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A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, March 29, 2020 | comments
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March 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

While it is important that we all do our part by staying home and social distancing, there is help on the way for the American taxpayers and small business owners.

The IRS released information detailing the extended taxing filing deadline - July 15, 2020.

Also, through the Paycheck Protection Program, small business owners are able to receive 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans for eight weeks. Here is the most helpful part - if a small business keeps its workers employed, that portion of the loan will be forgiven.

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National Update:
Medicare providers and suppliers will benefit from the Trump Administration’s new expansion of accelerated and advanced payments. Administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), this new expansion will ensure that providers and suppliers participating in Medicare have the resources they need to combat this Coronavirus. CMS will provide emergency funding and expedited payments to alleviate financial burden for eligible providers. More information can be found here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Due to extensive community transmission in these states, residents of these three states are advised to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days. This advisory does not apply to critical infrastructure employees.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be assisting New York City during this Coronavirus outbreak. The VA will be opening a total of 50 beds to non-Veteran, non-COVID-19 patients to help free up beds in New York City hospitals. This will help ensure those infected with this Coronavirus will receive the care they need.

Abbott launched a new rapid point of care diagnostic test for COVID-19. This test – Abbott ID NOW – will be able to conduct rapid testing for this Coronavirus in as little as five minutes. Abbott will be ramping up manufacturing of ID NOW COVID-19 tests to deliver 50,000 tests per day.

Apple, in coordination with theCDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has launched a new COVID-19 screening website and app. This new site provides individuals with information about testing and how to mitigate the spread of this Coronavirus. There is also a tool that individuals can use to screen for the illness by way of a series of questions.

Google has pledged over $800 million to support small and medium businesses, health organizations, and health care workers on the front line.This money will be in the form of grants to the World Health Organization, government agencies, and community financial institutions, among others. This commitment also includes Google Ads credits for small and medium businesses with active accounts of the past year and Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to enhance computing capabilities.

Texas Update:
New waivers have been issued to help expediate licensing reactivation for health care workers. Governor Abbott issued a release waiving certain regulations for reactivation process for advance practice registered nurses and pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy technician trainees.

Governor Abbott announced new procedures to preserve and extend childcare capacity for front line workers during his outbreak. Governor Abbott waived certain Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) regulations to allow flexibility to respond to childcare needs and ensure that families using childcare subsidized by TWC will not lose their benefits during this outbreak.

The National Guard will be deployed in Texas to help combat this Coronavirus outbreak. Governor Abbott announced the deployment of three National Guard Joint Task Force Brigades as part of the ongoing response to COVID-19. This order will help support the state’s health care infrastructure and will not diminish the Guard’s ability to meet other operational commitments to the state.

New resources are available for businesses in Texas who are struggling to pay or remit taxes and fees. The Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has a new webpage with information for businesses during these difficult and uncertain times. Businesses are also encouraged to contact the enforcement hotline at 800-252-8880 for options regarding compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes.

Until tomorrow, this is your doctor's note.
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Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.

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