Jobless Wisconsinites fear end to extra $600 in unemployment aid — 7/22/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight the latest installment of our Outbreak Wisconsin collaboration with WPR. 

Bridgit Bowden of WPR checks in Amy Moreland. Out of work since mid-March, the Madison bartender is making tough decisions as her $600 in extra weekly unemployment aid — a product of the federal CARES Act stimulus — is set to expire at the end of the month. Moreland and many other jobless Wisconsinites aren’t sure how they’ll get by if Congress declines to renew the program.

“I’m really scared,” she said.

In May, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus aid package that would extend the extra $600 payments through January 2021. Senate Republicans have said they oppose this bill, but some say they are open to a short-term extension with reduced payments, NBC News reported Wednesday

Top Stories

Amy Moreland stands outside her house in Madison, Wis., on June 14, 2020. Moreland is out of work as the bar where she works is closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘It doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight to this’: Pandemic drags on as $600 unemployment lifeline nears expirationWisconsin Watch/WPR 

Tony Evers seeks another $250M in state budget cuts to offset pandemic revenue lossesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Public Service Commission will discuss moratorium ahead of Saturday deadline to resume utility shut-offsMilwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin nursing homes increase with community spreadWPR 

Mask ordinance passed by one vote, goes into effect July 27Journal Times 

Schools, businesses seek immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits as cases surgeWAOW-TV

Rising number of older children getting COVID-19 in Milwaukee CountyWTMJ-TV 

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Housing trouble?

Are you worried about losing your home or apartment because of the pandemic? Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier media. Click here for details.

Quotable

“It’s sad that things have become political, because it’s really important for our kids to be in school and everybody wants to be in school, but we want to do it safely … And if we can’t do it safely, we’ve got to figure out a way to provide school for kids that’s safe — not just for kids, but for our staff.”

Portage Community School District Administrator Josh Sween, as quoted by the Portage Daily Register 

Data to note

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 712 new cases of COVID-19, with 4.8% of tests returning positive. The department reported six new deaths in a pandemic that has reportedly killed 865.

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

DHS also reported Wednesday that 58 counties have a “high level” of coronavirus activity, a decrease from the 59 counties reported last week.

Click here for more details on how the agency is measuring COVID-19 activity levels. The agency plans to update its data by 2 p.m. each Wednesday.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Cudahy man released after 111 days in hospital following COVID-19 diagnosisWTMJ-TV 

Local coalition of volunteers work to meet high demand for face masksWisconsin State Journal 

Hungry city: Food banks and farmers feed rising numbers in Dane County — Cap Times

Wisconsin Watch investigations editor Jim Malewitz documented this sign of hope in Madison.

A spray-painted sign in Madison reads: "HOPING FOR THE BEST"

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