The  Bright Side

The spring election is less than a week away.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the polling location for Lake Geneva is in the city hall. Voters are urged to vote absentee for the April 7th Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary. There is still time for in-house absentee voting and voter registration at the Lake Geneva Building and Zoning Department through Friday, April 3rd. Polls will be open at city hall for anyone who did not get it done ahead of time. Physical distancing and other safety procedures will be practiced so expect the extra time when heading out to vote.

After the stay at home order took effect last week only essential businesses were allowed to stay open.
The question repeatedly asked is what is considered essential? The obvious:  health care, pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations. This is all in the attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 by physical distancing and reducing possible large groups of people interacting in confined spaces. Several of the small retail shop owners in downtown Lake Geneva have questioned the theory behind any store that offers groceries and household goods staying open. The amount of people in and out of the bigger box stores, such as Walmart and Target, on a daily basis, seems like a breeding ground for the virus and the downtown shops have a much smaller amount of people, sometimes only a handful in a given day. The bigger stores claim to disinfect hourly but how can anyone be sure every employee is following this regime? Of course, essentials and food are needed and stores need to be open so the question is how can this be handled better, fairly, and safely? The big box stores have always done well and are doing amazing right now, but how long can the downtown small business owners hang on? Will there be a downtown left when the pandemic lifts?  The new rules laid down by the governor, the notice in this paper, make it nearly impossible for any business at all but the essential businesses and services to make it.

Main Street Lake Geneva

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Jails, prisons, and other institutions are the perfect breeding ground for COVID-19.
The current Walworth County incarceration rate is almost non-excitant now, and more inmates are being released daily. Walworth County jail has the capability to house over 500 inmates (and did so six months back) and is usually pretty full, in fact, about six months ago they were full, with talk of expansion going on. As of Friday morning, March 27th, the inmate total was 118 in the jail and the Huber dorm facility was completely closed for the duration of the pandemic. Most inmates were sent home on monitoring bracelets. The incarceration rate has dropped daily and will probably continue to drop, as the number of corona cases grows. The coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty and fear throughout the nation and the world. COVID-19 is believed to spread easily and quickly in small densely populated areas, and institutions are just that. The Walworth County Courts have suspended all hearings at this time and do not expect to resume until June 2020 at the earliest. Any new arrests made are not being incarcerated unless there is a threat to the public’s safety. This is being seen all over the country, not just Walworth County. For the first time in history, large numbers of inmates have been given a get out of jail free card.

Aurora Medical Center

Aurora Medical Center Lake Geneva

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center prepares for an uncertain future.





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