UW Madison, Division on Extension is dedicated to helping and informing you through this difficult time. Below is a list of our programs with updates related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These program areas will be frequently updated to inform you on how each area is coping with COVID -19 and how we can help you.
Polk County COVID-19 Information and Resources
- For General COVID-19 Questions Contact 2-1-1
- Call 2-1-1 or if you have an out of state number call 1-877-947-2211
- For Polk County COVID-19 Questions Contact the Health Department
- Call: 715-485-9258
- Email: PHInfo@co.polk.wi.us
- For Business COVID-19 Questions
- Call: 715-485-9250
- Email: COVID19Business@co.polk.wi.us
- For Information & Resources Related to COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Please Visit our COVID_19 Vaccine Appointment Page Here
It is important for everyone to do their part to help stop this pandemic:
- cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
- stay at least 6 feet away from others
- avoid crowds
- wash your hands often
- stay home if you are sick and get tested
We will continue to update as more information becomes available.
Please Visit the POLK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT for more Information about COVID-19
Get In Contact with UW Madison Extension Educators
4-H Youth Development: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Human Development: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Development: email@example.com
Area Extension Director: kristen.bruder@
Resources for Members and Families:
Extension educators from around the state created a handy list of easy-to-access activities and curriculum (https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/home-activities/). The page is organized by grade level and is chock full of Extension and 4-H resources as well as high quality, fun, learning activities from a range of other sources. As you would expect, we focused as much as possible on experiential learning and fun.
Got kids at home all day, every day right now? We’ve got over 20 activities that can help keep their brains engaged in learning!
Project Recovery is an outreach program working with individuals, families, and communities impacted by COVID-19 throughout the state of Wisconsin. Trained outreach workers provide community-based support and education to help farmers, farm workers, and their communities cope during this stressful time.
- 1-833-FARM-HELP, 1-833-327-6435 (Toll Free)
- Facebook: @projectrecovery.org
2020/2021 PAT Certification/Renewal
With the growing number of COVID-19 cases in our state changes have been made to this year’s private pesticide applicator training (PAT) program. Here’s how this impacts you:
- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is extending current pesticide applicator certifications until December 31, 2021. Private pesticide applicators with certifications that expire January 31, 2020 – November 30, 2021, can continue to operate as a certified pesticide applicator until December 31, 2021;
- No in-person training will be offered this winter;
- A temporary online certification exam will be made available for new applicators. This will allow individuals to receive temporary certification as a private pesticide applicator until Dec 31, 2021;
- We will reassess after January 1st, 2021 to determine when in person testing can resume in St. Croix County for individuals wanting to test.
Reminder, you must purchase your training manual prior to taking a test. You can order your manual online at the PAT Store https://patstore.wisc.edu with a credit card, or use the mail form and send to the PAT program office with a check (https://go.wisc.edu/patbook).
Manuals may be purchased from the Extension St. Croix County office by first calling for an appointment. You must call ahead (715-531-1930) to request your manual and schedule an appointment for pickup. The Ag Service and Education Center in Baldwin currently has restricted access. Cost is $30.
Who needs to get certified?
Finally, take a moment and see if you actually need to be certified. In some situations, individuals have realized they don’t need private pesticide applicator certification.
You must be certified if you apply, mix and load, or direct the use of:
- Restricted-use pesticides (RUPs). To see all pesticides registered in Wisconsin, go to http://www.kellysolutions.com/wi/pesticideindex.asp. A partial list of RUP products is enclosed for your convenience;
- Any pesticide on a for-hire basis;
- Any pesticide in or on public schools or school grounds (K-12 public schools);
- Any pesticide in aquatic environments (may also be a requirement of permit).
You also must be certified if you:
- Conduct pesticide-safety training for agricultural workers or pesticide handlers as required under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS).
Extension provides the education and training for private pesticide applicators. Certification, test scoring, and issuing of certification cards is completed by DATCP. Please call the Extension St. Croix County office at 715-531-1930 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), or the UW PAT program at 608-262-7588 (email: PATprogram@mailplus.wisc.edu) if you have questions.
COVID – 19 Response and Guidance for Non-Profits/Small Business and Families
- Governor Evers’, “Badger Bounce Back Plan” guidelines and criteria.
- Scholz Non-Profit Law provides guidance on how non-profits can apply for state aid. Complete with checklists, application and overviews. Topics include:
- COVID Tax Credits
- EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- PPP – Payroll Protection Program
- Wisconsin Work-Share (Unemployment Insurance)
- UW-Madison, Extension’s website on reviewed supports for small businesses, non-profits, local government and families. Resources include overviews on:
- Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, EIDL, PPP, Small Business 20/20 Program, Save Small Business Fund, Bridge Loans, Debt Relief and more.
- Small-Business guidance and updates via Small Business Development Center
- Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant – for organizations and programs serving in the area of the Humanities.
- 1) Charter Communications: Will offer free access to broadband for 60 days to households with K-12 and / or college students
- 2) AT&T: Removing data caps associated with their wireless and wired connections (see “Customer Offers”)
- 3) Comcast: Increases access and speeds to their Internet Essentials Program ($10 / month broadband); new families get 60 days free
4) T-mobile: Hotspot loan programs made available to K-12 districts ($20 / month for unlimited data; $0 device). No link yet but confirmed by T-mobile Gov’t account manager
Food Pantries Are Still Open
With businesses and organizations closing in response to COVID-19, many more people are facing hunger. Food pantries are open to help meet these needs but may have different procedures or hours so please call ahead. Many schools are also offering free lunch and breakfast options to families. Make sure you and your neighbors know about the resources available in your community. For questions or if you need food assistance, please call 211 (from a 715 area code) or 1-877-947-2211.
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Can I Get Sick from Eating Food with Coronavirus? – Safe & Healthy: Preparing and Preserving Food at Home
In this article posted by Barbara Ingham, she walks you through several topics regarding, “How is COVID-19 different form food born illnesses?” and “Can I get COVID-19 through the food I eat?” For more information on this topic, please go to https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/03/25/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-can-i-get-sick-from-eating-food-with-coronavirus/
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Tips for Grocery Store Items.
In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses ways to stay safe while grocery shopping and what to do when you get your goceries home. To read this article, click on the link here: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/03/30/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-tips-for-grocery-store-items/
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Take-Out Food
In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses how likely it is for a person to come down with COVID-19 from take-out food from a local restaurant or item purchased at the grocery store. Click on the link to read what the article says. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/03/23/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-take-out-food/
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Cleaning & Disinfecting
In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses the best ways to clean and disinfect the surfaces of your kitchen. To read this article, click on the link listed here: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/03/26/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-cleaning-disinfecting/
Many of us have had the experience recently of seeing empty, or nearly empty, grocery store shelves. Do we need to worry, is there enough food? Click on this article by Barbara Ingham to learn more: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/03/30/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-is-there-enough-food/
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Tips on Handling Fresh Produce.
In this article by Barbara Ingham, she discusses simple tips and tricks to handeling and cleaning fresh produce and if canned or frozen produce are safe to eat during this pandemic.
Click on the link to read her full article: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safepreserving/2020/04/01/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-tips-on-handling-fresh-produce/
Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Is Our Food Supply Still Secure?
In this article by Barbara Ingham, she discusses the current food supply and food product dating. Click on the link to read the full article: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safefood/2020/04/21/food-safety-in-the-time-of-covid-19-is-our-food-supply-still-secure/
Safe Practicing for Gardening in the Community