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 the Paycheck Protection Program:
Over 61,000 small businesses in Oregon have received $6.9 billion in COVID-19 government-backed relief loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These funds are having a positive impact on businesses and workers. Recently, the House and Senate unanimously passed, and the President signed, an extension to the application period through August 8.
This new law will ensure loans remain available to businesses to stay operating and keep their employees on the payroll as the virus continues to impact our economy. At this time, approximately $134 billion in funding remains available for small businesses to access.
This effort follows recent legislation that provided greater flexibility in the timeline and purpose for which PPP funds may be used. The measure relaxed the requirement that businesses use their loan with a strict 8-week window, allowing them to use loan funds through the end of 2020. It also provides flexibility in loan forgiveness for employers who are unable to rehire previously laid off employees or similarly qualified employees to take their place.
Updated loan forgiveness applications that can be found here.
For a complete overview of the program, click here.
The economy added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent, in a survey taken in mid-June. More here.
Preventing the Second Wave:
Rep. Walden released a report detailing recommendations to better prepare the U.S. to produce and distribute a vaccine and new therapies for COVID-19. These recommendations are the second report from Rep. Walden’s Second Wave Project. The first report focused on testing and surveillance. Learn more here.
FDA Warning on Hand Sanitizer Products:
The FDA is warning consumers and health care professionals about hand sanitizer products containing methanol, or wood alcohol — a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizer products and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested. FDA is communicating with manufacturers and distributors of these products about recalling them. More here.
What’s Walden Doing: An update on my latest actions on coronavirus.
Greg Walden released a report detailing recommendations to better prepare the U.S. to produce and distribute a vaccine and new therapies for COVID-19. Read more here.
Greg Walden, the Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting the OIG initiate an investigation into whether or not five states — California, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — violated federal guidance in pressuring nursing home facilities to accept patients who tested positive for COVID-19. More here.
Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.
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.
INFORMATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD:
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.
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 7/6/20
Cases of COVID-19:
U.S. current case count: There are currently at least 2,935,716 cases and 130,284 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins.
Oregon Current Case Count: 10,395
Hood River: 94
Testing in Oregon:
Total (since 1/24): 267,228