COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus, a group of related viruses commonly carried by animals and occasionally transmitted to humans. First originating in the Wuhan province of China in mid-November of 2019, COVID-19 has now spread throughout the world. As you may be aware, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is relatively minor in most cases but can lead to severe illness, organ failure and even death in others. While symptoms for the coronavirus vary, the most common include fever, shortness of breath or chest tightness, and newly developed coughs. The virus most severely affects individuals over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions. However, all populations are at risk of being infected by COVID-19 and should take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus for their own health and the health of those around them.
The spread of the coronavirus is an extremely serious situation, one that has upended everyday life in the United States and throughout the world. While I remain optimistic that we will recover from this deadly virus, it is essential that we listen to the guidelines communicated to us by the White House and our country’s health officials in order to curb the spread and overall impact of COVID-19. Additionally, it is critically important to ensure our medical providers and workers have all the necessary equipment they need, including N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves, ventilators, and testing capabilities in order to safely and effectively respond to this crisis. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to ensuring the health and well-being of every individual impacted by this virus in the Sixth District, the state of Wisconsin, and the country as a whole.
Please use the information below to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can also stay up-to-the-minute by following me on Facebook (Congressman Glenn Grothman), Twitter (@RepGrothman) and Instagram (@RepGlennGrothman).
Member of Congress
Staying Safe, Healthy and Informed
To view the spread of COVID-19 throughout Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health’s website, which breaks down the number of COVID-19 cases by county.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available in Wisconsin, as it is being distributed to residents of the state in a phased approach.
Every Wisconsinite over the age of 16 is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Click here to visit the Wisconsin Department of Health website for resources about where you can get vaccinated.
Economic Impact Payments (EIP)
The deliveries of the third Economic Impact Payments (EIP) are underway by the IRS. No action is needed to receive your payment. The IRS launched an online tool called Get My Payment in April of 2020 to make it easy for you to check the status of your check.
The third round of EIPs authorized by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act slightly differ from the first two.
- Most families will get $1,400 per person, including all dependents claimed on their tax return. Typically, this means a single person with no dependents will get $1,400, while a family of four (married couple with two dependents) will get $5,600.
- Unlike the first two payments, the third stimulus payment is not restricted to children under 17. Eligible families will get an additional $1,400 payment based on all of their qualifying dependents claimed on their 2020 tax return, including college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents.
Those who did not receive the first two payments via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a prepaid debit card (referred to as an “EIP Card”). A payment will not be added to an existing EIP card mailed for the first or second round of stimulus payments.
Under the new law, this $1,400 payment cannot be offset to pay various past-due federal debts or back taxes.
Q: “Who is eligible to receive the third EIP?”
A: Any person that has a valid Social Security Number (SSN), is not considered as a dependent of someone else and whose income qualifies, including:
- Welfare beneficiaries.
- Social Security recipients.
- Spouses of military members without a SSN.
- Adopted children can use an Adoption Tax Identification Number.
The IRS will use available information to determine eligibility and issue the third payment to eligible people who:
- Filed a 2020 tax return.
- Filed a 2019 tax return if the 2020 return has not been submitted or processed yet.
- Did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return but registered for the first Economic Impact Payment using the special Non-Filers portal last year.
- Are federal benefit recipients as of Dec. 31, 2020, who do not usually file a tax return and received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veteran benefit recipients in 2020. The IRS is working with these agencies to get updated information for 2021 to assist with stimulus payments at a date to be determined. IRS.gov will have more details.
Q: “How do I receive my EIP if I was not required to file taxes in 2018 or 2019?”
A1: If you did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019 for the reasons below, you do not need to take further action and will receive payment:
Other Frequently Asked Questions about EIP:
- I received Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or survivor benefits.
- I received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and do not have a dependent child aged 17 and under.
- I received Railroad Retirement benefits.
Q: “We claim our 17-year-old son as a dependent, but he also has a job. Will he receive the EIP, too?
A: No, he will not receive the economic impact payment because he was claimed as a dependent.
