MADISON – Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) released the following statement today regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wisconsin and the measures necessary to slow and prevent the spread of the virus in our community:

“For the last few weeks, I have been sharing as I get information regarding COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

“Starting today, I’m joining public health experts, our universities, the NBA, and communities around the world in social distancing. This means that I will not be participating in or sponsoring in-person public gatherings until at least April 10th (and likely beyond then), and I am urging you all to do the same. We need to think seriously before traveling or participating in large group or public events, so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and protect our vulnerable friends, family, and neighbors.

“As a community, we take pride in coming together, but now is the time for a new mode of solidarity with our neighbors. Social distancing is one of the best ways we can slow down this virus. This means avoiding public events, staying further away from others in public, and staying home as much as we possibly can. We also need to continue with regular handwashing, disinfecting common surfaces, and cough etiquette. This is a key tactic in the countries that have managed COVID-19 best, and it is time we take this action in Racine and throughout the US.

“While this may feel like an abundance of caution to some, we need to act decisively to keep the most vulnerable in our community safe. By distancing ourselves and slowing the transmission of this virus, we can reduce the chances of flooding our hospitals with new cases and increase the quality of care for those who will need it. (You may hear this called “flattening the curve” by public health officials). We must all take responsibility for the wellbeing of our neighbors, even if it means a significant disruption in our lives today.

“It is also important to acknowledge that there are people who will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 as a disease, and also by the precautions we must take as a society. We know that some people are more vulnerable to the disease physically, and many others struggle to afford and access medical care. Many workers do not receive paid time off for themselves and their families, or will lose work or business because of this. COVID-19 has demonstrated the cracks in our social safety net. “We can and must push for action from our government (via phone or email) for policies that will mitigate these issues, including paid sick and family leave, expanding Medicaid, and economic relief for families and businesses.

“I want to be clear: this is a time for preparation, not panic. If we all do our part, we can reduce some of the risk vulnerable members of our community face and help to ensure our hospitals are not overwhelmed. In the days to come, I will continue to be in contact with our local, state, and federal health officials, and I will continue to take any and all steps I can to protect the health of our community.

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