Rep. Bergman recap on coronavirus efforts

Congressman Bergman issued the following release after the House agreed to a bipartisan legislative package to further fund and prepare our communities for the Coronavirus:

“In times of hardship and crisis, leaders must work together for the common good of the American people. My staff and I are continuing our proactive approach and have been in discussions with Governor Whitmer, all state legislators from the First District, tribal leaders, emergency managers, doctors and healthcare leaders, Veteran facility administrators, and many additional local and state leaders.”

“Now is the time for positive action and proactive decision making in our communities as we prepare for the likely spread and effects Coronavirus could have on our system. H.R. 6201 will help keep our communities safe – providing free COVID-19 testing, ensuring our children have nutrition assistance available, and helping small businesses and employees secure the relief they will need in the days ahead,” said Rep. Bergman.

Additionally, H.R. 6201:

– Provides for free testing— which builds on private-sector efforts— to ensure no cost barriers for Americans seeking medically appropriate diagnostic lab tests for the coronavirus.

– Makes good on President Trump’s promise to provide financial assistance for working Americans who are “ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to coronavirus” — and it does so via a tax credit to employers rather than a new entitlement.

– Protects seniors and those with severe medical conditions by ensuring the Social Security Administration is not running a new paid leave program for those affected by COVID-19.

– Targets relief to the duration of the COVID-19 threat. If the threat subsides, the cost will be lower, but if the threat increases, support will be available.

– Ensures the health provisions are targeted to COVID-19 without including unrelated treatments, ensuring Hyde protections remain intact.

The State of Michigan Launches COVID-19 Hotline

This will be used to respond to health-related questions about COVID-19 and to direct residents, providers, and more to the right resources in their local communities and other state government departments.

They can be reached from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. seven days a week at 1-888-533-6136.

Yesterday, President Donald Trump Issued a State of Emergency Declaration:

“The spread of COVID-19 within our Nation’s communities threatens to strain our Nation’s healthcare systems.  As of March 12, 2020, 1,645 people from 47 States have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.  It is incumbent on hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country to assess their preparedness posture and be prepared to surge capacity and capability.  Additional measures, however, are needed to successfully contain and combat the virus in the United States.”

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) and consistent with section 1135 of the Social Security Act (SSA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 1320b-5), do hereby find and proclaim that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency…”

You can read the full State of Emergency here.

See Below for Additional Coronavirus Related Information:

Per the CDC – Who is at higher risk?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

How to prepare:

  • Have supplies on hand
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
    • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
  • Take everyday precautions
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Take everyday preventive actions
      • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
      • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
      • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
      • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
      • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
      • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
    • Stay home as much as possible.
      • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
  • Have a plan for if you get sick:
    • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
    • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
    • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs:

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Veteran specific information:

Aleda E. Lutz VA Shares Important Information on Coronavirus

While the Centers for Disease Control still considers COVID-19 to be a low threat to the general American public, the Aleda E. Lutz VA in Saginaw, and Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout Michigan, are paying special attention to it.

As part of this process, everyone who enters the campus will be pre-screened. This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow for that when arriving for their appointments. During this time, the VA Medical Center in Saginaw will only allow individuals to enter through the main VA entrance and the CLC entrance.

The screening consists of three questions:

  1. Do you have a fever or worsening cough or shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms?
  2. Have you or a close contact traveled to an area with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?
  3. Have you been in close contact with someone, including health care workers, confirmed to have COVID-19?

Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, individuals known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.

Iron Mountain VA Implements Prevention Measures

While the Centers for Disease Control still considers Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a low threat to the general American public, the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center is paying special attention to it and implementing screening measures to safeguard Veterans and employees from potential exposure to the virus.

Effective at 4 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 11, all patients and visitors to the medical center’s main campus and its seven community-based VA clinics will be screened for signs of respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19. If screened positive, an individual will be treated appropriately.

Patients are advised to allow for longer entry times when arriving for their appointments. 

VA Announces Safeguards to Protect Nursing Home and Spinal Cord Injury Patients

VA’s 134 nursing homes are home to more than 41,000 Veterans across the country annually. The residents are predominantly older, and many have multiple complex health conditions, making them particularly vulnerable to infection. To minimize the risk of exposure, effective March 10 and until further notice, VA is taking the following actions:

  • All VA nursing homes will adopt a “No Visitor” stance, meaning no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents.
    • The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units.
    • In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific Veteran’s room only.


President Trump’s Recent Actions:

RESTRICTING TRAVEL FROM IMPACTED AREAS: President Donald J. Trump is taking further action to curb the spread of the coronavirus to the United States from other countries.

  • President Trump is issuing a proclamation under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to restrict travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in certain European countries.
  • The restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area, 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days.
  • Those who are exempt from these restrictions, such as American citizens, will be directed to a limited number of airports where screening can take place.

There is extensive travel back and forth between Europe that heightens the risk here in the United States.

LEADING AN AGGRESSIVE, WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT APPROACH: President Trump has taken unprecedented steps to protect the health of Americans in response to the coronavirus.

  • The President is leveraging all of our resources to respond to the coronavirus, bringing together government and private industry in a collaborative response.
  • The Trump Administration declared a public health emergency in January to bolster response efforts.
  • President Trump took early action to help curb the spread of the virus from other countries to the United States, providing important time for response and preparations.
  • Today, the President directed his Administration to make general-use face masks available to our healthcare workers.
  • President Trump signed into law more than $8 billion to fund response efforts.
  • The Administration has taken bold steps to incentivize the development of therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Working across the public and private sectors, the Trump Administration continues to drastically expand testing capacity.
  • The Trump Administration has released guidance on how to keep businesses, schools, community gathering places, and families safe.

The Administration has announced that health plans with health savings accounts will be able to cover coronavirus testing and treatment without co-payments

If Visiting Washington, D.C.:

In consultation with the Office of Attending Physician and Leadership, the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms have ordered limited access to the Capitol Complex. This limited access is anticipated to remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. April 1, 2020, and is to protect the health and safety of Members, staff and visitors. The following outlines the limitations:

Capitol Visitor Center
The Capitol Visitor Center will be closed to all tours, including Member and staff-led tours.

The Capitol will only be open to Members, staff and official business visitors.  Offices expecting official business visitors will be required to greet those visitors at the South Door Appointment Desk and escort them to and from the meeting.

The Capitol will be closed to all tours, including Member and staff-led tours.

House Office Buildings
The House Office Buildings will only be open to Members, staff and official business visitors.

It is requested that at the conclusion of the meeting, staff escort the visitors from the buildings.


The Capitol and House of Representatives are not closing, rather it is under a modified operating status. Official business will continue to be conducted.

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