I’m so pleased that we’ve heard from many who want to get involved and help. FEMA is working with companies looking to sell or donate medical supplies, equipment or services. Use [THIS LINK] for more info. In my video tonight I’ll also talk about new testing sites, social distancing, and the new Senate and House bills.

What is the difference between this and the flu?

COVID-19’s genetic makeup is different than seasonal influenza, or the flu, and we currently do not have immunities, making this more dangerous for those with already compromised immune systems. Preliminary data suggests death rates from COVID-19 are higher than seasonal influenza. Further, the Italian health department recently found that 99% of deaths in the country occurred in those with underlying health conditions. However, even if you are not a part of a high-risk group, it is important to get COVID-19 under control now to protect family and friends throughout the country who are at a higher risk.

What is the effect of COVID-19 on people who smoke or use e-cigarettes?

Since this is a respiratory disease, it is believed that smokers are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.

Do you have any projections for how many people in Utah will be infected?

We don’t have those projections for Utah, but we believe it will be a lower percentage than many other states, including high-profile California—Utah started adopting preventative measures before California and we have a younger population. Social distancing is also a helpful tool to limit the number of people who are sick at once and eventually flatten the curse.

Where are the testing sites in Utah?

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, or body aches and/or believe you have been exposed to someone confirmed to have COVID-19, you should immediately contact your doctor or a health care provider by phone call or a virtual visit. They will determine if you need to be tested or not.

How many cases in each county are there?

Daily updates can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts/ and you can find additional resources here on my website at curtis.house.gov/coronavirus/.

What is all of the federal spending going to do to the economy and to the deficit?

Congress is attempting to support businesses and individuals who have been harmed by government intervention, such as forced social distancing or mandatory closures of industries. This period of reduced economic activity is temporary and government assistance can help harmed businesses get through this difficult period, where lost income or revenue is no fault of their own, but in fact directly government caused to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. Federal spending is undoubtedly required during this difficult and economically uncertain time, but Congressional action must be taken once life returns to normal to meaningfully reduce our federal debt.

What is the government doing to protect small businesses?
Congress passed two pieces of legislation aimed to protect workers and businesses across the country. Part of the first major bill included permitting the Small Business Administration to issue immediate Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million for eligible businesses. There are also additional measures currently being considered to infuse billions of dollars into the small business sectors across the country. This would include loans for Utah’s tourism industry, which is hurting right now and needs some immediate relief.

Will the House adopt any changes to voting procedures?

There are currently no mechanisms to vote remotely in both chambers of Congress. However, this might be an issue we need to consider. So much of what Congress accomplishes takes place talking face-to-face so there has been hesitation to implement remote voting in the past.

Will the Utah National Guard be called?

According to the Governor: “Currently, the National Guard is on call and would only help in an absolute state of emergency, such as distributing supplies and getting medical aid. I am working with the Department of Defense to ensure that they remain under the command of the State and not the Pentagon. We have far more flexibility if they are managed at the state level.”

Is there a full closure for schools imminent?

Utah K-12 public schools closed through at least May 1. In addition to public schools, many colleges and universities also moved classes online to ensure students, professors and administrators are safe.

How long will it take for life to return to normal?

Dr. Fauci, a top infectious disease doctor within the federal government, and other medical experts are hesitant to predict a timeline, but it is reasonable to expect the number of cases to grow in the future. We anticipate there will be loosened restrictions once cases start decreasing.