Information current as of 1:00 p.m. Central, Wednesday, April 1, 2020)

  • Total people with negative results: 18,819 (+1,444)
  • Total people with positive results: 1,550 (+199)
  • Total deaths: 24 (+8)

Q & A FOR COUNTY PAYROLL TAX ISSUES UNDER THE FFCRA AND CARES ACT 
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) imposed obligations on certain employers to make sick leave and family leave payments to employees affected by the COVID-19 virus and created payroll tax credits in an effort to alleviate some of the financial burden associated with the obligations. Subsequently, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which created an additional payroll tax credit and allowed for a deferral of an employer’s social security tax. While the payroll tax credits under each the FFCRA and CARES Act are not available to government employers, the payroll tax deferral is.

The Association and its general counsel von Briesen & Roper, s.c., have received many questions regarding county payroll obligations and procedures under the new laws. Our general counsel has prepared the Q & A below to provide information related to how county employers should manage their payroll taxes under the FFCRA and CARES Act.

LEGISLATIVE FISCAL BUREAU RELEASES: “STATE FUNDING UNDER CORONA VIRUS AID, RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES ACT)”
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) today issued, “State Funding Under Corona Virus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES ACT).”

GOVERNOR EVERS ANNOUNCES SECOND PACKAGE OF COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS PROVIDING COVID-19 RELIEF AND SUPPORT
Governor Tony Evers today announced a second package of comprehensive legislative proposals that would provide critical investments in health services, support for essential workers, and assistance for Wisconsin families and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s announcement today comes just days after Gov. Evers announced a first piece of legislation, which included additional funding and flexibility for public health professionals and healthcare professionals, a repeal of the one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance, expanding and improving access to telehealth services, among many other proposals.  

GOVERNOR EVERS SUSPENDS RULES TO KEEP YOUTH SAFE AND VITAL SERVICES FUNCTIONING
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Governor Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #18, suspending several administrative rules for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 while maintaining critical services the agency provides. The order can be found here.

“While good practice under regular circumstances, some requirements of the state’s programs actually increase the likelihood of exposure through additional interaction between people,” said Gov. Evers. “We have to continue to find ways to serve Wisconsinites, regardless of their circumstances, while keeping them safe and healthy.”

CDC INTERIM GUIDANCE ON MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 IN CORRECTIONS SETTINGS
This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of corona- virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of March 23, 2020.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the following CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.

This document provides interim guidance specific for correctional facilities and detention centers during the outbreak of COVID-19, to ensure continuation of essential public services and protection of the health and safety of incarcerated and detained persons, staff, and visitors. Recommendations may need to be revised as more information becomes available.