Things are moving quickly as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. At Proactive MD, we are monitoring these developments, as we continue to provide care without compromise to our patients. We want to make sure that our partners – patients, clients, and the broader healthcare community – have the latest information. Here’s a digest of the most recent presidential press conference, governmental guidance, and COVID-19 news.
Congress likely to send taxpayers checks in coronavirus aid. Here’s who qualifies:
As Congress pushes through a $2 trillion stimulus bill, some Americans can expect checks from the government to help them cope with the economic devastation stemming from the coronavirus crisis. Those payments are expected to be $1,200 for individuals, or $2,400 for those who are married and file income taxes jointly. It also includes $500 per child. But, you have to meet certain qualifications in order to be eligible for the money, based on your adjusted gross income in your latest tax returns. (read more)
What’s in the bailout package
The Senate releases a roughly $2 trillion economic relief plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which it hopes to pass Wednesday night. It includes direct payments to Americans, strengthened unemployment insurance, loans to small and large businesses, in addition to increased health care resources for hospitals, states and municipalities. It is unclear when the House will pass the legislation, though it could do so as early as Thursday. (read more)
At least 424 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in South Carolina, and seven people have died, according to public health officials. Another 82 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state, the Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Wednesday. (Read more)
Two new COVID-19 deaths reported in Indiana Wednesday, 477 cases across the state
There were 112 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the state of Indiana on Wednesday, bringing the total number of Hoosiers with the virus to 477. So far 14 people have died across the state from COVID-19. The Indiana State Health Department says they have conducted more than 3,350 tests, that isn’t including any tests done at labs outside the state health department’s facility. Of those diagnosed with the virus, 14 have died, including six people in Marion County. (read more)
Colorado expands shelter in place to more counties
Jefferson County’s response to the pandemic threat of COVID-19 ramped up today, with a countywide order for residents to stay at home, only leaving their residences for essential activities, work and services. The order is effective Thursday, March 26 at 8 a.m. It requires all individuals in Jefferson County to stay at home (also known as shelter in place) aside from activities that are exempted. The order is in place until April 17, 2020, although it’s possible it may be extended, canceled or otherwise modified.
The Jefferson County announcement was done in conjunction with two other Denver metro area public health departments, covering Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Boulder counties — effectively putting most of the metro area under restrictions. The orders allow people to leave home for "essential activities," such as to shop for groceries, obtain medical supplies or medication, go to the doctor, or walk or exercise outdoors.
Text of Governor Polis’s Stay in Place Executive Order (read here)
Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will begin Thursday morning as state’s latest response efforts against COVID-19, a new strain of the coronavirus. The stay-at-home order will go into effect at 6 a.m. Thursday and last until at least April 11. Polis also said he sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he declare a major disaster area for Colorado as he has for California, New York and Washington. The governor also reported that while data shows social distancing has had a positive effect, it isn’t enough. He’s asking retired health workers or those with training to contact their former employers and offer help.
White House Press Conference (2020.03.25)
- America continues to gain ground – thank the American people for following the guidelines
- Social Distancing so important right now
- Get the country back to normal very quickly
- Some areas sooner than others
- Major disaster declarations for
- New York
- Constant communication with NY and other hotspots
- Tough weeks ahead
- Cuomo feels use of the DPA is appropriate
- Companies want to help
- Testing, building hospitals, etc.
- We are doing more testing than any other country
- Japan – postponing the Olympics the right decision
- Going to be a great Olympics
- I’m planning on going
- Senate close to a relief act:
- Tremendous paid sick leave at no cost to the employer
- Biggest package ever in congress
- Goes to jobs and families
- Job retention loans for small business that retain their employees
- Direct cash to citizens (typical family of 4 will get about $3,400)
- Independent contractors, employees, self-employed also eligible
- Money to hospitals, supplies and to replenish the national stockpile
- Disaster relief fund
- No stock buybacks limits on executive compensation
- Thanks American non-profits for their amazing work
- Critical supplies through FEMA:
- 9.4 million masks (N95)
- 20m surgical masks
- 6,000 ventilators – 4k to NY yesterday
- Compliments his staff
- Complimented volunteers all over the country
Secretary Mnuchin (Treasury)
- Thanks McConnel and Shermer for leadership and support
- Very pleased with Senates unprecedented response
- Small business retention loans – 8 weeks of salary as long as keep workers employed
- FDIC inventing process for making and disbursing loans to Small business
- Economic program for larger employers
- Administered through states
- Tax incentive
- Direct payments to families – paid directly
- 100 billion to hospitals and 150 b to states to cover COVID-19 expenses
- Protects workers and businesses
- Q: Will the bill be big enough to keep country afloat?
Mnuchin: We think 3 month’s worth – but hope this will cover the initial time
- Q: What did you mean yesterday when you said we should not rely on other countries?
Trump: Making changes to make things more in America, been doing that all along.
- Q: Are you considering an executive order to ban export of medical equipment?
Trump: The EU doesn’t buy ours because of regulations to keep us out. Terrible and unfair – we will address this trade balance soon.
- Q: Will the unemployment guarantees encourage employees to leave their jobs?
Mnuchin: Wanted to have ability to enhance it. Used $600 across the board – don’t think that is incentive for most Americans. Our number one issue was making sure American workers got money ASAP.
- Q: Are the senators now in final agreement?
Trump: Won’t say – expect it to pass tonight, need to get the money into the economy.
- Q: Is Easter timeline tied to your re-election success – lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said that may not be a good idea.
Trump: Some people want the country, especially you in the media, to fail so they can defeat me in the election. You are lucky this team is here in this crisis – or you wouldn’t even have a country.
- Q: Once the $2 trillion package is signed, how quickly will money start to flow?
Mnuchin: Within 3 weeks when we have depository information, expect all banks to quickly be able to do same day loans by the end of next week.
- Q: Will you lead a worldwide effort to ban exotic animal trafficking to prevent another pandemic like COVID?
Trump: Don’t anticipate that will come up in our conversations – not at the top of my list.
- Q: Money for the Kennedy Center – shouldn’t we be spending that money on masks and needed supply?
Trump: Had to give the democrats something.
- Q: Should the US reevaluate its relationship with the World Health Organization?
Trump: Have heard that biased toward China – it’s had problems, but done well under the current leaders?