Below are resources related to COVID-19, precautions to take, symptoms, travel restriction information, and latest updates on government action. If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow the CDC’s guidelines on what to do if you are sick.
COVID-19 Response Timeline
The COVID-19 outbreak disrupted life all over the world in a matter of weeks. The Trump Adminstration has come under much scrutiny and criticism, but at every stage, the Administration has responded aggressively to mitigate the pandemic's effects and to work with public health experts to find solutions. Click here for a detailed timeline of the virus's spread and of how the U.S. government has combatted it throughout.
- Governor Ivey's current Safer at Home order with all of its updates can be viewed in full here.
- It is imperative to maintain safety while also reopening our state economy as efficiently as possible. When Alabama's shelter-in-place order lifted on April 30, I sent a letter of recommendations to Governor Ivey on priorities and goals for the state's reopening. You can read my full letter with the recommendations here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts and News
In the spring of 2020, President Trump announced the initiation of Operation Warp Speed, an effort to develop a new, safe, and effective vaccine for COVID-19. It has harnessed the unique powers of public-private partnership and American innovation, and the results so far have demonstrated historic success. Read more below on the progress of Operation Warp Speed, how a vaccine will be made available in the coming weeks and months, and recent news on different vaccine candidates.
In the News:
- Remarks by the President during Update on Operation Warp Speed (Nov. 13, 2020)
- 8 Things to Know About Vaccine Planning
- Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy
- President Donald J. Trump is Ensuring that Americans Are Not Displaced by Foreign Workers Using Federal Dollars
- President Donald J. Trump and His Administration Have Created the Best COVID-19 Testing System in the World
- President Trump is Leading a Once-in-a-Generation Effort to Ensure Americans Have Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine
- President Trump's Letter on the Distribution of Farmer's to Families Food Boxes - English Version, Spanish Version
- FEMA's Community Mitigation Decision Support Tool
- COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith
- The Trump Administration is Supporting the People of Alabama
- President Trump's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
- How the White House is Supporting Small Businesses
- The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America
- President Donald J. Trump is Providing Economic Relief to American Workers, Families, and Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues First Emergency Use Authorization for Point of Care Diagnostic
- Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19
- Delivering on President Trump's Promise, Secretary DeVos Suspends Federal Student Loan Payments, Waives Interest During National Emergency
- President Trump Expands Telehealth Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries during COVID-19 Outbreak
- FDA Provides More Regulatory Relief During Outbreak, Continues to Help Expedite Availability of Diagnostics
- Medicare Telemedicine Healthcare Provider Fact Sheet
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC is regularly sharing updates on COVID-19, the government’s response, and what you can do to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- Donate COVID-19 Plasma to Help Save Lives
- Guidance for Reopening Schools for Fall 2020
- Guidance about the disease
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- CDC News and Updates
CARES Act of 2020
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Find here a summary of the content of this bill regarding healthcare, individual financial assistance, and relief for businesses of various capacities.
- Find here a summary from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on how the CARES Act affects your small business and for information on emergency loans.
- Be sure to check out these Frequently Asked Questions about the CARES Act: Part 1 and Part 2
Unemployment Compensation Resources
Relief packages recently signed into law have enacted a number of options for filing for unemployment benefits. Find resources on what steps to take next below.
- Alabama Department of Labor: General COVID-19 Resources
- Phone Numbers for Claimants in Alabama
- Alabama to Begin Processing Claims Under Cares Act Provisions
Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses
- Paycheck Protection Program FAQs
- Calculating Loan Amounts
- Coronavirus Relief Fund FAQs
- Summary of Paycheck Protection Program from the U.S. Treasury.
- Find here a summary of requirements on small businesses under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
- Small Business Protection Guide from SafeHome.org
- Guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
- Apply here for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance.
- Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA Products and Resources
- Government Contracting
- Find Local Assistance
Health, Unemployment, and Tax Provisions Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
- Temporarily increases state Medicaid FMAP by 6.2 percent for the duration of the public health emergency.
