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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The safety and health of Texans will always be my number one priority, and I want to make sure you stay up to date on any new developments on the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you would like to receive updates, please click HERE.

Action in Congress

  • Phase One: The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Act (H.R. 6074)

    • The initial $8.3 billion spending bill provided necessary resources to health officials, both at home and abroad, for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The bill was signed into law on

  • Phase Two: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)

    • Provided support to Americans affected by social distancing guidelines and provided funding to increase the availability of testing.

  • Phase Three: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748)

    • The $2.2 trillion economic relief bill provided direct payments to the American people, emergency loans to small businesses, increased unemployment insurance benefits, and provided additional support and resources for health care providers.

  • Phase 3.5: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266)

    • Replenished funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, gave aid to health care providers and boosted COVID-19 testing capabilities.

I joined over 80 of my colleagues urging the Administration to allow Rural Health Clinics and rural hospitals to be eligible for financial relief under the CARES Act. Click HERE to view the letter.

For more information on the prevention, symptoms and treatment of COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website HERE. If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your local health care provider immediately.

Action by the Administration

  • On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national state of emergency, which released $50 billion of resources for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak (click HERE to read the proclamation). Effective, calm and safe preparation is imperative for tackling the threat the virus poses in our communities, and I am working with my colleagues to ensure we are as ready as possible.

#InItTogether

If you have experienced or heard of businesses helping businesses or neighbors helping neighbors in the 25th District during this time when we all need to come together, my staff and I would love to share these stories. Please email your story and/or a photo to Communications.TX25@mail.house.gov. We will highlight them in email updates and on our Instagram page (@RepRWilliams) using the hashtag #InItTogether.

For Our Community

To help small businesses and families, on March 20, 2020, the Trump administration announced that the tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15 so filers have added flexibility without interest or penalties. Individuals can defer up to $1 million and corporations can defer up to $10 million without any penalties.

If you don't typically file a tax return, the IRS set up a portal on April 10, 2020 that you can use to determine if you are eligible for the Economic Impact Payments and to provide your information for deposit. You can use the free tool HERE.

Small Businesses​

You can visit my Small Business Resources webpage HERE.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans

    • Texas small businesses and nonprofits may be eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This program provides low interest, long-term loans to qualifying entities that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Click HERE for more information.

  • Paycheck Protection Loan Program

    • Businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for 100% federally backed small businesses loans from their local financial institutions. If a business maintains payroll for an 8-week period throughout the pandemic, they are eligible to have a portion of their loan forgiven. Click HERE for more information.

  • To view additional loan programs available, please click HERE.

Parents​

  • If you are a front line or essential worker in need of child care, please click HERE for options available in your area.

  • For tips on how to help manage stress with your children when talking about subjects like infectious disease outbreaks, please click HERE.

  • CDC's guide to creating a household plan can be found HERE.

Military and Veterans

  • The U.S. Army has a 24-hour hotline to assist soldiers and their families affected by travel restrictions. Please call 1-800-582-5552 (option #5). You can find more information HERE.

  • If you are a veteran in Central Texas, VA information and resources on the coronavirus is available HERE.

Mortgage, Rent and Housing

  • On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that homeowners with loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will not be foreclosed upon or evicted during this national emergency. Click HERE for more information.

  • A housing counselor from HUD may also be able to provide assistance for you. Click HERE to contact one in your area.

Unemployment

  • If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus and you would like to file for unemployment, please call the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 or visit their website at twc.texas.gov.

  • Under normal circumstances, TWC requires the following to file for unemployment:

    • Last employer's business name and address

    • First and last dates you worked for your previous employer

    • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week

    • Information related to your normal wage

    • Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S. citizen or national)

    • Unemployment insurance (UI) - Department of Labor (DOL) program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers

  • TWC will make a determination and mail a decision explaining whether or not you are eligible for unemployment benefits.

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed in Congress and signed by President Trump allocated $1 billion for emergency Unemployment Insurance (UI) grants to states.

    • It also requires states to temporarily ease eligibility requirements during this time, including waiving work search requirements and waiting periods, and relieving benefit charges for claimants and employers impacted.

Travel Guidance

  • On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory advising all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel and if abroad, make plans to return home immediately. More information can be found HERE

  • CDC travel health notices can be found HERE.

  • State Department travel advisories and guidelines can be found HERE.

  • International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available HERE.

Preventative Measures

The CDC recommends practicing the following methods to assist in the prevention of infection:

  • Please stay home unless absolutely necessary and follow the guidance of your local officials

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

  • Sanitize frequently used surfaces often

Symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your health care provider immediately and stay home except to receive medical care. For more information, please click HERE.

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

Assistance for the 25th District

If you would like to receive updates on the coronavirus, please click HERE.

For local assistance, please click HERE for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Local Health Entities.

If you have any questions, please contact either my Cleburne (817-774-2575) or Austin (512-473-8910) offices, or send an email HERE.