COVID-19: Impacts on DHS Programs

COVID-19 is impacting several DHS programs. You can find out more information on how it's impacting a specific program here.

ADRCs (Aging and Disability Resource Centers)

ADRC Services during COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ADRCs continue to provide community members with information, assistance, and counseling related to long-term care and other programs and services for older adults and adults with disabilities. To protect the health and safety of customers and staff, in-person office hours and home visits are currently limited at most locations. Call your local ADRC if you have any questions.  Find an ADRC in your area.

Hepatitis C Guidelines for Professionals

HIV Program

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

We want to support you in understanding COVID-19 and what steps can be taken to keep you and your family and friends safe.

While the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 for people with HIV is not known, people with HIV and their loved ones may have concerns and questions related to their risk. To assist you, here are important information resources from the federal government and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

OBVI (Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

OBVI Services Limited During COVID-19 Outbreak

For the health and safety of our consumers and staff, OBVI rehabilitation specialists will not be providing in-home services to consumers until further notice. The majority of the consumers we serve are over 70 years old and have at least one secondary health condition. We cannot risk putting vulnerable adults in danger.

OBVI staff will continue to support our consumers in the best way possible. Services that will continue include:

  • Providing information and referral by phone and email.
  • Providing as much training as possible via telephone and email.
  • Calling consumers to offer support and resources and to be sure they are safe and have what they need.
  • Communicating with support groups to suggest holding group meetings via telephone.
  • Researching community resources that would be useful during times of isolation (for example, finding stores that are designating the first hour of operation for only those of vulnerable populations) and relaying that information to consumers.
  • Ordering equipment for consumers or mailing equipment that has already been purchased.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact OBVI via email or call our toll free phone number at 1-888-879-0017.

ODHH (Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing staff are still working remotely to administer the programs and services our community needs. In addition, we have compiled a number of resources to help inform the Deaf and hard of hearing communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

American Sign Language Videos

National resources:

Radon Mitigation

The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists released Radon Mitigation Jobsite Guidance During COVID-19. Social distancing and jobsite safety guidance for best practices to keep contractors and customers protected when radon work is performed.

Reproductive Health Family Planning

COVID-19 Patient Resources

Family Planning Services

Pregnancy Testing

  • Complete home pregnancy test.
  • If you have questions, call your local provider or clinic with the date of your last menstrual period and last date of unprotected intercourse.
  • Emergency contraception will not disrupt an implanted pregnancy or harm a pregnancy.

Birth Control during COVID-19

Reproductive Health Access Project: Birth Control Choices

Birth Control Refills during COVID-19

  • Request a telephone visit from your clinic or provider.
  • Call your clinic for refills by mail or curbside delivery.

Birth Control Methods (IUD and Nexplanon) about to expire during COVID-19

  • Nexplanon: FDA approved for three years; based on current research, can be in place for five years
  • Liletta: FDA approved for six years; based on current research, can be in place for seven years
  • Mirena (same dose of levonorgestrel as Liletta): FDA approved for five years; based on current research, can be in place for seven years
  • Skyla: FDA approved and evidence-based for three years
  • Kyleena: FDA approved and evidence-based for five years
  • Paragard: FDA approved for 10 years; based on current research, can be in place for 12 years

Birth Control Methods (IUD and Nexplanon) truly expired even by current research recommendations

  • Use condoms.
  • Use emergency contraception pills.
  • Call your clinic and ask to talk about other possible options for contraception.

Depo-Provera (Depo shot) during COVID-19

Depo lasts for 15 weeks. If it's past 15 weeks, use condoms, or emergency contraception pills. Call your local provider or clinic to discuss options.

Emergency contraception during COVID-19

Paragard (IUD) is the most effective option but if the services are not available, then Ella is the next best option. Let your provider know if you are breastfeeding.

Sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases during COVID-19

Sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence

Additional educational resources

Contact your local health department.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children)

WIC Wisconsin LogoDue to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, some WIC-related misinformation has been spreading on social media.

WIC is still open for business

WIC serves nearly 7 million mothers and young children per month (including 53% of all infants born in the U.S.) through 10,000 clinics nationwide in all 50 states.

In Wisconsin, our 69 WIC local agencies are continuing to serve WIC families, although we are adjusting the way we handle appointments. Most are being conducted remotely over the phone.

  • WIC benefits remain valid. We are not planning to make any changes to the way in which participants receive their benefits. Benefits are issued remotely to a participant's eWIC card.W
  • WIC foods are still available. Please be assured that this is not a food shortage. Manufacturer warehouses are fully stocked with WIC approved foods.

Grocery stores are waiting for their regular shipments, so we’re encouraging participants to shop early in the morning to increase their likelihood of finding fully stocked shelves.

WIC remains in touch. WIC is keeping participants updated with the latest information and providing resources during this time on Facebook and Instagram at @WICMomStrong. WIC families are our top priority. Above all, we want everyone to stay healthy and safe.

Questions? Connect with us if you have questions or concerns. If you have specific questions related to your area, please reach out to your local WIC clinic. 

Fraud Alert! USDA warns of scams related to coronavirus targeting SNAP recipients. Read the full details.

WisTech (Wisconsin's Assistive Technology Act Program)

WisTech uses project partners to provide device loans, device demonstrations, and re-utilized equipment. Due to COVID-19, most of these partners have modified or suspended device loans, demonstrations, and reused services. These changes to the programs are temporary and services will resume when it is safe to do so. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us via email or by calling 608-514-2513.

Last Revised: May 27, 2020