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IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR CO-04

March 18, 2020
Blog Post

As we tread into unprecedented waters, I have compiled state, local, and national coronavirus resources for the residents Colorado's Fourth Congressional District. Below you can find information like CDC-recommended prevention measures, where to get tested and treated, and up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is impacting the Eastern Plains.

 

CDC Information and Guidelines

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

What Steps Can I Take to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus?

  • Clean your hands often

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

  • Stay home if you’re sick

    • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

    • Throw used tissues in the trash.

    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick

    • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

    • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

  • Clean and disinfect

    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

 

Resources from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

 

How Can I Get Treated or Tested in Colorado?

Colorado offers free Coronavirus tests. You must have an order from your health care provider and proof of insurance is not required. For questions and concerns please contact the following health agencies:

 

Adams

Tri-County Health Department

303-220-9200

Arapahoe

Tri-County Health Department

303-220-9200

Baca

Baca County Public Health Agency

719-523-6621

Bent

Bent County Public Health Agency

719-456-0517

Boulder

Boulder County Public Health

303-441-1100

Cheyenne

Cheyenne County Public Health Agency

719-767-5616

Costilla

Costilla County Public Health Agency

719-672-3332

Crowley

Otero County Health Department

719-383-3040

Douglas

Tri-County Health Department

303-220-9200

El Paso

El Paso County Public Health

719-578-3199

Elbert

Elbert County Health and Human Services

303-621-3144

Huerfano

Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District Health Department

719-846-2213

Kiowa

Prowers County Public Health

719-438-5782

Kit Carson

Kit Carson County Department of Public Health and Environment

719-346-7158

Las Animas

Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District Health Department

719-846-2213

Lincoln

Lincoln County Department of Public Health

719-743-2526

Logan

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3741

Morgan

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3742

Otero

Otero County Health Department

719-383-3040

Philips

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3742

Prowers

Prowers County Public Health

719-336-8721

Pueblo

Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment

719-583-4300

Sedgwick

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3742

Washington

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3742

Weld

Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment

970-304-6420

Yuma

Northeast Colorado Health Department

970-522-3742

 

Resources for Small Businesses

Our small businesses are facing substantial losses and disruption during these uncertain times and they need our help. In response, I signed a letter with the entire Colorado delegation urging the Small Business Administration to approve our state’s disaster declaration and help affected businesses recover. I’m happy to announce that SBA granted our request and will offer low-interest disaster loans to small business owners in Colorado. Click here to learn more.

  • Qualified Sick Leave Wages 

    • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees must pay up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to full-time employees (pro-rata rules apply to part-time employees) who are home sick from coronavirus, complying with a quarantine, or taking care of an individual who has been infected. This leave also applies to working families who may be forced home due to school closures.

    • Federal government will provide employers with a refundable payroll tax credit of 100 percent of the required wages.

    • Employees are capped at $200 per day ($511 per day in the case of employees that are home sick from coronavirus or complying with a quarantine).

  • Qualified Family Leave Wages

    • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees must provide an additional 12 weeks of paid leave due to caring for a child whose school is closed.

    • The first 2 weeks of the leave, which is covered by the qualified sick leave described above, may be unpaid.

    • During the remaining 10 weeks, the employer will pay 2/3 of the employee’s salary, capped at $200 per day for up to 50 days.

    • Federal government will provide businesses with a refundable payroll tax credit of 100 percent of the required wages.

    • Secretary of Labor may issue rules to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from these requirements when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

  • Unemployment Insurance for Workers

    • Provides $500 million for emergency administrative grants to states to support timely application, processing and payment of unemployment claims.

    • Makes an additional $500 million available for 100 percent federally funded Extended Benefits to support states that experience a spike in unemployment of at least 10 percent and eases some federal eligibility requirements to improve access.

    • Allows states to access interest-free federal loans to pay unemployment benefits, if needed.

  • Access to Capital

    • According to Secretary Mnuchin, the Administration is in the process of working on a regulation to allow some businesses who have large amounts of their workforce out to take the tax credit in advance. This is to ensure that businesses have enough payroll cash on hand to meet the leave requirements.

    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program - The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

    • For more information please visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronaviruscovid-19.

 SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.

  • How to get access to lending partners? SBA has developed Lender Match, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours.

    • 7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.

    • Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.

    • Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.

    • 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.

    • Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.

 

Resources for Veterans

 

The VA has implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for Veterans in the face of this emerging health risk. We are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak of the virus. VA has administered over 322 COVID-19 tests nationwide while taking aggressive steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

 

These measures include outreach to Veterans and staff, clinical screening at VA health care facilities, and protective procedures for patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units.

 

Any Veteran with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should immediately contact their local VA facility. VA urges Veterans to call before visiting – you can find contact information for your closest VA facility. Alternatively, Veterans can sign into My HealtheVet to send a secure message to VA or use telehealth options to explain their condition and receive a prompt diagnosis.

 

Upon arriving at VA, all patients will be screened for flu-like symptoms before they enter in order to protect other patients and staff. A VA health care professional will assist you with next steps once this screening process is complete.

 

At this time, VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to please postpone their visits to VA facilities.

Learn to use VA Video Connect through the VA mobile app store or by contacting your VA care team, before any urgent problems arise. For more information please visit the VA website.