WED AM News: Dept. of Revenue’s latest economic outlook indicates recovery is underway; Postponement of Ryder Cup latest blow to Milwaukee’s big year

— The Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s latest Wisconsin Economic Outlook indicates a recovery is underway. 

There’s no question the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the world, United States and Wisconsin economies. Unemployment rates peaked in April at rates higher than the Great Depression.

But DOR predicts a stronger recovery after May’s unemployment rate declined and jobs increased. In fact, the outlook said several economic indicators fared better than expected. 

“Our latest forecast shows that the situation is fluid, but our economic indicators are now heading in a better direction,” DOR Secretary Peter Barca said. “It looks like April marked the bottom, so we are hopeful going forward.”

According to the report, the consensus among national forecasters was for a decline of 8 million jobs in May, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate revealed an increase of 2.5 million jobs. Wisconsin employment also bottomed in April, showing a recovery of 75,000 jobs in May. After nine years of sustained growth, labor markets collapsed in a matter of weeks. But after two months of decline, employment was on the rise again in May.

According to the forecast, Wisconsin expects to recover close to a quarter of the jobs lost by the third quarter of 2020, and close to three quarters of the employment loss by the second quarter of 2021. However, nationwide employment recovery will take more than two years to get to pre-COVID levels.

Also in the outlook, Wisconsin employment is expected to decline 7.5 percent in 2020 and Wisconsin personal income growth is projected to slow to 2.2 percent in 2020 and 0.9 percent in 2021, as the fiscal stimulus fades. 

Read the forecast:

— The reported postponement of the Ryder Cup is the latest blow to Milwaukee’s big year.

“The excitement that we felt, you know, 2020 was the year of Milwaukee there was no question with everything that was scheduled to happen, and now as the DNC is changing its plans, as the Ryder cup is changing its plans, as other events have cancelled or postponed,” said VISIT Milwaukee’s Kristin Settle. “We’re a good Midwestern town, and we’re certainly going to adapt as best we can. But the emotional toll of this pandemic is real and needs to be thought of too.” 

What would a postponed Ryder Cup cost for the state?

National and state reports indicate the Ryder Cup will be postponed to 2021, but that has not yet been made official. If it is postponed, the state would lose approximately 50,000 tourists and an economic impact of $80 million dollars for this year, Settle said.

Wisconsin was named the top golf destination of 2017 by GolfAdvisor and is home to more top 100 public golf courses than any other state. Milwaukee is within a few hours drive of all of them. Whistling Straits — to host the Ryder Cup this year — is about an hour away from Milwaukee and close enough for the state’s largest city to benefit from the tourism dollars brought by golf enthusiasts.

If Ryder Cup is added to the list of COVID casualties, it will be devastating to Cream City.

Read the full story at 

— The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation will host a discussion next week on how producers, distributors and retailers can address challenges in the age of COVID-19. 

“Innovations in many steps of the food supply chain are a key strength of the UW–Madison research community,” said Emily Bauer, director of licensing at WARF. “We at WARF are excited about fostering this dialog across the sector to discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded by the COVID-19 situation. As a leading food producing state, Wisconsin will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of food supply chain solutions.”

Tuesday’s webinar will feature: Angela James, assistant deputy secretary at DATCP; Tera Johnson, founder and director of the Food Finance Institute; John Lucey, director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research; Paul Mitchell director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute; Christopher P. Salm, found of Salm Partners and CEO of Ab E Discovery; and Brondon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers’ Association. 

Sign up for Tuesday’s webinar here: 

— COVID-19 hospitalizations number 240 patients, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association data — a six-patient decline over Monday.

“We’re actually doing pretty well here,” Medical College of Wisconsin President Dr. John Raymond told a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar. 

The admission rate for hospitalizations continues to go down as health officials learn more about COVID-19, have more effective triage and have more available testing that allows earlier diagnoses, according to Raymond.

Even though there are more cases, the number of hospitalizations in Wisconsin has trended downward over the last few weeks. Raymond said that it’s possible that the state will see increasing hospitalizations as cases increase.

That figure includes 93 COVID-19 patients in ICU, the same as of Monday. Additionally, inpatients with pending tests number 142, a decrease of 27 patients since Monday.

Of the state’s confirmed cases, 13 percent have been hospitalized, and 3 percent have received intensive care, according to DHS.

WHA data and Raymond show that statewide, Wisconsin seems to have a stable and adequate supply of beds and ventilators.

Hospitals, however, continue to lack personal protective equipment for health care workers.

The WHA data show 28 hospitals have a seven-day or less supply of face shields, 39 have a limited supply of goggles, 33 have limited N95 masks, 34 have limited gowns, and 33 hospitals have limited paper medical masks.

