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Live coronavirus updates: Grocer asks Evers for 'extended first responder' status

11:33 a.m.: Packers launch contest for students to encourage exercise

The Green Bay Packers are inviting students to take part from home in the #StayHomeStayStrong Sweepstakes to encourage exercise and regular activity.

To enter, fans and parents of fans are asked to tweet photos or videos of themselves, their kids or another family member staying active while staying at home using the hashtag #StayHomeStayStrong and tagging @packers for a chance to win Packers prizes.

Parents are encouraged to send photos and videos of their kids enjoying exercise from home; fans under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian post photos or videos on their behalf.

One winner will receive an autographed Kenny Clark item and three runners-up will receive a Packers backpack with assorted Packers school supplies inside.

The contest runs until 10 a.m. April 24. Complete rules available at

11:14 a.m.: Outpost Natural Foods asks for 'extended first responder' status

Outpost Natural Foods and the local union that represents grocery store workers asked Gov. Tony Evers for the Milwaukee-area chain's employees to received "extended first responder" status in a letter Friday. 

The status would give Outpost's employees, who are essential workers during the pandemic, high-priority for being tested for the virus and access to safety supplies. The letter from Outpost also asks that its workers be extended emergency childcare benefits, free healthcare coverage for coronavirus treatment, paid leave for care of a family member, testing, quarantine, isolation, medicine and treatment from COVID-19.

"Outpost is doing its part, but as we all know it’s not enough, and yet our employees continue to put themselves on the frontline of this Pandemic every day, serving hundreds of patrons entering our stores," Outpost General Manager Pam Mehnert wrote in a letter to Evers. "They are scared to come to work and deserve to be protected beyond what we are able to provide them."

Large grocery chains like Kroeger and Albertsons have already made similar requests. Outpost has four stores in the Milwaukee area.

8:37 a.m.: Big jump in positive tests among House of Correction population

More than two dozen inmates at the House of Correction in Franklin have tested positive for COVID-19, and county officials are expected to address details about the situation at a briefing Friday afternoon.

A county spokesman confirmed late Thursday that 27 inmates had tested positive, along with four staff members.  All but one were being quarantined or treated at the facility, while one is on home detention. All the infected staff are quarantining at home.

Last week, HOC Superintendent Michael Hafemann made the first announcement about the disease's presence at the facility. At that time, there were seven inmates infected, and two were hospitalized.

One of the hospitalized inmates was Jake White. He was charged in February with armed robbery and was being held in lieu of $2,500 bail. During court hearings, it was converted to a personal recognizance bond so he leave the HOC for treatment, and was to revert to cash bail if and when he was released from the hospital.

But through a communication error, White, 66, was allowed to just leave an unnamed hospital in recent days. He was found at home and his now in the Milwaukee County Jail, with a hold order, and a reduced bail of $1,500.

The jump in infections at the HOC comes despite efforts early in the crisis to reduce the population from around 1,000 to nearer to the low 700s, and the adoption of stepped-up sanitizing within the facility.

The HOC typically houses about 1,000 inmates serving sentences under a year, or terms under a year as a condition of a probation sentence on a felony. Many HOC inmates also typically had work release privileges, but in an effort to reduce the population in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, many have been released early.

Some pretrial detainees, like White, were moved from the jail to the HOC at the start of the crisis to reduce the jail population from an average of more than 800 to 650 or less, and allow for remaining inmates to be housed one-to-a-cell. 

As of Thursday, no inmates at the jail in downtown Milwaukee have tested positive for COVID-19.

7:35 a.m.: Seven more deaths reported in Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County on Friday morning reported seven more deaths and 18 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday afternoon.

The county has now surpassed more than 2,000 cases and 100 deaths from the coronavirus, according to its online dashboard. More than 1,500 of those cases are in the city of Milwaukee.

The county lists 110 deaths from the virus while the state Department of Health Services continues to list another number, 114. Health officials said earlier this week the discrepancy has likely been caused by an error in how death certificates were filed with the state.

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