Last updated April 23, 2020.
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STIMULUS ALERT: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law. Click here to see how you will be impacted.
HEALTH ALERT: Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued a stay-at-home order for the City of Los Angeles, mirrored by the City of Culver City. Governor Gavin Newsom has also issued a statewide stay-at-home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn more here.
Congressmember Bass and her staff are continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and are in regular contact with federal, state and local public health officials.
Throughout this crisis, our office has been hosting telephone town hall meetings with local and national experts to answer questions you have about this outbreak. To join these calls, click here.
For updated information from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about this outbreak, please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/ or call 211. Please note that many people are likely to call 211 so be prepared for increased wait times and remember that this is not a hotline reserved for the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Governor Newsom has also announced the creation of a statewide hotline - (833) 544-2374 - in coordination with local 211 systems as a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis.
Culver City staff continue to receive updates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and participate in planning regarding the novel (new) coronavirus. To learn the latest community information about COVID-19, including facility closures and event cancellations in Culver City, click here: https://www.culvercity.org/live/public-safety/emergency-preparedness/current-disaster-information
In concurrence with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for team member and constituent safety, Congressmember Bass has directed her L.A. and D.C. offices to begin serving constituents remotely. Learn more here.
Click here to download our constituent toolkit in English.
Click here to download our constituent toolkit in Spanish.
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones:
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Coronaviruses are common, and they include the common cold, but COVID-19 is a new strain.
What are the symptoms and how does it spread?
The most common symptoms include fever, cough and increasingly severe respiratory symptoms (trouble breathing). Our experience to date is that most people who are exposed to the virus, more than 80%, have mild or no symptoms. Some people, however, may have more complicated symptoms, including pneumonia or lung inflammation.
For confirmed COVID-19 cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Current research suggests that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19?
It is important to know that the risk of COVID-19 to the general public in the United States continues to remain low and efforts are being undertaken to keep it that way. With that said, public health officials believe the situation will get worse. How much worse, depends not only on the response of local, state and federal public health officials, but on the public at large.
As mentioned above, some people are more at-risk of severe health effects from COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to those over 60 years of age, with growing risk as age increases; people with respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema; people with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes; and those who are immune-compromised, such as people in cancer treatment or with HIV/AIDS.
How can I help protect myself, my family, and my community?
Every person has a role to play in protecting themselves and helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what you can do:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, & mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue in the trash
- Use a regular household cleaning spray/wipe to clean & disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces
- Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the United States?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. Updated information on the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is available here.
Are there cases of COVID-19 in California?
Yes. The State of California now has the authority and ability to test individuals, and is receiving additional test kits, as requested. Updated information is available here.
Are there people with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County?
Yes. For the most current case information, visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website here.
What is Congress doing?
On March 27th, Congress passed the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest emergency spending bill in U.S. history. Find out how you and your neighbors will be affected here.
On March 18th, President Trump signed into law a second coronavirus relief package that Congress had passed nearly a week prior, which provides $1 billion in food aid and extends sick leave benefits to vulnerable Americans. It also includes provisions for free testing and unemployment aid. The House of Representatives has also passed legislation to help student veterans as schools close or move to online classes by giving the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to continue paying GI Bill payments and monthly housing allowances at existing rates.
These bills come after the House of Representatives passed an $8.3 billion spending measure earlier this month to fund the federal government’s initial response to the coronavirus and to assist state and local governments in their response as well.
Further legislation is expected.
I am a health professional. Where do I find resources on how to treat my patients and where to report cases?
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has specific resources for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, including Identifying and Managing Suspect Patients; Testing, Reporting, Infection Prevention and specific guidance for care centers located here. Health professionals can also sign up for the Los Angeles County Health Alert Network (LAHAN) here.
Information for Workers
Sick or Quarantined
In California, if you need access to paid family, medical, or sick leave, you should visit or contact the California Department of Employment Development at edd.ca.gov or call 1-877-238-4373 to contact a Paid Family Leave representative.
If you cannot work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file for Disability Insurance (DI). DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have total or partial loss of wages due to a non-work related illness, injury, or pregnancy. For guidance on the disease, visit the California Department of Public Health website.
You can find more information from the California Department of Employment Development about disability benefits or paid family leave along with information about unemployment insurance benefits here: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
If you are unable to work because you are caring for a sick or quarantined relative with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file for Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL offers up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a total or partial loss of wages because they need time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60 to 70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 to $1,300 per week.
