COVID-19 Information and Resources

Friday, March 20, 2020

 

Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 Information and Resources

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Santa Clara County and across the State of California changes, our community is understandably anxious and looking to public health officials for guidance. The California State Legislature is working closely the Governor to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable community members.

Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic, we strongly recommend that you refer to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpages for the most up-to-date information from public health experts. For comprehensive information on statewide orders and actions, please visit covid19.ca.gov

COVID-19 data for Santa Clara County, including information on the number of cases, hospitalization rates, and tests administered, are accessible online at this link. To receive immediate assistance or ask questions about the COVID-19 crisis, call the statewide hotline at (833) 544-2374 or text "coronavirus" to 211211

As always, do not hesitate to call my office at (408) 446-2810 or email Assemblymember.Low@assembly.ca.gov with any questions. My team is working diligently to assist all our constituents in need.

For information about the reopening of non-essential businesses and activities (known as California's Resilience Roadmap), visit covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/

This content was last updated on May 22, 2020.

 

Quick Guide

 


Legislative Action:

The California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 89 and Senate Bill 117 to provide up to $1 billion in funding to help California fight COVID-19. This money will be used to: 

  • Increase hospital bed capacity and purchase medical equipment to prepare for the coming surge in patients;
  • Protect hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities most vulnerable to COVID-19 spread;
  • Provide lifesaving services to Californians isolating at home; and,
  • Provide funding to clean childcare facilities that remain open.

To help local governments reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in homeless populations and provide safe beds for people experiencing homelessness, the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council allocated over $7.4 million to the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. 

SB 117 provided $100 million to schools across California for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. It also allows our schools to maintain funding despite service and attendance disruptions.

 

Back to Top


Santa Clara County Shelter at Home:

On March 16, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued an order to shelter-in-place with the intent to maximize the number of people self-isolating. Essential activities, government functions, and businesses will be exempt. This order is necessary to reduce the transmission risks of COVID-19 while the county waits for more widespread testing to become available. The order took effect at 12:01 AM on March 17, 2020. It has since been extended to continue until May 3, 2020.

Essential Businesses & Workers

Section 13 of the March 31, 2020 order defines "Essential Activities and Businesses." For more detailed information on the shelter-in-place order, please read the FAQs at this link. Grocery stores, food banks, farmers' markets, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, hardware stores, and banks will remain open. 

Governor Newsom has also issued detailed guidance on "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers," accessible at this link

Social Distancing Protocol for Essential Businesses

Santa Clara County has ordered all essential businesses to post a "Social Distancing Protocol" by 11:59 PM on April 2, 2020 for each of their facilities frequented by the public or employees.

  • This protocol must be posted at or near the entrance of the facility, and shall be easily viewable by the public and employees.
  • A copy of the protocol must be provided to each employee working at the facility.
  • All essential businesses shall implement the protocol and provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing the order.

More information about the "Social Distancing Protocol" requirement can be found in Section 13.h of Santa Clara County's March 31, 2020 order

Essential Businesses should use the form accessible at this link for their social distancing protocol.

 

Back to Top


COVID-19 Screening & Testing:

The State of California is partnering with Verily to screen those in the Bay Area interested in being tested for COVID-19. To learn more about Project Baseline by Verily visit this link.

Santa Clara County is offering free testing for COVID-19 by both appointment and walk-in. To find a testing site near you, please visit here.

CVS Health is also offering Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing at the following locations in San Jose: 

  • 1800 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129
  • 821 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126

More locations and information on how to make an appointment can be found here.

As always, patients who have severe symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early in the course of even mild illness. Mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. 

 

Back to Top


Proper prevention methods to minimize risks:

Clean your hands often and thoroughly

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Cough and sneeze into tissues or the inside of your elbow.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close proximity or contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid going to work or public spaces when you are sick.

