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Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the coronavirus to be a serious public health threat and the President has issued a national emergency declaration. It is important that you are aware of the disease and the efforts necessary to prevent its spread. 

Symptoms
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can spread quickly from person to person. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Call your health care professional if you develop sysmptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

Prevention 
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Adhere to CDC and local guidelines concerning social distancing to reduce the ability of the virus to spread.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care 
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Federal action
I am proud that Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and that it was signed into law by the President. Last week, I voted for this relief package because it provides much-needed assistance to American families, and resources to combat the spread of coronavirus. The bill contains several important provisions, including:

  • Free coronavirus testing
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance
  • Paid sick leave for many Americans
  • Expanded food assistance programs
  • Increased Medicaid benefits
  • Waived Medicare copays for COVID-19 testing

The IRS has moved Tax Day from April 15 to July 15 due to COVID-19. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have suspended evictions and foreclosures during the outbreak.

And, the the United States Small Business Administration has approved Illinois' request for a disaster declaration. All Illinois small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster relief loans at disasterloan.sba.gov, which can help make ends meet during this difficult period of time.

State action 
Illinois has ramped up its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Governor Pritzker launched coronavirus.illinois.gov to serve as a hub for all Illinois coronavirus updates and news.

On Friday, the State of Illinois issued a "stay-at-home" order to drastically curb the spread of COVID-19

  • Effective March 21 at 5 PM through April 7, all non-essential businesses will be closed and residents are encouraged to stay home. You will still be able to leave your home to buy groceries, go to the pharmacy, get gas, and take walks. All local roads, including interstate highways and tollways, will remain open.
  • All K-12 schools, public or private, will be closed through the end of the month.
  • Several grocery stores across Illinois will offer special shopping times for vulnerable customers, including senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, before stores open to the general public. Among the grocers with new hours for elderly shoppers are Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods, Safeway, Mariano's, Target, and Wal-Mart.

Travel Warnings 
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea. CDC also advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy, and Japan. Travelers should practice usual precautions when traveling to Hong Kong. If you plan to travel internationally, I encourage you to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive important messages, alerts, updates, and travel advisories while you are there. 

Further Information 
Experts have been working hard to understand this new strain of coronavirus. Because new information is coming out every day, please visit the sites below to stay up to date.

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.

The Illinois Department of Health provides updates on the disease's spread within the state, as well as frequently asked questions available here.

The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

Resource Pages 

More information about small business resources during this COVID-19 outbreak can be found here

More information about unemployment insurance and benefits during this COVID-19 outbreak can be found here

The safety of you and your loved ones is of the utmost importance. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at (630) 585-7672.