Senator Van Hollen visits NIH to receive an update from the team working to research and develop a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Coronavirus Resource Page

My top priority is to ensure that Marylanders have the resources they need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and are protected from the economic hardship resulting from it. Since March, I’ve helped pass five major bipartisan relief bills in Congress including the CARES Act and the recent $900 billion stimulus that was signed into law in December. These packages have helped Marylanders weather the storm of COVID-19 by bolstering our public health infrastructure and extending a lifeline to working families and small businesses wounded by the economic fallout. But there’s still more work to be done, and I won’t let up in this fight to beat the virus and build back our economy. 


Starting on day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has acted with urgency to tackle this crisis head-on. President Biden has already signed a number of executive actions to extend the eviction moratorium, continue the pause on federal student loan payments, protect federal workers, prevent food insecurity, and get the economy moving. And I’m pleased that the White House is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to this pandemic, as outlined in the Administration’s national pandemic strategy. The plan makes full use of the Defense Production Act, confronts the child care crisis, prioritizes the safe reopening of schools, and commits to addressing the disparate impact of this pandemic on communities of color, among other vital priorities. And as I continue to urge Maryland officials to lay out a comprehensive and transparent plan to ensure equitable and accessible vaccine distribution, I’m encouraged to see the Biden-Harris Administration take important steps forward to procure additional vaccines, deliver more vaccines to states, and share more information with the public on these efforts.


I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to implement and build on the White House’s vision for a coordinated and comprehensive coronavirus response. As a nation, we must immediately ramp up our efforts to increase access to the vaccine, deliver more relief, and get our economy on the road to recovery. This crisis has upended every part of American life, and a new Congressional stimulus package is critical to supply more substantive support to those most in need. We’re working to ensure this package will extend unemployment benefits and provide both rental and food assistance, include larger direct payments to help millions of Maryland families get by, and shore up hard-hit small businesses. And this framework also includes funds to marshal resources for schools and childcare and close the digital divide. It’s time to move full-steam ahead with a package that goes big and meets the demands of this moment.


Below you'll find answers to common questions about the coronavirus outbreak and information about how to access federal resources. And you can stay up to date on my efforts in the Senate here. Together, we will weather this storm.

Fact Sheets and Information on Federal Funding Packages
Additional Information

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a new disease caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The disease was first identified in Wuhan, China.


  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Masks help prevent you from getting or spreading the virus. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your health daily. Be alert for symptoms. Take your temperature and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).
  • It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
    • These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
    • Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
    • It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.

    COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

    According to the CDC, if you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
    • Keep track of your symptoms.

    If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community:

    • Stay home except to get medical care.
    • Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
    • If you are sick, wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
    • Clean your hands often.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items.
    • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.

    For any additional questions about your care, contact your healthcare provider or state or local health department.

    Community mitigation activities are actions that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases. Community mitigation is especially important before a vaccine or drug becomes widely available. Individuals, communities, schools, business and health care organizations all have a role to play in community mitigation, and policies, like limits on large gatherings, restrictions on businesses, and school closures, are often needed in order to fully implement community mitigation strategies. The latest guidance on recommended preparations for these and other entities can be found here.


    Contacting Senator Van Hollen's Office
    In order to follow the guidance of public health officials and ensure the safety of constituents and staff due to COVID-19, the majority of Senator Van Hollen’s staff will be teleworking until further notice. As a result, our offices will be closed to the public, but all phone lines will remain fully open and fully staffed. Constituents seeking assistance can reach our constituent services teams at: (301) 545-1500. Those with general questions or concerns about federal policy can reach our Capitol Hill team at: (202) 224-4654. Urgent issues for my office can be emailed to assistance@vanhollen.senate.gov. We urge all constituents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health guidelines to protect themselves and their families and we look forward to serving you in person at our offices soon.
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