Protecting yourself and others

  • Again—Stay at home, except for medical care and essential activities.
  • Wear a cloth face mask when you need to leave the house to reduce asymptomatic transmission. Wash your face mask after each use or daily.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, such as:
    • Doorknobs and handles
    • Light switches
    • Phones and keyboards
    • Faucets and sinks
    • Desks and countertops
  • EPA-registered household disinfectants, diluted household bleach solutions, and alcohol solutions will all suffice. For more guidance on disinfecting, see the CDC’s recommendations here

 

Back to Top


Populations who are more vulnerable:

Some individuals are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recommends that these vulnerable populations stay at home, avoid traveling on cruises and airplanes, and avoid large gatherings. These populations include:

  • Adults over the age of 50
  • People with underlying health conditions (regardless of age) such as:
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Chronic lung diseases
    • Heart disease
    • Cancer
    • Weakened immune systems

 

Back to Top


Resources for workers:

The State of California is taking proactive steps to ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 are protected from discrimination and understand all the benefits available to them.

Please note: the state Employment Development Department (EDD) is working around-the-clock to process an unprecedented volume of claims and issue payments to Californians as quickly as possible. We are very grateful for your patience as EDD works to process tens of thousands of new claims each week. 

NEW: The EDD call center is expanding its hours beginning on Monday, April 20, 2020. The call center will operate 7 days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm to accommodate unprecedented demand. To speak with an EDD representative, call: 1-800-300-5616 (English), 1-800-326-8937 (Spanish), 1-800-547-3506 (Cantonese), 1-866-303-0706 (Mandarin), 1-800-547-2058 (Vietnamese). 

  • If you're unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
  • If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance.
  • Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
  • If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
  • If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • All information and resources can be found at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019

For video tutorials on using the UI Online system to apply for benefits click on this link. For a step-by-step chart on initiating and managing a UI claim for receiving ongoing benefit payments, click here. For other commonly asked questions about unemployment insurance, see my dedicated FAQ webpage.

 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program for the Self-Employed

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a brand new program created by the federal CARES Act. This new program serves unemployed Californians who don't usually qualify for regular UI benefits, including the self-employed and independent contractors. The PUA application is live as of April 28, 2020.  Apply via UI Online, and learn more at this link or read the PUA frequently asked questions.

PUA benefits will be issued within 24 to 48 hours--not the traditional 21 days for regular UI claims.

 

$600 Unemployment Insurance Benefit Augmentation

Beginning on Sunday for the week ending April 11, 2020, the EDD will begin paying an additional $600 on top of recipients' current weekly benefit amount with the extra money coming from the federal government as part of the federal CARES Act.

  • Claimants do not need to do anything to receive this extra funding. The EDD will automatically add the full $600 to each week of current benefits that are paid every two weeks, as long as claimants are eligible for at least $1 in a regular payment each week. 
  • The first week the additional payments can be made is for the week ending April 4, not before. Separate retroactive payments will be automatically issued soon to those who had an active claim that week, and the $600 extra payments can continue to those who remain impacted and otherwise eligible for benefits through the week ending July 31, 2020.

 

Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

 

Back to Top


Assistance for small businesses:

If your small business or private non-profit organization has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a low-interest federal loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expanded resources and protections for small businesses during this crisis.

Please visit the SBA website at this link to learn more about the options available to your small business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also compiled a helpful guide and checklist on coronavirus emergency loans for small businesses at this link

 

Federal Resources:

  Paycheck Protection ProgramDeadline August 8, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion 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.

The loan will be fully forgiven if 60% of funds are used for payroll costs and the remaining is used on interest on mortgages, rent, utilities and other expenses.

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan can be used for rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

EIDL advances were fully forgivable, with the amount determined by the number of employees indicated on the EIDL application. However, the forgivable advance is now no longer available – all funds have been allocated to prior applicants.

 

Small Business Debt Relief

If you are a current borrower under SBA 7(a), 504, and microloans, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe. However, this relief is not available for PPP loans or EIDL loans. Borrowers do not have to apply for this assistance but should contact their lender regarding this payment relief for SBA to begin making payments.

 

State Resources:

Small Business Tax Returns and Tax Payments

Governor Newsom issued executive order N-40-20 to allow the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. This means that small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns. The order also extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days to accommodate tax and fee payers.

Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. Payment plan requests can be made online at this link in the coming months. Check the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration webpage for more updated information.

