Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 4:37pm

A Message from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

Thank you again for staying home, for maintaining social distance when you need to go out and for wearing facial coverings. You are making a difference as we work to flatten the curve. Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) reports that this morning there were 450 people who tested positive for COVID-19 up four over a 24-hour period.

In a previous blog, I have shared what contact tracing looks like in words, but here it is in an accurate picture. Each red dot represents a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Each line connects to a person identified as a contact. If the contact also tested positive for COVID-19, their dot is red too. Public Health staff have called and followed-up with every person represented as a dot on this diagram.

For regular updates on COVID-19, please continue to monitor the PHMDC dashboard.

Protecting the Homeless
As we work together with Dane County to protect some of our most vulnerable, we have added a seventh area hotel to the group that is providing rooms to higher risk homeless persons. The total number currently being sheltered in hotels is about 365, which includes about 55 families. Hotel guests are receiving meals and support services. The Salvation Army is providing primary support services to families. Focus Counseling is assisting the Salvation Army with families and is the lead support agency for individuals.

The use of a respite facility, established to serve homeless persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus, or who display symptoms commonly associated with the virus (fever, new onset cough or shortness of breath) has remained light over the past two weeks.

Warner Park continues to serve single men (about 80 per night) who are not deemed at higher risk because of their age or underlying conditions and the Salvation Army is providing shelter services to about 45 single women at its East Washington Avenue facility.

I have issued an executive order directing that City ordinances prohibiting camping in City parks and other City properties not be enforced under certain circumstances. The order is intended to temporarily support campers and improve public safety including making portable bathrooms and hand washing facilities available, and facilitating ongoing contacts with service providers. The City is placing a premium on the health and well-being of campers, and the public at large, in permitting and promoting safer conditions during this pandemic.

You can learn more by reading the order and the policy statement below.
Emergency Order LINK
Policy Statement LINK

Helping Taxpayers, Waiving Fees and Penalties
Since the beginning of the COVID crisis, the City and Dane County have worked together to aid our senior, families and small businesses. The City has waived a large number of fees and charges including parking fees, license and permitting fees, water and sewage late fees, Metro bus fares and more, saving taxpayers over $1-million.
Now with the permission of the state, we are implementing a process for waiving interest and penalties on late property tax installment payments. This week the Common Council and the County Board has passed resolutions to waive interest and penalties on quarterly property tax installments due on or after April 1, 2020 and paid by October 1, 2020.
The City and County held a press conference May 4. Watch the full conference to learn more.

Economic Development
The City of Madison is a KIVA City. Kiva Greater Madison provides 0% interest capital to local small businesses. Through direct lending on Kiva, supporters of Greater Madison entrepreneurs can help local communities shape their future and achieve economic mobility. T Madison businesses can use the KIVA website to crowdfund 0% interest/no fee loans up to $15,000.

Tree Planting
The Forestry Division of the Streets Department is beginning tree planting but because of the pandemic and social distancing considerations, there will be fewer trees planted this spring. You can learn more here.

Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library will offer curbside pickup service starting Monday, May 11, at all Madison Public Library locations, with the exception of Alicia Ashman Library, which is currently undergoing renovations. Curbside pickup will allow library customers to:

  • pick up existing holds currently on the shelves since March at all libraries except Alicia Ashman
  • place holds on specific items currently available in libraries, online via LINKcat or by calling 608-315-5151
  • ask library staff to make recommendations and place holds for other materials available at specific libraries by calling 608-315-5151

Curbside service is by appointment only. For more information, see the Curbside Pickup Service page.

Monona Terrace
Staff at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center are continuing to work with Destination Madison on event recovery efforts and event booking strategies. Because the facility is currently not open, most of the staff there have been redeployed to other City departments, which need the additional assistance. Staff at the center are working to promote virtual events like meditation, and are preparing for when the center will again host events.

Help the City, Fill out the Census!
In the midst of what has become the most challenging time in recent memory for our city, state, and nation, I would like to emphasize how you, by taking a seemingly small action – completing the 2020 Census – can have a direct and long-lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of our city.

Making sure Madison has a complete count for the 2020 Census will be a key factor as, together, we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking less than 10 minutes now to complete the census for your household will mean 10 years of benefits for our community as a whole. An undercount means we will miss our fair share of federal funding for health care, nutrition, affordable housing, transportation, education, and more.

Also, if you are looking for a job, consider a temporary position supporting the Census. The Census Bureau is still hiring for 2020 Census jobs that start at $22 per hour in Dane County. These positions will incorporate best practices around social distancing to preserve the health of workers and the community. For more information and to apply visit 2020census.gov/jobs

Thanks for all your support as we work through this crisis together. I know there are many positive uplifting stories and I want to help you share them. Send them to me at mayor@cityofmadison.com and we can celebrate the little, or big things together

Wash your hands and stay well!

Contacts