Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 9:23pm

I know many of us are getting weary of staying home and physical distancing during this pandemic, but look at the chart below to see how our Safer at Home efforts are working. We are indeed flattening the curve, but we need to continue to do so. Thanks for your efforts and patience!

Some recent from Public Health Madison& Dane County (PHMDC) indicated that there were 357 positive tests for COVID-19 in Dane County. You can learn about many specifics on the pandemic here. One fact that I think is worth repeating is that over half of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dane County are between the ages of 20-49. This virus - and the potentially fatal illness it causes - does not discriminate.

Right now, it appears that the Safer at Home action is working. The Dane County curve suggests that the rate of new cases each day is slowing—in other words, we are flattening the curve. Visually, we can see this happening; the Dane County line is not as steep as the line for the U.S., for example. Another way we can think about this is with “doubling time” or the time it takes to double the number of cases. Currently we are seeing a doubling time of about 8 days nationally and over 18 days in Dane County. This is good news, and we can be cautiously optimistic about our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. However, there is still a lot we do not know. For example, we know there are more cases in the community than we have confirmed. If we are able to test more cases, we may see a faster rate of growth in the future.

Here in Madison we continue to make adjustments as we serve our community residents. Governor Evers’ latest efforts have opened up some new opportunities

Parks
Good news Madison area golfers! In Governor Evers's latest order, golf courses throughout the state of Wisconsin may reopen on Friday, April 24. Our Parks Department leaders are working closely with PHMDC and City officials to ensure we effectively provide a safe golfing experience to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A number of adjustments to playing will be in place until further notice.
In compliance with the order, to main standards of social distancing, we will adjust tee time intervals from 8 minutes to 12 minutes. You will need to reserve your tee times by credit card in advance, either online or by calling the specific course directly to reserve by advance credit card payment
In compliance with the order, golf carts are not permitted. Enjoy your walk but maintain your social distances. The clubhouse will remain closed. Port-a-potties will be available.

At this time, we will not offer food or beverage. Staff are working with Public Health for possible "curbside" food & beverage service. We will update our golfers as soon as this decision is finalized. Now we all hope for warmer and dryer weather.

Library Telephone Service
Madison Public Library is now offering centralized telephone reference service as of April 22. To speak with library staff, call 608-315-5151 between 11 a.m.. and 7 p.m.., seven days a week, for as long as the library remains closed. Library staff can help with questions about your library card, online collection access, ebook and downloadable audiobook support, social services referrals, reference and homework questions, and more. I am sure the friendly voice on the line will be a welcome relief.

Madison Internet Access Information Line
For those who need help finding access to the internet, library staff can assist in locating nearby public wi-fi, or provide information about free or low-cost internet access plan options and contact information to request internet access from private companies or public assistance programs. Call 608-315-5151 between 11 a.m.. and 7 p.m.. daily.

Curbside Service
Library staff are working with partner libraries in the South Central Library System and with Public Health Madison & Dane County to explore options for curbside service as allowed under Executive Order #28 (text and FAQ). The safety of staff and the public is top priority, and library staff are investigating best practices and recommended guidance to be sure that any service offered will keep everyone safe and healthy. Additional information about the possibility of curbside service at Madison Public Library will be announced by the library by May 1. madisonpubliclibrary.org I will try to keep you updated in my outreach efforts as well.

Transportation
Madison Metro bus service continues to operate at reduced levels and riders enter and leave from the rear door for everyone’s safety. Metro Transit operators have been issued KN95 masks to help keep them safe.

City Employees
I know many businesses are being forced to furlough workers, and as businesses have been forced to close, thousands of residents have lost their jobs. At the City department has had to adjust their operations because of the pandemic, and the type or level of service to the public has changed for most departments. We have been focusing on keeping as many of our services available as safely as possible.
One of our goals in our response to the pandemic is to keep our employees safe and working. Most departments have adjusted work responsibilities internally; in some cases, we are redeploying employees to other departments. While we do have folks on leave, very few are on administrative leave related to COVID-19. Starting today, we are asking all employees to wear face coverings, and will be providing them with the supplies to do so. I hope you are wearing a face covering when you go into public spaces too.

I look forward to tomorrow’s blog when I will share good news from both City employees and Madison residents. Keep those stories coming and stay well. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

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