 

Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program

For small businesses that do not qualify for federal funds, California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s (IBank) Small Business Finance Center features a loan guarantee program that provides loan guarantees and direct loans to small businesses in California, to be used for disaster relief. The State recently allocated $50 million in funding to this program.

 

California Capital Access Program (CalCAP)

CalCAP is a loan loss reserve program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan default loans. It encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. The full updated list of participating lenders can be found here.

 

Small Business Centers Map

California supports a network of small business technical assistance centers that provide free one-on-one consulting and no-cost or low-cost training to help businesses get funded, enter new markets, strengthen operations, build resiliency and more. Additionally, there are nonprofit lenders who work with California to help you access state loan programs.

 

Local Resources:

Commercial Eviction Moratorium - Ends August 31st

Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20 to suspend state law that would otherwise preempt or restrict local jurisdictions’ authority to suspend the evictions of residential and commercial tenants for the non-payment of rent. Originally set to expire May 31, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the moratorium until August 31.

 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Emergency Grant Assistance

With a $55 million commitment grant from Lowe’s, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is able to provide emergency grant assistance that small businesses desperately need to stay afloat. $30 million will focus on small businesses owned or led by minorities and women and $25 million will support enterprises in rural communities. Small business owners may receive grants of $20,000 to help meet their most immediate needs, such as paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, and other immediate operational costs.

The next round of applications will be opening August 31st.

 

Additional Resources:

Northern California Small Business Development Centers (NorCal SBDC)

The Northern California Small Business Development Centers (NorCal SBDC) is a nonprofit network made up of 18 centers that are dedicated to helping small businesses with every aspect of business creation, growth, management, and operation. Find your local SBDC today to start receiving one-on-one advising and low cost training.

https://www.norcalsbdc.org/

https://www.norcalsbdc.org/covid-19

Visit ASKSBDC.com to discover the most up-to-date, accurate information concerning COVID-19 and Cares Act resources for small businesses. Call the 833-ASK-SBDC (833-275-7232) toll-free hotline to speak with a dedicated call center staff ready to help your business get answers to questions and connected to the right resources.

 

Economic & Workforce Development

The Business & Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) Program is a network of Community College professionals working in strategic partnerships with businesses, industry and community organizations to identify and meet California's economic development needs in the areas of business improvements and entrepreneurship training. Specific attention is given to providing small business assistance and encouraging youth entrepreneurship.

916-361-2964

www.cccewd.net/initiative_business_entrepreneurship.cfm

 

Economic Development Department

Employers can manage payroll tax accounts, file reports, make tax payments, register businesses, and more through the Economic Development Department.

916-808-7223

https://eddservices.edd.ca.gov/

 

Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

GO-Biz is California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more.

916-322-0694

http://business.ca.gov/

 

Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA offers information on small business loans, grants, bonds and other financial assistance.

916-735-1700

www.sba.gov

Back to Top


Protections for renters, homeowners, and ratepayers:

Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20 to authorize local governments to halt evictions for renters, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. These protections are in effect through May 21, 2020. This order does not relieve a tenant from their obligation to pay rent, or restrict a landlord's ability to recover rent that is due.

 

Renters

The County of Santa Clara issued a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent by both residential and commercial tenants directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through May 31, 2020. Read the full text of the ordinance at this link

  • Tenants must be prepared to demonstrate that their failure to pay rent is related to a substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses resulting from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This order applies to all cities within Santa Clara County, including San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, and Saratoga. 
  • Within 120 days of the expiration or termination of the ordinance, tenants must pay all past-due rent.
  • Landlords may not charge or collect a late fee for rent that is delayed during the ordinance period or for 120 days after.

 

Homeowners

Governor Newsom has secured commitments from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to offer mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19. In addition, the financial institutions will not report late payments to credit reporting agencies for those taking advantage of COVID-19 relief, and, for at least 60 days, institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions. Finally, for at least 90 days, institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees, including early CD withdrawals. 

  • Importantly, these protections are not automatic. Contact your lender to discuss COVID-19 relief.
  • Like renters, borrowers should be prepared to demonstrate and document a substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. 
  • Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquires. 
  • Bank of America has not committed to offer this relief for borrowers. 

