COVID-19 Resources and Information
"We have tools that we can use to beat this virus and we're going to beat this virus. Let's work together on behalf of the American people."
-Congressman Matt Gaetz
My staff and I have received many questions about unemployment. Below are some helpful resources:
- Please visit here to file an unemployment claim.
- Please visit here for a video tutorial on applying for reemployment assistance.
- Please visit here for a COVID-19 Reemployment Resource Guide.
TESTING IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA
My office has received many questions about testing: who should get tested, and when? If you have come in contact with an infected person, or are showing symptoms, please click HERE for more information on how and where to get tested. Note: residents with COVID-19 symptoms will be prioritized.
The Treasury Inspector General has established a dedicated page where people can report coronavirus related tax scams. If you do find yourself victim to what appears to be a scam, you can report it directly to the federal government here by filling out a short online form.
The website also has helpful information for taxpayers to ensure people don’t fall victim to scams, such as:
- The IRS will generally first contact people by mail — not by phone — about-tax related matters.
- If the IRS does contact you by telephone, they will not insist on any pre-payment in order for you to receive economic impact payments.
- The IRS will also never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, letters, or any social media.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE IS ABROAD
If you are abroad or have loved ones abroad, make plans to return home. The State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel. To learn more about what this may mean for you and your family, visit their website HERE.
If you are abroad and unable to return home, please contact my office. My staff will work with the State Department to get you home as quickly as possible.
Please see below for a list of resources and sites with up-to-date information on COVID-19.
Though this is a trying time for all of us, I have no doubt that our Northwest Florida community will endure, overcome, and thrive.
The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Florida
“We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world. And we’re orchestrating a massive Federal response unlike anything our country has ever seen.” – President Donald J. Trump
Overview: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, State managed, and Federally supported. Successful emergency management requires nationwide cooperation and unity of effort, combining the strength and ingenuity of our citizens and private sector with a sweeping, all-inclusive, and whole-of-government response. The below is a partial overview of Federal assistance provided to the State of Florida and the people of Florida to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Florida. Implementation of the CARES Act is ongoing and will also bring additional support to Florida. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have appreciated the strong State-Federal partnership with Governor Ron DeSantis.
Supportive Actions by President Donald J. Trump:
- President Trump Declares a National Emergency: On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning COVID-19. The emergency declaration authorized direct Federal assistance, temporary facilities, commodities, equipment, and emergency operation costs for all States, including Florida, pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
- Florida’s Major Disaster Declaration: On March 23, Governor DeSantis submitted a major disaster declaration request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On March 25, President Trump approved the request declaring a major disaster in the State of Florida and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, local, and tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19. For the first time in our Nation’s history, every State and territory has a presidential disaster declaration at the same time.
- Historic Economic Relief: On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The law provides unprecedented economic relief to American citizens, small businesses, workers, healthcare providers, and State, local, and tribal governments and builds on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. More here. Additional Florida allocation information is found below.
- National Guard Support: On March 28, President Trump directed FEMA to fund 100% of the emergency assistance activities provided by Florida National Guard personnel in Title 32 duty status, per Governor DeSantis’ request.
Florida Coronavirus Tracker:
Visit the COVID-19 dashboard created by the Florida Department of Health (updated twice daily).
Florida Department of Health Website
Visit the official Florida Department of Health Website for the latest information on state-wide COVID-19 updates.
If you have questions about what Florida is doing to combat the Coronavirus, call the Florida COVID-19 hotline at 866-779-6121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can answer questions about Coronavirus symptoms, news, and how to donate or volunteer in areas impacted by the virus.
The Florida Department of Health website provides an abundance of information on COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page dedicated to COVID-19, available HERE.
If You Are Abroad or Traveling Abroad:
If you are abroad or plan on travelling abroad soon, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is very important. Enrolling in STEP will provide you with the latest safety and security information for your destination country so you can make informed decisions about your travel. It will also help the U.S. embassy contact you and provide assistance during an emergency overseas. The STEP website can be found HERE.
As the effects of Coronavirus continue to unfold, my district office and my DC office will both continue teleworking for the foreseeable future. However, we are always here for you and will continue working to help and assist you however we can.
County Information and Closures:
Click Below on your county for the most up-to-date information on closures in Escambia, Okaloosa, Holmes, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties:
The Senate passed the "CARES ACT" to "To provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic." Click HERE for a summary of what the Bill Contains.
Click HERE for the latest information from NAS Pensacola
Eglin Air Force Base:
Click HERE for the latest information from Eglin Air Force Base
Click HERE for the latest information from Hurlburt Field
Know how it spreads
- 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.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
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.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your cloth face covering
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- 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.
Avoid close contact
- 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 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
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. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
Monitor Your Health Daily
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- 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.