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, Attolles Law, s.c., to provide the latest resources and updates to assist county officials during this unprecedented time.

WCA Public Health Guidance; Supplemental Guidance Released

October 15, 2020

Webinar Now Online

The Wisconsin Counties Association has released Guidance in Implementing Regulations Surrounding Communicable Diseases: An Analysis of Local Health Department and Local Health Officer Powers, Duties, and Enforcement Actions.

In addition, a supplemental guide was released on October 14, 2020. View Supplement to Guidance: Enforcement of Local Health Orders Utilizing Process Set Forth in the Administrative Cod here.

Two webinars on the Guidance were held the week of August 17, 2020.

This product is the compilation of many weeks of work by an ad hoc committee tasked with creating a body of knowledge that provides guidance to local governments on how to provide a meaningful regulatory system to combat the spread of a communicable disease at the local level.

Although the work of this committee was triggered by our current public health pandemic, this guidance is intended to address other situations and issues related to the regulation of communicable diseases, whether local, regional, or global in nature.

The work of this committee was guided by four principles:

  1. How do we best protect the public’s health?
  2. How can a local government regulatory process be practically implemented?
  3. How will a local government provide an enforcement mechanism?
  4. How can we create public awareness, understanding, and support for health and safety in the context of the regulatory process?

This Guidance is intended to provide just as its name suggests – guidance. It will hopefully provide local governments with a substantive and procedural foundation as they consider whether or how best to update or craft ordinances relating to regulations surrounding the response to communicable diseases.

The Guidance is not a template and is not a model. The Guidance is also not intended as legal advice – counties need to work with their corporation counsel in creating their own ordinances and policies.

This Guidance could not have been created without the assistance of several individuals and organizations who spent countless hours meeting, drafting, and reviewing numerous versions of the Guidance.

WCA Deputy Director of Government Affairs Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf chaired the group and facilitated discussion on sensitive matters in arriving at the body of knowledge. A special thank you to the following individuals and organizations who participated in the process and assisted in producing this document:

Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards

  • Linda Conlon, Oneida County Health Officer
  • Annette Seibold, Florence County Health Officer
  • Darren Rausch, City of Greenfield Health Officer
  • Lieske Giese, Eau Claire City-County Health Officer
  • Joan Theurer, Marathon County Health Officer
  • Eric Ostermann, Executive Director

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

  • Claire Silverman, Legal Counsel
  • Stephen Nick, Eau Claire City Attorney’s Office

Wisconsin Association of County Corporation Counsel

  • Nicholas Lange, Dunn County Corporation Counsel
  • Kim Nass, Dodge County Corporation Counsel

Wisconsin Restaurant Association

  • Kristine Hillmer, President and CEO
  • Susan Quam, Executive Vice President

Wisconsin Counties Association

  • Steve O’Malley, La Crosse County Administrator
  • Paul Susienka, Bayfield County Sheriff
  • Andy Phillips, General Counsel, von Briesen & Roper S.C.
  • Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf, Deputy Director of Government Affairs

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce

  • Jayme Sellen, Vice President of Economic Development and Government Affairs