As America responds to confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to share the most comprehensive, up-to-date safety information for our community.
Symptoms and Prevention
It is important to note that the risk of contracting a severe form of COVID-19 remains low for most New Jerseyans. However, it is possible to exhibit no symptoms of the virus and still pass the virus onto others, particularly to populations such as older adults and individuals with underlying health problems.
Please contact your primary care provider if you are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- And you have had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
Additionally, if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, contact your health care provider.
If you believe you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, do not go to the emergency room or your doctor without contacting them first. This could expose more people to COVID-19 unnecessarily.
How you can prevent the spread:
Healthy habits can go a long way in preventing novel coronavirus transmission:
- Wash your hands: Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of transmission. If soap and water is not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.
- Avoid close contact: Try to avoid close contact with individuals who are sick, limit the use of handshakes, and practice social distancing.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes: Be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes with either the inside of your elbow or a tissue that is immediately thrown away.
- Disinfect: Be sure to clean and sanitize surfaces frequently touched surfaces.
- Self-Isolation: If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are sick and live with other people, try to restrict yourself to a separate bedroom and bathroom as much as possible and limit contact with pets.
- Facemasks: If you are not sick, please refrain from wearing a face mask to ensure that the supply is available for health care workers and individuals who need them.
Federal, State, and Local Resources
**UPDATE** The State Department has raised the global travel advisory to a level 4. All U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all international travel and if possible, U.S. citizens who are abroad and live in the U.S. are advised to arrange for immediate return. Country-specific information can be found here.
The State Department has also set up hotlines for Americans abroad that have been impacted by the outbreak. If you are in the U.S. or Canada call 1-888-407-4747, if you are overseas call 1-202-501-4444.
- CDC Central Resource Guide
- Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities
- Information for Travelers
- FAQs About COVID-19
The CDC has a 24-hour hotline for COVID-19 related questions at 1-800-232-4636.
New Jersey has partnered with 211 to provide information to the public:
County and Municipality Resources
- In Bergen County you can call the BCDHS Health and Safety Hotline at 201-225-7000 (201-785-8505 after hours and weekends) or visit their COVID-19 information page here.
- Essex County's COVID-19 update page can be found here.
- Hudson County has set up a COVID-19 information page with updates here.
- Union County has an information page with FAQs, updates on county operations, information for local health departments, and more here.
- Hoboken has set up a hotline for general inquiries related to COVID-19 at 201-420-5620 and for senior specific inquiries at 201-420-5625.
Please feel free to reach out to my office in Washington, D.C. at 202-225-7919 if you have further questions or need assistance.
More on Coronavirus
(Washington D.C.) – Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) slammed the Administration for restricting Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, from appearing before Congress.
Congress continues to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its affect on our communities. This week, I pushed for a number of policies being developed to address testing, protective equipment for frontline workers, small business relief, funding for counties, and more.
The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) is continuing to work around the clock in order to review all the claims that have been filed. Within the last few days, the NJDOL has put up new guidelines for self-employed individuals, individuals seeking extensions to their unemployment benefits, and guidelines for receiving the $600 Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) weekly payment as stipulated in the CARES Act.
(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) announced that Northwest Essex Community Healthcare Network, serving Belleville, NJ, has received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) worth $3,999,907.
This week in Washington, I voted to pass an interim stimulus package that provides $484 billion for the response to COVID-19. Additionally, I continued to work with my colleagues in crafting and supporting new response measures for businesses and hospitals. As the nation fights this pandemic, and our home state grapples with over 100,000 cases, my thoughts are with the brave front line workers keeping our loved ones safe.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) voted in favor of an interim stimulus package, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill funds and improves the Paycheck Protection Program, setting aside $60 billion, of the $310 billion appropriated for the program, for small business in underserved areas including many minority-owned ones. It also provides $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program and $10 billion for the EIDL Grant Program.
(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, in a radio interview, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that states should turn to bankruptcy rather than receive aid from the federal government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Congress continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, I am advocating for relief for renters in future legislation. The CARES Act suspended evictions from federally-assisted housing and many states, like New Jersey, have suspended evictions for all renters. But, more is still needed. I support Rep. Maxine Waters’ proposal for $100 billion in federal funding to cover rent and utilities for low-income renters. Additionally, I have called on congressional leadership to impose a nationwide utility shut-off moratorium.
As Congress continues to respond the COVID-19 public health emergency, I am fighting for local, state, and national resources for the pandemic. This week, I joined letters supporting the following policies:
Funding for Hardest-Hit States – Demanded congressional leadership create a $40 billion fund for New Jersey and New York, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Federal funding for local responses must reflect the real time crisis and meet the communities of greatest present need.
UPDATE: The Treasury has begun disbursing individual economic impact payments. The payments will be automatically deposited into your account if the IRS has your banking information on file. Please check your accounts. Paper checks will begin later. To check the status of your payment or provide your bank account information, visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment?mod=article_inline