Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Congress overwhelming pass legislation that will provide needed resources for our country, state and local communities. Highlights of the bill includes:
- Direct payments to households to help with financial stress; income will not be taxed sends direct checks to individual Under the plan as it was being negotiated, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17. However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.
- Expanded unemployment benefits
- Federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
- Rush resources to hospitals, doctors and other frontline providers.
- The department of education will suspend payments without penalty on student loans.
- The bill includes housing protections against foreclosure on mortgages and evictions for renters
- Allows regulatory relief so banks can grant loan forbearance for otherwise healthy businesses struggling while business has been shut down.
- Provides treasury and the fed the ability to provide several trillion in assistance to distressed industries, including airlines, through guaranteed loans while also including strong accountability protections.
- Temporarily expands unemployment insurance to provide a lifeline for those who have lost their jobs.
- Provides tax policy incentives, such as fixing key technical corrections from the tax cut and jobs act, including qip and nol.
- Provides liability protection for providers who volunteer (Good Samaritan).
Key Medical Benefits
- Under the CARES Act, during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) a senior on Medicare can get up to 90 days of a prescription if that is what the doctor prescribed, as long as there are no safety concerns. Medicare drug plans will also allow beneficiaries to fill prescription early for refills up to 90 days, depending on the prescription.
- Allows Health Saving Account (HSA) to be used to purchase over the counter medicines.
- Extends expiring health extenders to November.
- ‘Expands the use of telehealth medicine to surge capacity and diagnose and treat patients in safe and faster environment. Provides telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries, including in the beneficiaries’ homes to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19, and provide more flexibility in terms of how those telehealth services can be provided.
For additional information check out CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/stimulus-package-details-coronavirus/index.html
Here’s how to file for unemployment benefits
Mississippi workers unable to work due to COVID-19 are now eligible to file for unemployment benefits. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announced existing unemployment compensation requirements have been adjusted, allowing more people to file for benefits. Governor Reeves signed Executive Order No. 1462 to implement the following:
- Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will not be required to serve a waiting period week for initial claims filed from March 8, 2020, through June 27, 2020.
- Work search requirements that normally must be met to be considered eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits shall be suspended beginning March 21, 2020, until June 27, 2020.
- All collection activities including, but not limited to, interception of state tax refunds, payment agreements, enrollment of liens, tax garnishments, and claimant overpayment garnishments shall be suspended until June 27, 2020.
- Click here to file an unemployment claim, or call the MDES Contact Center at 888-844-3577. Online claims can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Source: CNN, Mississippi Association of Broadcasters and The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
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Updates on the Coronavirus and its impact on Mississippi
Facts, Preventive Measures for New Coronavirus
February 17, 2020 at 4:10 PM CST – Updated March 6 at 11:48 AM
(Gray News) – The coronavirus known as COVID-19 has spread to countries including the U.S. and across all continents except Antarctica.
The attention the outbreak of the respiratory illness has gotten is due in part to it being a new disease. Medical professionals and governments are working to create a vaccine, but it is at least a year to 1 1/2 years away, per Dr. Antony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on March 2.
The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2-3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.
The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person to person by those in close contact or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected. Symptoms range from mild to severe and potentially death and appear around two to 14 days after exposure.
What is COVID-19?
The new coronavirus causing the outbreak first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019, according to the CDC. “Coronaviruses” are a large family of viruses with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from SARS and MERS to the common cold.
COVID-19 is an abbreviation of “CO” for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” “D” for disease and “19” for 2019. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV,” the CDC said.
The first infections of the disease have been linked to a live animal market in Wuhan. It is rare that animal coronaviruses emerge to infect people but appears to have been the case for the new virus, as well as past instances with MERS and SARS.
By March there had been limited instances of “community spread” – people becoming ill who had not visited a region known to be part of the outbreak.
The CDC said some viruses, like the cold and the flu, spread more during cold weather. But it is not yet known whether the weather and temperature will impact the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC recommends these preventive actions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Should I be tested for coronavirus?
It is recommended people call their doctor if they feel sick with fever, coughing, difficulty breathing or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Also, a healthcare professional should be contacted if a person has recently been in an area known to have an ongoing spread of the disease.
Healthcare professionals are working with local and state departments, as well as the CDC, to test people suspected to have the illness.
How to Prepare
Here is what you can do to prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community. check circle solid iconFind Local Information
Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases. check circle solid iconKnow the Signs & Symptoms
Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:
- Stay home when you are sick
- Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit
- Limit movement in the community
- Limit visitors
check circle solid iconTake Steps for Those at Higher Risk
Know what additional measures those at higher risk and who are vulnerable should take. check circle solid iconProtect Yourself & Family
Implement steps to prevent illness (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily). check circle solid iconCreate a Household Plan
Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.
- Consider 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
- Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).
- Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.
check circle solid iconStay Informed About Emergency Plans
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