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What West Virginians Need to Know About COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS

WHAT IS COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.

SYMPTOMS

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

WHERE TO GET TESTED

Please contact your county public health department and talk with a medical professional to be directed to a testing site.

CHARLESTON

LOCATION:
Kanawha Charleston Health Department
108 Lee St. E., Charleston, WV 25301

HOURS:
Tue-Thu 8am-4pm
Patients should first call 681-205-2455.

LOCATION:
Kanawha City

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and are concerned about COVID-19/Coronavirus, you can use CAMC’s 24/7 Care app to talk to a provider FREE – anytime, day or night. It only takes a few minutes to download the 24/7 Care app and set up an account. Then you can request a free visit using coupon code COVID. A CAMC provider will call you or video chat with you to talk about your symptoms and give you information about what to do should you need screened for Coronavirus.

HUNTINGTON

LOCATION:
St. Mary’s Center for Education
2853 5th Ave., Huntington, WV 25702

HOURS: 
Opening Thursday, March 20, 2020 at 1pm
Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

Individuals with a valid order from a doctor will be allowed to be tested. Individuals should bring their physician order, insurance information and a valid ID.

MORGANTOWN

LOCATION:
University Town Centre
6040 University Town Centre Drive, Morgantown, WV 26501

HOURS:
Mon-Sun 10am-4pm

Patients without a valid order for testing should contact primary-care office to determine if they need a screening test. They can also contact the WVU Medicine Nurse Navigator line at 304-598-6000 Option 4.

MARTINSBURG

LOCATION:
Berkeley Medical Center
2500 Hospital Dr., Martinsburg, WV 25401

HOURS:
Mon-Sun 10am-4pm

Patients without a valid order for testing should contact primary-care office to determine if they need a screening test. They can also contact the WVU Medicine Nurse Navigator line at 304-598-6000 Option 4.

PARKERSBURG

LOCATION:
Camden Clark Medical Center
800 Garfield Ave, Parkersburg, WV 26101

HOURS:
Mon-Sun 10am-4pm

Patients without a valid order for testing should contact primary-care office to determine if they need a screening test. They can also contact the WVU Medicine Nurse Navigator line at 304-598-6000 Option 4.

RANSON

WVU Medicine Respiratory Clinic
201 E. Fifth Avenue

HOURS:
Mon-Fri 8am-4pm

Testing for patients with a physician’s order. For questions about testing or a possible exposure, call our COVID-19 Triage Hotline at 304-596-2890.

WHEELING

LOCATION:
Wheeling Park parking lot

HOURS:
Mon-Sat 10am-4pm

To get pre-screened, contact your primary care physician or call Wheeling Hospital COVID-19 Line: 304-221-3995

STOP THE SPREAD

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

What you can do:

  • Wash hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice social distancing
  • Sneeze/cough into your elbow
  • Stay home if you’re sick!

INDIVIDUAL RELIEF

Who is eligible for a recovery rebate?  

All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 married), who are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security Number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. A typical family of four is eligible for a $3,400 recovery rebate.

What about taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 married)? Are they eligible to receive any rebate?  

The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. For a typical family of four, the amount is completely phased out for those with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $218,000.

What if my income was above the threshold in 2019, but I’ve lost my job due to the coronavirus? Can I still get a rebate check? 

If your income in 2019 was in the phase-out range, you would still receive a partial rebate based on your 2019 tax return. However, the rebate is actually an advance on a tax credit that you may claim on your 2020 tax return. If your income is lower in 2020 than in 2019, any additional credit you are eligible for will be refunded or reduce your tax liability when you file your 2020 tax return next year. 

Is the rebate taxable or will I have to pay back any amount if the rebate based on my 2019 return is larger than what it would be if based on my 2020 tax year return? 

No, the rebate is treated like other refundable tax credits, such as the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and not considered income. Moreover, if the credit amount you qualify based on 2020 income is less than what you qualify for based on your 2019 tax return, it does not have to be paid back.

Who qualifies as a child for purposes of the rebate?

Any child who is a qualifying child for the purposes of the Child Tax Credit is also a qualifying child for the purposes of the recovery rebate. In general, a child is any dependent of a taxpayer under the age of 17.

Do dependents, other than children under 17, qualify a taxpayer for an additional $500 per dependent?

No, the additional $500 per child is limited to children under 17.