Q: “I am a senior citizen living on Social Security. Will I receive an EIP?”
A: Yes, Social Security recipients will receive the economic impact payment.
Q: “My wife and I are seniors living on Social Security. We haven’t filed a tax return in years. How do we receive the economic impact payment?”
A1: If you currently receive your Social Security by direct deposit, then your economic impact payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account.
A2: If you receive your Social Security by mail, then you will receive your economic impact payments by mail.
A3: You can visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here for more information.
If you’re looking to get tested for COVID-19, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides a list of testing sites in the state broken down by county. Many sites will require an appointment before you arrive in order to ensure they’ve collected your contact and insurance information. Considerations for who should get tested:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19 (Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea)
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone that recently tested positive for COVID-19.
- People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings.
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
Covid-19 Funeral Assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses to ease the financial stress caused by the current public health emergency.
The following conditions must be met in order to be eligible for funeral assistance:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
Applications for funeral assistance begin on April 12, 2021. To apply, gather documentation regarding your COVID-19 funeral expenses and call the Funeral Assistance Line Number: 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Hours of operation are weekdays from 8 AM to 8 PM CST.
Small Businesses in Need of Help
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The U.S. Small Business Administration will be assisting food & beverage businesses with $28.6 billion in COVID-19 relief. The SBA will begin accepting registrations for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EST and open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EST.
In preparation, the SBA recommends likely applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth application process by:
- Registering for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m.
- Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
- Preparing the required documentation.
- Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting restaurants.sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens. [Note: If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.]
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program saved tens of thousands of jobs in Wisconsin in 2020 by allowing businesses to receive funding to retain employees as they worked through COVID-19. Employer enrollment for PPP is again open, more information can be found here. If you are a small business owner, please utilize the resources below. If you are an employee of a small business, please make sure your supervisors are aware of the tools available to keep your business open and a paycheck in your pocket.
Please visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to find information including:
Federal Agency Guidelines
Resources for Veterans
- Please visit www.va.gov/coronavirus for more information on what the VA is doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- If you are a veteran experiencing symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your closest VA facility.
- Your VA telehealth options can be found at My HealtheVet.
Wisconsin Educational Resources
- For information on K-12 school closures, along with resources for teachers and administrators, please click here.
- Find the latest information on State Universities by clicking here and State Technical Colleges by clicking here.
- To access emergency internet resources and utility service help, click here.
- For DMV online services and other transportation needs, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website.
- For resources on filing your taxes, please click here.
- Click here for information on lenders or if you are in need of a notary.
- If you are a Wisconsinite with immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can text COVID-19 to 211-211, call 2-1-1 or visit www.211Wisconsin.org.
- Many blood drives have been canceled due to COVID-19. There are people still in need and donating blood remains safe, even during the virus outbreak. To find out where you can donate, please visit redcross.org.
- United Way of Sheboygan County and other United Way chapters are providing non-profit organizations with the opportunity to apply for relief, along with keeping an up-to-date list of community coronavirus resources. To find your local United Way and for more information, please click here.
- Food pantries across the Sixth District continue to address hunger and have adopted “no contact” distribution procedures. If you would like to volunteer or donate, click here to locate a pantry near you.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared these tips for healthcare workers who have come in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- To learn more about optimizing personal protective equipment (PPE) resources and for general clinical guidance as you interact with patients on the frontlines, please click here.
- If you are working in a laboratory handling COVID-19 specimens, check out these best practices for handling and collecting specimens.
- If your hospital or healthcare facility has PPE or similar requests, please contact your local emergency manager. They can be found on pages 19-28 in the Wisconsin Emergency Management Directory.
- To receive Wisconsin’s Health Alert Network’s latest messages on Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, please click here.
- New studies show that people with blood type O may have lower risk of infection, while people with blood type A and AB may be at risk of more severe clinical outcomes.
For Children Staying Home From School
Are you a parent staying at home with your child because their school is closed? Something I've heard from other parents in your position is that it is difficult to fill the day with kid-friendly activities that don't involve television.
