Below you will find information and resources that may be useful to you as our communities address the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, make sure to contact your health care provider immediately. If you think you may have coronavirus, the CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Here are few resources and tips:
• Make sure to wash your hands.
• Refrain from touching your face.
• If you're feeling sick, stay at home.
Protecting Our Communities
• Guides for childcare programs and K-12 administrators.
• Information for parents and guardians regarding potential school closures.
• Create a household plan.
• CDC travel health notices can be found here.
• International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available here.
• State Department and specific country advisories are listed here.
Additionally, more tips are available on the CDC's website.
To check out the latest from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, click here.
North Carolina's COVID-19 Helpline (toll free): 1-866-462-3821
The following temporary operating procedures have been put in place for the Washington, D.C. and Black Mountain, Gastonia, and Hickory District offices in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The following proactive measures are aimed at helping to mitigate the further spread of the virus and to follow the recommendations of the CDC that you should practice social distancing when technology and resources allow:
- There will be no in-person meetings at any of the Washington, Black Mountain, Gastonia, or Hickory offices.
- While the temporary operating procedures are in effect, technology will allow staff to work remotely while continuing to assist Tenth District constituents.
- Tenth District constituents with questions on casework are encouraged to contact district office staff through my website.
- All other questions or concerns can be directed to me or my staff through this link.
This is a temporary change to office operating procedures and the office of Congressman McHenry will continue to be responsive to the needs of constituents throughout this time.
Payments to Americans
The IRS has launched the "Get My Payment" web portal with features to let taxpayers check on their Economic Impact Payment date and update direct deposit information.
- Social Security dependent individuals do not need to file their taxes.
- All adults with a valid Social Security number with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) will get a $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers) "rebate" payment. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child.
- The payments would start phasing out for earners above those income thresholds and would not go to single filers earning more than $99,000; head-of-household filers with one child, more than $146,500; and more than $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
- Many payments will be sent out automatically to individuals based on filed tax returns from 2019.
- For more information, visit IRS.gov.
Click here to access the portal and for additional information and resources on the Economic Impact Payments.
Social Security Benefits
The coronavirus pandemic will not disrupt Social Security benefit payments, however, the Social Security Administration will not be providing in-person services during the coronavirus pandemic. Please be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is NOT TRUE. Click here for additional important information and resources from the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding your benefits.
- The CARES Act mandated that Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants be made available to businesses during the response to the Coronavirus Outbreak.
- These loans must be applied to cover leave, maintain payroll, and pay debt obligations.
- Business will be able to receive both EIDL funds and a Paycheck Protection loan in limited certain instances.
- Establishes a Paycheck Protection Program which will provide $350 billion for full federally guaranteed loans covering 8 weeks of assistance to small businesses, independent contactors, 501(c)3 nonprofits, and others.
- For businesses in need of a loan ranging in amount from $350,000 to $1 million, SBA Express Loans will be available. The application process for the SBA Express Loans will require less paperwork and documentation, allowing SBA to get the much-needed financial support to businesses quicker.
- Program enrollees will also be eligible to have an automatic deferral of payments for a six-month period, during with the SBA will pay principal, interest, and fees on all SBA loan products.
- Loans used to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities can be forgiven.
- For more information and additional coronavirus small business resources click here.
- The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others.
- The bill provides additional benefits to each recipient of unemployment insurance for up to four months and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after state benefits are no longer available. For people who were employed on March 1 and have lost their job due to coronavirus, the bill provides paid leave for them as well.
- Click here for additional information and resources on unemployment benefits in North Carolina.
Updates from the Financial Services Committee
As the Ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, I am working with our financial regulators and the Trump Administration as they closely monitor and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Committee Republicans and I are working with these officials to ensure the safety and soundness of our economy and financial institutions during this public health crisis. Click here for the Financial Services Committee Republicans coronavirus resource page and for updates on our efforts to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus.
Operation Warp Speed
In May, President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking partnership between the Federal Government, scientific community, and private sector to develop and deliver a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible. President Trump is partnering with American scientists and innovators to accelerate the development of tests, including point of care rapid tests, therapeutics, and a vaccine. The Operation is also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to facilitate the rapid delivery of an eventual safe vaccine, including manufacturing in parallel with late stage clinical trials. The project is on track to rapidly produce 100 million doses as soon as a vaccine is approved – and up to 500 million shortly after so the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible and affordable for Americans.
Distance Learning Resources from the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian has set up a wonderful resource page for teachers and their students around the globe as they face unprecedented new learning challenges because of the coronavirus. On the Learning Lab, teachers have access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. You will also find pre-packaged collections that contain lessons, activities, and recommended resources made by Smithsonian museum educators as well as thousands of classroom teachers. Click here to access the Smithsonian Learning Lab and learn more.
U.S. Capitol tours
Beginning on March 12 at 5:00 PM the U.S. Capitol will be closed to all tours—including Member and staff led tours. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for anyone who has scheduled a tour through my office. Additional guidance on the U.S. Capitol closures can be found by clicking here. If you have not received an email or phone call with further guidance on rescheduling your tour please contact our office. I urge everyone to please stay safe and take all the necessary precautions outlined on the CDC’s website to help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Should you have any additional questions related to your U.S. Capitol tour or a planned visit to our nation’s capital, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
For more information regarding coronavirus click here to visit the CDC’s coronavirus web page or check out the fact sheet below.
While my staff and I are willing to assist you in any way we can, if you are feeling sick and believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please call your health care provider immediately.
As a reminder, you can also stay in the know by following my Twitter account at @PatrickMcHenry or Facebook page @CongressmanMcHenry for more information