COVID-19 Resource Guide

Dear neighbors,

As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, my team and I have compiled a list of Madison-area COVID resources. We will try to continually update this as new information emerges. Please contact us if you have suggestions or changes.

Even in the midst of crisis, our community is strong, and I am heartened to see how people are coming together to help each other. Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Tony Evers and our excellent healthcare and essential workers, we can survive this, working together.

Stay safe,

COVID-19 Resource Guide 1

Useful resources and links:

How do I protect myself?

  • Stay at home. Healthy or sick, Wisconsinites must stay home as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

If you must leave your home, please: 

  • Keep at least 6 feet apart from others and avoid direct physical contact.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend making essential trips to the grocery store or to pick up medication.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or face covering when in public
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds 

While the Safer at Home order is no longer in place statewide, guidance from health professionals indicates that the procedures outlined in the Safer at Home Order, such as staying home, limiting travel, and practicing social distancing, continue to be the best way to protect yourself from the virus and stop its spread.

Forward Dane Plan:

Following the removal of Safer at Home by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Madison Public Health has implemented the Forward Dane Plan designed to gradually lift restrictions and reopen the state in a number of phases. The progression of the phases is determined by the a number of metrics, including the number of positive COVID-19 cases per day and the number of tests conducted.

As of June 15, Dane County is in Phase Two. Under phase one, the following is permitted:

  • Reopening all businesses—such as restaurants, gyms, and retail establishments—to 50% capacity with certain public health requirements and physical distancing.
  • Salons, tattoo parlors, and spas can open at 50% capacity.
  • Indoor gatherings at commercial facilities and private residences of 50 people or fewer are allowed, with physical distancing.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or fewer are allowed, with physical distancing.
  • Park courts and fields are open, individuals must maintain physical distancing.

The end date to Phase Two will be determined by a variety of metrics, including number of tests conducted, the number of positive COVID-19 cases, and the number of deaths in the county. While there is no set end date, Phase Two will be in place for a minimum of two weeks.

For more information on what Phase One entails as well as the following phases, read the complete Forward Dane plan 

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms? 

Keep in mind that COVID-19 symptoms continue to change as researchers learn more about the virus. Educate yourself on what symptoms to look for by checking out updated information on symptoms from the CDC.

  • Use the online COVID-19 screening tool by visiting wihealthconnect.com
  • Self-isolate. If you have mild symptoms, stay at home until you have recovered
  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough

Testing: 

The free COVID-19 Community Testing Site in Madison is now providing drive-thru or walk-up testing for anyone -- regardless or whether or not they have symptoms.

Testing Information:

  • Alliant Energy Center: 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713
  • Hours: 8am-4pm, Monday-Saturday
  • No appointments or pre-registration necessary
    Drive-thru or walk-up
  • Coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and National Guard

Additional information on testing in Madison: [Visit Website]

Additional Health Resources: 

Apply for Unemployment: Apply here for unemployment benefits [Visit Website]

Unemployment Benefits FAQ: A helpful guide on how to apply for unemployment, unemployment eligibility and benefits. [Visit Website] 

Dane County Food Pantries: 

  • The Goodman Community Center is providing drive-through or walk-up grocery pickup Tuesday 9:30 a.m.– noon, Wednesday 6 p.m.– 8 p.m. and Thursday 12:30 p.m.– 3 p.m.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is providing curbside pickup of food packed in boxes at 2033 Fish Hatchery Road on Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursdays 2:30-6:30 p.m.; and Saturdays 9:30-11:20 a.m. 
  • The River Food Pantry is providing curbside grocery pickup four days a week Tuesday–Thursday from 10:00am–5:00pm and Friday from 10:00am–6:00pm. In addition to curbside grocery pickup, The River is also providing mobile lunch distribution to children in certain neighborhoods through their MUNCH Mobile Lunch program. See here for updated hours and locations. 
  • The Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) food box distribution center is OPEN. Their distribution schedule is Tuesdays from 12pm - 1:30pm, Thursdays from 12pm - 1:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am - 12pm. While MOM is focused on serving those from the Middleton Cross Plains School District, and the part of the west side of Madison, during this time, MOM will assist those outside of our standard service area with emergency food needs.

