As your Member of Congress, your safety is a top priority of mine, and I want to ensure that you are properly updated and informed on the latest information about the Coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Please be assured that the Congress and Administration, including the White House and all relevant agencies, are coordinating to assess the situation and respond. The United States is prepared, and we a taking every necessary step to keep our country safe against the spread of this virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the best resource to provide up to date information to keep you safe and healthy.
- Symptoms and transmission
- Preventing community spread
- What to do if you have symptoms
- Additional assistance
Symptoms of COVID-19 usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses similar to a common cold. This may include: fever, cough, or shortness of breath
Human coronavirus spreads most commonly from an infected person to others through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, and touching an object or surface with the virus.
As of December 15, 2020, a vaccine has been authorized for use in the United States. According to the State of Illinois, the vaccine will be first distributed to priority groups, including health care personnel, essential frontline workers, and those with high Irish medical conditions and adults over 65 years of age. While we await the distribution of the vaccine, it's important that we continue to take steps to keep those around us safe. The best way to prevent getting ill is to avoid exposure to this virus, and to practice everyday preventive measures:
Click here to learn more from the CDC about preventing COVID-19 spread in communities.
Symptoms may appear anywhere between 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread, contact your healthcare professional by PHONE. Your healthcare professional will work with Illinois’ public health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
For more information on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19, please click here.
For your safety, travel to certain countries and areas is strongly discouraged. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. For more information CLICK HERE.
For more information regarding travel and restrictions, please click here.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office (309)-671-7027.
If you are in China and need immediate assistance, please contact the U.S. State Department at CoronaVirusEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
As we continue to navigate the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, small businesses across central and west-central Illinois are going to face challenges as they are forced to close or lose out on business. My office is working to ensure that businesses and workers in need get access to the resources they need to get through these challenging times.
My office is actively working to connect individuals and small businesses with the resources and funding made available in light of the coronavirus outbreak. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call my office at (309) 671-7027 or contact us via email here: https://lahood.house.gov/contact.
Congress acted recently to provide additional resources through a supplemental appropriations bill, which opens up the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under a Governor’s Certification Disaster Declaration. On Thursday, March 20th, the SBA approved Illinois' request for disaster loan assistance for every county in Illinois' 18th Congressional District.
To apply for federal assistance loans through the SBA you can go to their website: SBA.gov/disaster. If you have questions on the application process, need help walking through an application, or are having trouble getting in contact with the SBA, my office is happy to help provide assistance.
If you are looking for more information from the SBA to support local businesses, these links can provide you more info:
For additional information, you can contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center directly. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the CARES Act, passed by Congress, the Paycheck Protection Program was created to help small businesses and their employees through this challenging time. The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
Please go to the U.S. Treasury Department's website here to get the full guidance.
For a topline overview please CLICK HERE.
If you're a lender, CLICK HERE for more information.
If you're a borrow, CLICK HERE for more information.
CLICK HERE for the application
Please read the documents in the link above for more detail, however, some of the highlights for small business borrowers are:
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
- The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained.
Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to the likely high subscriptions, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.
When can I apply?
- Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
- Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
- Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.
What do I need to apply?
You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application (please find in link above) and submit the application with the required documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020.
On March 20, Governor Pritzker ordered all non-essential businesses and operations to cease all activities except for minimum basic operations. Non-essential businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors working from home. For more information, the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity put together this document to help answer questions: Essential Businesses & Operations Frequently Asked Questions
On March 4, Congress passed the first emergency coronavirus package (H.R. 6074), which was signed into law by President Trump on March 6, 2020. This package included $7.8 billion funding to increase testing capabilities across the country, bolster state and local response efforts, provide relief to small businesses, and purchase essential equipment and supplies. Important information on this package can be found HERE.
On March 18, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bipartisan bill, which I supported, does a number of things to support our efforts in Illinois to combat COVID-19, including:
- Eliminates cost barriers to allow for free testing of COVID-19
- Provides paid leave for employees who are sick or ill through a tax credit to employers
- Protects student access to meals during school closures related to COVID-19 by allowing school officials and child care centers to distribute food in alternate settings
- Expands funding for key Older Americans Act nutrition programs, including Home-Delivered and Congregate meals for seniors
On March 18, I joined the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation to write in support of Illinois' request for SBA disaster loan assistance. On Thursday, I was pleased that this request was approved for every county in our state. This opens up much-needed low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by the COVIDー19 outbreak and mandated closures. If you need assistance with a disaster loan, my website has resources to assist you here.
On March 18, I joined the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation to urge the Department of Health and Human Services to fulfill Illinois' Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) request and ensure Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has a robust supply of test kits.
On March 19, I joined a bipartisan group from the Illinois Congressional Delegation to request Governor Pritzker that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) grant health care providers the ability to transfer patients with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) for the purpose of freeing up more personal protective equipment (PPE) to combat the coronavirus.
On March 19, I joined a bipartisan group of House members to urge U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Ambassador to China to continue supporting efforts to rapidly increase American-made supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and to leverage our relationships with trading partners to bolster our PPE supplies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the third emergency coronavirus package (H.R. 748, as amended) by voice vote, which was later signed into law by President Trump on that same day. This package provided almost $2 trillion in relief, including direct financial assistance to middle-class Americans, funds to support health care workers and hospitals, emergency loans for small businesses, expanded unemployment insurance and directs funds to state and local governments. You can read a summary of the bill CLICK HERE.
On April 23, 2020, Congress passed a fourth relief package that will replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, increase funding for hospitals, and bolster states’ capacity to test. This bill provided almost $500 million in relief for small business loans and rural hospitals. You can read more HERE.
For more info on the Congressional response, head to the Ways and Means Republicans website HERE.