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• Financial institutions seek to reassure patrons 

Written by: Chippewa Valley Financial Services Partners

Eau Claire, WI – We understand there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on your health and daily lives. Charter Bank, Northwestern Bank, Royal Credit Union, and WESTconsin Credit Union are committed to meeting the financial needs of our customers and members through this evolving situation. We want to remind you that your money is safe in our financial institutions and we have joined together to share an important message.

If you are considering withdrawing a large amount of cash, we strongly to encourage you to reconsider based on the following:

  • Your funds are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 and are backed by the United States government when deposited in an insured financial institution.
  • You will continue to have access to your funds. Our financial institutions are equipped with digital tools like online and mobile banking that make it easy to transfer money and make payments without using cash.
  • Carrying cash or storing it in your home is a risky practice. If your money is lost, stolen, or destroyed it is not insured and cannot be replaced.
  • The CDC is recommending contactless payments. Paying with a digital wallet or tap eliminates the potential to spread COVID-19 by handling paper currency.

We also want to encourage you to be aware of potentially fraudulent practices which often increase during times of uncertainty. Please use caution when receiving unusual requests for payments. There are a number of reports of cyber scams and fraudulent activity related to COVID-19. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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• Schools closed: All Wisconsin schools will be required to close under an order issued by the Department of Health Services to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The order, to take effect no later than March 18, affects nearly 1 million Wisconsin children in grades K-12 in public and private schools. Schools, particularly those in counties with reported cases of COVID-19, such as Dane, are allowed to close earlier if they choose.  

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday directed the Department of Health Services, the state agency tasked with managing COVID-19, to issue an order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools.

"Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin," Evers said in a statement.

Randy Drost, Rice Lake Area School District Administrator, issued this statement Friday evening:  

"Earlier this evening, Governor Tony Evers directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. In the Rice Lake Area School District, the mandated closure will begin on Wednesday, March 18th. This will give the school district staff, students, and families time to make appropriate plans. A copy of DHS Secretary-designee Palm’s order can be found here. The anticipated reopening date is April 6, 2020; however, the reopening date is subject to change pending further information.

"A few points I would like to highlight include:

"Families may make the choice to not send their student(s) to school on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 due to concerns related to the coronavirus. These absences will be excused. I would ask you to report these absences as you would any other absence.
Students and families that receive food and supplies through the Feed Our Kids Backpack Program will receive their bags on Tuesday, March 17.
The Boys and Girls Club, at all levels, will be open through Tuesday, March 17. After this date, the Boys and Girls Club will be closed until students return to school.

"All non-essential school activities, including City of Rice Lake Parks and Recreation activities scheduled for tomorrow and Monday at multiple schools, have been postponed until further notice.  

"This is an evolving situation that has caused a high level of stress and anxiety locally, nationally, and across the globe. We are in this together, and the combined efforts of all of us will bring us through. I wanted to get this basic email to you, but please understand that additional communication will follow. There are other details to be worked out on our end, and we all have questions that we are seeking answers to. 

• Coborns, parent company of MarketPlace Foods, issued the following statement on Friday: "Yesterday, there was a positive test in the market which houses our Support Center and a number of our stores, bringing with it additional things for us to consider. We continue to adjust our plans in order to provide you and your family the services you need in our stores.

Please know that although your shopping experience in our stores may look a little different during this time, our intention is to do everything we can to keep you, your family and our employees safe and healthy.

As of today, we are implementing the following additional precautionary measures:

  • Home Delivery employees for both pharmacy and grocery will not be entering homes upon delivery. They will instead, make the delivery at the door.
  • In markets where there has been a positive Coronavirus test, self-serve food areas will be unavailable (this may include salad bars, hot food bars and donut cases). These products will be available to purchase through ready-made or individually wrapped packages.
  • We have started to apply product purchase limits. Our suppliers are struggling to meet demand and in order to make sure that both you and your neighbor are able buy things like toilet paper and water, etc., we needed to set these limits.
  • Our Support Center will be temporarily closed to outside visitors as we make an effort to protect the health of our employees here in the building that provide critical support to our stores. Our employees are available by phone or email.
  • We have asked our employees to employ “social-distancing” – a recommendation from the CDC. Please don’t be alarmed if an employee who normally greets you with a handshake or a hug, opts for a friendly wave instead.

CEO Chris I am very proud of our stores and our employees. They continue to provide for their communities even when there are so many unknowns. As the Coronavirus continues to make its way into our markets, we are committed to being open and ready to welcome you."

• The Rice Lake Chamber is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our area. We are following the Barron County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for guidance. According to a press release from the Chamber:

"Our goal is to inform our membership and equip businesses with best practices that your company can implement to continue routine operation. Below you will find links to resources to prepare your business and help minimize the potential economic impact of COVID-19."
 
"Our Chamber encourages employers to adopt the DHS's practical guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace: hand hygiene; work from home if sick; routine environmental cleaning."
 
"We encourage you to regularly check DHS, Barron County Health Services, and social media channels for updates and event information."
 
"During adverse times, the role of local businesses in supporting our community is vital. Supporting local businesses is critical. We are proud to be your partner in these efforts."
 

• Local senior living entities have restricted visitors and taken extra precautions of screening workers for illness and doing additional cleaning and sanitizing. 

• All “Thursdays at the U” presentations scheduled through May 14 at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County are cancelled due to the growing concerns of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UW-Eau Claire – Barron County’s dedication to the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and community. Every effort will be made to reschedule this spring’s speakers for fall 2020. Past recorded “Thursdays at the U” presentations are available online at http://www.ricelaketv.com/.

While the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County campus will remain open and accessible, activities and large scale events will be limited to help continue recommended proactive measures. For updated information about specific events, visit the campus website, http://barron.uwec.edu.

• At UW Eau Claire-Barron Countu all on-campus classes are suspended for the next 3 weeks, beginning Monday. This means no exams, assignments or class activities will occur between Monday, March 16 and Friday, April 3.

Beginning April 6, all classes will be offered online until April 17. 

After that the college will determine if and when everyone can return to campus by April 15. 

For those who do not have access to a laptop or WiFi, the campus will remain open.

For up to the minute updates go to: https://www.uwec.edu/coronavirus-updates/.

• All State and County sponsored 4-H programs, as well as, volunteer-led club and association events between now and April 10 will be canceled if they meet the following criteria:

*Expect to draw more than 50 people;

*Smaller events should be reconsidered if they draw participants from a wide geographic area; or

*Include participants from an older population, those with compromised immune systems, or those who come into close contact with older populations

 
 

This story will be updated.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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