My team is working closely with state and county public health agencies to share accurate information with our community and to keep vulnerable people safe from COVID-19. As developments continue, my team will update this page and share on social media.
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The situation is rapidly evolving in California and across the globe. One of the most important things we can do right now is to “flatten the curve.”
By doing so, we will help our healthcare systems manage any healthcare-related surges.
WHAT WE CAN ALL DO
- Stay home!
- If you think you might be sick:
- Call before you go to your doctor or urgent care – please DO NOT just walk in.
- Stay home from school or work.
- Stop the spread of germs – wash your hands for at least twenty seconds, don’t touch your face.
- Stay connected, but avoid crowds. Stay home as much as possible, but if and when around others try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
- The higher your underlying risk factors (age, immunocompromised, asthma, diabetes, etc.) the more you should avoid crowds
- The CDC has recommended older adults (aged 65+) to self-quarantine as much as possible
- Share only verified information from health agencies and trusted sources.
WHAT CA IS DOING
- CA has issued a shelter-in-place order. Everyone is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. If you go out, keep at least 6 feet of distance.
- The Legislature has taken bipartisan action to combat COVID-19 by appropriating $1 billion in emergency funds to provide relief through SB 89. We also passed SB 117 to ensure schools continue to receive funding despite closures. More information is located here.
- CA has launched a new comprehensive, consumer-friendly website with Public Service Announcements and resources to boost COVID-19 awareness. All resources can be found at Covid19.ca.gov.
- The state has launched the California Health Corps. As we prepare for an increase in the number of people who urgently need healthcare in our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re opening additional care sites to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on our health system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases. To ensure adequate staff throughout California, we’re calling on providers, behavioral health professionals, and health administrators to register today at: covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps
- CA has been planning extensively with our local public health and health care delivery systems and is providing information, guidance documents and technical support for local partners.
COVID-19 Developments and Health Information
- California Department of Public Health is issuing daily updates on COVID-19. See the most recent updates and new guidance documents on the CDPH News Release page.
- En Español: Para obtener información en español, visite nuestra página de el Novedoso Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
- Keep abreast of developments and CDC’s recommendations at Coronavirus.gov.
Reduced Work Hours and Temporary Unemployment
- If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments 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 within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.
- For more information on claiming benefits from the Employment Development Department (EDD), please visit: edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
- You may also qualify for Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, or Paid Family Leave. More information can be found at: Labor.Ca.Gov/Coronavirus2019
Small Business Support
- If you own a small business or run a private, non-profit organization in designated areas of California and have been affected by the response to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a low-interest federal loan. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened their disaster assistance application process to specific regions affected by COVID-19. The SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million in assistance to cover a temporary loss of revenue. You can find more information, check eligible disaster areas, or apply online now at SBA.gov. En Español: sba.gov/espanol
- Small businesses may also be eligible for loans through California State entities. More information can be found: business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019
- The Office of State Treasurer Fiona Ma has compiled a list of federal, state, and local resources available to small businesses during this time. Resources are located here.
Student Loan Relief
- U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on March 20, 2020 that the office of Federal Student Aid is executing on President Trump's promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.
- All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
- To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone. The Secretary has also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent, essentially giving borrowers a safety net during the national emergency.
- Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, like those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment. For borrowers continuing to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan once all interest accrued prior to the president's March 13 announcement is paid. The Department will work closely with Congress to ensure all student borrowers, including those in income driven repayment plans, receive needed support during this emergency.
- Any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment.
- Visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus for forthcoming details. For more information on all the efforts the Department is taking to address the COVID-19 national emergency, visit ed.gov/coronavirus.
- The Mission Asset Fund has established the California College Student Grant for low-income students financially impacted by COVID-19. Eligible students will receive a $500 grant to help manage their financial needs – whether that's class materials, rent, or personal expenses. For more information and to apply, visit: missionassetfund.org/ca-college-student-grant
- The California Community College Chancellor's Office has developed a list of student resources to help answer frequently asked questions in times of COVID-19. Visit here for further information.
- The California State University system set up a page for Coronavirus updates and resources. For more information, visit: www2.calstate.edu/coronavirus
- The University of California, Riverside has developed a Coronavirus resources page. For more information, visit: ehs.ucr.edu/coronavirus
- The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) developed a student resources page. For more information, visit: aiccu.edu/page/covid19
California Department of Motor Vehicles
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16, 2020. The DMV is taking this action so that at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying health conditions, can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals.
- Further information can be found here and dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv.
California Legislative Latino Caucus Resources
- The California Legislative Latino Caucus has compiled COVID-19 resources in both English and Spanish. Information includes resources for undocumented residents. Visit here for further information.
- Price gouging refers to sellers trying to take unfair advantage of consumers during an emergency or disaster by greatly increasing prices for essential consumer goods and services. It is illegal.
- California’s anti-price gouging statute, Penal Code Section 396, prohibits raising the price of many consumer goods and services by more than 10% after an emergency has been declared.
- You can file a complaint at oag.ca.gov/report, call 800-952-5225, or contact local law enforcement.
2-1-1 Community Connect
211 Riverside County has been selected by the County of Riverside as the designated information line for COVID-19 public inquiries. Operators are available any time to answer your questions and to provide the most up to date public health information available. Additionally, operators are able to help provide referrals to services such as food, shelter, and other health related requests.
If you have questions or need more information, do not hesitate to contact my office: (951) 369-6644.