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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

COVID-19 Updates

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.

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Personal health, preventative measures, and travel info

Support for impacted businesses

Legislative efforts to combat the coronavirus

Personal health and travel information 

See the latest info from the CDC here. See the latest from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Symptoms and transmission

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.

Preventing community spread

As you may know, there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. 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.

What to do if you have symptoms?

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.

Travel

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.

Community precautions

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

All K-12 schools in Illinois, both public and private, will be closed through the academic year. Students who receive free meals through school will still receive two meals a day.

Events in Ilinois of 1,000+ people have been canceled. All sporting events have been canceled and events of 10+ people are strongly discouraged.

Assistance

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.

For Illinois-specific COVID-19 information, please go to the Illinois Public Health Department here or email dph.sick@illinois.gov or call (800)-889-3931.

Support for impacted businesses

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.

Loan information through the Small Business Administration

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:

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

Three-Step Process for SBA Disaster Loans

COVID-19 Need to Know for Small Businesses

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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

The Paycheck Protection Program

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.

Essential Businesses & Operations Frequently Asked Questions

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

Legislative efforts to combat the coronavirus

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.

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