Madison Metropolitan School District:

The Madison Metropolitan School District is offering free grab&go breakfasts and lunches for all children under 18, Monday through Friday at 12 sites throughout the district. Families do not have to qualify for Free/Reduced meals to participate in this program. See here for a full list of MMSD’s meal pickup times and locations. [Visit Website]

  • Free Internet: Spectrum is providing 60 days of free internet access to college students, pre-K, K-12, and teacher households who don’t currently have internet service. Call (855) 243-8892 to sign up and mention the COVID-19 Remote Education Credit.
  • Madison Public Library: While all library locations are closed, Madison Public Library is offering a variety of at-home resources, including their digital library, and other activities for families. You can also now sign up for a library card online here.
  • Good Housekeeping compiled a great list of 30 amazing museums, zoos and theme parks offering virtual tours. These include tours of the Lourve, the Smithsonian, Nasa, The San Diego Zoo and Walt Disney World.  
  • Scholastic launched a Learn at Home website with daily lessons that combine videos, stories and prompts for drawing and writing activities for kids from pre-K to grade 9. 
  • Khan Academy, a free online learning resource offering lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students ages 4 to 18 years. They are also offering livestreams to explain to parents and educators how to use their online tools.
  • PBS Kids is offering a variety of free educational games and videos

Updates on UW-Madison’s response to COVID-19

Updates on MATC’s response to COVID-19

Updates on Edgewood College’s response to COVID-19

Free Internet: Spectrum is providing 60 days of free internet access to college students, pre-K, K-12, and teacher households who don’t currently have internet service. Call (855) 243-8892 to sign up and mention the COVID-19 Remote Education Credit.

UW-Madison Emergency Assistance Fund: If you are a UW-Madison student needing emergency resources, whether it be financial support, food, housing, health insurance, academic support, mental health support or other urgent assistance, fill out UW-Madison’s Emergency Assistance Form. [Visit Website]

Food Pantry for Students and Staff: The Keep Food Pantry at Luther Memorial Church in Madison, 1021 University Ave., offers food for students, staff and faculty at UW-Madison, Edgewood College, and Madison Area Technical College from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. For more information, see their website. [Visit Website]

Student Loan Relief: With the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, all federal student loan payments have been suspended through September 30, 2020 and the interest rate for all federal student loan payments is placed at 0%. These changes are made automatically, meaning you do not need to contact your loan provider unless you wish to continue making payments or you wish to receive a refund for payments made after March 13, 2020. 

The CARES Act only provides relief for federal student loans. Private loans have not been suspended and are still accruing interest.  

For information on what loans are included, how to make payments and more, see the Federal Student Aid page on coronavirus.

Student Loan Relief: With the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, all federal student loan payments have been suspended through September 30, 2020 and the interest rate for all federal student loan payments is placed at 0%. These changes are made automatically, meaning you do not need to contact your loan provider unless you wish to continue making payments or you wish to receive a refund for payments made after March 13, 2020. 

The CARES Act only provides relief for federal student loans. Private loans have not been suspended and are still accruing interest.  

For information on what loans are included, how to make payments and more, see the Federal Student Aid page on coronavirus.

If you are unable to pay rent:

The Tenant Resource Center provides valuable resources to Dane County residents as well as information specific to UW-Madison students. They are available remotely for assistance regarding housing security and have updated information on housing and homelessness programs that are open during the coronavirus outbreak. Visit the Tenant Resource Center website for more information.

Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program: Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsi Department of Administration (DOA) are partnering with members of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (CAP)
to assist eligible renters who have had a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, applicants need to be a Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income (CMI) in the month prior to the application date. Households at or below 60% of the county median income (CMI) will be prioritized for assistance. For more information and to apply, visit the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin [Visit Website]

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration is providing small business owners with assistance, including an Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance of up to $10,000. This advance does not have to be repaid. For more information on loans for small business owners and other resources, see the SBA webpage on coronavirus

The City of Madison has compiled a guide for small business owners navigating operations during COVID-19 as well as a list of financial resources. See their complete guide. [Visit Website]

In addition to providing business consulting and education virtually and by phone, the  Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network has developed a page of information and resources to inform and assist small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As businesses begin to navigate reopening, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation put together an informative and regularly-updated guide on essential business practices in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and make sure that both customers and workers are safe.

The Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant:

The Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant Initiative is focused on supporting ethnically diverse micro-businesses that are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This emergency fund will provide a one-time grant of $2,000 per company for ethnic minority-owned micro-businesses operating in the retail, hospitality and service industries.

The application portal is open from May 18 - May 24th. For more information, and to apply, see this guide from the WEDC. [Open PDF]

In the upcoming elections on August 11th and November 3rd, you can request an absentee ballot here and vote safely from home.  

Casting your absentee ballot: The Wisconsin Elections Commission has put together a guide explaining the steps to voting absentee. [Open PDF] 

Register to vote Online: If you have a current Wisconsin Driver License or Wisconsin State ID card, you can register online here.  

If you are unable to vote absentee and decide to vote in-person, be sure to adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible.

Mental Health Resources

The circumstances surrounding this pandemic have left many feeling isolated, anxious, depressed and afraid. It is important to remember that even though we must physically distance ourselves from friends and loved ones, we are not alone. Stay in touch over the phone with your family and friends as much as possible. We all need support through this time. Here are some resources for those looking for mental health support:  

Resources from Mental Health America: To aid individuals and communities during this time, MHA has compiled a range of resources and information. See their resources page here.

HOPELINE Text Line Text "HOPELINE" to 741741: HOPELINE is the Emotional Support Text Line in the State of Wisconsin and provides service throughout the entire state. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Dane County is holding free virtual support group sessions for those struggling with anxiety, depression. Sign up here.

Wellness Resources 
  • Nike Training Club has made the workouts available through their training app free while individuals are social distancing.
  • Free Yoga: Experience hundreds of free online yoga of all varieties taught by Adriene Mishler on her Youtube channel, ‘Yoga With Adriene
  • At-Home Workouts: Cosmopolitan Magazine compiled a list of 41 free at-home workouts to do while quarantined.
  • Meditation: Headspace is a free app that provides guided meditation videos intended to decrease stress and increase mindfulness.  

With orders to stay at home, many have found themselves in an unsafe living environment and instances of domestic violence have increased exponentially. 

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please see the following resources and remember, that you are not alone:

  • Domestic Abuse Intervention Service (DAIS) 24-hour Help Line: (608) 251-4445
  • National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) 
  • National Deaf Hotline Videophone: 9am-5pm M-F 1-855-812-1001 or deafhelp@thehotline.org

The Domestic Abuse Intervention Service (DAIS) is still offering certain services to domestic violence survivors. Read about their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. [Visit Website] 

Community Immigration Law Center: The Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) in Madison is continuing to offer its legal services on a remote basis. [Visit Website]

Centro Hispano: The Centro Hispano in Madison has established an emergency fund request  for those struggling during the pandemic. Apply here

Additional Resources: Voces de la Frontera has compiled a helpful list of resources specific to immigrant and undocumented people. [Visit Website]

  • NewBridge is delivering food and "emergency kits," which include water, hygiene products, and over-the-counter medication, to older adults in Madison and Monona.
  • The Goodman Community Center is calling older adults every day to check in.
  • The Madison Senior Center put together a resource guide for seniors on staying active, staying connected, and staying safe.

While they advise anyone experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, not to visit a health center, Planned Parenthood locations in Madison remain open for in-person visits for their full range of services, including abortion services (only available at Madison East location).

In addition to in-person appointments, Planned Parenthood is also offering telehealth appointments for family planning services, including birth control, annual checkups, and STI testing.

For more information on health care services, telehealth, and to make an appointment online, visit their website. [Visit Website]