Weekly Update | August 8, 2020
Serving IL-13 Virtually From Home During My Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
On Wednesday, I tested positive for COVID-19. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have taken my temperature twice daily because serving in Congress means I interact with many people, and it’s my duty to protect the health of those I serve. When I took my temperature on Wednesday, it clocked in at 99 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than normal for me.
 
Because of the high temperature, my wife and I went to receive a test. While my test came back positive, my wife’s test came back negative. My staff who I’ve worked with in-person this week have received negative tests as well. Other than a higher-than-normal temperature, I am showing no symptoms at this time and feel fine.
 
Having consulted with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) of Congress and local county health officials, our office is contacting constituents I have met with in-person within the previous 48 hours of when I tested positive, per CDC guidelines.
 
My staff and I take COVID-19 very seriously. My wife is a nurse and a cancer survivor, which puts her in an at-risk category like so many Americans. My office and I have always followed and will continue to follow CDC guidelines, use social distancing, and wear masks or face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained.
 
I will postpone public events our office has planned for the coming days until I receive a negative test. I will continue to serve my constituents virtually from home while I quarantine. Our district offices throughout central and southwestern Illinois remain open for constituents as well.
 
During these challenging times, protecting the public health is my highest priority. If you’re out in public, use social distancing, and when you can’t social distance, please wear a mask. All of us must do our part. That’s what it will take to get through this pandemic.
Gabby's Law Honors the Life of Gabrielle "Gabby" Galbo of Monticello
Earlier this week, I joined Tony Galbo and his family in Monticello to announce Gabby’s Law, federal legislation that would require all U.S. hospitals to adopt, implement, and periodically update using the best evidence-based sepsis protocols. Gabby's Law is named in honor of Gabrielle “Gabby” Galbo, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 5 following an undetected tick bite that developed into sepsis. Gabby was the daughter of Tony and Elizabeth Galbo of Monticello.
 
I want to thank Tony and Liz Galbo for their advocacy and efforts in supporting Gabby’s Law. No family in America should have to experience what they did. Gabby’s precious life was taken from this Earth far too soon, but we can honor her life by passing this legislation named in her memory. Sepsis is a preventable condition. As one of the leading causes of death, it should be getting our utmost attention. I’m proud to carry Gabby’s Law in Congress on behalf of the Galbo’s and anyone who has suffered from sepsis so we can honor Gabby and save lives.
 
A message from Tony and Elizabeth Galbo:
 
“At 300,000 plus deaths per year, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, and is the most expensive condition to treat, costing an estimated 41.5 billion dollars per year. We must do better! Gabby’s Law will mandate all U.S. hospitals to adopt, implement, and periodically update using the best evidence-based sepsis protocols.
 
“Patients presenting with signs and symptoms must be screened for sepsis with the same urgency as heart attack or stroke patients. For every hour in delayed treatment for sepsis, there is an 8% increase in mortality rate. In fact, every three to four days in the United States we have a 9/11 number of deaths from sepsis. A patient often does not have the luxury of time to guess which hospital has a sepsis protocol or how to properly screen and treat a patient with sepsis. Does hospital A or hospital B have the knowledge to identify sepsis and how to aggressively treat it giving the patient the best chance of survival? With rapid diagnosis and treatment, it is estimated that as many 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented.  
 
“Sepsis education is important, but Gabby’s Law will fast track all U.S. hospitals to get on the same page and level playing field, to not only identify but to treat it properly. How can only four out of fifty states have mandatory sepsis protocols when it is the leading cause of death in hospitals in this country?
 
“Our daughter Gabby died needlessly. Her death was preventable. Gabby should have celebrated her fourteenth birthday on July 28th, 2020. Instead, we mourned her eighth angel anniversary on May 11th at the cemetery.”

You can learn more about Gabby's Law here.
Constituent Service Spotlight
Helping Constituents Cut Through Red Tape
“Mr. Davis thanks for your response. I have started getting my unemployment. Thanks to the person who answered the phone, they were very understanding. Thanks again.”

-Pam, Bethalto
More Important Updates
Recognized by the Better Medicare Alliance for Support of Medicare Advantage in Congress
The Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) has recognized me as a “2020 Medicare Advantage Supporter.”
 
The Congressional Supporter Award is a way BMA recognizes Members of Congress who have shown support for strengthening Medicare Advantage. Members who voted with Better Medicare Alliance on key pieces of legislation or signed specific letters are recognized as Supporters.

I believe that increasing consumer choice in health care coverage provides better health care coverage and improves health outcomes for the American people. Nearly 40,000 seniors I represent utilize a Medicare Advantage plan. That’s why I’m proud to support legislation that strengthens Medicare Advantage because it provides additional health care coverage options for seniors I represent in Congress. I will always continue to work towards bipartisan solutions to improve our nation’s health care system and protect important programs like Medicare and its supplemental programs like Medicare Advantage.

Learn more about the Medicare Advantage Supporter recognition here.
I'd Like Your Thoughts on School Reopenings
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, including how schools, colleges, and universities plan to reopen this fall. Some are returning to in-person instruction with safety precautions in place, while others are considering hybrid or remote/virtual instruction.

Decisions made by state and local education leaders will impact our public health, the finances of parents, our local economy and more. That is why I'd like to hear from you.

I'd like to know what your views are on school reopening plans and how they affect you and your family, whether it impacts your health, finances, and more. That is why I ask that you take the school reopening survey below to share your thoughts. If you have specific thoughts on your school's reopening plan, you may share them below as well.
Thank you in advance for your participation. I value your input.
Open Office Hours Will Be Held Virtually Next Week
Our office will have more opportunities to connect throughout central and southwestern Illinois during the next two weeks as well, so stay tuned for more information.