Catching Up with Annie

An Update on Coronavirus

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020

Dear Friend,

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks in New Hampshire and across the country as the coronavirus has spread in our communities, causing anxiety and changing our daily lives. It’s critical that at this time we focus on how we can all act to be a part of the solution to this public health crisis. Social distancing, handwashing, and staying home if you are sick are important steps we can all take to protect each other. 

Continuing to Serve You During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak

We can all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the most vulnerable among our communities. Practicing social distancing can help to ‘flatten the curve’ and avoid overwhelming our health care system. Today, my staff began teleworking but will continue to serve the people of New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. My offices in Washington, D.C. and New Hampshire will be closed to visitors and we will be providing constituent services remotely to do our part in slowing the spread of this virus. I encourage you to continue reaching out online at Kuster.house.gov/contact.

What YOU Can Do to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The government has recommended that for the next 15 days, Americans should avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people. Governor Sununu has ordered all bars and restaurants to close except for delivery, drive-through, and take-out, and gatherings of 50 people or more are prohibited until April 7. If you have the ability to work from home, do. We should all be minimizing our contact with others. We must do our part in slowing the spread of this virus to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, and the most vulnerable people in our communities. Social distancing and frequent handwashing are the most effective steps you can take to avoid transmitting the virus. 

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Closing Schools to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 

I support Governor Sununu’s decision, in consultation with state health officials, to close K-12 public schools in New Hampshire as they transition to remote learning. This is an important step to protect the safety and well-being of Granite Staters. For more information on school closures, visit WMUR.com/weather/closings. If you are a parent or guardian looking for more information about preparing and talking to children about COVID-19 (coronavirus), click here.  

Strengthening the Government’s Response to COVID-19

Early on Saturday morning, I voted in favor of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will bolster the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This legislation passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support shortly before 1 a.m. -- this will ensure that COVID-19 testing is cost-free and that Americans have the sick leave, resources, and financial support they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones during this public health crisis. I hope the Senate will pass this bill quickly and send it to the President’s desk. I will continue working with New Hampshire’s congressional delegation and state officials as we respond to this outbreak. 

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Speaking about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Watch here.

I also sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging that additional steps be taken to support workers who lack access to paid sick leave and increase access to free testing as the coronavirus continues. I commend House leadership for their thoughtful approach to mitigating the spread of this virus, but we all agree that we must do more. You can read the full text of that letter here

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Speaking on the House Floor in favor of paid sick leave. Watch here.

Keeping Granite Staters Informed on Coronavirus

Last week, Congressman Chris Pappas and I held a telephone town hall to discuss COVID-19 and provide an update to New Hampshire residents. We were joined on the call by Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist for New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH-DHHS), and Beth Daly, Chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at NH-DHHS. 

I will continue to keep people in New Hampshire informed throughout this pandemic to make sure Granite Staters have the information they need to calmly take steps to keep themselves and their families safe. Remember -- frequent handwashing remains the most effective way for you to prevent the spread of illness, and if you are feeling sick, contact your health care provider and stay home from work or school. Visit CDC.gov or DHHS.NH.gov for resources and up to date information on COVID-19.

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With Rep. Pappas at the Tele-Town Hall. Read more here.

Blood Donors Urgently Needed

As a result of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, blood drives across the country have been canceled. Our nation is facing a blood shortage and donors are urgently needed. If you are eligible and healthy, please consider donating blood. You can find a location and make an appointment here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/

Resources for You

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) are the best resources to turn to during this public health emergency.

CDC: What you need to know about COVID-19 (coronavirus)
CDC: Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease Poster 
CDC: What to do if you are - or suspect you are - sick with COVID-19 (coronavirus) 
CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs Poster 
CDC: Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Home from COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
CDC: Information about proper handwashing 
CDC: Informative video about proper handwashing 
CDC: Managing Anxiety, Stress and Mental Health Issues During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
CDC: Information for people who are at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
CDC: Information for travelers and travel-related industries
CDC: Preparing and taking action for COVID-19 in Schools, Workplaces and Community Locations 
CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 

For New Hampshire-Specific Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus), visit:

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
WMUR School Closings Page 

Remember: Keep calm and wash your hands. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 2-1-1. Visit CDC.gov for more information.

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 Sincerely,