Here are some educational resources you can use from the Library of Congress (LOC):
- Read free Student Discovery Sets on iBooks – Student Discovery Sets include one-of-a-kind documents and historical artifacts on various topics from literature to science.
- Check out free classic children's books online, including historical narratives and time-honored tales.
- Explore past author programming at the Library of Congress through the Library of Congress’ YouTube Channel.
- Take a virtual tour through the Library of Congress to view the charming, timeless Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington.
- Delve into 400+ digital collections, which feature U.S. Presidents, historic American newspapers, photographs, musicians, inventors and more.
- Cook up a tasty meal – The Library has you covered from breakfast through dessert! Try Rosa Parks’ feather-lite pancakes, Niccolo Paganini’s ravioli with meat sauce, or Thomas Jefferson’s macaroni or ice cream.
- While the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. is cancelled, you can still learn about cherry blossoms by visiting the Library of Congress’ collections on the cherry blossoms.
- Ask a Librarian! Have a question? Need research assistance? Contact LOC librarians online to ask for help regarding an inquiry.
- A general guide to LOC resources that parents, teachers and students that can be used from home.
These Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education resources are from various federal government agencies:
- NASA has STEM resources broken down into sections for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 on www.nasa.gov/stem. There are also DIY engineering projects, videos, and info about our solar system, along with educational games on www.nasa.gov/kidsclub.
- The Energy Information Administration has interactive resources to help you learn about the different types of energy, energy sources and smart uses of energy at www.eia.gov/kids.
- The Environmental Protection Agency has activities, lessons, games, and resources broken down by topic, including air, climate, ecosystems, energy, health, recycling and water on www.epa.gov/students.
- The National Science Foundation has collected resources from around the web on a wide range of STEM topics, which can be found at www.nsf.gov/news/classroom.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has hands-on activities, multimedia and lesson plans on individual topics such as weather and tornadoes that can be accessed at www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections.com.
- The Smithsonian Institution has a long list of helpful and fun materials to get students engaged in STEM learning at www.si.edu/kids and www.ssec.si.edu/game-center.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab also offers free, high quality resources for educators and students transitioning to distance learning. Smithsonian educators are also offering digital "office hours" to offer customized help for teachers.
The National Gallery of Art has several resources on their website. Other resources include the NGAkids Art Zone app for iPad, Look Together Activities and Eye for Art, which offers a different way to engage with the Gallery’s collection.
The Capitol Visitors Center has a number of resources you can utilize. These are great not only for students, but anyone who is interested in learning more about the U.S. Capitol:
- A nine-minute general video tour suitable for all audiences which takes visitors on an informational trip through the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) entrance and onto the public tour route that they would experience in the busy season at the Capitol. Explore the Crypt, Rotunda, National Statuary Hall and more!
- The CVC website provides a link for teachers with a variety of tools to help them share information about the Capitol and Congress with students.
- The Architect of the Capitol has also produced a number of virtual resources for students and families learning from home. These resources are grouped into elementary, middle school and high school levels. They range from activity guides and game sheets, to video series, lesson plans and essay questions. In addition, there are virtual field trips and online exhibits from the U.S. Botanic Garden and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
- A nearly 20-minute tour for middle school students that focuses on information relevant to their civics and social studies classes. This video is a curriculum-focused informational trip through the CVC entrance and onto the public tour route they would experience that explores the Crypt, Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. Information about important legislation - discussed and passed in both of the old chambers - is highlighted in this video.
- The CVC has produced a number of supplemental e-learning resources that accompany the Middle School Video Tour such as follow-along worksheets and a video quiz. The follow-along worksheet allows students to follow-along with the narrator and answer the questions he poses throughout the video. This is a tool that teachers can use to confirm that students watched the video and developed original thoughts and opinions on the important topics discussed in each room of the tour. The middle school video quiz allows teachers to check on student comprehension of the material shared in the video.
Did I miss something?
Please call my office or send me an email if you have a question about something not listed or have another resource that you feel would be helpful.