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.
The CDC has a 24-hour hotline for COVID-19 related questions at 1-800-232-4636.
Constituents can now get to CDC’s home page on the coronavirus, simply by going to coronavirus.gov. Additional information can be found below.
NEW CDC INFORMATION ON STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS: CDC points out that state and local public health authorities are on the front lines of the response to COVID-19 and often have the most up-to-date and detailed information on cases in their jurisdictions. State and local public health officials are often the experts best positioned to inform your constituents about the COVID-19 response in your state or locality.
STEPS TO KEEP AMERICANS SAFE FROM CORONAVIRUS: CDC has published a new, excellent document that provides:
- Steps to keep workplaces safe from coronavirus
- Steps to keep schools safe from coronavirus
- Steps to keep your home safe from coronavirus
- Steps to keep commercial establishments safe from coronavirus
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR OLDER AMERICANS AND/OR THOSE WITH SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS: In addition to the CDC guidance for all Americans on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus (such as hand washing, etc.), the CDC has now published additional guidance for older Americans and/or those who have serious chronic medical conditions – the individuals who are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus. For those at higher risk of serious illness, the additional guidance includes:
- Stock up on supplies
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
NEW CDC GUIDANCE ON STRATEGIES TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN NURSING HOMES: CDC recommends such steps as limiting visitors, aggressive disinfecting of facility, and closely monitoring residents with symptoms of respiratory infection.
TRAVEL RESRICTIONS: The government determined that the potential for widespread transmission of the coronavirus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States threatens the security of the homeland. Travel restrictions now apply.
I AM STRANDED ABROAD. WHAT DO I DO?
Congressman Gonzalez is actively working on solutions for constituents stranded in different countries around the world. The Coronavirus pandemic brings a number of challenges when dealing with foreign countries, however, Congressman Cuellar is committed to bringing all constituents safely back home. If you or a loved one is stranded abroad, please see the information below:
An individual stranded abroad should email their name, date of birth, passport numbers, location and contact info to the public e-mail address of their closest embassy or consulate. To find the closest embassy or consulate, click here.
Travelers are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov. STEP provides updates from the State Department and helps the nearest embassy or consulate make contact with the traveler.
If you are concerned about a loved one overseas, please call:
- From the U.S. & Canada - 1-888-407-4747
- From Overseas - +1 202-501-4444
NEW CDC GUIDANCE ON CRUISE SHIP TRAVEL: CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
NEW CDC INFOGRAPHICS ON CORONAVIRUS
Infographic on the Symptoms of Coronavirus (In English, Spanish, and Chinese)
Infographic on Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus (In English, Spanish, and Chinese)
More on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced an award of $4,415,085 for the Hidalgo County Head Start Program as part of the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan provided $1 billion for early childhood development and educational programs.
WASHINGTON-Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the Department to optimize and maximize their outreach to educate and encourage rural and underserved Americans to get vaccinated.
This comes as President Biden has declared June as “COVID-19 Vaccine Month of Action” in order to accomplish the goal of vaccinating 70% of eligible Americans by July 4.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to develop a plan to resume non-essential travel between land ports of entry. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates that 30 to 40 percent of border cities’, such as McAllen, Texas, retail activity can be attributed to Mexican Nationals.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced $1.8 million in federal funding for the McAllen Center for Urban Ecology awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced a $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the City of Pharr to build a facility that will be used by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) to expand its School of Nursing. The project is meant to address nursing shortages and allow for the region to prepare for and best respond to COVID-19 and future health-related issues.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced $ 1,684,497 for the State Veterans Home in McAllen, Texas under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). This funding is a part of $250 million provided through the American Rescue Plan to help states upgrade State Veterans Homes across the country.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced nearly $4 million in emergency funding for Texas Lutheran University under the American Rescue Plan. The funding will help local higher education institutions cope with the severe financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue serving their students safely. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness and other hardship.
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced more than $175 million in emergency funding for colleges, universities, and students in the Rio Grande Valley under the American Rescue Plan. The funding will help local institutions cope with the severe financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue serving their students safely. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness and other hardship.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and 163 bipartisan and bicameral signatories sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Guzman, calling on the administration to fix the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant portal. When the website through which venues could apply for relief finally opened on April 8, it immediately crashed.
Congressman Gonzalez supported the Save Our Stages Act which was signed into law on December 27, 2020 promising $16 billion in relief to entertainment venues and businesses.