Are individuals with little to no income or those on means-tested federal benefits, such as SSI, eligible for a recovery rebate?

Yes, there is no qualifying income requirement. Even individuals with $0 of income are eligible for a rebate so long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible SSN.

Are seniors whose only income is from Social Security or a veteran whose only income is a veterans’ disability payment eligible?

Yes, as long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer. The bill also provides IRS with additional tools to locate and provide rebates to low-income seniors who normally do not file a tax return by allowing them to base a rebate on Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, which is the equivalent of the Social Security statement for Railroad Employees. However, seniors are still encouraged to file their 2019 tax return to ensure they receive their recovery rebate as quickly as possible.

Are college students eligible for a recovery rebate?

Only if they are not considered a dependent of their parents. Generally, a full-time college student under the age of 24 is considered a dependent if their parent(s) provide more than half of their support.

I am eligible for a rebate, what do I have to do to receive it?

For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required to receive a rebate check since the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return if they haven’t filed their 2019 return. This includes many individuals with very low income who file a tax return despite not owing any tax in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

What should I do if I did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2018?

The best way to ensure you receive a recovery rebate is to file a 2019 tax return if you have not already done so. This could be accomplished for free online from home using the IRS Free file program (https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free). The bill also instructs the IRS to engage in a public campaign to alert all individuals of their eligibility for the rebate and how to receive it if they have not filed either a 2019 or 2018 tax return.

If I have a past due debt to a federal or state agency, or owe back taxes, will my rebate be reduced?

No, the bill turns off nearly all administrative offsets that ordinarily may reduce tax refunds for individuals who have past tax debts, or who are behind on other payments to federal or state governments, including student loan payments. The only administrative offset that will be enforced applies to those who have past due child support payments that the states have reported to the Treasury Department.

Information about unemployment benefits in West Virginia can be found here, courtesy of Workforce West Virginia.

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF

Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.

Application Form is Available Here

Who is eligible for the loan?

You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Nonprofit organizations are subject to SBA’s affiliation standards. Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible. Eligible franchises can be found through SBA’s Franchise Directory.

I am an independent contractor or gig economy worker, am I eligible?

Yes. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow?

The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million. This amount is intended to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses and any additional amounts for making payments towards debt obligations. This 8 week period may be applied to any time frame between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Seasonal business expenses will be measured using a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, whichever the seasonal employer chooses.

How can I use the money such that the loan will be forgiven?

The amount of principal that may be forgiven is equal to the sum of expenses for payroll, and existing interest payments on mortgages, rent payments, leases, and utility service agreements. Payroll costs include employee salaries (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000), hourly wages and cash tips, paid sick or medical leave, and group health insurance premiums.

When is the loan forgiven?

The loan is forgiven at the end of the 8-week period after you take out the loan. Borrowers will work with lenders to verify covered expenses and the proper amount of forgiveness.

What is the covered period of the loan?

The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.

How much of my loan will be forgiven?

The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help you retain your employees, at their current base pay. If you keep all of your employees, the entirety of the loan will be forgiven. If you still lay off employees, the forgiveness will be reduced by the percent decrease in the number of employees. If your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent, loan forgiveness will be reduced by the same amount. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.

Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?

No, if the full principal of the PPP loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued in the 8-week covered period. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and the lender.

What are the interest rate and terms for the loan amount that is not forgiven?

The terms of the loan not forgiven may differ on a case-by-case basis. However, the maximum terms of the loan feature a 10-year term with interest capped at 4 percent and a 100 percent loan guarantee by the SBA. You will not have to pay any fees on the loan, and collateral requirements and personal guarantees are waived. Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months and up to one year starting at the origination of the loan.

When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Applicants are eligible to apply for the PPP loan until June 30th, 2020.

I took out a bridge loan through my state, am I eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Yes, you can take out a state bridge loan and are still be eligible for the PPP loan.

If I have applied for, or received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) related to COVID19 before the Paycheck Protection Program became available, will I be able to refinance into a PPP loan?

Yes. If you received an EIDL loan related to COVID-19 between January 31, 2020 and the date at which the PPP becomes available, you would be able to refinance the EIDL into the PPP for loan forgiveness purposes. However, you may not take out an EIDL and a PPP for the same purposes. Remaining portions of the EIDL, for purposes other than those laid out in loan forgiveness terms for a PPP loan, would remain a loan. If you took advantage of an emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000, that amount would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under PPP.