Reduced Working Hours
If your employer has reduced your hours or closed operations due to COVID-19, you can file for Unemployment Insurance (UI). UI provides partial payments of wage replacement benefits to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer in a few weeks are not required to actively seek work every week. However, they must remain capable and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each claimed benefit week and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits ranging from $40 to $450 per week.
Information for Employers
Occupational Health and Safety
For information on how to protect workers from COVID-19, see OSHA's Guide to Measures to Prevent Workers' Exposure to the Coronavirus. Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with planning and responding to COVID-19.
Reduced Working Hours
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their business or services as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy can apply for the UI Work Sharing Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs: by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset by UI benefits, employers can retain their trained employees. Employer workers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and reduced wages, not to exceed 60 percent. Visit the Work Sharing program to learn more about your employer and employee benefits, and how to apply.
Possible Closing or Layoffs
Employers planning a major closure or layoffs as a result of the coronavirus can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help prevent potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, see the Rapid Response Services for Business Data Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact the California Local Employment Center in the United States.
Information Regarding Housing
The Los Angeles City Council and the Mayor have taken steps to protect renters during this pandemic. Landlords are prohibited from evicting residential tenants during this local emergency period if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants will have up to 12 months following the expiration of the local emergency period to repay any back due rent.
If you are facing eviction, or if your landlord has questions on the emergency order on eviction moratorium, please contact the Housing and Community Investment Department hotline at (866) 557-7368. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. HCID also has a website on tenants’ rights during this emergency at hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium. You can file a complaint here.
For more information about who qualifies for this eviction order and how to respond to a notice, see the Housing and Community Investment Department website.
In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that financial institutions will provide major financial relief for millions of Californians suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for details on how to apply for relief. Loans held by a financial institution may be serviced by another company. Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries.
Do not give anyone your personal information to "sign-up" for your relief check. There is nothing to sign up for. Anyone calling to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer, plain and simple. Also be on the lookout for email phishing scams, where scammers pretend to be from the government and ask for your information as part of the "sign-up" process for the checks.
To set up direct deposit of your check, communicate only with the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus. And you only need to do this if you didn't give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 return. In the coming weeks, the IRS will be setting up an online form available through irs.gov/coronavirus. But nowhere else, and never in response to an email, text, or call.
No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. The timeline for this process is not exact, but it looks like funds will start going out in the next few weeks. Scammers are using the lack of detail to try to trick people into giving their personal information and money.
To get official updates and more information, visit the IRS's page on economic impact payments. And if you come across a scammer trying to take your check, we want to hear about it. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint.
The spread of COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the lives of Californians up and down the state. With unemployment at nearly 20 percent and food banks serving 10 times more working and low-income Californians during the pandemic, the office of the L.A. Controller has released a statewide guide to free food resources. View it here.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted March 18th, temporarily suspended (as of April 1) SNAP’s three-month time limit for jobless adults without a child at home. They will remain eligible for SNAP without having to report that they’re working or in job training for an average of 20 hours a week, as they normally would. The suspension lasts through the month after the month in which the Secretary of Health and Human Services lifts the public health emergency.
Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson has launched an emergency meal program to support Council District 8 residents over the age of 65 during the COVID-19 safe at home order. They are teaming up with local, family-owned businesses to deliver FREE meals to seniors in that district. You must be a Council District 8 resident to participate in this program. Click here to see if you live in that district. If you are interested in receiving free meals through the Emergency Senior Meals Program, call (213) 485-7616 to join the waitlist. You will receive a call to let you know when you can begin receiving meals. If you are a business interested in participating, call (213) 485-7616.
Tax Assistance Information
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
Employers experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 can request an extension of time of up to 60 days from EDD to submit their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written extension request must be received within 60 days from the original late payment or return date.
For questions, employers can call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center.
Free call from the USA. USA Or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
Hearing impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565
Outside the US USA Or Canada: 1-916-464-3502
Health Insurance Information
Anyone who is uninsured and meets eligibility requirements for health care coverage through Covered California can sign up in the new open enrollment period through June 30, 2020. This is an important step to ensure Californians who lose coverage through an employer, or who are otherwise uninsured, have the opportunity to enroll in coverage. The California Department of Health Care Services also announced new steps to help those eligible for Medi-Cal sign-up. Learn more here.