- Eliminates patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 in Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid.
- Requires private health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing at no cost to the patient.
- Provides $1 billion in emergency Unemployment Insurance administration grants to states.
- Tax filing deadline for 2019 has been postponed three months to July 15th.
Alabama Department of Public Health Call Center:
- There is a 24/7 COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-264-2256. You can call this number for testing sites and hours of operation.
- The most up to date information on COVID-19 cases in Alabama and other resources from the state can be found here.
- Providers and facilities that are in need of supplies should use the Alabama Incident Management System (AIMS) to make requests to the ADPH.
Contacting your county’s health department in the Sixth District:
Alabama Department of Revenue
- Alabama is waiving late payment penalties for retailers whose monthly sales for calendar year 2019 averaged less than $62,500 or less and are unable to pay their February, March, and April 2020 state sales tax liabilities through June 1, 2020.
- Businesses over this threshold should contact the Alabama Department of Revenue for assistance.
Local Resources and Response:
United Way is positioned with staff expertise, volunteers and a network of agency service providers to help with a rapid response. If you are an organization providing resources to address COVID-19, please call 2-1-1 and provided your information.
United Way’s 2-1-1 Connects is an information referral center providing details on available resources for those impacted by the Coronavirus. You can also dial 2-1-1 if you wish to talk to a representative by phone.
Doing Your Part to Stop the Spread:
- Do not interact with elderly people or individuals with chronic health conditions, unless you are providing critical care.
- Create a household plan.
The best way to prevent illness and exposure to the coronavirus is to observe good hygiene methods and avoid social contact with sick people. People over the age of 60, and those who have pre-existing or chronic health issues are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus and should take extra precautions.
- Wash your hands often!
- Avoid touching your face.
- Practice social distancing right now. You should especially stay home if you feel sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Frequently disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your medical provider first. Keep in mind that symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Regular updates about travel precautions, restrictions, and countries of concern are available on the State Department’s website. It is providing the most updated travel information regarding COVID-19. Find additional travel guidelines from the CDC.
- Travel Guidelines
- The State Department currently 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.
- Passport Services
- Due to public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20, 2020, we are only able to offer service for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Response to COVID-19
- Information for facilities and providers related to actions taken by CMS in responses to COVID-19 can be found here.
Department of Defense (DOD) Response to COVID-19
- Follow general updates on DOD activities on their website.
- President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act which allows the president to control the production and distribution of scarce materials deemed “essential to the national defense.”
- In his executive order, President Trump delegates his authority to carry out the law “to the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to all health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19 within the United States.”
- USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy are being prepared for deployment to New York and the West Coast to “to assist potentially overwhelmed communities with acute patient care.”
- The Defense Department will make available up to 5 million respirator masks and other personal protective equipment from its strategic reserves to the Department of Health and Human Services for distribution. Some 2,000 deployable ventilators would also be made available to the Department of Health & Human Services.
Impact of COVID-19 on Education
- See the Department of Education’s website for the latest updates.
- Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
- Elementary and secondary education schools may receive a one-year waiver from ED for yearly assessments and accountability that may be impacted by lower participation and chronic absenteeism as a result of COVID-19.
- Federal Student Aid for Colleges and Universities:
- The Department of Education is temporarily providing broad approval for using online technologies or distance education without completing the regular approval process. An institution may retain Title IV federal funds for students who take an approved leave of absence for COVID-19 related concerns or limitations, and who continue enrollment after the approved absence.
- The Department is authorized to approve a reduced academic year. Institutions may contact the School Participation team to request this accommodation.
- Institutions must return unearned Title IV funds in the case of student withdrawal.
- Student loan interest will be waived temporarily.
Department of Labor Response to COVID-19
- See Department of Labor website for latest updates.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
- Unemployment Insurance Flexibility: New guidance permits flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:
- An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
- In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.