Coronavirus: Resources for the Central Coast

The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to the respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

En Español: Para obtener información en español, visite nuestra página de el Novedoso Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

 

Federal and Local Resources: Please find federal and local resources attached 

 

Find your county's health department page here:

Congressional Office Safety Protocols and Office Hours During COVID-19

 

Central Coast Residents Overseas:

Please register under the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: https://step.state.gov/step/

I have heard from concerned constituents and families about this and continue to work to help get you home. The first step is to enroll in this program. 

Please also contact the State Department to inform them of your situation via the 24 hour hotline:

  • Callers located in U.S. and Canada: 1-888-407-4747
  • Callers located overseas: 1-202-501-4444

 

About COVID-19:

The family of coronaviruses include many common viruses, like the ones that cause the common cold. COVID-19 is a new a kind of coronavirus. The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and respiratory symptoms. In more than 80% of cases, individuals infected by COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms. In uncommon cases, more serious complications can arise, including pneumonia. We are continuing to learn more about its transmission, but because the most common symptoms are respiratory, so its primary mode of transmission is through coughing and sneezing.

There are easy, practical steps that can be taken to dramatically lower your risk and the public’s risk of exposure to the virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations, including the influenza vaccine.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay away from work, school or other people if you are sick.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.

Have supplies on hand:

  • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
  • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
  • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
  • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

 

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs:

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

​​Have a plan for if you get sick:

  • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
  • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick

 

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

 

 

In the House of Representatives, I am seeking and securing resources to bolster effective public health responses on the Central Coast to mitigate any potential effects of COVID-19.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans first passed an emergency spending bill for a well-funded, evidence-based public health investment.  The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act provides $8.3 billion for federal, state, and local efforts to treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  This bipartisan package includes funds for vaccine research and development, telemedicine services, and medical supplies and support for hospitals and health centers.  The bill also provides significant amounts of funding for the Small Business Administration, enabling the agency to provide $7 billion in emergency loans.  

The House of Representatives then passed bipartisan comprehensive legislation to bolster Americans’ personal safety and financial security.  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides emergency paid leave, stability for our unemployment insurance system, and additional Medicaid funding.  The bill also ensures free coronavirus testing and more protections for healthcare workers and first-responders.  Additionally, the bill strengthens food security initiatives with more funds for food stamps, meals for students and seniors, and local food banks.

Congress is now working with the administration to develop a third emergency stimulus package to protect our economic security.  Some potential options discussed for that package include penalty waivers for debt and mortgage obligations, increased federal disaster grants for affected small businesses, zero-interest guaranteed loans for affected industries, and direct cash assistance to families and businesses to make up for lost revenue.  The dire challenges faced by employees and employers in the hospitality industry and small businesses across the Central Coast will definitely be considered as Congress formulates such essential legislation. 

Additionally, I questioned Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar at our Ways and Means Committee hearing about the administration's response to coronavirus, vaccine development and affordable disbursement, and public health strategies. I continue to call on officials to establish a clear chain of command on who is taking charge of executing strategy and restore the global health security teams (originally established after the Ebola outbreak in 2014) that were disbanded at the National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security.

Please know that I continue to monitor this public health concern closely and will keep our community apprised of any updates. If you have any immediate questions or concerns that I or my staff can help you with, please feel free to call my Congressional offices in Salinas, Santa Cruz, or Washington, D.C. or contact me through my website. Please do not hesitate to reach out and let me know how I can continue to best serve you. ​

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