Coronavirus

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There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

However, Congress has been taking action to prepare for this -- and not just a $8 billion dollar relief package.

  • We ensured vulnerable populations like Medicare recipients get access to medically necessary testing.

  • We have implemented meaningful reforms to our health care system that we have done over the last few years ensure families are better able to afford care.

  • Through tax cuts, deregulation and stronger trade deals we have implemented a stronger economy giving American employers greater flexibility to provide leave for employees.

  • President Trump passed a bipartisan bill to put in place paid family leave, bolster unemployment benefits, ensure school lunches for those who need them, boost Medicaid funding, and guarantee free testing for all who need it during this difficult time

The fundamentals of our economy are strong. This is not the same situation as the financial crisis when our underlying economy was weak. We should all remain calm. We will get through this together.

New York State Department of Health has established a toll-free Novel Coronavirus Hotline (1-888-364-3065).

For a complete guide to the federal government's unprecedented response to this pandemic click the link HERE.

For information on the Coronavirus for travelers and travel related industries, click the link HERE.

For information the Coronavirus’s spread in New York State, click the link HERE.  

For information on unemployment insurance, click the link HERE.  

We are continuing our with President Trump and the Administration to deliver relief and assistance to American workers, families, and small businesses who have been impacted by the global health crisis of the novel coronavirus.

Fact Sheet: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) // Bill Text // Bill Text Explainer

Fact Sheet: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R.748) // Bill Text // Bill Text Explainer

Fact Sheet: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R 6201) // Bill Text  // Bill Text Explainer

ROLLING UPDATES:

4/24: Big News for Rural Health Care: Some Public Hospitals Eligible for PPP Funding

Key Information:

  • Some hospitals that are partially owned by state or local governments may be eligible to receive a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • This will be a lifeline both for patients in rural areas and employees at those facilities.
4/22: Updates on the CARES Act Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund

Key Information

  • The CARES Act invested $100 billion into the Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund for health care providers. So far:
    • $50 billion is being allocated for “general distribution,” which went out in two phases:
      • First, an interim payment based on proportional 2019 Medicare fee-for-service
      • Second, a “true-up” based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service
    • $10 billion is being allocated to COVID-19 “hot spots”
    • $10 billion is being allocated to assist rural hospitals
    • $400 million is being allocated to Indian Health Service facilities
    • Additional money from this fund will be used for treating uninsured COVID-19 patients
    • Future allocations could target any new COVID-19 hotspots, skilled nursing facilities, dentists, or facilities servicing only Medicaid patients
  • The Senate-passed Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act adds an additional $75 billion to the fund.
  • Providers can find more information here.

4/20: Fox News: Bipartisan breakthrough? Pols unveil 'Back to Work' plan for reopening economy with emphasis on mass testing

“EXCLUSIVE: After spending weeks diving into coronavirus issues over video conferencing, a bipartisan group of 50 House members has crafted a plan for what's needed to reopen the economy safely and help businesses recover from crippling mandatory shutdowns...”

4/10: IRS Provides Online Form For Stimulus Check Payment Information

Washington, D.C. - The IRS has provided a form to provide payment information for those who have not filed taxes for 2018 or 2019 and do not receive Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Railroad retirement and survivor benefits. Please click the link above to view the updated information. 

4/2:  IRS Provides Updated Stimulus Check Information

Washington, D.C. - The distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. However, some people who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. When more specific details become available, we will update this page.

3/19: House Republicans Praise Bicameral Partnership in Making Third COVID-19 Aid Package

Washington, D.C. – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (TX-08) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following joint statement with Ranking Republican members from multiple House committees on the coronavirus response package, introduced today by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which will enhance Congress’ bicameral and bipartisan effort to mitigate the spread and effects of COVID-19 on American families and businesses.

READ MORE HERE 

3/19: Ways and Means Leaders Urge Social Security Administration to Safeguard Health and Minimize Disruptions Amid Coronavirus Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), along with Social Security Subcommittee Republican Leader Tom Reed (R-NY) and Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul calling on SSA to continue their work to prioritize health and transparency in an effort to minimize disruptions as they administer vital services during the coronavirus crisis.

“We know the decision to close SSA field offices…was a difficult decision. … This move will save lives and will also protect the health of SSA frontline staff, whose public service is so critical,” the lawmakers wrote.

READ MORE HERE

3/18: Washington Post Editorial Board: Trump and Congress are moving in the right direction to save the economy

“A CORONAVIRUS epidemic is now inevitable in the United States, but appropriate, large-scale public health measures can still forestall the worst scenarios. Similarly, economic damage is inevitable, yet large-scale monetary and fiscal measures can prevent the worst from happening in that realm…”

READ MORE HERE 

3/18: Phase III: Strong Economic Action to Stave COVID-19

Key Information:

  • Congress and the Administration and set to begin negotiations on a “phase three” package aimed at securing our economy as communities work to fight the novel coronavirus.
  • Secretary Mnuchin is aiming to have four key parts be included in this package:
    • Support for parts of the economy that are seeing the greatest economic and financial loss;
    • Stabilization of the money market mutual fund industry;
    • Cash for workers and families; and
    • More help for Main Street businesses.

READ MORE HERE

3/17: Move to Expand Telehealth Makes Care Safer for Seniors

Key Information:

  • Vulnerable seniors on Medicare need care, and providers must be able to focus on the most critical patients, especially during this national emergency.
  • The Trump Administration has quickly acted on Congress’s work in the first coronavirus emergency supplemental to expand access to telehealth.
  • Beginning on March 6, 2020, Medicare will temporarily broaden its policy to pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for seniors across the country.

READ MORE HERE

3/17: Secretary Mnuchin Defers Tax Payments, Delivers Relief for Taxpayers & Small Businesses

Because many families, businesses, and tax preparers may be unable to meet their tax obligations despite their best efforts, President Trump is allowing “the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted.”

Key Information:

The Treasury Secretary Has Deferred Tax Payments, and Waived Penalties

  • Families and small businesses can defer tax payments for 90 days. This covers a broad range of Americans, including small businesses that file as individuals who owe up to $1 million, and other categories of small businesses, sole proprietors, and corporations owing up to $10 million.
  • Penalties and interest that would otherwise apply during this nearly three-month period will be waived.

READ MORE HERE

3/17: EXPLAINER: How We Ensured the Coronavirus Relief Bill Answered President Trump’s Call to Put Families First

President Trump called on Congress to take decisive action to provide relief for families and local businesses. After the President’s national address, Speaker Pelosi put forward a bill. House Republicans and Secretary Mnuchin worked to improve it. The goal? Focus on those who need relief most, as quickly as possible. A subsequent vote on a “technical fix” strengthened the bill’s assistance to small businesses further.

Key Information:

Now, families really do come first with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

  • Free Tests for COVID-19: We answered the President’s call to provide free tests for COVID-19
  • Emergency Paid Leave for Workers: Many workers who become sick, or have to care for a loved one who falls ill, will have access to emergency paid leave
  • Assistance for Small Businesses: Small businesses will receive flexibility and support to care for their employees and remain open

READ MORE HERE

Below are resources to keep you up-to-date: 

CDC Coronavirus Update 

Coronavirus Guidelines for Americans from the White House

Guidance From the White House Coronavirus Task Force 

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
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