My fellow North Dakotans,
I have added this new resource page to my website to keep our community updated on the latest coronavirus developments. Information will be added regularly, and you can also follow me on Twitter at @RepArmstrongND or on Facebook at Congressman Kelly Armstrong for more frequent information.
As your congressman, I’m here to serve you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to my offices in Bismarck, Fargo, or Washington.
Federal government health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), continue to respond to the coronavirus in the United States. Congress and President Donald Trump have taken several actions to ensure the health and safety of all Americans. Our efforts are focused on mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, responding to and treating infected individuals, and assisting individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus.
President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, which allows for the release of up to $50 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to implement protective measures. The emergency declaration also authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to grant increased flexibility to healthcare providers to respond to this pandemic. The federal government is also dramatically increasing the number of diagnostic tests available throughout the country.
Coronavirus Reponse Legislation - Phase III
Congress enacted the Phase III relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, on March 27. This law provides resources to combat the coronavirus and provide financial stability to Americans and U.S. businesses. These resources are vital as we take the unprecedented step of halting most economic activity in an effort to stop this pandemic. While the law includes numerous provisions, some of the most important include:
- Surging material and resources to healthcare providers and hospitals
- Providing most Americans with up to $1,200 tax free
- Expanding unemployment insurance funding
- Implementing a small business loan and grant program that will encourage employers to keep employees on payroll
- Supplying loans to distressed industries, especially those vital to national security
Detailed information about these important provisions is available on my website by clicking here, or by selecting Coronavirus Phase III Legislation in the Issues menu at the top of the page.
On April 23, Congress enacted additional funding for small business assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act as well as funding for hospitals and testing.
Coronavirus Response Legislation - Phase II
Congress enacted emergency legislation to help families, businesses, and communities respond to the coronavirus. The legislation focused on slowing the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that Americans have economic assistance to get through this trying time. The provisions include:
- Free diagnostic testing to ensure that individuals seek care if diagnosed;
- Enhanced assistance to workers and businesses, including sick leave, to ensure the coronavirus is not spread unnecessarily;
- Increased healthcare resources to state, local, and tribal governments; and
- Increased telehealth access that will allow patients and vulnerable populations receive medical treatment without further exposing themselves.
On March 24, the Labor Department published guidance for employees and employers on the paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave Act provisions in the Phase II legislation. Click here to access the fact sheets on my website.
Coronavirus Response Legislation - Phase I
Earlier this month, Congress enacted $8 billion to address the coronavirus. This legislation will help speed the development of vaccines, bolster access to testing and treatments, and expand access to telemedicine services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because it can be difficult to find all the information about Congress and the Administration’s actions in one place, the House Ways and Means Committee has assembled a comprehensive FAQ which can be found online here: https://gop-waysandmeans.house.gov/faq-coronavirus-legislation/.
The FAQ linked above has resources for:
- Small business owners
It covers what you need to know and is divided into sections about what Congress has passed, what Congress is working on, and what the Administration has, and is doing, to help Americans during this pandemic.
Please read through this information and share with family, friends, and coworkers. If you have any further questions about the FAQ, or what Congress is doing to assist, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
North Dakota Update
Gov. Doug Burgum has declared a state of emergency and ordered all school districts closed indefinitely. Gov. Burgum also requested a presidential disaster declaration from President Trump, which was granted on April 1. A presidential disaster declaration allows the state to receive much-needed federal assistance as it responds to the pandemic. Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer, and I fully supported Gov. Burgum's request and urged President Trump to grant it.
Please check the North Dakota Department of Health’s coronavirus homepage for more information about North Dakota’s response.
Several school districts and local organizations across North Dakota are providing free meals for children or other special offers during the current school closures. Click here to view a non-exhaustive list of resources for free or discounted kids meals.
- The CDC’s main coronavirus homepage
- North Dakota Department of Health coronavirus homepage
- Facts About the Coronavirus
- Coronavirus: What You Need To Know
For Our Communities:
- Guides for childcare programs and K-12 administrators
- Information for parents and guardians about talking with children about coronavirus
- CDC’s guide to creating a household plan
- Make sure to wash your hands.
- Refrain from touching your face.
- If you're feeling sick, stay at home.
More tips are available on the CDC's website here.
- CDC travel health notices can be found here.
- International travel guidance issued by the Department of State is available here.
- State Department and specific country advisories are listed here.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if:
- You have coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath; and
- Were in close contact with a person known to have coronavirus, have recently traveled from an area with widespread, or ongoing community spread of coronavirus.
If you think you may have coronavirus:
- The CDC recommends calling your provider ahead of time for guidance on how the facility is handling cases before visiting the hospital in order to keep others from being exposed.
Tours and Tickets in Washington
(Updated March 30, 2020) - Federal buildings in Washington, DC, along with most museums have adopted social distancing protocols and suspended public tours. We regret the inconvenience this may cause you and your family as you visit our nation's capital. Currently, tours are suspended through the end of April. Please call my Washington, DC, office if you have any questions: (202) 225-2611.