2023-10-20 Neighborhood News & Updates

Public Health Madison Dane County Public Health Dashboard

Public Health Madison & Dane County launched a new Dane County Respiratory Illness Dashboard. The agency designed the dashboard to help people track the latest trends in COVID-19, flu, RSV, and more during the winter respiratory season.

“Our COVID-19 dashboard has been immensely popular and we hope this new data dashboard gives people a broader view of what viruses are circulating,” said Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health. “You can use the homepage to get a quick idea of current trends, or look at every page to get in-depth information.”

On the dashboard, you can find trends by age, lab testing results, air sampler results, school testing results, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Stay Active this Fall and Winter with Parks Activities!

Jump on a hayride, join a nature walk, and more. Checkout the Parks webpage to find out about the fun events and activities coming up this fall and winter in our Madison Parks.

Mayor’s Operating Budget Release

On October 3, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released her proposed 2024 Executive Operating Budget at the Madison Central Library. The City of Madison’s operating budget funds the numerous services, programs, and skilled staff that sustain high-quality City services and keep Madison a strong and vibrant community. The operating budget released on October 3rd complements the 2024 Executive Capital Budget, released in September, which funds City infrastructure, buildings, and other capital investments. Se executive summary HERE.

The 2022 data for the City of Madison’s Neighborhood Indicators Project (NIP) is now available!

The NIP provides geographically detailed data for over 50 variables within seven topic areas. This includes measures such as total population, number of dwelling units, subsidized rental units, high mobility students and so on. It is supported by various data sources that range from city, county, state and federal data sources.

The 2022 Edition also includes a significant improvement. Data is now provided at two commonly used Census geographies – Tracts and Block Groups. Using Tracts and Blocks Groups makes it easier to compare results for areas across Madison, since these geographies generally contain a similar number of residential units. Additionally, the NIP’s local data can be considered within the context of other data reported at the Tract and Block Group geography.

Interested in learning more about NIP data and the NIP website? The City of Madison Planning Division offers free workshops to local organizations. Please contact Urvashi Martin at umartin@cityofmadison.com for more details.

NIP is a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Applied Population Lab.

Streets Division Updates

  • Leaf Collection is Ongoing: Get the dates when you should set out your leaves for pickup at www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste
  • Large Item Pickup: Large item collection rules changed a few years ago and now you need a work order to get on the crew’s pickup schedule. Learn more about the process at www.cityofmadison.com/LargeItem
  • Brush Collection is Over: Do not set out brush for pickup. If you have brush that needs collection, you need to take it to a drop-off site instead.
  • Food Scraps Schedule Change: The South Madison farmer’s market food scrap drop-off changed its schedule. More details about this schedule change can be found on our food scraps website.
  • Recycle Right: Be sure you’re putting the right things in your recycling cart. Get the rules at www.cityofmadison.com/recycling. One quick tip for Halloween – candy wrappers belong in the trash, not your recycling carts.

The Pulse: October 2023 Newsletter from PHMDC


Lots Going on in our Immunization Program!
Promoting Back to School Shots
CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen visited our South Madison Clinic in August to promote back to school shots for kids. 

Dr. Cohen’s visit came just as we released new data on Dane County students’ immunization status. While data showed that more than 9 in 10 Dane County students met all minimum immunization requirements in 2022-2023, more Dane County students were behind or waived one or more immunizations in that school year compared to the previous year. 

To increase accessibility to shots for this new school year, we’re partnering with SSM Health, GHC, UW-Health, and Madison Metropolitan School District to offer free vaccines at schools on 6 dates this fall.
Fall 2023 COVID Vaccines are Here!
CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a fall 2023 COVID vaccine.
The vaccination provides protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death among everyone, but especially among people most at risk, including adults 65 and older and people who are immunocompromised. You are eligible if it has been at least 2 months since your last COVID vaccination.
Where you can get vaccinated
Due to the end of the COVID emergency declaration, manufacturers are charging for vaccines, but you should still be able to get the vaccine free with insurance or through us, at Public Health Madison & Dane County:  
If you have health insurance
Most insurers cover the cost of vaccination, so if you have insurance, your vaccine should be free. Keep in mind you may have to use a pharmacy that accepts your insurance. Check with your insurance provider if you’re not sure.
Most clinics and area pharmacies are offering the vaccine, though some may not have received their full shipment yet. Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccinator near you.
If you don’t have health insurance
We can only vaccinate these groups of people, and the vaccination is free:
People who do not have health insurance
People whose health insurance does not cover vaccinations
Children (6 months to 18 years) who are on BadgerCare, are eligible for BadgerCare, or who are Native American or Alaskan Native

Visit our website, publichealthmdc.com/appt, to see clinic hours and book an appointment.

