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Restaurants worry many will close without more federal help during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 7:20 AM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 08:28:29-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Restaurant industry leaders worry many won't be able to survive the COVID-19 pandemic without federal help.

The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Congress saying, 3 million workers are out of a job, and collectively, restaurants have lost $25 billion in revenue.

The group is worried that 15% of restaurants will shut down within the next two weeks.

They believe something that can really save them is changes to the payment protection program that launched last week. Businesses can only use this loan if they dedicate 75% of it to employee payroll.

However, restaurant industry leaders want to lower that cap to 50, so they can spend it on other expenses and hopefully not close.

Money from the program has to be used within eight weeks, but the association wants a chance to use it later, after things get back to normal.

Remember, most restaurants are doing carry out or delivery service. If you want to help your favorite spot, that’s one way to do so.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.