Learn more about COVID-19 relief from financial institutions at this link

 

Water

Executive Order N-42-20 protects consumers who may not be able to pay for their water service from shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order further restores water for occupied residences that may have had their water shut off as of March 4, 2020 and prevents future shutoffs due to nonpayment for residences and essential businesses.

Importantly, this order does not eliminate the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, prevent a water system from charging a customer for such service, or reduce the amount a customer already may owe to a water system.

 

Gas & Electric

Although many investor-owned utilities, including PG&E, have ceased disconnections and established payment deferral plans for electric and natural gas services for customers experiencing economic hardships due to COVID-19, existing energy-assistance programs offer additional support for qualified low-income customers and those with specific medical needs. 

California's Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): provides a 30-35% discount on a qualified customer's utility bill. Click on this link to see if your family qualifies.

Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA): charges some of a qualified customer's electricity usage at a lower rate. Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which applies a 12% discount on their electricity bill. Click on this link to learn more.

Medical Baseline Program: an assistance program for residential customers who have special energy needs due to qualifying medical conditions. This program includes two kinds of assistance: 1) a lower rate on one's monthly energy bill, and 2) extra notifications in advance of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Learn more at this link

Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP): a federally-funded program to assist low-income households that pay a high portion of their income to meet their energy needs. Learn more about the LIHEAP programs and income eligibility guidelines here

 

Back to Top


Fight discrimination in our community:

As the novel coronavirus spreads in our state, I understand that community members are fearful for their health and safety. However, this does not make discrimination, hate crimes, or micro-aggressions against people of Asian descent acceptable in any situation. 

The Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and San Francisco Asian American Studies Department have launched a reporting center to collect and track incidents of anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate violence, adult harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying in California and throughout the country. If you have experienced or witnessed anti-AAPI hate, harassment, or discrimination, please share your story at http://bit.ly/Stop-AAPI-Hate

I encourage the community to report incidents of hate crimes they have experienced or witnessed so law enforcement can monitor and address the issue. Our community will not tolerate this bigotry. During times of hardship, we must come together and unite against hate.

 

Back to Top


Meals during school closures:

On March 13, 2020, the Santa Clara County Office of Education announced that all public schools will close for three weeks, beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. To ensure that all students continue to receive lunch during this time, "grab and go" meals will be offered at some school sites. Students must be under 18 years old and present for pick up, and meals may not be consumed on-site. For the most up-to-date information on school meals, please visit your school district website.

Cupertino Union School District

  • Cupertino Middle School: 1650 S. Bernardo Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

San Jose Unified School District

  • Hoover Middle School: 1635 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126
  • Galarza Elementary: 1610 Bird Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125
  • Almaden Elementary: 1295 Dentwood Drive, San Jose, CA 95118

Campbell Union High School District

  • Boynton High School: 901 Boynton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95117
  • Prospect High School: 18900 Prospect Road, Saratoga, CA 95070
  • Westmont High School: 4805 Westmont Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008
  • Leigh High School: 5210 Leigh Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124
  • Branham High School: 1570 Branham Lane, San Jose, CA 95118
  • Del Mar High School: 1224 Del Mar Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128

Campbell Union School District

  • Blackford Elementary: 1970 Willow Street, San Jose, CA 95125
  • Capri Elementary: 850 Chapman Drive, Campbell, CA 95008
  • Castlemont Elementary: 3040 Payne Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008
  • Lynhaven Elementary: 881 Cypress Avenue, San Jose, CA 95117
  • Rosemary Elementary: 401 West Hamilton Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008
  • Sherman Oaks Elementary: 1800 Fruitdale Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128
  • Monroe Middle: 1055 S Monroe Street, San Jose, CA 95128

Los Gatos Union School District

  • Raymond J. Fisher Middle School: 19195 Fisher Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95032

Saratoga Union School District

  • Saratoga Elementary School: 14592 Oak Street, Saratoga, CA 95070

 

Back to Top


Food resources and distribution sites:

The organizations below are offering free food to those in need. These resources are family-friendly, age-friendly, and immigrant-friendly. 

Sacred Heart Community Services: 1381 S. First Street, San Jose, CA 95110

  • Offering pre-packaged food boxes and financial assistance for low-income residents impacted by COVID-19. For more information, call (408) 278-2160. 

