Coronavirus Update - 03.25.2020

Dear Friend,

We are all deeply concerned about the Coronavirus health crisis. It is a fast moving situation and I want to keep you informed about our ongoing efforts to help keep people safe and provide economic relief.

 

Supporting the American economy

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Congress and the Administration are currently working on a third piece of bipartisan legislation to provide broad and swift economic relief to the people and industries who have been negatively affected by this health crisis. I'm working hard to ensure that any proposed legislation addresses the immediate and long-term concerns of my constituents. My staff and I are reaching out daily to constituents to assess the needs and relay concerns to House leadership. I also want to remind you of about the two bills we’ve already passed, which do the following:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.  
  • Paid emergency leave, with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.  
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks. 
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.  
  • $3.2 billion to bolster prevention, preparedness, and response efforts
  • $950 million to support state and local health agencies
  • Nearly $1 billion to procure medicine and supplies for Community Health Centers
  • $3 billion for vaccine and treatment development

 

State of California

On Thursday, March 19th, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide "Shelter in Place" order. This allows residents to leave their houses for essential services like the grocery store, pharmacy, or doctor. Please note that essential employees, like agricultural workers, are exempt. We need to keep our supply chain up and running.  

Earlier this week, the California State Legislature authorized $1.1 billion to increase healthcare capacity and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The bill includes funding to: 

  • Lease and activate 2 new hospitals
  • Increase access for necessary equipment
  • Provide beds, shelter, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in homeless communities
  • Support programs for senior citizens in isolation
  • Provide cleaning assistance to childcare centers

 

Update on Travel Guidance

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On Wednesday, March 18th, President Trump announced that the U.S. will suspend non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. Trade between the two countries is not supposed to be affected. 

The State Department issued a travel alert to keep Americans from traveling overseas. Authorities continue to recommend that you avoid all non-essential domestic travel.  

 

Update on Safety and Social Distancing Guidlines

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. I encourage everyone to follow the CDC and California Department of Health recommendations on how to stay safe and healthy.

President Trump announced new social distancing guidelines urging people to refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more, and stay away from bars, restaurants, and public food courts. 

 

Fresno City

Following this announcement, Wednesday ,the city of Fresno has issued a "Shelter in Place" order effective until March 31st. This allows residents to leave their houses for essential services  like the grocery store, pharmacy, or doctor. 

Fresno County

Fresno County has declared an official emergency and is encouraging the practice of social distancing. 

Madera

Madera county has declared a local public health emergency and is encouraging the practice of social distancing. 

Merced

Merced County is encouraging the practice of social distancing. On Sunday, the county announced the first confirmed Coronavirus case. Tests are still in short supply.

 

We are working with the healthcare providers in all three counties who are protecting our health and safety. We want to make sure that they have masks, gowns, gloves, and other critical safety equipment to protect themselves and the people of our Valley. We're also working to make sure they receive enough respirators and testing kits so we can continue to work to address this health crisis.   


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Image The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak. I ask you if you're healthy to join me in giving blood to our local blood banks. It is a national emergency and a way we can all help out. Find out more on how to help

Resources:


Rest assured, I will continue to monitor this crisis as it evolves and will do everything I can to ensure the health and safety of the residents of the San Joaquin Valley, California, and the United States. 

Sincerely,

 


Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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