As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s important to be kept up to date on federal, state and local information that may pertain to you and help you and/or your family in some way during these times. While we’ll make sure to note update this page and note any major developments in federal relief, please also make sure to check these following sites as well for more updated information:
- City of Los Angeles – Mayor
- County of Los Angeles – LA County Department of Public Health
- California State – California Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- U.S. Department of State
- County of Los Angeles – Los Angeles County Office of Education
- Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
LATEST COVID-19 RELATED UPDATES
5/8/20 – Mayor Garcetti has updated the City of Los Angeles’s Safe at Home Orders to move into Phase 2 of Safer LA. While more businesses will be allowed to open (i.e., florists, toy stores, music stores, bookstores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores), they will still only be allowed to offer online/phone and curbside pick-up only. As such, all other safety precautions remain intact: social distancing with 6 feet physical distances between each other; wearing masks; not participating in any non-essential activities or opening any other non-essential businesses. To learn more about the later phases, please click the link above.
Also, effective 5/9/20:
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to basic flu symptoms, including, fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please quarantine yourself and seek immediate help from your regular healthcare provider (i.e., family doctor), or visit the hospital nearest you depending on your condition. If you need help finding medical care, you can call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1, which is available 24/7.
Always make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. (Singing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing will do it. Out loud.)
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow (“Dracula pose”).
Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid physical contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
Disinfect frequently touched services
Drive-up mobile testing is now available in LA County and the City of LA, and anyone may schedule an appointment, even those without symptoms. Click here to learn more.
For Americans living abroad, please click here for more information.
For Americans living here in the States, please see below.
Resources for Individuals and Families
If you are sick, you should probably stay home, but I know that’s not an option for some, and that’s I’m fighting for universal basic income where we aren’t judged by our economic work value but our human value, and for stronger paid sick and family leave policies. To learn more about California’s paid sick and family leave policies, please click here.
For those whose recently laid off, unemployed or whose work hours were reduced
If you’ve been recently laid off or unemployed, please consider applying for California unemployment benefits. As a result of Congress passing its March economic stimulus package, unemployment benefits have been extended for an additional 13 weeks, while also having qualifying weekly benefits be expanded by $600/week until the end of July. You can click here to learn more and apply. Here is also a video recording from an earlier Instagram Livestream that we hosted in early April 2020: INSERT. If you do not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefits, because you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, or haven’t paid into the state’s unemployment fund prior, then you can still qualify. Please check the above link.
In order to apply for unemployment benefits, make sure you have the following:
- Social Security number
- Name, mailing address, and telephone number
- Driver’s license or ID card number
- Alien registration and expiration date, if a noncitizen
- DD Form 214 if you served in the military in the last 18 months
Last Employer Information:
- Name of company as it appears on W2 form or pay stub
- Mailing address and phone number
- Supervisor’s name
- Name all employers as they appear on W2 or pay stub
- Period(s) of employment
- Wages earned (hourly, weekly, or monthly)
Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom waived the usual one-week unpaid waiting period through executive order. After you apply, you will be mailed additional information. The California Office of Employment Development Department recommends that you keep a record of your application materials.
One-Time $1200 Stimulus Checks
Under the March 2020 federal stimulus package, each adult making under $75,000 will receive $1,200 and each dependent child under 17 will receive an additional $500. Lesser payments will be issued to adults with income between $75,000 and $99,000.
The IRS will also use existing information from the Social Security Administration to provide payments for those who receive SSA benefits, including senior citizens, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.
For more information, click here. Also, please see a video recording for an Instagram Livestream we did in early April 2020 on this topic: INSERT.
Rent Related Resources
Los Angeles Tenants Union – Make sure to join your local chapter of the Los Angeles Tenants Union, regardless of whether you are able to pay rent right now. It is one of the last remaining peoples’ institutions, voices, outlets and platforms that we can use to keep the government accountable. If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your rent and/or have any tenant related questions, this is when joining a tenants union like the Los Angeles Tenants Union, would be very helpful. And if you’re unable to rent, make sure to check out this great guide provided by the Los Angeles Tenants Union as well: bit.ly/foodnotrent.
Caution: There have been some landlords who have been exploiting their tenants by having the tenants sign away their rights to their stimulus checks, tagging on charges that were never accounted before and then serving an eviction notice, and etc. If this has happened to you or some else you know, make sure you contact the Los Angeles Tenants Union and join your local chapter for more help, support and representation.
