As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, and particularly in California, I know many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the health and safety of their families and communities, as well as how they can weather this economic crisis.
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
- 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 interviews
- Los Angeles County Public Health Department
- California Department of Public Health
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Assistance for Small Businesses
- Resources for Parents and Students
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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. Some stores and localities may require it. Check your state, county or city guidelines for any other requirements.
- 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 March 27, 2020, Congress passed and 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.
But it is clear more relief is necessary – and fast.
On May 15, 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.
> GUIDANCE ON WEARING FACE COVERINGS IN PUBLIC
The City of Los Angeles has issued new guidance to L.A. residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in public. The California Department of Public Health has also issued public guidance on the use of face coverings.
Early data suggests that many who are infected with COVID-19 are not symptomatic, which is why we recommend all members of the public wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 — most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing in all settings. Learn more.
> SAFER LA ORDER
On July 31, Mayor Garcetti issued the “Safer L.A.” Emergency Order, following the guidance of the State of California, to reinstitute some restrictions we saw in the early days of the pandemic. 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.
> INFORMATION ON PRICE GOUGING
Los Angeles County declared a health emergency on March 4, 2020, to more easily obtain resources and give more focus to coronavirus.
Price gouging is illegal whenever a local emergency has been declared, such as with coronavirus. For 30 days following such a declaration, it is unlawful for a person or business to sell or offer any food items or goods, goods or services used for emergency clean-up, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, housing, transportation, freight, storage services, or gasoline at a price that is more than 10% higher than the price charged by that person for those goods or services immediately prior to the declaration. Hotels and motels are also prohibited from charging prices that are more than 10% higher than rates they advertised immediately prior to the declared state of emergency.
For a period of 180 days after the declaration, it is also unlawful for a contractor to sell or offer to sell any repair or reconstruction services or emergency clean-up services for more than 10% higher than they charged immediately prior to the declaration.
Exceptions to these prohibitions exist if, for example, the person or business can prove that the price increase is directly attributed to additional costs imposed on it for labor, goods or materials.
City Attorney Mike Feuer urges anyone who is the victim of price gouging or who has information about it occurring in Los Angeles to file a complaint with the City Attorney’s Office – either online or by calling 213-978-8340.
The L.A. City Attorney can criminally prosecute violators of California’s price gouging statute. Violators can be sentenced up to one year of imprisonment in county jail and/or fined up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions, including civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, injunctive relief and mandatory restitution.
On July 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency order to shut down indoor dining, movie theaters, family entertainment centers and additional indoor operations statewide:
- Dine-in restaurants (indoor)
- Wineries and tasting rooms (indoor)
- Movie theaters (indoors)
- Family entertainment centers (indoors)
- Zoos and museums (indoors)
- Cardrooms (indoors)
- Brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs (indoor and outdoor)
For more information, 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:
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.
Watch Rep. Schiff's latest interviews on Coronavirus: