Rep. Terri Sewell reports on Coronavirus Act that offers free testing, paid emergency leave

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Rep. Terri Sewell.
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Selma native and Congresswoman Terri Sewell released a report on the recent decision by the House of Representatives to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic.

They passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which is focused directly on providing support for America’s families, who must be our first priority in this emergency, Sewell said in a statement. This is in addition to the $8.2 billion emergency funding bill Congress passed into law last week.

Here is a section of the release:

We cannot fight Coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested knows they can get their test free of charge. We cannot slow the outbreak when workers are stuck with the terrible choice between staying home to avoid spreading illness and the paycheck their family can’t afford to lose.

The bill we passed today includes:

  • Free Coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
  • Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
  • Enhanced unemployment benefits, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks;
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.

It is imperative to take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. One of the best ways we can continue to protect ourselves from the spread of the Coronavirus is by washing our hands. You can also visit http://cdc.gov/coronavirus for more prevention tips.