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COVID-19 News Updates – April 13, 2020


COVID-19 News Updates for April 13, 2020:

30 Days to Slow the Spread

President Trump announced updated guidelines to continue slowing the spread of Coronavirus in America. This 30-day window will be crucial: If every American does his or her part, the latest model suggests we could save 1 million or more U.S. lives. Please click here for more information: 30 Days to Slow the Spread (Español)

If you are a healthcare worker and would like to volunteer to assist in New York City, please find more information here.

White House COVID-19 Updates

·         President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing – 4/13 (VIDEO)

·         Presidential Message on Easter (HERE)

·         President Trump Approves Disaster Declaration for Wyoming

·         Memorandum on Visa Sanctions (HERE)

·         Memorandum on Authorizing the Exercise of Authority under Public Law 85-804 (HERE)

·         Memorandum on Providing COVID-19 Assistance to the Italian Republic (HERE)

·         First Lady Melania Trump’s Message for Children (VIDEO)

·         Daily 1600 – We Are Beating This Virus. Keep Up the Fight! (HERE)


USDA Unveils Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         Perdue today unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Rhode Island (HERE)

·         Secretary Perdue today announced Rhode Island has been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump, which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.

Over 80 Million Americans Will Receive Economic Impact Payments in their Bank Accounts This Week (HERE)

·         Millions of Americans are starting to see Economic Impact Payments deposited directly in their bank accounts. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS expect tens of millions of Americans will receive their payments via direct deposit by Wednesday, April 15. These payments are being automatically issued to eligible 2019 or 2018 federal tax return filers who received a refund using direct deposit. Treasury and the IRS worked with unprecedented speed to get this fast and direct assistance to the American people.

Treasury Announces Payroll Support to Aid Employees of Small Passenger Air Carriers (HERE)

·         After consultation with the Secretary of Transportation and Treasury’s outside financial and legal advisors, Secretary Mnuchin has determined that as a result of benefits to the public—including but not limited to maintaining needed air service, refraining from involuntary furloughs, and limiting share buyback and executive compensation—Treasury will not require passenger air carriers that will receive $100 million of payroll assistance or less to provide financial instruments as appropriate compensation.

Secretary Brouillette Applauds Historic Deal (HERE)

·         “Today, thanks to President Trump’s leadership, Russia and Saudi Arabia have finalized a historic deal, ending a price war that has caused unprecedented uncertainty in global oil markets. I commend the President for his strong leadership and all parties for coming to a consensus that will benefit nations around the globe who are feeling the impacts of this serious market instability.  Under the Trump Administration, America has ushered in a historic era of growth in energy production. While the demand disruption caused by COVID-19 and the price war have greatly harmed the industry, I am confident it will soon bounce back stronger than ever before.”

Guidance for Application of the Human Subjects Protection Regulations to Actions Taken in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         The HHS Office for Human Research Protections issued guidance on COVID-19 for investigators, institutional review boards, and institutions conducting human subjects research during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump Administration Announces Expanded Coverage for Essential Diagnostic Services Amid COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (HERE)

·         CMS together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, issued guidance today to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost.

o   CMS News Alert – April 13 (HERE)

A Perspective on the FDA’s COVID-19 Response (HERE)

·         “The FDA is integral in the fight against the coronavirus, using science and innovative approaches to take a broad range of actions that advance our nation’s response. As we proactively partner in new ways with our sister agencies and external partners, we are becoming more nimble, while maintaining our unwavering commitment to protecting the health of the American people.”

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization to Decontaminate Millions of N95 Respirators (HERE)

·         The FDA issued an emergency use authorization that has the potential to decontaminate approximately 4 million N95 or N95-equivalent respirators per day in the U.S. for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings.

o   FDA Daily Round Up – April 13 (HERE)

NIH Begins Study to Quantify Undetected Cases of Coronavirus Infection (HERE)

·         A new study has begun recruiting at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to determine how many adults in the United States without a confirmed history of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have antibodies to the virus.

Local, State and Federal Partners Provide Food Assistance During COVID-19 Response (HERE)

·         With nonessential businesses ordered to close, followed by rounds of layoffs and furloughs, the previously employed are now swelling the ranks of those requiring food assistance. To meet this need, local, state and federal entities are pitching in to help both directly and by assisting area food banks.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Purchase and Distribution of Food Eligible for Public Assistance (HERE)

·         Under the President’s March 13, 2020, COVID-19 emergency declaration and subsequent major disaster declarations for COVID-19, state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities and certain private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for assistance under the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program. This policy is applicable to eligible PA applicants only and is exclusive to emergency and major disaster declarations for the COVID- 19 pandemic.

HUD Gives Housing Authorities and Tribes Additional Flexibility to Focus on Tenants During Pandemic (HERE)

·         HUD today is granting Public Housing Authorities, Indian Tribes, and Tribally Designated Housing Entities waiver authorities and ultimate flexibilities so agency staff can focus on assisting their tenants and properties during the COVID-19 pandemic. HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing provides housing assistance to approximately 3.5 million families across the country.

HUD Awards $16 Million to Public Housing Authorities to Help Tenants Relocate (HERE)

·         Today, HUD awarded $16 million to Public Housing Authorities to provide tenant protection vouchers to Public Housing (Low-Rent) Program assisted residents. These vouchers will help households with relocation or replacement housing when their Public Housing units are slated under a HUD-approved plan for demolition and disposition actions or mandatory conversion.

Florida and Idaho Added to Innovative SNAP Online Pilot Program (HERE)

·         Secretary Perdue today announced approval for Florida and Idaho’s request to provide online purchasing of food to SNAP Households in the States of Florida and Idaho. This approval will allow the States to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date later this month.

DOL Issues Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19 (HERE)

·         DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

DOL Publishes Latest Guidance Regarding Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (HERE)

·         DOL’s Employment and Training Administration today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 17-20, which provides further guidance to states as they implement the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, including the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

DOL Issues Alert to Keep Package Delivery Workers Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect package delivery workers from exposure to coronavirus.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham Statement on 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. Over 70 million households have responded to date, representing over 48% of all households in America. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees, implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities, ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

VA Virtual Mental Health Care Use on the Rise Amid COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues, daily, to deliver quality and timely mental health care to Veterans, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made traveling to VA facilities complex.

U.S. Trustee Program Acts Quickly to Protect Public Health and Ensure Effective Functioning of the Bankruptcy System During Covid-19 Emergency (HERE)

·         In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has taken a number of steps to protect the health of the public and those involved in bankruptcy proceedings while ensuring that the bankruptcy system remains functional during the current public health emergency.

For the most up-to-date information, please see the CDC’s website: www.coronavirus.gov.