WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act—legislation looking to provide economic relief to Arizona’s rural hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak so they can keep their doors open, pay their workers, and continue serving our communities.
 
“Strengthening Arizona’s rural hospitals to keep health services available during the coronavirus outbreak will save lives and ensure all Arizonans have access to critical health care services,” said Sinema.
 
Rural hospital and health care providers in Arizona play a critical role treating cancer, chronic diseases, and other pressing health conditions. However, to stop the spread of coronavirus many rural providers have had to close or dramatically reduce operations, making it hard to meet their bottom line and stay open. Although 2019 experienced the most closures of rural hospitals in history, 2020 is on pace to double that record. 
 
Sinema’s bipartisan bill will work to support Arizona’s rural hospitals and providers to keep their doors open, pay their workers, and continue serving our communities. Open beds in rural hospitals will become essential to accommodate patient transfers from overwhelmed urban hospitals. Many rural facilities are also equipped to accommodate patients in need of ventilators, which experts predict will be essential to the nation’s pandemic response in the weeks ahead.
 
Sinema recently urged the Small Business Administration (SBA) to approve Arizona’s application requesting a SBA Disaster Declaration. This declaration allows Arizona businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help small businesses handle the economic losses caused by COVID-19.
 
Sinema voted for two Congressionally-approved packages to address the coronavirus. These bills included Sinema’s provisions ensuring respirators used by patients and health workers have liability coverage and are available for Arizona communities and that COVID-19 tests are free.
  
Sinema wrote to Vice President Pence and the White House Task Force about the government’s need to implement a single online webform that would allow the CDC to directly collect information from travelers and provide a more complete, accurate, and timely collection of data. Sinema also wrote VA about steps it’s taking to protect the health of veterans and staff. Sinema also wrote to the Vice President to ensure tribal leaders have the resources they need through the Indian Health Service, tribal health departments, and urban Indian health programs to keep their communities safe.
 
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.
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