Student Loan Information
All borrowers with federally-held student loans through the U.S. Department of Education will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days starting March 13th. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.
Student loans can come from many sources, and borrowers should contact their own lender(s) to discuss what their individual situations may be. Learn more about the Department of Education action here.
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, is providing access to free COVID-19 testing to Los Angeles County residents. At this time, testing is limited in Los Angeles to people with symptoms. Please note that same or next day testing appointments are prioritized for individuals over 65, or who have underlying chronic health conditions. You can find out if you are eligible for a test here.
On April 2, 2020, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce released a document providing an update on the status of treatment and vaccines for COVID-19. You can read that here.
REAL ID Information
The Federal Government will begin enforcing REAL ID on October 1, 2021 (one year later than previously announced). For more information, click here.
Information for Parents of LAUSD Students
Superintendent Austin Beutner announced on March 23rd that Los Angeles Unified School District students and teachers will remain out of their classrooms until at least May 1st. Los Angeles Unified, in partnership with the Red Cross, will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students in need during the temporary closure of schools. Grab & Go food centers will be open from Wednesday, March 18 and will be available from Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. at 10 a.m. To find the nearest Grab & Go food center to you, click here: https://achieve.lausd.net/resources
Considering challenges regarding access to education, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution have made their information resources public. You can find descriptions and links to Smithsonian Institution resources here, and Library of Congress resources here. The material includes resources for students of all ages and brings with it the credibility of two of our nation’s preeminent educational institutions. These pages will be periodically updated as more educational content is created.
This is an evolving situation. For updated information on this outbreak, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/ or call 211. Please note that many people are likely to call 211, so be prepared for an increased wait time and remember this is not a hotline reserved for the 2019 coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
You can find past correspondence regarding this issue from the Office of Congressmember Karen Bass here:
- March 30, 2020: Coronavirus Stimulus Package Update
- March 23, 2020: Coronavirus Resources Update
- March 19, 2020: Coronavirus Resources Update
- March 17, 2020: Telephone Townhall Advertisement
- March 5, 2020: Coronavirus Resources Update
More on Coronavirus Resources
Read the full letter here.
In their letter, the Members note that “the USMS is responsible for the care of individuals charged with federal offenses, from the time they are arrested and ordered detained pretrial to the time they are either ordered released from USMS custody or are convicted and transported to serve their sentences in a BOP facility. The USMS does not operate its own jails, but it contracts with approximately 1,200 state and local government agencies, as well as with private facilities, for housing detainees.
Find more information about upcoming Congressional Black Caucus events here: https://cbc.house.gov/events/
In December 2017, the Department of Homeland Security updated its policy on the detention of pregnant woman that reversed previous guidance that discouraged incarcerating pregnant women barring extraordinary circumstances. The number of detentions decreased from 1,380 in calendar year 2016 to 1,160 in 2017, and then increased to 2,098 in calendar year 2018. The report found over 4,600 detentions of pregnant women between 2016 and 2018 and found that detention standards addressing care varied by facility.
In the letter, the members wrote, “While the surge in firearm sales from federally licensed dealers has received nationwide attention, at least 16 companies that sell ghost gun kits have reported order backlogs and shipping delays due to overwhelming demand. The uptick in sales of ghost gun kits and parts have received substantially less notice, even though the increase in sales of ghost guns poses a direct threat to public safety and law enforcement… Because the proliferation of ghost guns is a serious problem, we write to request…information and documentation t
“There are currently nearly 2,400 children in Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) custody, including licensed shelters.
“The WHO plays a vital role in supporting and enforcing international health regulations, educating the public, and strengthening the ability of health systems—particularly those in the developing world—to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks. The organization is not perfect, and we should thoroughly review its early handling of this crisis, particularly its engagement with Chinese authorities, and advocate for appropriate reforms,” wrote the lawmakers.
“As the public health crisis continues to worsen, a growing number of states and cities across the country are issuing stay-at-home orders and closing schools,” wrote the Members in their letter. “To ensure equal learning opportunities during the pandemic, schools are increasingly adopting distance learning strategies to bring the classroom into students’ homes. However, this can prove challenging for many high poverty urban and rural school districts that may lack the resources to connect disadvantaged students to digital devices or high-speed internet.”
While the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and their colleagues in Congress continue to advocate for federal COVID-19 relief for transition-age foster youth, they also encourage Governors to support these young people as they manage their state responses to the pandemic.
Read the letter here or below.