Additionally, please be aware that the City of Los Angeles does not have a full eviction mortarium as the current eviction ban only relates to those tenants who are able to show that their inability to pay rent is COVID-19 related, with strict requirements that many tenants can’t be able to even work with. As such, it’s imperative that our city, state and federal governments pass legislation addressing the needs of our tenants as well.
Legal Assistance for Tenants
If you have trouble making payments to any of your service bill providers (i.e., car, phone, etc..), please do not hesitate in picking up the phone and calling them, and asking them to defer/reduce your payment, while explaining your inability to pay as a result of these times and your current situation. If you have trouble paying your DWP bill, please contact ladwp.com/financialassistance or call 1-800-DIAL-DWP.
If you are a senior resident, and you want to know if you qualify to receive free meals during this time you can fill out a questionnaire by clicking on the SENIORS ENROLL NOW link that appears on the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging website. Click here. You can also call the Department of Aging at (213) 263-5226 b/t 9am and 5pm pt. Qualifications: (a) City of LA Resident; (b) 65+ years of age or 60+ with preexisting medical conditions; (c) Income limits: $71K and below, if living alone or $104K and below, if a couple; (d) no dependents or others living in household; and (e) do not currently receive CalFresh or Meals on Wheels
Healing Urban Barrios – Weekly Food Bank, Monday / Thursday – by appointment only – Mixed bag of groceries available – 163 S Ave 24, Los Angeles, CA 90031 – Maritza Garcia (323) 504-6070
Hope On Union Food Bank – Open every Thursday at 11am or call (213) 748-0209 – United University Church, 1053 W. 23rd St, corner of 23rd and Union avenues
Mexican Opportunity Foundation – Senior Nutrition Program – Home delivery only – Must be 60+ years of age – call (323) 278-3894 – Suggested Donation: $2.00
Urban Partners – Every Saturday, 8-10am – 2936 W. 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90006 – https://urbanpartnersla.org/our-programs/
Mutual Aid Network by Ground Game Los Angeles
To seek relief: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGfypKKirsvUQCX5eVix86nIrTaf5atsnhn8bWxpCRn_lM9Q/viewform?fbzx=5689212535178236288
To contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-mutual-aid-network
To volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGfypKKirsvUQCX5eVix86nIrTaf5atsnhn8bWxpCRn_lM9Q/viewform?fbzx=5689212535178236288
Neighborhood groups for unhoused neighbors:
Critical Delivery Service
The Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (“WDACS”) is providing temporary delivery services to individuals unable to leave home due to COVID-19. You can call 888-863-7411 to request delivery services. You would order items for delivery via online/phone, and provide payment for items to the pick up location. The CDS coordinator will schedule a taxi driver to deliver your items to you, and will then call you back to confirm the delivery has been scheduled. You can schedule deliveries M-F, 8am to 5pm.
Farmers Markets – No sampling; you touch – you buy; social distancing. Please stay home if sick.
Lincoln Heights Certified Farmers Market – N. Broadway and Sichel – Wednesdays, 3-7pm
Old L.A. Certified Farmers Market – N. Figueroa & Ave. 58, Tuesdays, 3-7pm
Grocery Markets with special opening hours for seniors:
Mortgage Forbearance Options
Please watch our video on mortgage forbearance options: INSERT.
The CARES Act provides mortgage relief for single-family homes that are owned or backed by a federal agency by establishing a mortgage relief period and prohibiting lenders from evicting homeowners. According to the National Housing Law Project, 70% of all outstanding single-family mortgages are owned or backed by a federal agency, and about 30% (roughly 14.5 million loans) are privately owned and not backed by any federal agency, so not all homeowners are protected by the CARES Act.
If COVID-19 has impacted your ability to pay all or part of your mortgage, you should:
- Get in contact with your mortgage servicer to confirm who owns your mortgage – Companies that collect your mortgage payment each month may not be the actual owners of your mortgage. Begin the process by calling your mortgage servicer company to ask who presently owns your loan. Once you can determine whether your mortgage is owned or backed by a federal agency or not, then you can determine whether the CARES Act protections apply to you.
- Understand your options – The most common relief being provided is the option of a “hardship forbearance.” Forbearance does not mean your payments are forgiven, but rather that they will be due at some other time in the future. Some lenders may provide a forbearance where all delayed payments are due at the end of the forbearance period, say in 90 days, while other lenders could make that payment due at the end of your mortgage period. Governor Newsom has been able to secure commitment from several large banks and over 200 community banks and credit unions to provide forbearance relief to homeowners. A list of those financial institutions can be viewed here: https://dbo.ca.gov/covid19-updates-fi/.
