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Additional Coronavirus Information

March 19, 2020
e-Newsletter Archive

Update on the Coronavirus Response Effort

Legislative Action

Yesterday, President Trump signed H.R.6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, into law, which will provide relief to many in need. More legislation to provide economic relief during this uncharted time is in the works and I will provide updates as developments take place. H.R.6201 is a significant first step and will allow:

  • Individuals can receive Coronavirus testing at no cost
  • Funding for nutrition assistance programs for vulnerable populations
  • More flexibility in unemployment insurance programs for workers impacted by the coronavirus
  • Family leave for caregivers
  • Tax credits for eligible businesses that give paid leave to Americans

For more details, click here.

Administrative Actions

IRS

The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020, but the deadline for tax payment is being extended until July 15, 2020.  To learn more, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Expansion of Telehealth through Medicare

The Trump Administration is expanding Medicare access to telehealth services at no additional cost.   Telemedicine will allow for continued care from the safety of one's own home, which will help slow the transmission of the virus. For more information, including a FAQs and Fact Sheets, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-expands-telehealth-benefits-medicare-beneficiaries-during-covid-19-outbreak

 

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USDA and School Lunch

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new flexibilities to allow meal service during school closures. To find locations near you, please visit: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/

Additionally, USDA is collaborating with the private sector to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals a week to students in rural schools closed due to Coronavirus.

Scientific Breakthroughs

The National Institutes of Health has begun the first vaccine trial and results will be examined over the course of the next few weeks.  Researchers at the University of Minnesota are examining the impact of both a malaria treatment drug and also a blood pressure drug to see if they are effective in stopping the replication or successful binding of coronavirus cells. Patient trials are underway for these medications as well. Due to the removal of red-tape by the Administration, these medical trials are moving at a fast pace.

Avoid Scams

In a time like this, unfortunately a handful of individuals use confusion and fear to take advantage of others. The Food and Drug Administration has issued information regarding fake treatments for Coronavirus, which you can find here. Additionally, while there are plans to pass more legislation to respond to the economic impact, and there has been talk of issuing direct financial assistance during this national emergency, this would come in a later package. Therefore, if you are receiving requests for information at this time so you can receive emergency assistance, please keep in mind:   

1. The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. Nothing.

2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.

3. These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.  For more information, or to report fraudulent activity, please visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

CDC Funding

This week, the Centers for Disease Control provided $15.3 million to Michigan to support our local and state public health officials and medical professionals.

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I am continuing to stay in contact with local health officials, hospitals, and those on the front lines to listen to their needs and ensure they are connected to the right resources. Our medical professionals are doing incredible work and we are all so grateful to their commitment to our health, especially at this challenging time.

Michigan Hotline
1-888-535-6136

County Health Departments
Branch-Hillsdale Community Health Agency
Eaton Health Department
Jackson Health Department
Lenawee Health Department
Monroe Health Department
Washtenaw Health Department

Additional Resources
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
World Health Organization
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker
CDC E-newsletter
CDC: What You Need to Know
CDC: What to Do If You Are Sick
State Department Travel Advisories
Guidance for Students Participating in Study Abroad Programs
Guidance for Higher Risk Populations
Resources for State and Local Health Departments
Resources for Healthcare Facilities
Guidance for Small Businesses 

In Case You Missed It

My website has a dedicated page with information and resources:  https://walberg.house.gov/coronavirus

New Guidance

Recently, President Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force released new guidance to do your part and slow the spread of the virus.

1. Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
2. If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
3. If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.
4. If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.
5. If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people.
6. If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people

Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration has a special page dedicated to Coronavirus response for veterans. Please visit: www.va.gov/coronavirus.   

Please Consider Donating Blood

We are facing an urgent blood shortage. If you are healthy and able, please consider making an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Small Businesses

For more resources on small business loans, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.

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