We want to be as transparent as possible and ensure the public has access to all the information they need to keep their families safe. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, it is crucial that we remain informed, vigilant, and up-to-date on news, best practices, preventative measures, and health recommendations for our community. Listed below are resources regarding the status of the virus as well as background information provided by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State, and Monroe County. I will continue to closely monitor this situation and work in coordination with partners at all levels of government to ensure our community remains safe.
What is being done to address the disease in Rochester?
Since the outset, I have been in constant contact with our state and local leaders to provide the tools and resources they need to address the disease. As positive cases arise, it is critical that we remain diligent in our efforts to not only treat those who test positive, but mitigate further spread of COVID-19 in Monroe County. And while the federal government is taking action to provide resources, it is our local leaders who are on the front lines tackling this issue. I urge all constituents to please contact the New York State Department of Health and the Monroe County Department of Health with any questions or concerns.
New York State Department of Health
Monroe County Department of Health
What is the federal government doing to address COVID-19?
The federal government so far has passed two bills to address the COVID-19 outbreak. These bills provide funding and resources to states and localities so they are able to respond effectively to active cases as well as future ones.
For information on these two bills, please head to the links listed below.
The federal government will continue to seek up-to-date information and best practices and craft legislation that will provide our nation the tools we need to combat COVID-19.
What is the Coronavirus?
"Coronavirus" is actually a family of viruses that causes symptoms ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory issues. A "Novel Coronavirus" is a new strain not previously identified by humans. This specific strain is also referred to as "COVID-19," which stands for Corona Virus Disease-19. You may hear these terms used interchangeably. The virus began back in December 2019 as a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown source within the Hubei Province of China. The Hubei Province and China overall remains the most heavily affected area by this disease. The cause of the disease is not yet known and no vaccine yet exists for the virus.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of other respiratory illnesses: coughing, wheezing, sneezing, etc. The WHO says: "Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties." And that, in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Keeping safe from this disease is no different than if you encountered a co-worker with the common cold: wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces often, properly dispose of tissues, and avoid contact with surfaces recently touched by someone who is symptomatic.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Per the WHO, to date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.
What countries are affected by this disease?
For the latest information on the number of cases of Coronavirus, use this dashboard, provided by the WHO.
More on Coronavirus Resources
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25) and Mark Takano (CA-41) introduced legislation to create a massive new jobs training program to combat COVID-19 and help communities across the country safely re-open. The Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act will help states across the country hire more than a million workers to perform critical mitigation, containment, and tracing work to prevent future outbreaks.
(Rochester, NY) – Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25) and a group of over 80 lawmakers are calling on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to put workers—not corporate profits—first and include strict corporate accountability measures in any coronavirus relief aid.
(Rochester, NY) — Today, Rep. Joe Morelle released a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging him to enable providers of childcare services and early childhood education to access critical resources and relief through the recently enacted CARES Act.
(Washington, D.C.) – “COVID-19 has upended our daily lives—leaving families, businesses, and communities across our nation struggling to stay afloat. As we respond to this rapidly evolving situation, I am grateful that we were able to come together to provide much-needed relief for small businesses by expanding the Paycheck Protection Program, secure critical investments to ramp up testing nationwide, and strengthen funding for our hospitals and healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of this public health crisis.
(Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced that $4.7 million for community health centers in Monroe County to help respond to the COVID-19 global health crisis. These funds were awarded through the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and made available through the CARES Act recently passed by Congress which allocated $1.3 billion to support these healthcare providers.
(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Rep. Joe Morelle and Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations, led 70 of their colleagues in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig urging them to prevent financial institutions from diverting Americans’ forthcoming economic stimulus checks to pay off outstanding debt.
(Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced more than $9.7 million in emergency funding for our local community to combat the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. The funding has been allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to the City of Rochester, towns of Greece and Irondequoit, and Monroe County.
(Rochester, NY) -- Today Congressman Joe Morelle introduced new legislation to help local communities cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Assistance for States Act and the State Operations Stabilization (SOS) Act were both introduced in partnership with Representative Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) and aim to provide much-needed additional relief for localities during this global health crisis.
March 27, 2020 (Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to enact a third relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The $2 trillion investment represents the largest stimulus bill in American history and will provide direct payments to individuals, support for small businesses, aid for healthcare systems, and more.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to bolster federal response to the coronavirus outbreak and address its severe impacts on American families.