Testing, What to Do If You’re Sick, and Answers to Common Questions
We’ve written up a whole blog post, Your Fall 2023 COVID Cheat Sheet, with information and links on free rapid tests, what to do if you’re sick, and answers to common questions, like “How long are you contagious when you have COVID?”
New Resources for Preparing for Disasters and Emergencies
Flooding, an extended power outage, a new infectious virus, and poor air quality from forest forest fires thousands of miles away. These public health emergencies have affected Dane County in the past five years. While we’ve responded to all of them, remember we all play a role to prepare for an emergency, stay safe while it happens, and recover after the emergency ends. We explain simple things you can do to prepare in our blog post and on our new emergency response webpages, and encourage you to sign up to get our public health emergency updates via email!  
Providing Funding to Community Organizations  Healthy Communities Fund
We’re currently accepting proposals from people, communities, and organizations who work to address health and racial inequity in Dane County. A total of $14,000 is available. Applications are due no later than October 29, 2023. Learn more about this opportunity on our new Funding Opportunities webpage.

PFAS Outreach Funding
This summer, we offered grants to community organizations who can help connect with people about PFAS. We awarded a total of over $32,000 to four projects: 
East Madison Community Center
Catholic Multicultural Center
The Hmong Institute
Kennedy Heights Community Center
You can learn what these organizations will be doing with their funding on our new webpage

Learn About Future Funding 
Want to be in the loop for future funding opportunities? 
Bookmark our new Funding Opportunities webpage and check it often. We list current funds right at the top. 
Get an email when we have a new funding opportunity: Visit our webpage and choose “Public Health Funding Opportunities” under “Special Topics.” 
Quick Notes
Community Health Assessment Released
We released our 2023 Community Health Assessment (CHA) in July. A CHA is an analysis that identifies the health needs, concerns, and resources within our community. Along with our partners, we conducted it through community engagement, data collection and analysis, working closely with our Steering Committee. We’ll use the insights from the CHA to develop our Community Health Improvement Plan. 

Hot Temps Extended Beach Monitoring Season
Unseasonably warm temperatures in early September led us to extend the beach season past Labor Day weekend, but we’re now officially done monitoring beach water quality for the year. There are many factors that contribute to the water quality of our lakes, and there are days where we have to close a beach for swimming. This fall and winter, you can help protect our lake water quality by keeping leaves out of gutters and limiting how much salt you put on icy sidewalks and driveways. Learn how

Summer Outreach
We had a great summer at festivals and events, spreading the word about health and safety! Here are a few shots of us out and about in the community. 
Stay Connected
We’re so happy to have you on our list to get The Pulse! Click the blue bar below to see what other communications you want to get from us, including funding and grant opportunities.

To stay up to date on our work throughout the year, follow us on social media and subscribe to our news releases, newsletters, and blog. Links below!
Sign Up For Public Health News Releases, Newsletters, and Blog

Lunch & Learn with Alder Wehelie – Thu 12-Oct

Lunch and Learn with Alder Wehelie

The Streets Division’s fall yard waste and leaves collection begins the week of October 8, 2023.

All residents will receive three collection opportunities this fall, weather permitting.

The exact dates when you should set you should set out leaves and yard waste for pickup can be found on the Streets Division website, www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste.

For more yard waste collection information and other streets related topics, please join me at my Lunch and Learn on October 12th at noon.


Update from Alder Wehelie on the Ryan Funeral Home Development

Greetings District 7 Residents,​

On Monday, September 18th, the Plan Commission gave a conditional approval for the Ryan Funeral Home Development project (watch a recording of the meeting). The item was supposed to come back to the October 3rd Council meeting, however it has been referred to the October 17th Council meeting. The final approval will be scheduled for November with the Urban Design Commission (more information to follow for the Council meeting on October 17th and the Urban Design Commission meeting in November).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Nasra H Wehelie
Madison Common Council – District 7 Alder

2023-10-02 Updates from City of Madison

Get Updated COVID & Flu Shots

Respiratory season is here and getting your shots is the best way to stay healthy. The updated COVID vaccines were created to more closely target currently circulating strains. Vaccines are one of our best tools to avoid ending up in a hospital or worse with severe illness. If you’re uninsured or your plan doesn’t cover vaccines, come get your updated COVID and flu shots at a Public Health vaccine clinic. If you have health insurance, most plans will cover COVID vaccines at no cost to you, as long as it is given at a pharmacy or healthcare provider who is in your network. 

Order Free COVID Tests 

You can now order a new round of free at-home COVID tests on COVIDTests.gov. Every U.S. household is eligible to receive four free rapid tests to be delivered directly to your home via the U.S. Postal Service. You can also pick up at-home tests from area libraries (call ahead to check supply) or at Public Health Madison & Dane County’s South Park Street or East Washington locations, during business hours. Also, before you throw out expired tests check to see if the expiration dates have been extended.

