As we enter the second year of the coronavirus crisis, with cases still concerningly high nationwide, I know many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the health and safety of our families and communities, as well as how to weather this economic crisis. And as vaccines become more widely available, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I know securing an appointment for yourself or a loved one can be a confusing and frustrating process.
Visit this page for information from public health experts, resources on how to access benefits and economic relief, updates on Congressional action, and more. We will get through this, together. If my office can be of assistance to you and your family, please contact us at (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555.
- Key resources
- Vaccination Information
- CDC recommendations for protecting yourself
- FDA recommendations for grocery shopping safely
- Congressional relief efforts and how to access your benefits
- Updates from Los Angeles County
- Updates from Governor Newsom
- Rep. Schiff's town halls and virtual events on COVID-19
- Los Angeles County Public Health Department
- California Department of Public Health
- MyTurn.CA.gov - Information on vaccine eligibility and availability
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Assistance for Small Businesses
- Resources for Parents and Students
We now have three approved, safe, and incredibly effective vaccines to protect against COVID-19: Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. That multiple vaccines were developed, tested, approved and produced within less than a year of the coronavirus first reaching our shores is a testament to the power of science, the dedication of scientists and researchers, and the courage of clinical trial volunteers, who made this possible. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – we just have to keep wearing masks and social distancing until these vaccines are widely distributed, and make sure that people feel safe in taking them.
Each approved COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and you should get vaccinated as soon as you become eligible in order to help bring about an end to this crisis. If you have specific concerns about whether the vaccine is appropriate for you, please contact your health care provider. Rep. Schiff has hosted several virtual events with local public health experts to answer constituent questions about the vaccines – view recordings of the events here, or sign up to receive information about future events here. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also has answers to frequently asked questions, and you can read more about how COVID-19 vaccines work via the CDC.
Currently, the demand for COVID-19 vaccines is greater than the supply, which means we must focus on vaccinating priority, high risk groups first in order to save thousands of lives as we wait for vaccine production to ramp up. For information about which groups are currently eligible in California and in Los Angeles County, and how to schedule an appointment, visit MyTurn.CA.gov and VaccinateLACounty.com (Información en español)
Wear a mask
- Everyone 2 and older should wear masks in public.
- Masks should be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially around people who don’t live with you.
- If someone in your household is infected, people in the household should take precautions including wearing masks to avoid spread to others.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask.
- Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head.
- If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit properly, and you might need to find a different mask type or brand.
- Make sure you can breathe easily.
Stay 6 feet away from others
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters put you at higher risk for COVID-19.
Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
- Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Use products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.
Monitor Your Health Daily
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
The following information is from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more here.
To help protect yourself, grocery store workers, and other shoppers, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
- Prepare a shopping list in advance. Buy just 1 to 2 weeks-worth of groceries at a time. Buying more than you need can create unnecessary demand and temporary shortages.
- Wear a face covering or mask while you are in the store.
- Carry your own wipes, or use one provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the shopping cart or basket. If you use reusable shopping bags, ensure they are cleaned or washed before each use.
- Practice social distancing while shopping – keeping at least 6 feet between you, other shoppers, and store employees. Keep your hands away from your face.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.
- Again, there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution.
Updates on Congressional Action
On February 27, 2021, the House passed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that includes another round of $1,400 relief checks, extended federal unemployment support, and an extension of the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program, funding for vaccine distribution, assistance for renters, people experiencing homelessness, and homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages, and more.
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law on March 11, 2021.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed and former President Trump signed into law the bipartisan $2 trillion Coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act. This legislation provides direct relief and assistance for individuals, small businesses, and families hurting economically, help for healthcare workers and hospitals on the front lines, and critical funding for the states and cities. Learn more about why Rep. Schiff voted for this critical lifeline.
On May 15, 2020, the House passed the Heroes Act, a $3 trillion bill that would have provided relief to states and local governments with direct cash payments, expanded unemployment insurance and SNAP funding, as well as other priorities such as voting by mail and assistance for USPS. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring the bill up for a vote – and on July 31, Senate Republicans allowed unemployment benefits expired, leaving millions of Americans uncertain of how they’ll be able to pay rent and put food on the table.
