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What You Need to Know About Coronavirus

The best tool to defend against coronavirus is information. Below you'll find facts, figures, and resources that you need to keep you and your families safe.

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus


You can also find more information by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Situation Summary.

What To Do if You Are Sick

The CDC has published guidance on what to do if you're feeling sick and showing symptoms of coronavirus. See their full step-by-step advice HERE or read a summary of the steps below to help protect those in your community.

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Isolate yourself from others in your home
  • If you need to visit your doctor, CALL AHEAD so they can properly prepare
  • If you are sick, make sure to:
  • Wear a facemask if possible
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid sharing household items
  • Clean all "high touch" surfaces daily
  • Monitor your symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms in Northeast Wisconsin, please use one of the following resources to contact your physician:

30 Days to Slow the Spread

On March 16, 2020, the White House released new guidelines titled "15 Days to Slow the Spread" in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus in the United States. On March 31, 2020, the White House extended those guidelines for another 30 days. More information is below.


Federal Action to Combat Coronavirus

On March 4, the House passed a more than $8 billion emergency funding package that was quickly passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump. It was also recently announced that of the nearly $700 million going to state and local efforts from the CDC, Wisconsin will be receiving over $10 million to help our officials with the response. This is in addition to the initial $1 million Wisconsin received earlier. 

On March 27, 2020, the House passed -- and the President signed into law -- the CARES Act, which includes a number of provisions that help Northeast Wisconsin families and small businesses, such as:

  • More than $100 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers, including $27 billion for research on tests, treatments, medical supplies and PPE
  • One-time tax rebate checks of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 child set to phase out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples
  • Expanded unemployment insurance to cover gig workers and self-employed
  • A paycheck protection program of $350 billion in loans to small businesses with less than 500 employees to meet 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance via 100% federally-guaranteed loans which could be forgiven if employers maintain their payroll during the covered period

**On March 20, the Secretary of the Treasury announced that the Treasury would move Tax Day from April 15 to July 15 to ensure individuals have flexibility in the next three months and give taxpayers and businesses additional time to make payments without interest or penalty (this extension does not apply to state income tax filing deadlines). For more information on what actions the U.S. Treasury is taking, click HERE.

**PLEASE NOTE: Rumors that the President would be enacting a 14 day national quarantine are NOT true. See the White House National Security Council tweet on that matter below, and please don't hesitate to reach out with questions.


Please monitor my website and this page for more updates on our federal response.

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Both the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and CDC have issued information regarding how the virus is impacting local communities. You can view them below:

You can also monitor the websites of your County Health Officials. Below are links to each of the County Health Offices' websites in Wisconsin's Eighth District:

State Rep. Jim Steineke also encourages anyone that is elderly and in need of emergency assistance, such as grocery delivery or medication pickup, to contact his office by phone at (608) 266-2401 or e-mail at rep.steineke@legis.wi.gov.

Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #12 Safer At Home Order on March 24.

The order requires Wisconsinites to stay indoors unless they are

  • Engaged in essential activities (health, safety, supply chain, services, care taking).
  • Engaged in essential government functions.
  • Operating an essential business. 
  • Performing the minimum basic operations of their business (necessary to maintain the value of business’s inventory, equipment, security, personnel, and ability to work remotely).
  • Engaged in essential travel (travel for an essential activity or function). 

Individuals may engage in outdoor activities including visiting parks, biking, jogging, hiking, walking, etc. provided they do not engage in team sports and they practice social distancing.

For a more detailed explanation of the order, please click here

Resources for Small Businesses

During these difficult times, there are a number of resources available to small businesses. Small businesses looking to stay up-to-date on the latest can visit these sites below.

On March 18, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced a targeted grant program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Click HERE for more information on that announcement.

On March 19, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency issued guidance to state and local governments on defining critical infrastructure workers, or workers that have a special responsibility to continue working in these difficult times. Read the full guidance HERE, and please note that as CISA Director Christopher Krebs says, "this list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself."

