Coronavirus Updates and Resources
The recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and is a serious health risk to the American public. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the novel (new) coronavirus.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide mandatory shelter in place order. This order requires all California residents to stay home except for essential needs. You can review the order here. More health information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health websites below:
You can access local health information at:
- Contra Costa: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/
- Lake: http://health.co.lake.ca.us/Coronavirus.htm
- Napa: https://www.countyofnapa.org/243/Public-Health
- Solano: https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/ph/ncov.asp
- Sonoma: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I keep my friends, family and community safe?
If you are elderly, immunocompromised, or have an underlying heart or respiratory condition, stay home and away from other people. If you are sick or experiencing symptoms, stay home and contact your doctor remotely by phone or email. If anyone in your household tests positive for coronavirus, keep everyone home. Even if you are young or otherwise healthy, avoid social gatherings. Though you may not experience symptoms, you may still be infected and your activities can spread the virus to other, more vulnerable people.
What is Congress doing to help?
Congress has passed three pieces of emergency response legislation to address the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 4, Congress passed an $8.3 billion supplemental spending bill to heighten public health preparedness and begin developments of COVID-19 treatments and a coronavirus vaccine. On March 18, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Click here to learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. On March 27, Congress passed a bipartisan stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Click here to read a full summary of the CARES Act.
Am I eligible for paid leave, unemployment insurance benefits, or other assistance to help offset a loss of income?
The CARES Act provides direct cash payments to every working family in America and increases and expands unemployment insurance benefits. You can review your eligibility for COVID-19-related paid leave and unemployment benefits on the California Employment Development Department website.
What assistance is available to small businesses?
At Governor Newsom’s request, the Small Business Administration has issued a disaster declaration for California. This declaration makes emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to small business owners and non-profits. You can apply here. In addition, the CARES Act includes a rescue plan for our small businesses. Click to learn more about the bill’s tax relief measures and small business loan support.
Do I still need to file my federal income tax by the April 15 deadline?
No, the Treasury Department has extended the deadline until July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. You can find tips for taxpayers and tax preparation professionals and answers to your filing and payment deadline questions on the Internal Revenue Service website.
Will I continue to receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits?
Yes, you will continue receiving your monthly benefits. However, all Social Security Administration field offices are currently closed to walk-in visitors and in-person appointments. Expect service delays. You can still reach your local field office by phone. Click here to find the phone number of the field office nearest you. In addition, the Social Security Administration has published information about the agency’s COVID-19 response on its website. You can access that information here.
My loved one is stuck in a foreign country. What do I do?
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.
In countries where commercial departure options remain, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The State Department cannot guarantee assistance and urges all Americans to have a plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for help. Visit the appropriate U.S. Embassy webpage for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for the latest on travel restrictions to the United States.
All U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents currently abroad should also register for the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the most up-to-date notifications and provide the nearest Embassy with their name, passport number, date of birth, current location and contact information to receive relevant information via email.