Los Angeles County, like so many communities across America, is home to thousands of freelance, contract, and gig economy workers who were left behind by the initial expanded unemployment assistance passed through Congress. That’s why Rep. Schiff introduced a bill with Congresswoman Judy Chu, the Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act, to rectify this gap and ensure no one is left behind in our response to the coronavirus economic crisis. Learn more.
The science is clear: masks work, and masks save lives. That’s why Rep. Schiff introduced the Masks Work Act to provide free cloth masks via United States mail to any American who requests one, as well as authorize a public service announcement campaign and further research into mask efficacy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
How to Access Benefits and Economic Relief
> DIRECT PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES – Individuals making up to $75,000 (or $150,000 for married couples) should have received payments of $1,200, with an additional $500 per each minor child. Learn more at IRS.GOV/Coronavirus. If you are still having issues receiving your payment, please contact my office at 818-450-2900.
- Social Security and SSI recipients are eligible for these rebate payments. Learn more.
- If you do not normally file a tax return, you can input your information in this IRS tool to quickly register for these payments. Learn more.
> FOOD ASSISTANCE – Congress has secured significant investment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to ensure that American families and children can still access food and nutrition support during this crisis. To apply for SNAP or learn more, visit the CalFresh Program website.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District, in partnership with the Red Cross, is providing nutritious meals to all students who need them while schools are closed. Each child can take home two meals. To learn more or find a Grab & Go food center near you, click here.
> SAFER LA ORDER
On February 26, 2021, Mayor Garcetti updated the “Safer L.A.” Emergency Order, following the guidance of the State of California, to progressively permit more activities with certain modifications. The overarching guidance is straightforward: Angelenos must minimize contact with others as much as possible.
For the latest updates and information, be sure to continually check corona-virus.la
> HOW TO GET TESTED
All Los Angeles County Residents who want a test should first call their Primary Care Provider or Healthcare Center to get a test at their facility. If you do not have this care, testing is offered across the County of Los Angeles. Find a testing site near you.
For the latest updates from California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, including county-by-county reopening protocols and the latest COVID testing, vaccination, infection, and fatalities data, visit COVID19.ca.gov.
Although it still isn’t safe to gather together in person, Rep. Schiff is holding regular virtual events to help ensure you get your questions answered. Sign up for information on future virtual events on Coronavirus.
Recordings of past events:
02/25/2021: Rep. Schiff hosted a telephone town hall on COVID-19 vaccines with Dr. Harsimran Brara
02/04/2021: Rep. Schiff hosted a live Q&A on COVID-19 vaccines with Dr. Kristen Choi, PhD, RN
12/17/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a virtual town hall on COVID-19 and vaccines with Dr. Armand Dorian Chief Medical Officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
11/17/2020: Rep. Schiff and State Sen. Ben Allen hosted a virtual town hall on COVID-19 economic recovery
10/19/2020: Rep. Schiff and State Sen. Anthony Portantino hosted a virtual town hall with California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su
9/30/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a virtual town hall on mental health and COVID-19 with the YMCA of the Foothills
7/30/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a telephone town hall with LAUSD Board Member Jackie Goldberg and Dr. Robert Kim-Farley from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
7/21/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a telephone town hall with Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
7/08/2020: Rep. Schiff and LA Councilman Mitch O’Farrell hosted a virtual town hall on coronavirus, moderated by YWCA of Greater Los Angeles CEO Faye Washington
05/21/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a virtual town hall with Echo Park, Silverlake, and Atwater Village chambers of commerce
05/15/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a virtual town hall with Pasadena City College students, families, faculty, and staff
05/14/2020: Rep. Schiff and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman hosted a virtual town hall with local experts on small business and employment
04/06/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a virtual town on coronavirus’ impact on the entertainment industry with USC’s Trojan Entertainment Network
03/26/2020: Rep. Schiff hosted a telephone town hall with Dr. Rekha Murthy, VP of Medical Affairs at Cedars-Sinai, and Dr. Muntu Davis, Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
03/12/2020: Rep. Schiff sat down with Dr. Rebecca Katz, Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center, to answer constituent questions about coronavirus.