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A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, April 1, 2020 | comments
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April 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

Today is Census Day, and it has never been easier to respond to the census, the 2020 Census can be completed online, by phone, or by mail.

National Update:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will continue to accelerate the development of Coronavirus therapies. The FDA established the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program to support the development of COVID-19 therapies and make them available for patients in a timely manner.

There is a shortage of hydrochloroquine and chloroquine due to a surge in demand. The FDA is working with manufacturers to assess supply and manufacturing capacity to ramp up the supply of both hydrochloroquine and chloroquine. The FDA drug shortage list is updated regularly and health care providers are encouraged to monitor this list for real-time updates about availability.

New Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support Grants are available thanks to the CARES Act. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be administering this workforce support opportunity to state and local agencies. This funding will support individuals in substance use disorder treatment and recovery to live independently and participate in the workforce.

Americans abroad have resources at the State Department to secure the assistance they need. The Smart Travel Enrollment Program is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to ensure assistance by the State Department.

Nickelodeon announced new resources and programs for children and their parents during a time of social distancing and telework. Nickelodeon launched a #KidsTogether campaign with resources for children and parents explaining social distancing and evolution of this Coronavirus in a digestible family-friendly way.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidelines for the Employee Retention Credit. Many businesses financially impacted by this Coronavirus pandemic may qualify to receive the Employee Retention Credit.This refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer. This credit seeks to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.

Texas Update:
Texas has been awarded grant funding through the federal Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). The HPP promotes regional health care system preparedness, funding which will help Texas during this unprecedented time.

The Texas Department of State Health Services launched a free, statewide mental health support line. Texans are encouraged to call this 24/7 state mental health support line if they are experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This support line is available toll-free at 833-986-1919.

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has resources regarding unemployment, taxes, and more. There is specific information for employers, jobseekers, and child care on the TWC website.

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

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