Mayor’s Message

I was honored to meet with First Lady Jill Biden, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Governor Evers recently to thank our state and federal partners for the substantial financial support they have sent the City of Madison! In the past four years with the help of our Congressional representatives, Madison has benefited from a whopping $428 million in federal funding,  for which we are immensely grateful. We receive ongoing funding $42.3 million from the State and of course regularly get support from our partners in Dane County government, like this week’s proposed $600,000 investment in the Madison CARES program.   When you see them please thank them for lifting up Madison priorities!  

Follow Mayor’s Blog

Fall Leaf Collection

Fall leaf collection gets underway the week of October 8.  If you have more leaves you can mulch into your lawn or compost, you’ll have three curbside collection opportunities.  Get the dates on when you can set out your yard waste for pickup at www.cityofmadison.com/YardWaste. You get the set out dates by entering your address into the form on the yard waste website, or you can try out the new map lookup tool the Streets Division is testing out this this year. The yard waste website has all of the rules, and guidelines on how to set out yard waste correctly.

Protect Your Trees This Fall

This fall you can take action to protect your trees from spongy moth caterpillars before they hatch in the spring. Check your trees, and other outdoor surfaces like sheds, RVs, picnic tables, and firewood piles for egg masses.  The masses look like fuzzy brownish lumps. Each mass can contain up to 1,000 eggs, so destroying them correctly makes a difference. The masses are too strong to just be squished by the heel of your shoe, so you have to destroy them the right way. After you find the masses, you should scrape them off whatever surface you find them on. Submerge the mass in soapy water for two days. Finally, toss the waterlogged mass into your trash.  You can learn more details about the spongy moth, including links to photos of the egg masses and links to additional resources, at www.cityofmadison.com/SpongyMoth.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

This year’s celebration is underway at various city agencies and throughout our City, including Madison’s Latinx Community Engagement Team and Madison Public Library hosting the “Immigrant Journeys” display at the Central Library from September 25-October 13 in partnership with the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Love Wisconsin project. Stop by most open hours to view this display and learn about the many immigration paths that bring people from Latin and South America to the United States. Madison Public Library and the Wisconsin Book Festival is hosting a series of events for the month and the Madison Senior Center and NewBridge Madison will host Celebración de la Herencia Hispana on Saturday, September 30, 12-4pm.  At that event, held at the Madison Senior Center, hosts will offer music, dance, food and more.  Please call MSC at 608-266-6581 to register. 

22nd Wisconsin Book Festival Annual 

More than 50 authors are scheduled to speak about their latest published works at the Wisconsin Book Festival’s 22nd annual Fall Celebration October 19–22 at Madison Public Library’s Central Library. The lineup features a diverse group of writers, both new and accomplished, whose work spans a broad range of genres. See the entire schedule at https://www.wisconsinbookfestival.org.

Celebrate Fire Prevention Week

Join the Madison Fire Department and other Dane County fire departments for the annual Fire Truck Parade & Display! The fun begins Sunday, October 8 at 1:00 p.m. with a parade up State Street, followed by a fire truck display on the Capitol Square until 4:00 p.m. The annual event kicks off Fire Prevention Week, observed nationally during the second week of October. Follow Madison Fire on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (X) for daily safety tips during Fire Prevention Week, and remember: Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.

Haywagon Rides with Madison Parks

Climb aboard a haywagon this fall! Madison Parks is hosting haywagon rides at a number of special events including Hayrides & Hikes and through Olin Park’s Holiday Fantasy in Lights. You may also reserve your own haywagon ride through the Holiday Fantasy in Lights for up to 20 adults with a campfire and s’mores. See Hayrides for more information.

Teejop & Beyond with Madison Libraries

Teejop & Beyond: Celebrating Native Nations, a program created by Madison Public Library in partnership with Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, will return to libraries on Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Monday, October 9). Program participants will also have the opportunity to try hands-on crafts like beading, basketweaving and quillwork and understand the way techniques and approaches vary depending on the tribal traditions guiding them. This year, presenters represent the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Ottawa nations. Learn more about each presenter online at madpl.org/teejopandbeyond and save the date for October 9 when programs will be announced.

Get Involved in Local Government

We encourage all City of Madison residents to get involved in the decision-making processes of their local government. By participating in Common Council meetings, you can have a say in policies, services and developments that directly affect your lives! All council meetings are open to the public to attend in-person or virtually by watching live on Madison City Channel.  To learn more:

MSC Health & Resource Fair

The Madison Senior Center’s annual Health & Resource Fair will feature health screenings, a brain health presentation, a yoga class, and local vendors that provide senior servicesTuesday, October 17, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Free event. No registration required.