MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin (all times local):
The city of Madison is allowing homeless people to camp in certain city parks and greenways to help protect them against the coronavirus.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway signed an emergency order on Thursday. The Wisconsin State Journa l reports the order allows the city to designate locations in city parks and greenways where “temporary permissible encampments” won’t be disturbed, as long as guidelines are followed.
The move is designed to let homeless people camping outside stay where there are, not encourage new encampments.
City officials say based on previous counts, an estimated 150 to 200 homeless people in the Madison area aren’t in shelters but sleep in cars, under bridges, on sidewalks and in doorways, and in tents in warmer months..
Instead of disrupting such encampments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends local governments try to support encampments and connect them to services.
Students looking to enroll at most University of Wisconsin System schools won’t have to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of their admission applications this year or next.
The system’s Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday to scrap requirements for the test scores in applications to all system schools except UW-Madison for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years. System officials say dropping the requirement will allow applicants to move ahead without being penalized for their inability to take the tests as testing agencies cancel appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.
Regents President Andrew Petersen told the board that UW-Madison was exempted from the waiver because it's the only system school that mandates applicants provide test scores; submission is voluntary for applicants to any other school.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the regents that almost all applicants for this fall had to turn in their applications by Feb. 1 so they had already taken the tests before the pandemic struck. If 2021-22 applicants are struggle to find settings to take their tests next year the university may revisit its policies, she said.
The regents approved the waiver unanimously.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of reopening some parts of the state less affected by the coronavirus sooner than others, even though he worries about that approach leading to an outbreak.
Republican legislative leaders have been pushing for a regionalized reopening plan. Rural parts of Wisconsin have seen far fewer cases of COVID-19 than more urban areas. Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, has seen the greatest number of deaths and positive cases.
Regionalization was one idea Evers discussed with Republican leaders on Monday.
“We didn’t come to any conclusions,” Evers said on WTMJ radio. He expressed concern about COVID-19 cases in rural areas being under counted because of a lack of testing. Bringing more people to those areas, particularly those that rely on tourism over the summer months, could lead to a spike in cases, he said.
“I never say never in this situation,” Evers said of regionalization. “There may be cases where we do it. I think we can do a lot of things, reopening, that are statewide and impact all counties at the same time.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is currently weighing a Republican-brought lawsuit that seeks to block the current “safer at home” order due to expire May 26 and take authority away from Evers’ administration to issue similar such orders going forward. Evers said he hoped to not have to extend that order, which was originally slated to end on April 24, but the future of his powers now rests with the conservative-controlled court.
Sheriff's deputies arrested a woman who tried to go to a Kenosha County Board meeting this week despite restrictions on attendance.
Mary Moser said she felt she had a legal right to attend the meeting, but was told otherwise by two deputies who stopped her Tuesday night.
The Kenosha News reports Moser cited an opinion from Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul that stated that all public meetings must remain open.
The 57-year-old Moser said Wednesday she was given two citations for obstructing an officer as she tried to get on an elevator to attend the meeting. She was handcuffed and led out of the building.
Moser said each citation carries a fine of $767.50 and that she intends to challenge them. Her court date isn’t until July.