What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention.

UPDATE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. Several states have issues stay-at-home orders.

For the latest updates and more information go to:

What You Should Know

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC urges citizens to monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

County & Recording Jurisdictions - Operating Status

ALTA is tracking the operating status of recording jurisdictions around the country based on reports from ALTA members, State/Regional Land Title Associations, industry contributors, and Recorders/Clerks.

Review the Recording Jurisdictions - Operating Status report anytime to access visual charts and download data for the national picture and individual states.

If you have updates to the information you find, please let us know by emailing details to countystatus@alta.org. We can help update information for a single county or jurisdiction. We can also provide a full state grid for easy updates. We are collecting the following information:

  • Operating Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • Planned Re-Opening Date (if available)
  • eRecording Status (for eRecording Counties) (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • In-Person/Walk-In Recording Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • Drop-Off Recording Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • Mail-In Recording Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • Online Search Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • In-Person Search Status (Normal Operations, Modified Operations, Closed)
  • Recorder's Office Communication - More Detail (Text Description of Closure or Modifications to Operating Status)
  • More Local Information - Website URL

Resources

Legislation

  • SECURE Notarization Act: ALTA is working with other trade associations and industry partners to support an effort to pass the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act). This legislation takes a two-prong approach to continue and expand access to remote online notary (RON).  First, it permits immediate nationwide use of RON, with minimum standards. Second, it provides certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. The SECURE Notarization Act builds on ongoing efforts of lawmakers to promote remote transaction options for consumers. Get more information about the Act at alta.org/RON
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act: This bill would create emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19. Click here for FAQs.

Watch for Fraud

Cybersecurity researchers have identified a growing number of phishing scams in which fraudsters are using the coronavirus to entice victims. With more employees working remotely, make sure your company is following best practices to protect its data and money.

Financial Help for Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides several loan for small businesses to utilize when operating their business.


Coronavirus Articles

Recent 2020

Coronavirus is Brewing a Mortgage Crisis
Curbed  |  March 30, 2020
The financial crisis of 2008 was caused by homeowners defaulting on their mortgages en mass thanks to risky loan products that were destined to fail. The bonds those mortgages were bundled into collapsed in value as a result, and it brought the entire financial system down with it.
National News Roundup: U.S. House Won't Meet for a Month, FDA Authorizes Use of Unproven Drugs, Feds Charge Man with Coronavirus Fraud Scheme
The Washington Post  |  March 30, 2020
* Following last week’s passage of the $2 trillion stimulus bill, the House is not expected to meet again until at least April 20, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) said. The break, which comes amid mounting concerns about lawmakers and staff being exposed to the novel coronavirus, matches that planned by the Republican-led Senate. House Democratic leaders have signaled, however, that they will continue work on the legislative response to the pandemic. * The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the disease in seriously ill coronavirus patients. There have only been a few, small anecdotal studies that show a possible benefit of the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to relieve the acute respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 and clear the virus from infected patients. * Federal agents arrested a Georgia man Monday on charges he conspired to defraud a federal health program by billing for unnecessary coronavirus testing and other, more expensive medical testing. The case suggests that some traditional fraudsters may be looking for ways to adapt their techniques to profit from the pandemic crisis. “It is unfortunate that we have people in our country who will capitalize on others’ suffering to make a buck,” said Gregory W. Ehrie, head of the FBI’s Newark office. “But this case takes things to a new low. This defendant not only allegedly defrauded the government, he conspired to bilk his fellow citizens of a valuable resource that’s in high demand. His profiteering is akin to receiving blood money.” * World Health Organization officials are cautiously optimistic about initial studies showing certain drug cocktails may lessen COVID-19 symptoms but stressed large-scale research is needed while there remains no cure for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. While preliminary data indicates that some drugs might have an impact on the length or severity of the disease, there is no proven effective therapy or drug against COVID-19.
Johnson & Johnson Says Its Coronavirus Vaccine Could Be Ready Early Next Year
Barrons  |  March 30, 2020
Johnson & Johnson said it could have a COVID-19 vaccine available for emergency use early next year, and it would begin manufacturing the vaccine immediately. Though not a major vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson was among the first companies to announce a COVID-19 vaccine development program back in January. Now, the company said its program has developed a candidate vaccine and two backup candidates. It plans to begin testing the vaccine in humans in September.
Why Is the U.S. Behind on Coronavirus Testing?
Harvard Business Review  |  March 30, 2020
“Testing is the biggest problem that we’re facing,” Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, said recently in a roundtable on COVID-19 at Harvard Medical School. While South Korea had tested about 4,000 people per million of its population at the time, the United States had just run five tests per million — despite the fact that they both reported their first cases at essentially the same time (on Jan. 21 and 20). If testing is so valuable, why wasn’t the United States prepared to deploy tests quickly, even before COVID-19 hit the country?
ALTA Discusses How COVID-19 Pandemic is Impacting the Industry
March 30, 2020
With so much uncertainty and information being shared about the impact of the health crisis, ALTA held a townhall/webinar to discuss several important issues and provide reliable information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsored by SoftPro, the discussion provided information on the federal stimulus packages; remote online notarization; recording jurisdiction closures; essential vs. non-essential businesses; ALTA events; and resources.