In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we at AARP — along with public health and aging agencies, local businesses and the State of Wisconsin — are providing information and resources to help older Wisconsinites and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others.
Gov. Tony Evers has issued a Safer at Home order that requires most residents to work from home; limits restaurants to take-out and curbside pickup service; closes bars, malls, and other businesses not considered to be essential to health and safety; and prohibits nonessential travel.
More details about what is open and closed visit is here; for other information about the order, go to Wisconsin’s Covid-19 page. “Folks need to start taking this seriously,” Evers said. “Let’s all do our part and work together.”
Here are other helpful resources for dealing with the pandemic:
Do you have symptoms?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider or local public health department to figure out if you could – and should – get tested. Signs of the virus are a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. You can also use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker to check your symptoms. (Read more about coronavirus and how to stay safe.)
The first step to pursue testing for the novel coronavirus is to call your doctor, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you don’t have a doctor, the state of Wisconsin has an online health screening assessment and a licensed health practitioner will contact you. Or contact your local public health department.
Up-to-date state and local health information:
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources, and contact information.
- For medical, food, recovery services and information you can:
- Text: COVID19 to 211-11
- Visit: www.211Wisconsin.org
- Call: 211
Food assistance, information, and resources:
If financial difficulty is a barrier to food, consider these resources and programs with assistance programs in your area.
- Contact 2-1-1 for local information and emergency food services.
- Her's a llist food banks and pantries in Wisconsin
- Find a Meals on Wheels program near you.
- Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging for a variety of resources, from food and prescription delivery to assistance with application for SNAP benefits.
- Eldercare Locator for additional resources in your area.
- Grocery store information to know about:
- Aldi opens an hour early, at 8:30am, on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reserve the first hour for vulnerable shoppers.
- Pick ‘n Save is open from 6am – 9pm and has exclusive shopping for seniors from 6am – 8am daily. Follow this link for information about pickup and delivery options.
- Meijer grocery stores are open an hour early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7-8 a.m. for senior shoppers. Follow this link for more information about delivery and pick up services.
- Walmart will open its doors one hour before stores open on Tuesdays for seniors, between March 24 and April 28. Pick up is available for free or schedule delivery for a fee. Visit walmart.com for more information.
- Whole Foods stores are open an hour early every day, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., for senior shoppers. Check for pickup and delivery options here.
- Pharmacies to be aware of:
- CVS pharmacies now offer free delivery of prescriptions and other essentials. Click this link to learn more. In-store hours vary by location.
- Most Walgreens are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and open one hour early for senior shoppers on Tuesdays. They offer free shipping on prescription refills and same day delivery is available in select locations through Postmates.
- Shopping and delivery services (fee based or membership) to consider:
- Boxed - Bulk products shipped to your home.
Health assistance, information, and resources:
- Don't underestimate the impact of anxiety and stress on your well-being. Click here for helpful tips and resources.
- For the latest Wisconsin specific information on COVID-19 visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Click this link for practical tips for caregivers.
- Contact your local public health department for additional resources and information.
Financial resources and unemployment benefits:
- For information about unemployment benefits visit the Department of Workforce Development. Online applications found here are recommended because of recently increased call volumes, but those seeking to file a claim for benefits can also call (414) 435-7069 during business hours of 7:35am – 3:30pm. The required information to file a claim can be found here.
- Economic impact payments (stimulus checks) will be issued as a result of the passage of H.R. 748. Social Security recipients are also eligible. Know how much you can expect and when by following this link.
- Federal, state, and local individual income tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 2020. For more information about federal income tax deadlines, visit this link. Information related to state and local deadline extensions may be found here.
- Information relating to veterans benefits, services, and resource centers can be found here.
- Learn about how to apply for small business economic relief and other business programs and resources by visiting the WEDC website. Federal information can be found at Coronavirus.gov/smallbusiness
- Emergency internet and utility resources.
- Department of Corrections coronavirus updates.
- Information on child care and child welfare can be found here.
- Activities and online resources for homebound kids: A coronavirus guide offers a list of engaging activities for children.
- Check out exercise classes, ebooks, streaming services, and more that offer entertainment for the whole family listed here.
- Connect with your neighbors and your community with AARP Community Connections.
Look out for coronavirus scammers
Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic to swindle consumers. Stay one step ahead of con artists with these resources:
- Learn about different coronavirus related scams and how you can avoid them at AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.
- Check the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for information on price gouging, landlord/tenant issues, and other scams in the face of the pandemic.