Health care workers account for about 10 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 2,423, 36 more confirmed cases since Monday.

See the WHA dashboard here: 

— Coronavirus is infecting more young people, drawing attention from health officials who worry the pandemic could be growing in Wisconsin.

“Recently, new deaths and the percentages of deaths have been trending towards white individuals,” Raymond said. “In terms of newly diagnosed COVID-19, the cases are trending towards younger individuals and the Hispanic and Latinx demographic.”

He offered two reasons for that: younger people are more socially interactive, and both younger people and Hispanic and Latino demographic are likely to be essential workers. He also said that there’s no evidence so far that racial justice protests have led to increased cases.

In addition, officials are watching what’s called the reproductive number. It’s now on its fourth day of being over one in Wisconsin after 16 consecutive days of being below one. That means that one person is infecting more than one person. 

Raymond said state numbers have now slipped, ranking Wisconsin in the middle of the pack for combatting the virus.

“This would imply that rather than decelerating, the pandemic is actually growing,” he said. “This is a trend that bears watching.” 

According to Raymond, the trajectory of COVID-19 in Wisconsin was going down, but along with the reproductive number, the trajectory has been rising over the last four days. He notes that it is one of the “preliminary signs that Wisconsin, like 23 other states, might be seeing an unfavorable trend of COVID-19.”

He also pointed out that sunbelt states are seeing surges, South Korea is fighting a second wave, and China is fighting a new outbreak. See more in headlines below.

Raymond stressed that wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing and washing hands are the best tools to fight the spread of COVID-19. He also pointed to a new study that shows antibodies disappear after a few months, which “could be bad news for durability of immunization.”

— The state’s COVID-19 death toll reached 750, five more deaths since Monday.

Milwaukee and Racine counties had two more deaths, while Waupaca County had one more.

The number of recovered patients is at an estimated 78 percent, while 3 percent of patients have died. Active cases, cases still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis, number 19 percent.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (373), Racine (60), Brown (39), Kenosha (39), Waukesha (38), Dane (32), Rock (23), Walworth (18), Ozaukee (15), Washington (13), Grant (12), Winnebago (11), Outagamie (8), Clark (6), Fond du Lac (6), Waupaca (6), Dodge (5), Jefferson (4), Richland (4) and Sheboygan (4).

Door, Forest, Marinette and Sauk counties report three deaths each. Adams, Buffalo and Calumet counties report two deaths each.

Bayfield, Burnett, Columbia, Eau Claire, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk, St. Croix and Wood counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— Plus, the state saw 263 new confirmed COVID-19 cases since the last count.

But while new cases went slightly up, the percentage of positive tests fell to 2.2 percent from 3.8 percent Monday.

The new cases bring the cumulative count to 25,331. The state reported 11,794 tests yesterday, much greater than the past few days but still behind the state’s daily testing capacity of 17,759 tests.

To date, the state has administered over 500,000 tests, with the Wisconsin National Guard responsible for collecting roughly 149,000 of those.

The National Guard has ongoing coronavirus testing sites statewide, supporting the state’s initiative to increase COVID-19 testing since early April. The teams are tailorable to meet the needs of a specific facility and are dispatched from a larger task force of several hundred citizen soldiers and airmen.

Community-based testing sites are located at the Alliant Energy Center in Dane County, the Natural Resource Center in Florence County, Kenosha’s Municipal Building, United Migrant Opportunity Services and Custer Stadium in Milwaukee County and the Walworth County Fairgrounds.

The Guard is conducting site-based testing at the Oak Hill Correctional Institute in Dane County and a food processing facility in Darlington in Lafayette County.

— The Department of Health Services launched the “next generation of Badger Bounce Back” — a data dashboard for Wisconsinites to effectively respond to COVID-19.

“Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “Folks need to remember that this virus continues to spread in our state.” 

The dashboard consists of maps and tables that toggle between counties and Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition (HERC) regions. The counties and regions are color-coded to indicate overall COVID-19 activity status: low, medium, or high.

The activity status is a summary based on two data points: the burden of cases and the trajectory of cases. Burden, or case rate, is the total number of cases a county or region has per 100,000 Wisconsin residents in the past two weeks, and is described as low, moderate, moderately high or high. Trajectory, or case change, refers to the percent change of cases in the past two weeks, and is described as shrinking, growing or having no significant change.

“We want to make sure Wisconsinites have accurate information about the status of COVID-19 in their communities,” Evers said. “That’s why the next generation of Badger Bounce Back, a new data dashboard assessing COVID-19 activity level, is so critically important.”

DHS advises that county and regional data should be used to inform travel or activity decisions and plans to expand the dashboard in the coming weeks.

