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Debbie's Blog

Coronavirus update: March 26, 2020

Washington, March 26, 2020
Here’s an update for Thursday, March 26.
 
Thought of the day: We are going to get through it. Remember that. Humor, compassion, kindness. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives. 
 
Last night, the Senate passed a significant relief package that will help our hospitals, frontline workers, and economy and the House will take this up tomorrow. It will send checks to more than 150 million American households, establish a $100 billion fund that is available to all healthcare workers on the front lines, set up enormous loan programs for businesses large and small, pump billions of dollars into unemployment insurance programs, and much more. There’s still many specifics of the bill we have to review.
 
We continue to reach out and be available, communicate and try to use all platforms to make sure we are answering questions, doing case work, understanding the impact and just being helpful. We held our third telephone town hall last night and will continue to have one scheduled for the coming weeks during this period. There are lots of questions on many subjects. Joining us last night were representatives from Beaumont Health and the Small Business Administration. Doctors and nurses explained their ongoing worries about PPE and this is the first priority for all of us ensuring those on the front line are protected. Many had questions on unemployment and small business loans. Everyone is working relentlessly around the clock to help people, and there have been technology glitches. The bill we pass this week will give significant infusions of cash to both and we recommend you visit websites during “off-hours” to apply for loans or unemployment.  It’s important we continue these weekly updates and update people on what’s being done to help them. We need to be honest, transparent and clear. We need to understand where issues are and address them to the best of availability. We are available seven days a week right now....that is my job.
 
While we’re all inside and finding tasks to do, remember you can fill out the Census for 2020. It only takes a couple minutes and it’s critical with everything going on that you and your community are represented. You can participate by phone, mail or at www.my2020census.gov
 
Phishing scams about COVID-19 are on the rise. Often, hackers will use recent news events and take advantage of people’s fears to steal personal and financial information. Protect yourself by being very suspicious of requests for personal information that occur via email, phone, text message, or social media message. For more on how to protect yourself from cyber-attacks, click here.
 
Getting unemployment insurance to people right now across the country is a must. The Families First Coronavirus Act that was signed into law by the president will send money directly to states to help them offer unemployment insurance to people. If you or someone you know needs to sign up for unemployment, visit Michigan.gov/UIA.
 
New information becomes available everyday. Below is a list of resources and information that can be helpful during this time. Please share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. 
 
Coronavirus information

File for unemployment

Small Businesses can apply for low-interest disaster loans

Navigating Social Security Benefits
 
School Based Food Service Interactive Map
 
Food Banks and Kitchens in Michigan's 12th Congressional District
 
Contact numbers for people looking for information are:
• Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov/coronavirus, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Michigan.gov/coronavirus, Call 2-1-1 or 734-287-7870 from within Michigan to connect with help of all kinds including food, housing, healthcare, and more.
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