WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released an update on COVID-19 for May 21, 2020.

The latest on the coronavirus:

More Funding for Testing in Rural Oregon:

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will provide through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) over $5 million to Oregon’s Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. This funding will help RHCs expand access to testing in Oregon’s rural communities. This funding was provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that President Trump signed into law in April.

Increased Funding for Coronavirus Vaccine:

The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has partnered with a British pharmaceutical company, providing $1 billion in funding, to manufacture a potential vaccine against the coronavirus. The new funding will enable the drugmaker to have the capacity to produce 400 million doses of the vaccine, if the vaccine is proven successful. Read more here.

Expanding U.S.-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturing:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is partnering with a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company to address manufacturing for the COVID-19 response. HHS is working with the corporation to expand pharmaceutical manufacturing for use in producing medicines needed for COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

An Update on the PPP and EIDL:

As of Tuesday, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has approved loans to over 4.3 million small businesses for a total of more than $513 billion. In Oregon, the SBA has approved loans for over 55,880 small businesses for a total of more than $6.8 billion.

The SBA also released an updated report with information about both the number and the amount of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) it has approved. As of Tuesday, across the country, more than 250,000 of these loans have been approved for a total of nearly $25 billion. In Oregon, more than 3,900 loans have been approved for a total of over $350 million.

New Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise:

A new coronavirus vaccine that is in preliminary trials has shown promising results. These results come from a Phase 1 study of the vaccine which is primarily focused on whether or not the vaccine is safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the study moving forward to a Phase II study, with hopes of beginning a Phase III study by July. Read more here.

House Votes on HEROES Act:

On Friday, the House voted on the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The over 1,800 page bill, drafted by Speaker Pelosi without any input from House Republicans, was released last Monday with the House holding a vote on it just days later.

Read Walden’s statement on the legislation here.

Watch Rep. Walden’s floor remarks on the legislation here.

Increased Funding for Testing in Oregon:

Last week, President Trump announced $11 billion of CARES Act funding will be distributed to states to increase testing capacity, including $86 million for Oregon. The state will also receive 80,000 new swabs in May.

Watch out for COVID-19 Scams:

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are reporting a spike in coronavirus related scams including home testing kits, fake cures, and other malicious attempts to prey on COVID-19 fears. The Treasury Department will NOT ask you to pay anything for the payment most Americans will receive as a result of the CARES Act and will not contact you for your bank account information. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking for this type of information, please report it to www.ftc.gov/complaint. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from these types of scams here.

Resources to Know and Share: Here are some helpful resources and information on COVID-19.

Helpful Resources on PPE:

CDC updated the PPE Burn Rate Calculator, a spreadsheet-based model that will help health care facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19.  More here.

You can now see PPE shipments to Oregon counties here.

ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing billions in funding toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
The application for borrowers can be found HERE

Other resources on the Paycheck Protection Program:

INFORMATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD:

The State Department has repatriated over 76,500 Americans from more than 130 countries.

The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans, including through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport.  Any American abroad who needs assistance should contact their local U.S. embassy and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available here or by calling 1-888-407-4747.

ASSISTANCE FROM HHS AND FEMA:

HHS and FEMA have fielded many requests to assist or partner with the Federal Government in response to the COVID pandemic.

  • Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through a Request for Proposal, available here.
  • Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information here.
  • Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred to https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help. 

How to schedule a blood donation appointment:

Fast Facts: Here are some helpful stats on COVID-19 as of 5/20/20

Cases of COVID-19: 

U.S.  current case count: There are currently at least 1,551,102 cases and 93,416 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins and other media sources.

Oregon current case count: 3,726

Baker: 1

Benton: 55

Clackamas: 284

Clatsop: 42

Columbia: 16

Coos: 30

Crook: 1

Curry: 5

Deschutes: 116

Douglas: 25

Grant: 1

Harney: 1

Hood River: 14

Jackson: 52

Jefferson: 24

Josephine: 27

Klamath: 41

Lane: 66

Lincoln: 8

Linn: 110

Malheur: 21

Marion: 879

Morrow: 12

Multnomah: 1018

Polk: 94

Sherman: 1

Tillamook: 6

Umatilla: 105

Union: 6

Wallowa: 1

Wasco: 18

Washington: 658

Yamhill: 63

Testing in Oregon: 

Positive: 3,701

Negative: 98,348

Total (since 1/24): 102,049

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