Ed shares concerns about the spread of COVID-19, and cautions everyone to remain vigilant and follow directions from local and state public health officials. For the latest information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
This is a difficult time for many families, small businesses and communities in the 7th Congressional District. Ed and his staff are here to help. Constituents can reach our office by phone at (303) 274-7944 or (202) 225-2645 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLORADO-SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19
A statewide stay-at-home order is in place for all Colorado residents, effective March 26th through April 26th. Click here for more information about the order, including a list of critical activities. Additionally, CDPHE has advised individuals to wear a cloth face mask outside of your house. Click here to learn more about how to make a DIY mask without leaving your house.
To learn more about how the state is handling COVID-19 and to get local resources, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
or on social media at Facebook (facebook.com/CDPHE
) and Twitter (@CDPHE
). CO HELP is Colorado’s coronavirus hotline and can provide information in many languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, and more: 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org
School districts in Jefferson County and Adams County have announced that online learning will continue and schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. For other information and resources specific to Jefferson County and Adams County, see below:
• Jefferson County - https://www.jeffco.us/4019/Jeffco-Community-Resources
• Adams County - adamscountycovid19.com
My office is here to help provide the latest information and resources during this time. Below are several documents detailing important information for families, workers, students, small businesses, Veterans and frequent constituent questions. If you have other questions or need additional assistance, I encourage you to contact my office at (303) 274-7944.
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Resources for Individuals and Families
• Rebates FAQ
• Resources for Foreclosures, Evictions & Bills
• Resources for Students
• Resources for Veterans
Small Business Resources:
• Resources for Small Businesses
• SBA COVID19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
• Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act
• Paycheck Protection Program FAQs
Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (signed into law March 6th)
As part of the $8.3 billion package, $2.2 billion went to help federal, state, local, and tribal governments prepare for and respond to the crisis, including $950 million given directly to state and local health agencies across the country. Aid is distributed according to burden. Colorado received an initial disbursement of $9.3 million in emergency grants, and received $9.3 million on March 16th. The package also included:
• $3 billion for developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
• $1 billion for medical supplies to support healthcare preparedness, Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity.
• $300 million for the procurement of vaccines by the Federal government at a fair and reasonable price.
• $61 million to assist in the development and review of devices, therapies and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions.
• $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses.
Families First Act (signed into law March 18th)
• Allows everyone with or without health insurance to be tested for COVID-19 without costs (no co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible), and ensuring doctor’s visits that result in a COVID-19 test are cost-free.
• Requires employers to provide 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis or preventive care, or receive treatment for COVID-19 through the end of 2020.
• Adds emergency family job protected leave under FMLA for COVID-19 through the end of 2020 if an employee has to care for their children in the event of a school closure or their child care provider is unavailable.
• Extends emergency unemployment insurance provisions to those who lose their jobs or can’t find work during the COVID-19 crisis and provides flexibility for states.
• Creates a refundable payroll tax credit for employers providing the paid sick leave and family and medical leave to alleviate the burden on these small businesses. Self-employed and gig economy workers are eligible for this refundable payroll tax credit.
• Supports food assistance programs like SNAP, WIC, and emergency food assistance.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
(signed into law March 27th)
This emergency relief and stabilization package provides $2 trillion in economic relief for Americans, including direct cash payments, significant expansion of unemployment insurance, small business grants, and funding for personal protective equipment. It is focused on stabilizing our economy by providing additional critical support for our health care system, small businesses, state and local governments, workers and families. See below for several provisions that will benefit the residents and businesses of Colorado. Click here
for a full section-by-section summary of the CARES Act.
• State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund:
Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s estimated that Colorado will receive approximately $2.2 million in desperately needed funds to benefit our state’s residents.
• Expanded Unemployment Benefits:
Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
• Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Americans:
Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
• Small Business Relief:
Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
• Funding for Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research:
Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
• Student Loan Relief:
Suspends monthly payments on federally-backed student loans (Dire Loans and FFEL Loans held by the Department of Education) through September 30, 2020.
The State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory
and cautions U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Visit travel.state.gov
for details that impact your travel plans. If you are planning international travel, I encourage you to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
to receive important messages, alerts, updates, and travel advisories. The CDC has issued specific guidance for travelers here
There is not currently a vaccine to prevent coronavirus, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to this virus. Individuals with signs of symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), who recently traveled to parts of the world where infection rates are high or community spread is occurring, or who have questions about their own health should speak with their health care provider. At this time, the CDC believes symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.