Coronavirus: Resources & Information
Below are updates regarding the federal response to COVID-19, resources for individuals and small businesses, and health tips from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). We’re attacking this new virus with a whole-of-government focus, in close coordination with our States. As a nation, we are working as quickly as possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, seek the most promising treatment, and develop a safe and effective vaccine.
All Americans, regardless of ideology, must be united in our effort to combat the coronavirus. We must prioritize the health and safety of American families. Know that my office is working closely with all federal partners to provide necessary funding, health resources, and Congressional support to fight this virus.
Coronavirus in Louisiana
The CDC and the Louisiana Office of Public Health are closely monitoring this outbreak and confirmed cases in the state. You can see the latest update and a map of reported cases here: http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/.
If you have questions about coronavirus, please contact the Louisiana 211 Network by dialing dial 211. Or, you can text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for the most current information about the outbreak as it becomes available. You can also get answers here: www.la211help.org.
To file an unemployment claim, contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission here: http://www.laworks.net/.
Small businesses experiencing losses can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. The New Orleans regional SBA office can be contacted at (504) 589-6685.
Information on the CARES Act
- Full Bill Text
- Section by Section Summary
- IRS: Guidance on Individual Recovery Rebates
- Paycheck Protection Program FAQs
- Small Business Provisions
- Banking & Financial Institution Provisions
- Health, Tax, & Unemployment Provisions
- Education & Workforce Provisions
- Transportation & Infrastructure Provisions
- Department of Defense Provisions
Resources for Small Businesses
- Small Business Provisions in the CARES Act
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Emergency Loans Guide & Checklist
- SBA: COVID-19 - Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
- One Acadiana: Small Business Toolkit
- Chamber SWLA: COVID-19 Resources
- Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program
- LABI: Coronavirus Resources for Small Businesses
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL):
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
- For a top-line overview of the program, CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- PPP Frequently Asked Questions
- PPP Borrower Application Form
- PPP Lender Application Form
- PPP New Lender Application Form (Federally Insured Depository Institutions, Federally Insured Credit Unions, Farm Credit System Institutions)
- SBA Releases Interim Final Rule for Paycheck Protection Program
- SBA Releases Interim Final Rule for Affiliations
- Additional Guidance for Affiliations
- Find an Eligible Lender in Your Area
Employee Retention Tax Credit
Resources for Farmers & Ranchers
The USDA has made over $16 billion in direct payments available for America's farmers and ranchers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Applications are being accepted now through August 28, 2020. To learn more and apply for assistance, visit farmers.gov/CFAP.
If you need additional assistance navigating these resources, please contact my Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-2031.
Information for Veterans
The VA is working directly with the CDC and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19. These measures include outreach to Veterans and staff, clinical screening at VA health care facilities, and protective procedures for patients. Additional guidance is available from the VA here: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/.
FEMA: How to Help
FEMA has published guidance for those looking to assist with COVID-19 response. Trained medical professionals looking to volunteer and companies with medical supplies, services, and equipment can find additional information here: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. To help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, FEMA has developed a webpage with answers to common questions. These include rumors about a national lockdown, 2-week federal quarantine, and deployment of military assets. To review the facts, visit FEMA's Rumor Control Center here: https://www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control.
Travel Restrictions & Guidance from the U.S. State Department
The CDC and U.S. State Department recommend that U.S. travelers avoid all non-essential travel. Guidance regarding all domestic and international travel is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
The State Department is taking action to safeguard U.S. citizens overseas, protect the homeland, advance the Administration’s commitment to building global health security capacity for this and future outbreaks, and reduce the impact for U.S. companies and supply chains overseas. For further information on travel advisories, international aid, and other efforts, please visit https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/.
Travelers are also strongly encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate them in an emergency. The only way for missions abroad to know that an American is in the country is to register through STEP. Once they do so, the mission will not only know whether the citizen is present on the ground but will also be able to send that person updates in real time. This is the quickest way for Americans to receive the most up to date information where they are.
The State Department has created a 24-hour public hotline for Americans abroad who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. For callers in the U.S. and Canada, the number is 888-407-4747. For those dialing from overseas, the number is 202-501-4444.
Updates from Congressman Higgins
- Congressman Higgins Announces Second Round of Community Health Center Funding
- Congressman Higgins Working to Address Issues with Paycheck Protection Program
- Congressman Higgins Calls on IRS to Clarify Individual Rebate Process
- Congressman Higgins Announces Community Health Center Funding for Coronavirus Response
- Congressman Higgins Commends President Trump for Approving Louisiana Disaster Declaration
- Congressman Higgins Announces Disaster Loan Eligibility for Louisiana Small Businesses
- Congressman Higgins Votes for Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Congressman Higgins Releases PSA Urging Action to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19
Updates from the White House & the Coronavirus Task Force:
- President Trump Releases Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
- Trump Invokes Production of Ventilators Under Defense Production Act
- President Trump Approves Louisiana Disaster Declaration
- White House Announces New Partnership to Unleash Supercomputing Resources to Fight COVID-19
- President Trump Takes More Action to Confront Global Pandemic
- President Trump Takes Safety Measures at the Border to Mitigate Spread of Coronavirus
- Tax Day Moved from April 15 to July 15
- Executive Order on Prioritizing & Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to Spread of COVID-19
- White House Announces Partnership with Ad Council, Major Media Networks, Digital Platforms
- President Trump is Supporting American Businesses, Workers, & Families Impacted by Coronavirus
- White House Issues Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread
- President Trump Declares National Emergency to Address Coronavirus
Know the Symptoms
COVID-19 is a virus that has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness. Since the original outbreak in China, the coronavirus has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to many respiratory viruses like influenza, and the CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms most commonly include:
- Shortness of Breath.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
While there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, taking everyday preventative actions can help mitigate the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. The CDC recommends the following preventive actions:
- Getting a flu vaccine;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Cover your cough and sneeze;
- Stay home if you are sick;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For high-risk groups and special populations, additional actions and preparedness tips are available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/index.html.