On March 24th, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance addresses critical questions such as:

  • How does an employer count its number of employees to determine coverage?
  • How can small businesses obtain an exemption?
  • How does an employer count hours for part-time employees?
  • How does an employer calculate wages employees are entitled to under the FFCRA?

The initial WHD guidance is available in three-parts:

What Can I Do to Help Small Businesses?

New limits on gatherings have required many businesses to reassess their operations. For example, while bars and restaurants in our community have had to close their doors to dine-in guests, many still offer take-out and delivery services. Ordering takeout or delivery when you can is a great way to support local businesses in these difficult times. The resources below provide a list of updates from local businesses still operating in Northeast Wisconsin and contact information.

Additionally, Rep. Jim Steineke and Rep. John Nygren have each compiled lists of restaurants still offering takeout/delivery in Northeast Wisconsin. You can visit Rep. Steineke’s HERE and Rep. Nygren’s HERE.

Resources for Farmers

The USDA is committed to ensuring farmers maintain access to the resources they need to navigate these difficult times. The resources below, courtesy of the USDA, provide helpful information on what is available to farmers and what the USDA has done to combat the coronavirus.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has also published a coronavirus toolkit for farmers. Click HERE to view that.

Rep. Gallagher's Coronavirus Teletown Hall

On March 26, 2020, Rep. Gallagher hosted a coronavirus tele-town hall with Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm to provide information and answer constituent questions on the outbreak. Click the photo below to listen to the full tele-town hall or click HERE.

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Frequently Asked Travel Questions

Can I travel abroad?

On March 19, the State Department issued a Level 4 (Maximum) Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel requesting that all US citizens avoid international travel. For more information, visit the State Department's website HERE.

Should I come home?

The State Department has requested that U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. 

What actions should I be taking?

Per the State Department: "Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

Please don't hesitate to contact my office as well if you are abroad and seeking assistance.

Will I face quarantine upon returning home?

If you are coming from Iran, China, or Europe, DHS currently has issued a Notification of Arrival Restrictions. These restrictions include 14 days of self-quarantining upon arrival. Please see the TSA’s information page on arriving back in the US.

**If you or a family member is participating in a study abroad program, please contact the program for updates and information.

Resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs provided the following information to my office in an effort to answer any some frequent coronavirus questions specific to veterans. As they note, since this situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage congressional offices and their constituents to consult VA’s public-facing website for the most current information: www.va.gov/coronavirus . Guidance from local VA medical facilities about their current operating status is available on each facility’s website, which can be found through VA’s facility locator tool:  https://www.va.gov/find-locations .

You can also visit the links below for updates regarding VA offices in Northeast Wisconsin.

What should veterans do if they think they have COVID-19?
Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311  ( 844-698-2311 , press #3 to be connected). Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet , VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.  
What about routine appointments and previously scheduled procedures?
VA is encouraging all veterans to call their VA facility before seeking any care—even previously scheduled medical visits, mental health appointments, or surgical procedures. Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet  and find out whether they should still come in for their scheduled appointments. VA providers may arrange to convert appointments to  video visits , where possible.
Can visitors still access VA medical facilities? 
Many VA medical facilities have cancelled public events for the time being, and VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to postpone their visits to local VA medical facilities. Facilities have also been directed to limit the number of entrances through which visitors can enter. Upon arrival, all patients, visitors, and employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure.
What about VA nursing homes and spinal cord injury units?
On March 10, 2020,  VA announced  that its 134 nursing homes (also called VA community living centers) and 24 spinal cord injury and disorder centers would beclosed to all outside visitors. All clinical staff will be screened for COVID-19 daily before entering the nursing home or spinal cord injury units, and staff will work only within those units to limit possible transmission of the virus. Exceptions to the visitor policy will only be made for cases when veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units or inpatient spinal cord injury units.

Internet Resources for Wisconsin Residents during Public Health Emergency

Several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are offering free or low-cost internet access options in response to the coronavirus health emergency. These services are offered in the areas each ISP serves, or as otherwise described. Click HERE for more information.

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