As the coronavirus situation in Utah and across the country continues to evolve, the Office of Senator Romney is in regular communication with state and federal agencies, as well as local officials, to provide guidance and keep Utahns informed about response efforts.
This page is intended as a quick reference guide only and Utahns are encouraged to follow the latest official guidance from federal agencies, as well as state and local authorities. We will be keeping this page updated with information as it becomes available.
- Creates the Paycheck Protection Program with $349 billion of 100% federally-guaranteed loans to eligible small businesses and non-profits to cover expenses, maintain their payroll, and recover from the financial impacts of the coronavirus. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans can be forgiven to keep employees in their jobs and ready to return to work.
- Provides $10 billion for emergency grants of up to $10,000 for eligible small businesses and nonprofits that apply for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Frequently asked questions about the CARES Act's small business provisions can be found here.
- Sends every American earning less than $75,000 a check for $1,200, or $2,400 for couples earning less than $150,000, and $500 for each dependent. Americans earning more will receive a phased down amount, with an upper limit on qualifying income of $99,000/individual and $198,000/couple.
- To calculate the amount an individual will receive for the economic impact payment (i.e. their “check”), the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed, or in the alternative their 2018 return. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file a tax return to receive an economic impact payment—it will be automatic. More information, including how to file using direct deposit, here.
- Expands each state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program by adding $600 each week to every recipient’s check for four months to provide immediate assistance to workers who are laid-off, furloughed, self-employed or are independent contractors.
Frequently asked questions about the CARES Act's individual assistance provisions can be found here.
- Ensures patients’ COVID-19 diagnostic test costs are covered free of charge, regardless of their type of insurance.
- Includes Senator Romney’s proposal to strengthen the U.S. medical device and drug supply chain, prevent future shortages, and ensure hospitals have the necessary equipment and supplies.
- Expands access to telehealth for COVID-19-related services and provides billions in additional funding for personal protective equipment and medical supplies.
- Defers student loan payments, principal, and interest for up to six months to ease the burden on students who face significant hurdles entering the workforce.
Frequently asked questions about the CARES Act's provisions for patients, health care workers, and students can be found here.
- Authorizes approximately $500 billion to support the retention of employees in states, municipalities, and businesses affected by the crisis, including through loans to the airline industry, the air cargo industry, and national security critical companies; and additional support to the Federal Reserve to lend to other impacted businesses, states, and municipalities.
- Creates a Special Inspector General for Treasury lending and ensures congressional oversight.
- Appropriates $150 billion for a “Coronavirus Relief Fund” for state and local government to help cover unexpected costs due to the virus.
- Sends $130 billion to hospitals and health systems around the country.
- Includes emergency funding to support public transit systems, state and local government disaster relief efforts, and K-12 education programs.
There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting any viral respiratory infections. These include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces EPA list of disinfectants
It is also important for people to stay at home away from others if they are sick.
Some individuals may be at higher risk of getting very sick from this illeness. This includes seniors, people who have serious underlying medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, asthma, HIV, etc.), and pregnant women. If you fall into one of these categories, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease:
- Take the everyday precautions outlined above
- Stock up on supplies, like groceries, medications, medical supplies, and household items so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time
- Consider self-quarantine, but avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Shortness of breath
If you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, call your health care professional.
If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, follow instructions provided by your local health department.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- 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
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility)
- 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
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
- Romney Calls for Urgent Passage of Relief Package
- Romney Praises Senate Agreement on Relief Package
- Romney, Gardner, Rubio Urge Efforts to Counter CCP COVID-19 Propaganda
- Romney Introduces COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act
- Romney Delivers Update on the Senate Relief Package
- Romney Calls for Urgent Action on Additional Coronavirus Relief Measures
- Romney Helps Introduce Bill to Address Medical Supply Vulnerability Due to Coronavirus
- Romney, Lee Offer Resources for Utahns Affected by Travel Restrictions Due to Coronavirus
- Romney Helps Introduce Coronavirus Worker Relief Act
- Romney: Funding Bill Delivers Needed Resources to Combat Coronavirus
- Romney Questions Top Health Officials at Coronavirus Hearing
Legislation & Administrative Efforts:
- Delayed Tax Filing Deadline and Deferment of Tax Payments: The IRS has extended the federal tax filing deadline to July 15. More information here.
- Housing Relief: 60-Day Suspension of Certain Foreclosures & Evictions
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Beginning March 18, 2020, HUD suspended foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages until May 18, 2020. More information here.
- Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA): FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend certain foreclosures and evictions until May 18, 2020. More information here.
- Small Business Disaster Relief Loans: The Small Business Administration has approved the entire state of Utah as a “disaster area,” allowing small businesses across our state that have been affected by COVID-19 to apply for disaster relief loans. More information here.
- Expanded Paid Sick and Family and Medical Leave: The Department of Labor has issued new guidance for employees and employers on their responsibilities and rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s provisions for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as a result of COVID-19. More information here.
- USDA Single Family Housing Direct (SFHD) loans: USDA’s Rural Development has placed a foreclosure and eviction moratorium on all USDA SFHD loans for 60 days effective 3/19/2020. More information here.
- Expansion of Telehealth Benefits for Medicare Beneficiaries: Effective March 6, 2020, Medicare will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries nationwide. More information here.
- The COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act: On March 6, the President signed the first major COVID-19 response legislation, which provided $7.8 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies and states. The funding will be used for the purchase of personal protective equipment, vaccines, and test kits; grants to assist state and local government respond to the crisis; the CDC’s Infectious Disease Rapid Response Fund; and expanding telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. The measure also authorized SBA to issue an additional $7 billion in small business loans. The full text of the law is available here. A summary is available here.
- The Families First COVID-19 Response Act: On March 18, the President signed the second major COVID-19 relief legislation, which includes paid and medical leave for COVID-19 related needs, tax credits for employers, and expanded unemployment insurance. The full text of the law is available here. A summary is available here.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: On March 27, the President signed the third major COVID-19 relief legislation, the CARES Act. The Senate had passed this package by a vote of 96-0. This legislation includes relief for America's small businesses and their employees; direct financial help for workers and families; support for patients, health care workers, and students entering the workforce; measures to stabilize the economy and save jobs; and $340 billion in emergency funding for COVID-19 response measures in Utah and across the country. A summary is available here.
- Public Health Emergency Declaration: On January 31, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19. More information here.
- National Emergency Declaration: On March 13, the President declared a national emergency with respect to COVID-19, giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to waive or change some requirements of Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, and HIPAA during the public health emergency related to COVID-19. More information here.
- Stafford Act Emergency Determination: On March 13, the President determined that a nationwide emergency exists under the Stafford Act, activating additional resources within the federal government to respond to the virus. Specifically, State, Territorial, Tribal, local government entities and certain private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Public Assistance. More information here.
- Defense Production Act Invoked: On March 18, the President invoked the Defense Production Act to address essential goods and materials shortages caused by COVID-19. The Act allows the President to direct businesses to prioritize and secure domestic production of personal protective equipment, among other authorities. More information here.