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Text GETFOOD to (408) 455-5181 or call (800) 984-3663

  • Offering healthy food items and groceries.

Meals on Wheels: Leave a message at (408) 350-3246

  • Offering meal deliveries and to-go meals for seniors age 60 and up. 

CalFresh: Apply over the phone at (800) 984-3663 or online at getcalfresh.org

  • Offering financial assistance for food purchases. Immigrants can receive CalFresh if at least one member of the household has legal residency. 

 

Back to Top


Tax deadlines:

Both the IRS and the California State Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have postponed tax filing and payment deadlines until July 15, 2020 for all individuals and business entities for: 

  • 2019 tax returns
  • 2019 tax return payments
  • 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments
  • 2020 LLC taxes and fees
  • 2020 non-wage withholding payments

Taxpayers do not need to claim any special treatment or call FTB to qualify for this relief. For more detailed information, visit the Franchise Tax Board website.

 

Property Tax Deadline: April 10, 2020

The deadline for the 2nd installment of property taxes is still due on April 10, 2020. Critical county services rely on scheduled property tax revenues. These funds are vital to our community and help fund sanitation systems' maintenance, school districts, road construction, and more. 

If you cannot pay the full amount that is due, residents have the option of making partial payments by April 10. Penalties would be applied only to the unpaid balances and are usually assessed systematically on April 11. Residents can submit a penalty waiver on the Department of Tax and Collections (DTAC) website. Waiver requests will be reviewed in accordance with the standard set forth in the state Revenue and Taxation Code—that a late payment is "due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer's control, and occurred notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect."

In addition, Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting and Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee Chair Autumn Burke have urged the Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors to waive late payment penalties and costs for reasonable cause and announced their plans to advance emergency legislation to retroactively waive interest and penalties for homeowners and other taxpayers adversely impacted by this pandemic. 

Please visit the County of Santa Clara Department of Tax and Collections website for more detailed information.

 

Back to Top


Department of Motor Vehicles:

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has asked law enforcement officers to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning on March 16, 2020. The DMV may also waive vehicle registration penalties. 

To protect Californians, walk-in appointments and behind-the-wheel driving tests are currently suspended. Check the DMV website for the most up-to-date information or to utilize their online services.

The Department of Homeland Security will be extending the REAL ID deadline to October 1, 2021 due to the ongoing public health crisis. 

 

Back to Top


Beware of scams, payday lenders, and video conferencing security:

As during any disaster situation, scammers attempt to target our most vulnerable neighbors. Help stop scams by sharing this information with your family and friends. 

 

Scams

There is no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19.

Treatments are available for symptoms and our researchers are working around the clock to develop a vaccine, but there is currently no vaccine available to the public.

Do not give out your personal information.

The CDC and other public health officials will never ask for your health insurance or financial information. Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, or home visits. 

Beware of federal stimulus scams. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is anticipating a barrage of scamming as the federal economic stimulus payments rollout. Remember:

  1. The government will not ask you to pay anything up-front to receive an economic stimulus payment. No fees. No charges. No nothing. 
  2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.

Report all scams online at ftc.gov/complaint

 

Payday Lenders

Consumers should also beware of payday lenders that charge customers exorbitant interest rates for small-dollar loans. Rather than turning to a payday lender in a moment of financial need, consumers should instead contact their regular bank or credit union first. Many credit unions and banks offer financial hardship plans, and regulators are encouraging institutions to offer small-dollar loans subject to federal regulation. Consumers should expect between 2.5% to 10% APR for small-dollar loans. Learn more from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Nerd Wallet

 

Video Conferencing Security

Security lapses have left many users of online video conferencing platforms vulnerable to hacking and online trolls who invade meetings to display obscene images and spew hate. Users of any online video conferencing platform should take care to protect their meetings by adding passwords, reviewing the default security settings, and accounting for each person attending their meeting. Learn more about how to protect your meetings using the guides below:

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event

"Use Zoom? Here are 7 Essential Steps You Can Take to Secure It"

Victims of teleconferencing hijacking, or any cyber-crime, should report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Additionally, if you receive a specific threat during a teleconference, please report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov

 

Back to Top


Support for students:

Federal Student Loan Relief

On March 20th, the US Department of Education announced that all borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. 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.

