Federal legislation to help families in the wake of COVID-19 was signed into law earlier this week.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the second phase of providing resources for American families that need to protect themselves from the spread of the novel virus without fear of losing their wages and other necessities, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Rep. John Garamendi.

The legislation includes free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, strengthened food security initiatives and increased federal funds for Medicaid.

“The health and safety of my constituents is my utmost concern during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Garamendi, who represents the 3rd District, which includes Yuba and Sutter counties. “Congress must take every step to ensure American families have the tools they need to protect themselves from the virus without facing economic hardship. That’s why I supported the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and I’m pleased that this bill has been signed into law.”

“This critical legislation establishes a paid sick leave program to ensure no one is forced to choose between paying the bills and protecting themselves from the virus, and strengthens unemployment insurance to ensure laid off and furloughed workers don’t suffer during these trying times.”

Garamendi will host a telephone town hall for his constituents on the novel coronavirus Monday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. 

The event is free and every resident in California’s 3rd District is invited to participate. 

Garamendi will be joined by local health officials to listen to the community’s concerns and answer their questions related to the virus. Participants can join by calling 855-962-1140.

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