U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd DIst., helped secure additional funding for small businesses, hospitals, health care workers and COVID-19 testing, voting for the “The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” Thursday.
Rep. Davids has advocated for increased funding for small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program since before it was rolled out.
“In these unprecedented times, Kansas small business owners need help to pay their workers and keep their businesses afloat. I’ve been pushing Congress to quickly get more resources into these small business relief programs, and I’m glad that we were able to pass a bipartisan bill today to do just that. This bill will also provide vital funding for our hospitals, health care workers and COVID-19 testing, all of which are critical to preventing the spread of this virus and getting Americans safely get back to work. We still have much more work to do to protect the health, safety and financial security of the people in this country and I’ll keep working to help Kansans get through these trying times.” Rep. Davids said.
During a House Small Business Committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Davids highlighted the challenges faced by small businesses and workers in the Kansas Third and the need to build upon this bill.
See video at https://www.dropbox.com/s/rrz3oj8u0rag2wx/Rep.%20Davids.mp4?dl=0
She also announced her support for bipartisan legislation to further extend the Paycheck Protection Program by providing an additional $900 billion in funding.
Among other measures, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides:
• For small businesses: Strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program with $310 billion in additional funding, with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions.
• For hospitals and health care workers: Secures $75 billion to provide resources to the frontlines, including Personal Protective Equipment.
• For all Americans: Provides $25 billion for testing, which is the key to stopping the spread of this virus and moving towards reopening the economy.
by Mary Rupert
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said today that more federal funding will go toward testing for COVID-19, including $21 million for more testing in Kansas.
He also discussed funding for small businesses. Congress recently passed a replenishment of the Paycheck Protection Program fund, where the Small Business Administration guarantees loans to small businesses of less than 500 people, he said.
Kansas received $4.28 billion in nearly 27,000 businesses in the first phase, keeping 427 jobs in the state, he said.
Sen. Moran said the money in the first fund was utilized rapidly, the funds were depleted, and the House on Thursday passed legislation adding $310 billion. This is generally an economic bill, having the effect of people allowed to keep their jobs and remain at home, while not having to be at work to receive the wage, he said.
Sen. Moran made his remarks at a news conference Friday morning sponsored by the University of Kansas Health System.
Also, $75 billion more will go to hospitals and another $25 billion will be directed toward testing, Sen. Moran said.
This legislation will provide $21 million to Kansas to increase testing to accomplish the goal of broader testing in Kansas, Sen. Moran said.
Also this week, the Department of Health and Human Services provided the second part of funding from the original $100 billion, and it has been enhanced by another $75 billion, he said. This payment will be based more on Medicaid reimbursement than Medicare reimbursement, he said.
Sen. Moran said his focus for the last few weeks has been making the PPP program available to all hospitals, and unfortunately, the public hospitals in counties, districts and cities have been excluded. He is still lobbying on this topic to make sure some hospitals are not being left out in being able to continue to pay their employees, he added.
Dr. Jessica Kalender-Rich, a doctor of general and geriatric medicine, said they have seen a lot of efforts to ramp up the ways in which residents of nursing homes are protected.
She said they are working hard to provide residents with therapy and what they need, in addition to using a lot of personal protective equipment around them that was not always used in the past because it was not always indicated. Residents are more isolated than usual, with visitors not allowed in nursing homes. She said in many cases, residents have been taught to use iPads and Facetime to connect with their loved ones. Some of the homes allow visits to persons who are at the end of life, she added.
Dr. Kalendar-Rich serves on the Wyandotte County task force recently formed on nursing homes. They are developing guidelines, taking guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help facilities create their own policies to protect residents.
She said there is currently testing for COVID-19 in nursing homes for patients who have symptoms, based on the availability of testing supplies and also on the opportunity to get out there and do those tests. She said that will probably change over time.
When there is a positive test, then there is an opportunity to test the entire building, she said. The guidance on that is not fully developed yet at the county level, but that is what they have seen in other parts of the country, she said.
The Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage at 10:15 a.m. Friday reported 518 positive COVID-19 cases in Wyandotte County, with 48 deaths. It was an increase of 28 cases from Thursday evening, and an increase of one death since Thursday.
On Friday, the KU Health System had 24 COVID-19 patents hospitalized, with 11 in the intensive care unit, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Kansas Health System. He said some patients continue to get well, with one moved off intubation on Thursday.
Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System, said the area has done a good job of flattening the curve. As society opens up again, the next big challenge is to keep it that way. It’s about personal responsibility, he said. Residents need to make sure they keep six feet of distance, practice good hygiene, and those who are sick shouldn’t go out.
The UG’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
The Kansas COVID-19 resource page is at https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus.
Information from the CDC is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/.
To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email email@example.com.
Showers and thunderstorms are possible today, according to the National Weather Service. (National Weather Service graphic) Storms are expected to move through the area today. (National Weather Service graphic)
Showers and thunderstorms will be possible today, according to the National Weather Service.
This afternoon there could be strong storms with small hail in the region, according to the weather service, with the potential to produce heavy rain.
That could lead to isolated flooding, the weather service said.
Additional storms will be possible Monday and Tuesday, but severe weather is not expected then, according to the weather service.
Today, there is an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a high near 66, the weather service said. A calm wind will become east around 5 mph in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts between three-quarters and one inch are possible.
Tonight, there is an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 3 a.m., then a slight chance of showers between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to the weather service. The low will be around 49. A north wind of 9 to 14 mph will gust as high as 24 mph. New precipitation amounts will be between a quarter and half-inch of rain.
Saturday, it will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 66, the weather service said. A north wind of 14 mph will gust as high as 23 mph.
Saturday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 44, according to the weather service. A north northwest wind of 5 mph will become calm in the evening.
Sunday, it will be sunny, with a high near 70 and a calm wind, the weather service said.
Sunday night, it will be partly cloudy, with a low of 51, according to the weather service.
Monday, it will be partly sunny, with a high near 74, the weather service said.
Monday night, there is a 30 percent chance of showers after 1 a.m., with a low of 58, according to the weather service.
Tuesday, there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a high near 76, the weather service said.
Tuesday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 53, according to the weather service.
Wednesday, it will be sunny with a high near 71, the weather service said.
Wednesday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low of 49, according to the weather service.
Thursday, it will be sunny with a high near 74, the weather service said.