In order to keep our community updated on the latest coronavirus developments, a new resource page has been added to my website. Though info will be added regularly, you can also get the latest news by following my Twitter account at @GOPLeader for daily coronavirus alerts. My Facebook page @RepKevinMcCarthy is another great way to stay connected.
Here are a few local resources to help you stay informed:
There are currently no known cases of coronavirus in our community.
Over the weekend, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) expedited the approval of diagnostic tests for coronavirus, which will substantially increase testing capabilities across the country. A few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also announced that test kits are expected to be available in every state and local health department by the end of this week. One kit can test approximately 350 individuals. Both of these facts are excellent news and show our country's progress in quickly adapting to meet the challenges associated with Covid19.
Here are few additional resources and tips:
Make sure to wash your hands.
Refrain from touching your face.
Face masks are not recommended by the Surgeon General.
If you're feeling sick, stay at home.
More tips are available on the CDC's website.
CDC travel health notices can be found here.
International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available here.
State Department or specific country advisories are listed here.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus – fever, cough, shortness of breath – and have been to China in the last few weeks, or have been in close contact with someone you know who has been to China, make sure to contact your health care provider immediately.
For more information regarding coronavirus, click here.
March 6, 2020:
This week, Congress passed $8 billion in emergency funding to combat coronavirus, and today, President Trump signed this measure into law. My office also hosted a local call with the CDC and Kern County Public Health to update local health providers, hospital leaders, educators, and state and local elected officials on the status of COVID-19.
March 10, 2020:
Our country is also dramatically increasing the number of tests - private companies began shipping lab tests this week - which will in turn exponentially increase our testing capabilities.
Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against cruise ship travel worldwide, and recommended that older adults or people with underlying health issues avoid "crowded places, [and] non-essential travel such as long plane trips."
*NEW* For Our Communities:
- Guides for childcare programs and K-12 administrators.
- Information for parents and guardians regarding potential school closures.
- Create a household plan.
If you think you may have coronavirus, the CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed.
March 17, 2020
Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan coronavirus supplemental package to provide Americans and their families with the resources necessary to tackle economic and health challenges ahead. This bill puts American families and workers first by providing free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and paid sick leave. This legislation also includes paid emergency leave throughout this crisis while also giving America's small businesses the flexibility they need to keep millions of Americans employed during this outbreak.
Here are some other top takeaways over the last few days:
Seniors Can Video Chat Their Doctors
This week, the Trump Administration announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage to ensure that our must vulnerable seniors get the care they need away from risk settings. Seniors can see any doctor licensed in their state, whether or not they have an existing relationship, and FaceTime, Skype, or use other audiovisual technology.
The National Institutes of Health, at record speed, has also started the enrollment of Phase 1 of a clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine to create treatments that are safe and effective.
Relief for Businesses and Families
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been instructed by President Trump to provide loans to businesses affected by coronavirus. This includes low-interest rates for California small businesses negatively impacted by coronavirus. To apply, visit the SBA's website.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) awarded the state of California $37.7 million in funding for state and local preparedness and response activities related to coronavirus. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has created the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to assist households and businesses with credit flow during this time.
Please note: On Friday, President Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic to be a National Emergency which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use reserved funds to address the virus. Public-private partnerships with organizations like Target, Walmart, Google, Walgreens, and others, will also help our country to tackle this pandemic head on.
March 19, 2020
For Parents and Educators
- The Smithsonian offers free, high-quality educational tools to keep students entertained and engaged.
- The Library of Congress provides resources to assist teachers in future lesson planning.
- The National Gallery of Art gives families ways to engage with the Gallery's features online.
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has also released a guide with helpful STEM options to keep students engaged.
Additionally, Spectrum is offering households with students free access to internet services for 60 days. You can learn more about it here.
We are #InItTogether, and communities across the country are creating ways to support one another, including making sure that school-age children still have access to free meals. Here are a few locations offering these services:
- Kern High School District
- Bakersfield City School District
- Boys and Girls Club Kern County
- Antelope Valley Union High School District
- See more locations here
Additionally, check out the sample schedule for families provided by Bakersfield City School District