Private Student Loans

For now, Californians with private student loans can contact their loan servicer directly and ask for relief. If loan servicers are willing to pause payments, borrowers should also ask the servicer to stop assessing interest during the pause. Before contacting their servicer, borrowers should be prepared to provide detailed information about how their income has been affected by the response to COVID-19. The California Department of Business Oversight is also working on guidelines to its private student loan servicer licensees on how they should work with consumers during this crisis.

NEW: 21 out of the 24 major student loan servicers have agreed to provide relief on late fees and fines for the next 90 days. Borrowers should contact their loan providers directly to get relief, as they will not automatically be enrolled. The loan providers below have signed on to this agreement: 

  • Aspire Resources Inc.
  • College Ave Student Loan Servicing LLC
  • Discover Financial Servicers
  • Earnest Operations
  • Edfinancial
  • Figure Lending LLC
  • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
  • Launch Servicing LLC
  • Lendkey Technologies Inc.
  • MOHELA
  • Navient
  • Nelnet
  • Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation
  • Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
  • Scratch Services LLC
  • SoFi Lending Corp.
  • Tuition Options
  • United Guaranty Services Inc.
  • Upstart Network Inc.
  • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation

 

College Admissions & Financial Aid

Together, the California Department of Education (CDE), University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC) have committed to helping high school and community college students overcome university admissions and placement challenges presented by the suspension of in-person instruction. Below is a summary of the actions that the systems have taken to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please carefully review each system's guidance for additional details.

University of California

  • The UC has suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 for all students.
  • UC campuses plan to provide maximum flexibility to admitted students who request extensions or deferment of deposits. 
  • The UC is temporarily suspending the cap on the number of transferable units with Pass/No Pass grading applied toward the minimum of 60 semester/90 quarter units required for junior standing. 
  • No student will be penalized in the campus admission review processes for earning Pass grades in A-G coursework during the winter/spring/summer 2020 terms. 
  • The UC is suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission. 

California State University

  • For Fall 2020 first-time first-year students, the CSU will accept grades of "Credit" or "Pass" to satisfy "a-g" requirements completed during winter, spring, or summer 2020 terms.
  • The CSU is temporarily suspending the use of ACT/SAT examinations in determining admissions eligibility for all CSU campuses for the 2021-2022 academic year. This change applies for the fall 2021, winter 2022, and spring 2022 admissions cycles. 
  • Campuses will not rescind conditional offers of admission based on the non-receipt of transcripts.
  • CSU campuses are individually considering their extension of intent to enroll and/or housing deposit deadlines. More information is forthcoming.

California Community Colleges

  • California Community Colleges are "open enrollment" institutions and all applications are accepted for enrollment, regardless of GPA, and financial aid is available year-round.
  • Enrolled students can adjust their grading options from a letter grade to a pass or no-pass option at any time. Students negatively impacted at any time during this crisis have the option to request an excused withdrawal (EW) or an incomplete grade should they need additional time to complete the course.

 

Back to Top


How You Can Help:

Californians interested in volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis should check with our local food banks and blood banks. The "California Volunteers" program has also created a helpful website for folks to learn how they can safely help their neighbors. Learn more at this link

1. Host a blood drive or donate blood with the American Red Cross.

Donated blood has decreased dramatically. Healthy, eligible donors are urged to come out and give to ensure there’s lifesaving blood on the shelves for those who need it most. To find a blood drive, visit this link or call 1-800-733-2767. 

2. Volunteer to sort and distribute food with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.

Food banks are in great need of volunteers to help pack and sort food. They are taking every precaution to prioritize volunteer safety. Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is accepting individual and group volunteers to sort and distribute food. Learn more on their website or by calling (408) 266-8866. 

3. Donate to a shelter or food bank. 

Our local food banks and homeless shelters are running low on essential items. Please call or visit your neighborhood nonprofit's webpage to learn what items are most in need.

