Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke Community Report:
Coronavirus/COVID-19 symptoms can appear up to two weeks after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The best way to stop the spread of Coronavirus is to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol); don’t shake hands when greeting others; an avoid touching your face; disinfect surfaces, like countertops, sinks, dressers and desks. If you become sick, stay home to prevent the spread of germs to others, especially high-risk folks like seniors and those with chronic illnesses. For the latest information on COVID-19, check out the Centers for Disease Control’s resources by visiting cdc.gov. You can also subscribe to NYC’s Coronavirus text updates by texting “COVID” to 692-692 (NYC-NYC).
With reports of cases of COVID-19 in New York City, it’s important we receive ACCURATE information from trusted experts on the status of this pandemic. There is a lot of misinformation being spread, so I encourage you to listen closely to alerts from the CDC as well as your elected officials to receive the most accurate updates. While there have not been any confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our District, there have been confirmed cases throughout New York City–including in Far Rockaway, Canarsie and The Bronx. My office is in close contact with the New York City Mayor’s office to keep current on the latest developments. The Mayor’s office has shared the following with my team for small business owners and entrepreneurs:
“The city is doubling the number of disease detectives New York City and is offering loans for small businesses up to $75k for businesses seeing a 25% decrease in revenue.”
As a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Vice Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the Health Subcommittee, I’ve been on the forefront to ensure Coronavirus is getting the attention it needs through federal legislation.
Here are some updates from Capitol Hill:
Last week, I voted for the Coronavirus Supplemental Package to allocate $8.3 billion in discretionary spending to aid in the development of vaccines, research, equipment and state and local health budgets. Thankfully, this supplemental package passed both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and was signed into law by the President. The Centers for Disease Control is still determining how these funds will be allocated among CDC operations and to states, including New York. This money will support:
- Improved surveillance for coronavirus
- Laboratory testing to detect positive cases
- Contact tracing to identify additional positive cases
- Infection control at the local level, including public awareness campaigns to prevent additional cases
- $490 million to ensure Medicare payments for telehealth so patients can consult doctors remotely.
I am an original co-sponsor of the Families First Coronavrius Response Act to ensure:
- Free testing for COVID-19
- 14 days of paid emergency sick leave
- Additional funding for Medicaid
- 3 months of paid family and medical leave
- Expanded unemployment insurance and food security
My Homeland Security Committee colleagues and I held the following hearings related to Coronavirus:
- “Perspectives on the Response to a Pandemic Threat”
- “Community Perspectives on Coronavirus Preparedness and Response”
- “Federal Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak”
I will continue to be active in Congress in the coming days, weeks and months to make sure we’re doing what we can to best handle Coronavirus and to keep our community safe and informed.