April 29, 2020
Check PublicHealth.LACounty.Gov for the most up to date information.
Vaccinations are being administered now. Find out your eligibility and sign up for an appointment if applicable at VaccinateLACounty.com. All Los Angeles County residents age 16 and up are eligible as of April 15, 2021.
Congresswoman Barragán and her staff are continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and are in regular contact with federal, state and local public health officials.
Congresswoman Barragán has hosted hosted telephone town hall meetings with local experts to answer questions you have about this outbreak. To read/listen to past telephone town halls, click here.
What the American Rescue Plan Act Means to You
The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:
- Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities.
- Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend unemployment insurance so that 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and more than 17 million low-wage workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit.
To track the status of your direct payment, click here.
- Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers. This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
- Put People Back In Jobs: The plan will provide crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
More information on federal relief options for businesses here.
The Paycheck Protection Program helps businesses keep their workers employed during the COVID-19 crisis and applications are open until May 31, 2021. It will provide up to $10 million for each qualified small business to help maintain payroll, keep workers on the books, or pay for rent or other overhead charges. The program includes loan forgiveness covering costs of certain business expenses over the first eight weeks of the loan. It is expected that at least 75% of the costs forgiven would come from payroll.
Small businesses, including non-profits, veterans’ organizations, tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals with 500 or fewer employees are eligible for these loans. They have a 1.0% interest rate, require no collateral, and the first payment is deferred for six months. Click here to learn how to apply.
Shuttered Venues Operators Grant
In response to feedback from stakeholders, the SBA has relaunched its Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) application. Applications are now open for small businesses that have had to shut their doors due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The American Rescue Plan Act provided a lifeline to local restaurants through the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The Small Business Administration is now accepting applications from restaurants, bars, cafes, food carts and bakeries to access the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Priority in the first 21 days will be given to restaurants owned by women, veterans, and socially or economically disadvantaged groups. For more information visit SBA.gov/restaurants.
Utility Resources in Our District
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Provides financial assistance to low-income people in Los Angeles County to help pay with current, late, or disconnect utility bills
- U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents are eligible for assistance
- To apply or learn more, please call (213) 989-3177 or call 211
- More info: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap
- Gas Assistance Fund
- Provided by SoCalGas, in partnership with United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- Provides a one-time grant in the amount of the gas bill. Maximum grant of $200
- To apply or learn more, please contact 1-877-238-0092
- More info: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/assistanceplans/
- Energy Assistance Fund
- Provided by Southern California Edison, in partnership with United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- Provides a one-time grant in the amount of the electricity bill. Maximum grant of $200
- To apply or learn more, please contact 1-800-950-2356
- More info: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/assistanceplans/
- Provided by the Liberty Hill Foundation, in partnership with several community-based organizations including Communities for a Better Environment and the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
- Program connects community members with resources and incentives to assist in lowering their home and daily energy expenses through:
- Discounts and financial aid to reduce the amount you spend on gas and electricity bills;
- Repairs, upgrades, and rebates to make your home more energy efficient;
- Replacement-rebate programs to remove polluting automobiles from the road and offer assistance in purchasing an electric vehicle
- To sign up or learn more, call (323) 556-7205 or visit LibertyHill.org
Funds to Cover Costs of COVID-Related Funeral or Burial Expenses
FEMA funds are now available to help cover funeral/burial costs of those lost to COVID. Call (844) 684-6333 to apply Mon – Fri 6am-6pm PST. There is no deadline. Applicants must be a US Citizen or legal resident, but can apply for lost loved ones who were undocumented. Documentation is required. More information here.
California will continue to pay unemployment benefits to people who qualify. The CARES Act provides that the federal government will pay you an additional $300 per week on top of what you qualify to receive from the state of California.
While freelancers, independent contractors and self-employed people do not usually qualify for unemployment benefits, those individuals may qualify at this time.
To apply, click here to go to the State of California’s Employment Development Department.
Free COVID-19 Testing Available to All:
Make an appointment to get tested at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Coronaviruses are common, and they include the common cold, but COVID-19 is a new strain.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccination?
Yes, as soon as you are eligible you should get whatever vaccine you are able to access. They are all safe and effective at preventing death and hospitalization from COVID-19. More information here.
