Congresswoman Kaptur: Coronavirus Update
Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), provided the following update to the constituents of Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District regarding the new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19. The update was distributed via email as an eNewsletter. To receive future updates from Rep. Kaptur regarding COVID-19 and other important issues, sign up at https://kaptur.house.gov/contact/newsletter.
Americans in every corner of the country are feeling a growing sense of concern regarding the new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19. As reports from news agencies and public health officials indicate, there has been a rapid increase in COVID-19 across the world and in communities within the United States, including Ohio. The threat of COVID-19 is serious; however, through commonsense preventative measures, we can all play a part in minimizing the worsening effects this virus could have on our country and in the process protect the health and well-being of those in our community.
- Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, if soap is not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Practice social distancing: even if you are not sick, work from home if your employer offers telework; minimize contact (such as avoid shaking hands), avoid large gatherings
- 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 wipe
- Don't use a facemask unless you are sick or if you are a caregiver
- Call your doctor, local clinic, or hospital if you suspect you have symptoms
Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including:
- Dry/unproductive cough
- Shortness of breath
Seek medical attention immediately if you develop 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
Older adults appear to be twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or those you care for are at higher risk and live in an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you should:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Keep away from others who are sick
- Limit close contact with others
- Wash your hands often
This week, I voted for emergency legislation focused directly on providing support for America’s families, who must be our first priority during this crisis. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, includes:
- Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers
- Paid emergency leave, with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks. Our bill also ensured that SNAP work requirements will be paused for the duration of the public health crisis
- Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs
In addition, I voted for emergency legislation authorizing major federal funding to assist the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services combat COVID-19. The legislation, which has already been signed into law, includes $950 million for state and local health departments.
As the federal response ramps up to address this health challenge, we can do our part. I urge every American to keep a level head and do their part to prevent the spread of this virus and take practical measures to stay healthy and protect the most vulnerable in our communities – an ounce of preparation is worth more than a pound of panic.
If you have further questions, I will host a tele-townhall with local public health experts on Sunday, March 15 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. To participate, please call (855) 927-0893 or go to https://kaptur.house.gov/live. I will also post regular updates as they are available on my Facebook and Twitter.
We are in this together,
Member of Congress