The latest on the coronavirus: The situation is rapidly changing, but I wanted to share the latest information and news on the outbreak and relief efforts.
More Funding for Oregon Health Care Providers:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they are awarding an additional $172,109,975 to 165 health care facilities in Oregon. This funding is in addition to the over $300 million Oregon has already received from HHS. The funding comes from the $100 billion that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act designated for provider relief. This wave of funding is targeted towards coronavirus hot-spots and rural areas. Nationwide, HHS awarded $12 billion to providers in hot-spots and $10 billion to providers in rural areas, which includes the over $172 million for Oregon. Read more here.
PPE Heading to Nursing Homes:
FEMA has announced they are sending two shipments totaling a 14-day supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to over 15,000 nursing homes nationwide.
An Update on SBA PPP Loans:
Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) began processing more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans. This comes after President Trump signed into law more funding for the PPP.
From April 27th to May 1st, the SBA has approved over 2 million loans for a total of over $175 billion from more than 5,400 lenders nationwide. In Oregon, SBA has approved over 31,000 loans for a total of over $3 billion. This total is in addition to the first tranche of PPP loans, where over $340 billion went out to over 1.6 million small businesses.
The average PPP loan is for $206,000 and nearly 75% of all loans have been for $150,000 or less. Wednesday, Secretary Mnuchin said that he expects the PPP to impact over 60 million workers, which is half the private workforce, and said that one million loans that have gone out so far are for companies with under 10 people.
Learn more here.
Searching for a Cure:
Last week, the NIH shared promising information that showed patients in a clinical trial that used the antiviral drug remdesivir recovered from COVID-19 at an accelerated pace compared to those who did not use the drug. Learn more here.
New Guidance on Disinfecting Spaces:
Recently, the CDC and EPA released updated guidance to help facility operators and families properly clean and disinfect spaces. The guidance provides step-by-step instructions for public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes, and falls in line with the Opening Up America Again guidelines. Learn more here.
An Update on Testing:
More than 6.5 million tests for COVID-19 have been performed in the United States.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention broadened its priority for testing, adding symptomatic first responders and people in long term-care facilities, prisons and shelters to the top tier. The priority list for the first time includes people without symptoms at a clinician or public-health authority’s discretion.
The FDA has worked with over 380 test developers who have said they will be submitting emergency use authorizations (EUA) requests to FDA for tests that detect the virus. The FDA has issued over 50 individual EUAs for test kit manufacturers and laboratories.
Watch out for COVID-19 Scams:
Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are reporting a spike in coronavirus related scams including home testing kits, fake cures, and other malicious attempts to prey on COVID-19 fears. The Treasury Department will NOT ask you to pay anything for the payment most Americans will receive as a result of the CARES Act and will not contact you for your bank account information. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking for this type of information, please report it to www.ftc.gov/complaint. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from these types of scams here.
What’s Walden Doing: An update on my latest actions.
Greg Walden released a statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they are awarding an additional $172,109,975 to 165 health care facilities in Oregon. This funding is in addition to the over $300 million Oregon has already received from HHS. Read more here.
Greg Walden released the following statement after President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. Read more here.
Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.
How to Get Your Individual Payments:
The IRS launched the “Get My Payment” web portal with features to let taxpayers check on their Economic Impact Payment date and update direct deposition information. Click here to check on the status of your payment.
Veterans who receive disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs DO NOT need to do anything to receive their payment.
Those on Social Security who do not file taxes also DO NOT need to file anything to receive this new payment.
Low income individuals with a gross income between $12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married couples that do not file taxes, WILL need to submit information to the IRS to receive this payment. You can provide this information through the IRS’s website here.
Helpful Resources on PPE:
CDC updated the PPE Burn Rate Calculator, a spreadsheet-based model that will help health care facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19. More here.
You can now see PPE shipments to Oregon counties here.
ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing billions in funding toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
The Small Business Administration has also launched a hotline for lenders who need assistance accessing SBA’s E-Tran system. That number is: 1-833-572-0502. More answers from the SBA can be found here.
Other resources on the Paycheck Protection Program:
- Coronavirus.gov Small Business Resources Page
- Treasury Department Overview On The Paycheck Protection Program
- SBA.gov/Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Page
INFORMATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD:
The State Department has repatriated over 70,000 Americans from more than 120 countries.
The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans, including through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport. Any American abroad who needs assistance should contact their local U.S. embassy and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available here or by calling 1-888-407-4747.
If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:
- Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
- Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
- Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
- Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
- Visit Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
ASSISTANCE FROM HHS AND FEMA:
HHS and FEMA have fielded many requests to assist or partner with the Federal Government in response to the COVID pandemic.
- Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through the a Request for Proposal, available here.
- Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information here.
- Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred to https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
How to schedule a blood donation appointment:
- Visit RedCrossBlood.org. Click on “Schedule an Appointment” under the “Donate Blood” tab. From there you can enter your zip code to find a blood drive near you.
- Red Cross Blood Donor App
- Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
- Use Amazon Alexa Blood Scheduling Skill
Fast Facts: Here are some helpful stats on COVID-19 as of 5/3/20
Cases of COVID-19:
U.S. current case count (as of 5/1/20): There are currently at least 1,115,848 cases and 65,298 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins and other media sources.
Oregon current case count: 2,680
Hood River: 9
Testing in Oregon:
Total (since 1/24): 62,054