What are the symptoms and how does it spread?
The most common symptoms include loss of smell, loss of taste, fever, cough and increasingly severe respiratory symptoms (trouble breathing). Our experience to date is that most people who are exposed to the virus, more than 80%, have mild or no symptoms. Some people, however, may have more complicated symptoms, including pneumonia or lung inflammation.
For confirmed COVID-19 cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Current research suggests that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19?
It is important to know that the risk of COVID-19 to the general public in the United States continues to remain low and efforts are being undertaken to keep it that way. With that said, public health officials believe the situation will get worse. How much worse, depends not only on the response of local, state and federal public health officials, but on the public at large.
As mentioned above, some people are more at-risk of severe health effects from COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to those over 60 years of age, with growing risk as age increases; people with respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema; people with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes; and those who are immune-compromised, such as people in cancer treatment or with HIV/AIDS.
How can I help protect myself, my family, and my community?
Every person has a role to play in protecting themselves and helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what you can do:
- Wear a clean mask over your nose and mouth when in public spaces, even if vaccinated.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, & mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue in the trash
- Use a regular household cleaning spray/wipe to clean & disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces
- Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- If you are vaccinated, the CDC has issued guidelines about actions around others.
Information for Workers
Sick or Quarantined
In California, if you need access to paid family, medical, or sick leave, you should visit or contact the California Department of Employment Development at edd.ca.gov or call 1-877-238-4373 to contact a Paid Family Leave representative.
If you cannot work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file for Disability Insurance (DI). DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have total or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. For guidance on the disease, visit the California Department of Public Health website.
You can find more information from the California Department of Employment Development about disability benefits or paid family leave along with information about unemployment insurance benefits here: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
If you are unable to work because you are caring for a sick or quarantined relative with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file for Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL offers up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a total or partial loss of wages because they need time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60 to 70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 to $1,300 per week.
Reduced Working Hours
If your employer has reduced your hours or closed operations due to COVID-19, you can file for Unemployment Insurance (UI). UI provides partial payments of wage replacement benefits to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer in a few weeks are not required to actively seek work every week. However, they must remain capable and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each claimed benefit week and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits ranging from $40 to $450 per week.
Information for Employers
Occupational Health and Safety
For information on how to protect workers from COVID-19, see OSHA’s Guide to Measures to Prevent Workers’ Exposure to the Coronavirus. Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with planning and responding to COVID-19.
Reduced Working Hours
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their business or services as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy can apply for the UI Work Sharing Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs: by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset by UI benefits, employers can retain their trained employees. Employer workers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and reduced wages, not to exceed 60 percent. Visit the Work Sharing program to learn more about your employer and employee benefits, and how to apply.
Possible Closing or Layoffs
Employers planning a major closure or layoffs as a result of the coronavirus can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help prevent potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, see the Rapid Response Services for Business Data Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact the California Local Employment Center in the United States.
Tax Assistance Information
The IRS and Federal Treasury Department as well as the state California have implemented an extension for tax filings, which are now due on May 17, 2021.
For questions, employers can call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center.
- Free call from the USA. USA Or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
- Hearing impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565
- Outside the US USA or Canada: 1-916-464-3502
Didn’t Get the Full First and Second Payments? Claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit
If you didn’t get the full amount of the first or second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return even if you don’t normally file. The third Economic Impact Payment will not be used to calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. More information here.
Health Insurance Information
Anyone who is uninsured and meets eligibility requirements for health care coverage through Covered California can sign up in the new open enrollment period through May 15, 2021. This is an important step to ensure Californians who lose coverage through an employer, or who are otherwise uninsured, have the opportunity to enroll in coverage. The California Department of Health Care Services also announced new steps to help those eligible for Medi-Cal sign-up. Learn more here.
Student Loan Information
All borrowers with federally held student loans through the U.S. Department of Education will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% until at least September 30, 2021.
Student loans can come from many sources, and borrowers should contact their own lender(s) to discuss what their individual situations may be. Learn more about the Department of Education action here.
Families First – COVID-19 Constituent Services Resources Toolkit
Since the beginning of the epidemic, House Democrats have focused on ensuring our nation’s response puts workers and families first: their health, their wages and their well-being.