WASHINGTON — Congress worked urgently Thursday to fashion a $1 trillion measure to prop up households and the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus outbreak, starting with a White House proposal to send Americans first-round aid checks — potentially $3,000 for a family of four.

The fast-track effort in an all but shuttered Capitol came as the first two lawmakers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, others are self-isolating and the usually tradition-bound Congress faced calls to ease rules and allow remote voting.

“The American people need help and they need it fast,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he opened the Senate.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the checks would be direct deposited into people’s accounts under the plan the Trump administration has proposed to Congress.

The payments would be $1,000 per adult and $500 per child so that a family of two parents and two children would receive $3,000, Mnuchin told Fox Business Network. The goal is to get that money out in three weeks, he said.

“That’s a lot of money for hard-working Americans,” Mnuchin said.

Keeping paychecks flowing for idled workers as jobless claims skyrocket is a key element of both the Republican and Democratic plans emerging from Congress.

At the same time, caring for the expected surge of sick Americans is a priority. Congress wants to ramp up production of medical supplies and rapidly erecting temporary field hospitals under new authorities President Donald Trump invoked in the Defense Production Act.

“America needs a Marshall Plan for our health care system, ” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, citing the post-World War II program in which the U.S. financed rebuilding in Europe.

McConnell tapped the Senate’s Republican chairmen to roll out their proposals, expected as soon as Thursday.

Republicans want to have small businesses send paychecks to workers being forced to stay home –though government loans that would not have to be repaid — to prevent employees being cast aside. They also want to shore up airlines and other industries, but those loans would have to be paid back.