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Swalwell issues statement on office closures, coronavirus update

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell made the following announcement Friday:

With local, state and federal health authorities advising practice social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus, I’ve decided to close my offices to all visitors and appointments – my district office for the next two weeks, and my office in Washington, D.C., for at least one week, both starting Monday, March 16.

Most staffers will be working from home during this time, but we’ll keep a few in the office to answer phones and email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for anything, whether it’s coronavirus-related information or regular casework assistance.

The DC phones will not be manned but the voicemail will be checked multiple times each hour to provide timely responses. Those with urgent concerns can call the district office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

We’ve also decided to cancel two emergency preparedness training sessions that had been scheduled for later this month in Dublin and San Lorenzo. Instead, we’re working on offering a video presentation to share online; we’re also planning a telephone town hall on the coronavirus pandemic and what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe. Details for both of those should be coming soon.

Today, House Democrats and the Trump Administration reached agreement on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. First and foremost, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge. 

For families’ economic security, we included paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave; we also included enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a step that will extend protections to furloughed workers. For families’ food security, we strengthened nutrition security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks; 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price school meals for their food security, so we must ensure that they have food to eat. And for families’ health security, we increased federal funds for Medicaid to support our local, state, tribal and territorial governments and health systems, so that they have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.   

Earlier this week I re-introduced the Members Operating to Be Innovative and Link Everyone (MOBILE) Resolution, bipartisan legislation that I’ve been offering since 2013 to let House Members virtually take part in committee hearings and vote remotely on suspension bills. Using modern technology in Congress would let Members spend more time working and meeting with constituents in our districts, reduce taxpayer dollars spent on travel, and improve safety during a public health crisis such as this.

As the coronavirus spreads, it’s more important than ever to heed the everyday preventative measures set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using household cleaning sprays or wipes.

Each of us must play our part in reducing the risk for ourselves and our loved ones. We’ll beat this, together.

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