President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law a bill that will provide paid emergency leave and free testing for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 145 people in the U.S. according to news reports.
The legislation provides up to two weeks of paid sick leave for many workers if they’re being tested or treated for the virus, as well as for those told to remain at home by a doctor or government official due to exposure or exhibiting systems, CNN reports. The payments are capped at $511 a day, which equates to a roughly $133,000 annual salary, according to the TV news channel’s website.
Additionally, the bill provides workers whose family members have been affected by the coronavirus or whose children’s schools were shut with up to two-thirds of their pay — capped, however, at $200 a day, CNN writes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had negotiated the bill with Trump. The full House approved several revisions scaling back the legislation, including adding caps on paid sick and family leave, on Monday, according to the news channel. The Senate, which had initially been critical of the legislation approved in the House, nonetheless approved it Wednesday, hours before Trump signed it into law, CNN writes.
The Senate is now focusing on the $1 trillion economic stimulus package proposed by Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday, according to the news channel. That measure includes provisions for loans, direct payments to individuals and added liquidity for small firms. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the Senate would not adjourn until the stimulus package is passed, CNN writes.
The coronavirus, first detected in China in late 2019, has infected close to 220,000 people in 172 countries and territories and killed at least 8,925 as of Thursday morning, according to Reuters. In the U.S., at least 8,317 have tested positive for the virus and 147 have died, according to the New York Times.
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