On Monday, Governor Evers released the “Badger Bounce Back” plan detailing benchmarks for when the state can begin to relax the provisions of the Safer at Home order and reopen the economy. The Bounce Back plan includes Gating Criteria similar to those put forth by the Trump Administration and calls for increased testing (85,000 tests per week), contact tracing (hiring up to 1,000 people) and tracking of COVID-19 cases. The Gating Criteria require a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses, COVID-19-like cases and positive tests reported within a 14-day period. The plan also requests that the state acquire significantly more personal protective equipment and assure there is sufficient health system capacity.
Further, the plan creates three phases to reopening the economy. Phase one would allow gatherings of 10 people and ease social distancing guidelines on essential businesses while allowing schools to reopen. Phase two would allow gatherings of 50 people and restaurants could resume full operation with bars reopening with social distancing requirements. Non-essential businesses and post-secondary schools would also be able to reopen. Phase three would allow the resumption of normal business activities with minimum social distancing requirements.
However, on Tuesday the Legislature brought a case to the state Supreme Court asking the Court to temporarily enjoin the extension of the Governor’s Safer at Home order. In addition, the case asks the Court to issue a stay of six days to allow the Department of Health Services (DHS) time to promulgate new rules consistent with state law. The Court has since ordered DHS to respond to the filing by next Tuesday.
In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid approved the state’s 1135 emergency Medicaid wavier. The waiver was a component of Wisconsin’s bipartisan COVID-19 response bill that passed last week and was supported by the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society).
On the federal front, the Senate passed a $484 billion interim funding package on Tuesday. The bulk of the funds are intended to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses after it ran out of funds last week. It also includes $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing with $11 billion of the testing funds to be reserved for states, localities, territories and tribes. The House is expected to pass the bill on Thursday. A potential “Phase 4” COVID-19 package is still in the works.
The Society will continue to monitor these situations as they develop. Please contact HJ Waukau with any questions.
Back to top