4. Donate new medical supplies or funds to Valley Medical Center.

Valley Medical Center is accepting new supplies for use by hospital staff. These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items. View a complete list at this link

Donations can be delivered to the Valley Medical Center office between Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am to 3pm at 2400 Clove Drive, San Jose, CA. For questions, call (408) 885-5299 or email vmcfoundation@hhs.sccgov.org. 

5. Stay home to save lives!

Social distancing by staying home and only leaving to go to the grocery store or pharmacy is proven to flatten the curve and save lives. By doing so, we reduce community transmission of the novel coronavirus and support our first responders. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to stay home by sharing the graphic below on social media. Those interested in supporting small businesses in Assembly District 28 may consider ordering take-out or delivery from our local restaurants or purchasing gift cards from their service providers (nail and hair salons, book stores, restaurants, etc.) for use after the pandemic. 

Stay put to save lives! California Strong!

 

Back to Top


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation appropriates roughly $2 trillion to bolster our nation's health care response and boost our economy. Logistical details related to the bill's implementation are still emerging, and our website will be updated periodically with more information related to the CARES Act. Here are some helpful articles about the CARES Act: "F.A.Q. on Stimulus Checks, Unemployment and the Coronavirus Plan" from the New York Times, and "Fighting the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis and Putting 'Workers First'" from the U.S. Senate Democrats. 

In the meantime, please feel free to contact your U.S. Representative with any specific inquiries about the federal stimulus package. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo may be reached at (408) 245-2339. Congressman Ro Khanna may be reached at (408) 436-2720. 

 

Unemployment Insurance

  • Increases unemployment insurance checks by $600 for every American.
  • Adds 13 weeks of federally-funded unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Allows part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers to access UI benefits.

Small Business Rescue Plan

  • $350 billion in loan forgiveness grants to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
  • $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.

Direct Cash Payments to Working Americans

  • Direct cash payments of $1,200 to individuals making up to $75,000.
  • Payments of up to $2,400 for married couples making up to $150,000.
  • An additional cash payment of $500 per child. 
  • The value begins decreasing and then phases out completely for those making over the full payment income cap. 
  • Still confused? Use this helpful calculator to learn how much stimulus money you should expect to receive.

Transparency Protections on Government Loans

  • No stock buybacks or dividends for the length of any loan provided by the Treasury plus one year.
  • Restrictions on any increases to executive compensation.
  • Prohibition on businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments getting loans or investments from Treasury programs. 

Marshall Plan For Our Health System

  • $150 billion for personal protective equipment for health care workers, testing supplies, increased workforce and training, new construction to house patients, emergency operations centers, and more. 
  • Additional funding dedicated to delivering Medicare payment increases to all hospitals and providers, and new investments in the Strategic National Stockpile, surge capacity, and medical research into COVID-19. 

 

Back to Top


Medical Supply Contributions:

Individuals and companies who are interested in donating, selling, or offering to manufacture 13 of the most essential medical supplies, including ventilators, N95 respirators, and testing materials, should visit covid19supplies.ca.gov

Use the online form to describe resources you have to contribute, either for donation or purchase, to support California's response to COVID-19. If you are an individual looking for an avenue to donate a smaller amount of resources, please consider donating to your local community COVID-19 response efforts.

 

Santa Clara County Inventory of Personal Equipment & Ventilators

The County of Santa Clara has issued an order that requires all entities and individuals in the County to disclose, on a one-time basis, any large inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. This Order does not require anyone to donate their PPE or ventilators. It only requires individuals and entities to provide an inventory of PPE or ventilators in their possession. Donations of brand new sealed PPE or ventilators in any condition can be made through VMC Foundation

Entities and individuals with the below supplies should complete the one-time PPE inventory survey at this link. Inventories can be completed in English, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese

 