During this difficult time, it is imperative that our small businesses in West Virginia receive the economic relief they need to survive. West Virginia has officially received its Disaster Declaration through the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Small Businesses in West Virginia will be able to apply by filing the available application, additionally including their most recent federal tax forms.

  1. The EIDL application can be found HERE
  2. More information on the process can be found HERE
  3. For more information, please reach out to my Charleston office at 304-347-5372 or my Washington DC office at 202-224-6472

WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, I have done my best to act swiftly and bring the aid our hospitals, small businesses, health care professionals, and workforce needs as soon as possible.

On March 25, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed the full Senate will my support. Here are some ways this legislation will help better our response efforts to COVID-19:

  • $100 billion for support of our hospitals and other medical providers.
  • $150 billion to reimburse for state and local governments for COVID related expenditure.
    -   $1.25 billion of this money is designated for West Virginia.
  • $355 in loans for Small Businesses that employ fewer than 500 people. For small businesses that continue to pay their employees, loan forgiveness is available for 8 weeks of payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.
  • Stability loans for larger business and corporations to save jobs and help restart the American economy.
  • $1,200 payment for Americans earning up to under $75,000 annually; $2,400 for married couples earning up to $150,000 annually, plus an additional $500 per child.
  • $11 billion in additional funding for COVID-19 vaccine development and therapeutic treatment research.
  • 13-week unemployment extension. A $600 weekly increase in unemployment benefits for four months.
  • $16 billion to help replenish U.S. reserve of supplies at the National Strategic Stockpile.

On Wednesday, March 18, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act after it passed out of both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. I fully support this legislation. Almost immediately after this legislation was signed into law, we saw critical relief come to West Virginia and other impacted areas across the country. Here are some other highlights of this bill:

  • Free access to COVID-19 tests for American citizens.
  • Temporary increase in the federal share of state Medicaid programs.
  • $60 million in aid to the Department of Veterans Affairs to help prevent spread of the virus within our veteran community.
  • Paid sick leave for small business employees who need to be isolated or quarantined due to exposure to the virus.
  • $1 billion dollars in block grants to help individual states combat rising demand in unemployment benefits.
  • Nutrition assistance for those who are not food secure.

On Friday, March 6, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law. This was the first stimulus passed by Congress to help combat the spread of COVID-19. I voted in favor of this legislation along side 98 of my Senate colleagues. Soon after this bill became law, the West Virginia Department of Heath and Human received $5.5 million in aid to help combat the outbreak. Here are some other provisions included in the bill:

  • Developing, manufacturing, and procuring vaccines and other medical supplies.
  • Grants for state, local, and tribal public health agencies and organizations.
  • Evacuations and emergency preparedness activities at U.S. embassies and other State Department facilities.

SENATOR CAPITO’S EFFORTS

Senator Capito continues to be focused on this issue, particularly in ensuring the appropriate agencies have the funding they need to mitigate the spread of the virus, test those feeling ill, and treat those infected. As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito has made a point to ask the agencies she funds if they are prepared and ready to combat the coronavirus.

Below are more details on Senator Capito’s efforts:

  • Spoke with West Virginia Hospital Association President and CEO Joe Letnaunchyn and West Virginia Health Care Association CEO Marty Wright.
  • Voted in favor of the emergency supplemental funding package to help states treat, prevent, and prepare for the Coronavirus. A portion of the funding provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is specifically tied to the FY2019 Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) grant awards for states and localities. In West Virginia, this means the state will receive at least $5 million in funding.·Attended a senators-only Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee briefing to ask questions directly of leadership from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Spoke with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice about West Virginia’s preparedness and readiness.

Click here for more information on the coronavirus.

WHERE TO GET HELP

24/7 HOTLINE:
1-800-887-4304

Office Locations

Charleston, WV
500 Virginia Street East
Suite 950
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-347-5372
Washington, DC
172 Russell Senate Office
Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6472
Martinsburg, WV
300 Foxcroft Avenue
Suite 202A
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: 304-262-9285
Morgantown, WV
48 Donley Street
Suite 504
Morgantown, WV 26501
Phone: 304-292-2310
Beckley, WV
220 North Kanawha Street
Suite 1
Beckley, WV 25801
Phone: 304-347-5372