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COVID-19 News Updates – March 31, 2020


COVID-19 News Updates for March 31, 2020

IRS: Economic Impact Payments: What You Need To Know (HERE)

·         The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Treasury Delays Tax and Reporting Due Dates for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Ammunition Businesses Hit by COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The Treasury Department is delaying tax payment due dates for wine, beer, distilled spirits, tobacco products, firearms, and ammunition excise taxes, to provide flexibility for businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Secretary Azar Statement on FDA Authorization of Mask Sterilization Procedure (HERE)

·         On Sunday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a revised Emergency Use Authorization to allow the large-scale use of a system created by Battelle Memorial Institute to decontaminate used N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Optimizing Ventilator Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         HHS and FEMA are working with multiple partners that include healthcare systems, academic institutions, professional medical societies, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine to develop crisis standards of care strategies for ventilator support when resources are limited.

FDA Continues to Accelerate Development of Novel Therapies for COVID-19 (HERE)

·         As part of the Trump Administration’s all-hands-on-deck approach across public, academic and private sectors to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stood up a new program to expedite the development of potentially safe and effective life-saving treatments.

FEMA: Non-Congregate Sheltering FAQs (HERE)

·         This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about non-congregate sheltering during the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration of a Public Health Emergency for COVID-19.

FEMA: Emergency Medical Care Fact Sheet (HERE)

·         This fact sheet provides additional guidance related to the eligibility of emergency medical care activities as an emergency protective measure under the Emergency Declaration and any Major Disaster Declaration authorizing Public Assistance for COVID-19.

Readout of the U.S. Department of Education’s COVID-19 Conference Call with Higher Education Stakeholders (HERE)

·         Secretary DeVos, along with several senior Department officials, held a conference call today with higher education leaders to provide an update on the Trump Administration’s whole-of-government response to the coronavirus national emergency.

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Show Cause Order (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Transportation today issued a show cause order proposing parameters for initially implementing the authority granted to the Secretary of Transportation by Sections 4005 and 4114 of the CARES Act

EPA Takes Action to Assure Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use Against the Novel Coronavirus (HERE)

·         EPA will temporarily allow manufacturers of certain already-registered EPA disinfectants to obtain certain active ingredients from any source of suppliers without checking with the agency first.

State: The U.S. Role in International Organizations’ Response to COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The United States is by far the most generous and reliable contributor to crisis response and humanitarian action through the United Nations and dozens of international organizations. U.S. assistance, monetary and in-kind contributions, expertise and technology, are indispensable to the effort to combat COVID-19.

Corps of Engineers Teams Evaluate Sites as Possible Alternate Care Facilities (HERE)

·         At the request of FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers teams are evaluating facilities for possible conversion into alternate care facilities as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joint Staff Ops Official Breaks Down DOD Aid to Fight Coronavirus (HERE)

·         DOD is going all out to support civilian agencies confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the vice director of operations for the Joint Staff said.

VA Expands Virtual Services to Support Veterans amid Regional Office Closures Due to Covid-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         Veterans continue to receive benefits and services after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Benefits Administration temporarily closed its 56 regional offices to the public, March 19, in response to COVID-19. Many in-person services are already available via the phone or online through virtual options like VA Video Connect. VBA has and continues to adjust to ensure the safety and well-being of its clients and staff.

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