Local businesses closing, schools being proactive against coronavirus

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - "We did this because we feel the virus is only going to grow," Lakefront Brewery owner Russ Klisch said.

Klisch is hoping to stay ahead of the coronavirus. Starting Friday, the business will close to the public until further notice.

"We get a lot of people here. A lot of people will be coming through this door. I didn't want my employees affected by it.

The actual brewery will remain open to about 20 employees.

But the beer hall and restaurant will close, and there will be no tours or special events.

Klisch said about 100 part-time and full-time employees will be temporarily without jobs.

"But we'll be paying their wage until the next wage period. I want them to be home. I want them to be healthy," he explained.

For workers who are without this option, unemployment benefits may be available through the state.

"Unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own," Tyler Tichenor, a representative for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, wrote. "If an employer must shut down operations and no work is available, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the monetary criteria and the weekly eligibility criteria."

Like local businesses, schools are also taking a proactive approach.

"An initial team has been working and meeting daily on the response to daily changes as we have changes that occur," Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley said.

MPS is not canceling classes, but they are following state guidelines on large gatherings.

They've canceled all out-of-state travel over spring break, and are considering other measures.

"One of the things that we're going to do is look at morning meetings, our lunch program, looking at recess."

Starting Monday, all Elmbrook Schools will move to virtual learning. Friday classes will remain in session.

Plans after spring break will be determined in the coming days.

Marquette University will also transition to virtual learning. Classes are suspended on Friday.

At MATC, classes are suspended for the week of March 16-20 with a transition to online learning to follow from March 23 through April 10. 

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