“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a nimble response,” DHS Secretary Andrea Palm said. “This data dashboard makes it possible for local leaders, businesses, and individual Wisconsinites to better understand the level of COVID-19 activity they face in their communities and to take precautions accordingly.”

See the release:

— Gov. Tony Evers and Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable have announced a free online resource to help Wisconsinites who need help getting health insurance.

The new site,, connects Wisconsinites with free, expert help from organizations, such as Covering Wisconsin and United Way’s 211. This will help them get health coverage and information about how to access health insurance, such as and BadgerCare Plus. 

“Healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege afforded only to the healthy and wealthy, and we have to do everything we can to make sure folks can access quality, affordable healthcare in Wisconsin,” Evers said in a statement. “ is a new resource to connect folks with experts who can help find the right health insurance solution, whether that’s private insurance or BadgerCare Plus.”

An OCI spokeswoman told that this is not an effort designed to supplant the work of Obamacare navigators or supplement their work. 

See the release:

 — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says scammers may be using contact tracing to steal personal information. 

Contact tracing is essential to tracking the spread of COVID-19 as it helps state and local health officials identify those who have been exposed to the virus and provide them with the necessary support and resources to keep themselves and others safe. 

“Contact tracing is a key part of the effort to reduce transmission of the coronavirus, but it’s important to know that scammers may try to pose as contact tracers,” Kaul said. 

Wisconsinites are encouraged to make sure contact tracers are legitimate before providing them with personal information. 

Trustworthy contact tracers will not: ask for money or information such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card information; identify the person who tested positive by name; or send text or email messages asking people to click a link for more information.

Legitimate contact tracers will reach out to residents via telephone and be able to provide their first and last name, as well as the name of the organization they are working with. They will explain the reason for their call as an “urgent public health matter” and ask to speak with you to provide further information and guidance. They will also tell you that you may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Department of Justice recommends if an individual has received a communication that they are not sure about, to contact the department or agency here:  

If an individual thinks someone who is not a legitimate contact tracer has contacted them, please inform the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection via [email protected] or (800) 422-7128. 


# Report: Ryder Cup set to be postponed until 2021 

# Attorneys for families of Alvin Cole, Jay Anderson Jr. make 23 open records requests in aftermath of fatal shootings

# Nearly 80% recover from COVID-19 in Wisconsin as positive percentage of new tests drops 

# Weaving racial justice into company culture starts with listening to employees, local execs say



– Coronavirus causes price of cheese to soar to record levels  

– 10,000 Wisconsin farmers have applied for state direct payments so far 

– Analyst says record milk prices are an anomaly 

– Wisconsin Egg Production Nears 200 Million Eggs 


– After DPI guidance, local schools still undecided on fall reopening 


– ‘We Need Some Bold Action’: State Task Force Gathers Input On Ways To Address Climate Change 


– Federal Reserve’s CARES Act programs off to slow start  


– Nearly All Wisconsin Prisoners Who Got COVID-19 Have Recovered 

– La Crosse County Sees Surge In Coronavirus Cases 

– Dexamethasone And Other Potential Coronavirus Treatments 

– Versiti declares statewide emergency for blood donations, Red Cross offering antibody testing to donors

– No new cases of COVID-19 in northwestern Wisconsin on June 23 


– New Indian Motorcycle seat runs hot or cold, but it’ll cost you  

– Perlick Corp. sees declines in commercial sector but continues to operate during Covid-19  


– President Trump will tape Green Bay town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity; masks required  


– Pence Touts School Choice, Kicks Off ‘Faith In America’ Tour With Stops In Milwaukee Area 


– A multibillion-dollar opportunity: Virus-proofing the new office 

–’s Yorkville distribution center advances with another approval 


– Milwaukee developing plan to allow eligible restaurants to open at 100% capacity 

– Eau Claire extends emergency declaration again 

– Expanding the eateries: Eau Claire City Council to vote on sidewalk cafe ordinance changes 


– Dairy Queen plans expansion in southeastern Wisconsin 



– Northwoods League: La Crosse Loggers begin practices at Copeland Park

– PGA Championship in S.F. goes ahead in August, without fans. No official word on spectator plan for Ryder Cup  


– Discovery World reduces staff and salaries during Covid-19 pandemic 

– Feasible that Democratic National Convention will not be held at Fiserv Forum, sources say  

– Curbside cream puffs are the first of the Wisconsin State Fair’s “State Fair Necessities” 

– Oriental Theatre plans to remain closed into this fall  

– Discovery World plans July reopening, return of in-person summer camps 


– Charging Ahead: Regulators Approve Xcel’s Electric Vehicle Program 


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