- Be persistent and get the details in writing – This may not be a one-time phone call or contact. You should continue to work with your lender to reach a resolution that is realistic for you, and if possible, continue to make payments on your mortgage until a forbearance agreement is signed and processed.
- Get additional help from specialists – The Department of Housing and Urban Development approves housing counseling groups around the country to help with foreclosure prevention. If you are having a difficult time coming to a resolution with your lender, reach out to one of these HUD-approved groups in California that offer Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling.
The CARES Act also shielded renters from eviction in federally subsided or owned housing. Governor Newsom issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 related economic hardships, which went into effect on March 27 and is valid through May 31, 2020.
Resources for Small Businesses
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
On March 6, President Trump signed a bipartisan emergency funding package to address coronavirus. If you or somebody you know has a small business impacted by coronavirus, you can try reaching out to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for more information here. There, you can apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), which can quickly provide your business with up to $2 million in low-interest financing with deferred repayment to help your business during this crisis, as well as a $10,000 emergency grant, allegedly. To apply for an EIDL, can follow this link and be prepared to provide the following information to SBA:
- Your most recent tax return information
- Authorization for IRS to share documents with SBA
- Financial statements
- Scheduled liabilities for your business
Note that EDIL loans (not including the $10K grant) are not forgivable.
Paycheck Protection Program
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which created the new Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to further assist small businesses during this outbreak. The PPP offers up to $10 million in zero-fee, low-interest financing and gives borrowers the opportunity to receive up to 8 weeks of loan forgiveness for operating expenses and payroll costs provided they retain their employees.
Note: Because the federal government didn’t do a great job at implementation of this program, a lot of smaller small businesses (i.e., local family owned businesses, 5-25 employees) have been completely shut out due to not being a pre-existing SBA-approved lender customer, and other privileges other larger small businesses have. The federal government did recently replenish the PPP program with more funds, as of end of April 2020.
Please also watch my video on the EDIL and PPP Programs here: INSERT, current as of early May 2020.
Resources for Your Business
For assistance with your EIDL or PPP application, consider contacting your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). The Los Angeles SBDC network has also compiled a resource guide for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, which you can find here. You can also find updated information on resources and loan information from the House Small Business Committee here.
Resources for Healthcare Providers
Below you will find resources for contacting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other clearinghouses to help fill the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies.
- 24/7 Hotline for Diagnostics: For developer, lab, manufacturer or health care provider with questions about testing or if you are experiencing spot shortages of testing, personal protective equipment, or other supplies, please call our toll-free line at 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA), then choose option (*). The line is available 24 hours a day to help address difficulties obtaining supplies for collecting patient samples for COVID-19 testing, including swabs, media needed for transport, and conservation of the samples – among other things. Please note, however, that FDA does not control the production volume or distribution of medical devices.
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: FDA has generated FAQs and posted them on our website for all who are involved in test development for COVID-19s. FDA updates these FAQs on a rolling basis, often daily as issues arise. Your constituents can access these FAQs here.
- Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: If you need additional information for completing the EUA template, would like to know how to submit Pre-EUA/EUA submissions to FDA, or wish to consider an alternative specimen type, please contact the Division of Microbiology Devices at (301) 348-1778 or email CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov. Please note that FDA is unable to provide information on the status of any individual submissions (this is generally confidential commercial information).
Personal Protective Equipment:
For healthcare providers with questions or those who are experiencing spot shortages of personal protective equipment or other supplies, call 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA), then choose option (*). The line is available 24 hours a day to help address difficulties obtaining supplies. Please note, however, that FDA does not control the production volume or distribution of medical devices.
Vaccines and other Biological Product Candidates:
Biological product sponsors, including vaccine developers, wishing to develop vaccines can email email@example.com or call 1-800-835-4709 for further information.
Therapeutics and other Drug Product Candidates:
Sponsors wishing to develop therapeutics are encouraged to submit information and questions via the Pre-IND Consultation program. Visit the FDA website here for additional information on this program.
Sponsors who have questions regarding the conduct of clinical trials impacted by COVID-19 should contact clinicaltrialconduct-COVID19@fda.hhs.gov
If a healthcare provider has questions or concerns about a drug shortage, related or unrelated to COVID-19, they should contact CDER’s Division of Drug Information (DDI) at 855-543-3784, 301-796-3400, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, FDA’s Drug Shortage web page has information related to current shortages.