Supply Item Quantity to Report
Nitrile gloves More than 5,000 items
Vinyl gloves More than 5,000 items
Medical-grade N95 masks More than 500 items
Non-medical grade N95 masks More than 500 items
Surgical or procedure masks More than 500 items
Surgical or procedure masks More than 500 items
Safety goggles with extensions to cover the sides of eyes More than 100 items
Face shields that cover from ear to ear and down to the chin More than 100 items
Long-sleeved protective gowns of any type More than 100 items
Long-sleeved protective coveralls of any type More than 100 items
Hair-covering bonnets of any type More than 500 items
Shoe coverings of any type More than 500 items
Bleach wipes More than 100 items
Sani-Wipes or Sani-Cloths More than 100 containers
Small or medium hand sanitizers greater than 8 oz. More than 100 items
Gallon or larger hand sanitizers More than 10 items
Clinical Powered Air Purifying Respirator ("PAPR") hoods More than 2 hoods
Clinical PAPR complete systems minus hood More than 2 systems
Controlled Air Purifying Respirator ("CAPR") complete systems minus disposable parts More than 2 systems
CAPR disposable lenses More than 10 items
CAPR disposable cuffs More than 10 items
CAPR shrouds or hoods More than 10 items
Critical Care Ventilators (including High-Frequency Ventilators) excluding those limited to neonatal use No minimum
Transport/Portable Ventilators excluding those limited to neonatal use More than 1 ventilator
CPAP/BiPAP devices approved for invasive use More than one device
Anesthesia machines No minimum
Novel Ventilators with FDA Emergency Use Authorization More than 1 ventilator

 

Back to Top


Victims of Domestic Violence: Call 1-800-799-7233

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: "When survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity to their abuser more frequently, an abuser can use any tool to exert control over their victim, including a national health concern such as COVID-19.

Victims and survivors who need support are encouraged to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. You are not alone."

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence also offers local support and resources. Call their 24/7 crisis hotline at (408) 279-2962. 

EXIT TO GOOGLE

 

Back to Top


Community Offers & Resources

Disclaimer: The resources below are not actively monitored or controlled by the Office of Assemblymember Evan Low. The State Assembly is not responsible for their content and their inclusion here does not imply an endorsement. As always, please refer to state and local governments for the most up-to-date information from public health experts. 

EDD Form Assistance

Asian Americans Advancing Justice and other legal nonprofits are offering multilingual EDD form assistance. Help is available in Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Spanish. Their hotline is open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily. Call (415) 484-2209 for more information.

Facebook Coronavirus Information Center

Facebook has launched a coronavirus information center where users can find people from your area requesting help and people offering help. As with any online social media network, fact check the information you read from unverified sources and be safe when interacting with strangers. 

Heart of the Valley's Friendly Caller Program

Heart of the Valley, Services for Seniors is serving seniors aged 65 and over through their "friendly caller" program. Each week, seniors participating in the program receive a call from a volunteer who checks on them. To learn more about the program call (408) 241-1571.

 

Back to Top


Undocumented Californians

Together with philanthropic partners, the State of California has pledged $125 million in disaster relief assistance for undocumented Californians. Approximately 150,000 undocumented adults will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household to pay for specific needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To apply for this relief, undocumented folks living in Santa Clara County should contact Catholic Charities of California at www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/ or call (415) 324-1011. 

Learn more about COVID-19 Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants at this link

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) has committed to raising $50 million to support direct financial assistance to families of undocumented immigrants through the California Immigrant Resilience Fund. Those interested in supporting this fund can donate at www.immigrantfundCA.org

Mira el comunicado de prensa en español aquí.

 

Back to Top


Health Insurance & Medical Expenses

Covered California

Health insurance is more important now than ever. Because of this, Covered California has reopened the health insurance exchange through June 30, 2020. People who sign up through Covered California will have access to private health insurance plans with monthly premiums. Low-or moderate-income Californians may be eligible for financial help from Covered California that lowers premium costs. 

Visit CoveredCA.com or call 1-855-295-2023 to sign-up for coverage.

Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal offers free or low-cost health coverage for low-income California residents. Most people with Medi-Cal pay no premium or co-payments. You can apply for Medi-Cal at any time. If you are determined to be eligible for Medi-Cal, your coverage begins immediately, effective back the first day of the month in which the application was submitted. 

Learn more about Medi-Cal at this link

COVID-19 Medical Expenses

State agencies that regulate health care have mandated at all full-service insurance plans, including Medi-Cal, waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This includes emergency room, urgent care, or provider office visits when the purpose of the visit is to be screened or tested for COVID-19. 

 

Back to Top