COVID-19 News Updates for October 26, 2020
States Begin Detailing Specific Use of 150 Million BinaxNOW COVID-19 Tests Distributed by Trump Administration (HERE)
- “To protect seniors and to facilitate the continued re-opening of schools, businesses and the economy, the Trump Administration prioritized scaling-up our state and national point of care testing capacity,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, MD. “Through strategic deployment of rapid tests to higher-risk individuals, accompanied by Federal surge- testing of individuals where there are outbreaks – as was the case this summer in multiple Sunbelt states – our national plan to provide the right test, at the right time, to the right person is working.”
Associated Hospitalizations among Health Care Personnel — COVID-NET, 13 States (HERE)
- Analysis of COVID-19 hospitalization data from 13 sites indicated that 6% of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 were HCP. Among HCP hospitalized with COVID-19, 36% were in nursing-related occupations, and 73% had obesity. Approximately 28% of these patients were admitted to an intensive care unit, 16% required invasive mechanical ventilation, and 4% died.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup October 26, 2020 (HERE)
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continued to take action in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts to Help American Workers and Employers During the Coronavirus Pandemic (HERE)
- Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.
More than $7 Billion Paid in Second Round of USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (HERE)
- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that in the first month of the application period, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $7 billion in payments to producers in the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. CFAP 2 provides agricultural producers with financial assistance to help absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDA Announces Early Release of Select Commodity Tables for USDA’s Agricultural Projections to 2030 (HERE)
- On November 6, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release select tables prepared for the upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2030 report. USDA will post online tables containing long-term supply, use, and price projections to 2030 for major U.S. crops and livestock products, as well as supporting U.S. and international macroeconomic assumptions.
Trump Administration Invests $2.3 Million in High-Speed Broadband in Rural North Carolina (HERE)
- The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $2.3 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in North Carolina. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
Federal Health Insurance Exchange 2021 Open Enrollment (HERE)
- The Federal Health Insurance Exchange (also known as the Marketplace) Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020, for coverage starting on January 1, 2021.
Preview 2021 Plans and Prices on HealthCare.gov Ahead of the Upcoming Federal Health Insurance Exchange Open Enrollment Period (HERE)
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that starting today consumers can preview 2021 healthcare plans and prices on HealthCare.gov. This is an opportunity for consumers to compare coverage options ahead of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange, which officially kicks-off on November 1.
HUD Announces $10 Million in “Sweat Equity” Grants (HERE)
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $10 million in “sweat equity” grants to four non-profit self-help housing organizations which will create at least 536 affordable homes for hard-working, low-income families and individuals.
Renters May Apply for Federal Assistance (HERE)
- The FEMA Individuals and Housing Program is available to all eligible renters and homeowners in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma counties, which are covered in the Oct. 16, 2020, federal disaster declaration.
Treasury Sanctions Key Actors in Iran’s Oil Sector for Supporting Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (HERE)
- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, a counterterrorism authority, for their financial support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), an entity designated under E.O. 13224
Treasury Prohibits Cuban Military from Processing Remittance-Related Transactions (HERE)
- Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to remove Cuba’s military-run entities from the remittance process. Specifically, OFAC is amending the CACR to remove from the scope of certain remittance-related general authorizations any transactions relating to the collection, forwarding, or receipt of remittances involving entities or subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List (CRL).
IRS Reminds Businesses to E-File Payroll Tax Returns (HERE)
- The next quarterly payroll tax return due date is October 31, and the Internal Revenue Service urges business owners to use the speed and convenience of filing the returns electronically.
Income Ranges for Determining IRA Eligibility Change for 2021 (HERE)
- The Internal Revenue Service announced cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2021 in Notice 2020-79 PDF, posted today on IRS.gov.
Secretary Ross Highlights Business Strength and American Optimism in Florida (HERE)
- U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Friday and toured a local business that has successfully overcome many challenges of doing business in the wake of COVID-19. City Furniture continued to work through the economic downturn cause by the pandemic and because am example of a successful business that contributed to September’s strong retail sales in both Florida and across the country.
U.S. Department of Commerce Continues to Invest Cares Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Communities Respond to Coronavirus (HERE)
· EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.
Military to Play Logistics-Only Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Effort (HERE)
- U.S. military personnel won’t be administering any COVID-19 vaccines to the American people once the vaccines are approved for use. But the U.S. military will lend it’s experienced hand in logistics to ensure the vaccine is available across the nation, said Paul Mango, the deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services.
DOD and HHS Award $33 Million Contract to Tecan to Establish Domestic Production Capacity of Disposable Pipette Tips (HERE)
- On October 26, 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded Tecan a $33 million contract to establish U.S. based industrial production capacity of disposable pipette tips for COVID-19 testing.
Naval Hospital Harnesses Power of Sun to Increase COVID-19 Protection (HERE)
- The Bremerton, Washington-based military treatment facility recently acquired an ultraviolet light-emitting robot, specifically designed to eradicate infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and is finalizing the last stages of staff training before implementation.
Recovery Hub: Explore available SBA assistance and funding programs, Coronavirus relief, and other financing options and tools to keep your business going.More information can be found here and below.
Economic Response Timeline: The U.S. Department of the Treasury is leading the response to COVID-19 by providing fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses and preserving jobs for American industries.More information can be found here.
Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2: President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on September 17 that USDA will implement an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, CFAP 2, will provide producers with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CFAP 2 follows the first round of CFAP, which had an application period of May 26 through September 11. You can learn more about USDA’s initial Coronavirus Food Assistance Program by visiting farmers.gov/cfap1.
- Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020.
- Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply.
- For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.
- In addition to CFAP 2, USDA has other programs and services available to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Assistance for Small Businesses
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. The Paycheck Protection Program is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead. On June 6, 2020, President Trump signed legislation providing more flexibility and relief for small businesses, including extending the covered period for loan forgiveness from 8 weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks and lowering the requirements that 75% of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs to 60%. More information can be found below:
- Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information
- Loan Details and Forgiveness
- Who Can Apply
- Lender Forms and Guidance
- Summary of Cumulative Paycheck Protection Program Data Interim Final Rule – Treatment of Owners and Forgiveness of Certain Nonpayroll Costs
- Other Assistance
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Frequently Asked Questions For Loan Forgiveness
- Summary of PPP lending as of 8/8/20
- Paycheck Protection Forgiveness Platform
- Lender Hotline: +1 (833) 572-0502
Current law dictates that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) close at the end of August 8, 2020. As such, SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Advance Program: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.
- Frequently Asked Questions for Faith-Based Organizations Participating in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- Apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and loan advance
SBA Express Bridge Loans: Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
SBA Debt Relief: As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. More information can be found below:
Assistance for American Workers and Families
American Workforce Policy Advisory Board – Call to Action: The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board has released a call-to-action to help the millions of workers who need assistance now, and build the resilient and agile workforce of the future powered by skilled American workers. Specific actions:
- Expedite American workers’ return to employment and upward mobility by investing in career pathways and implementing skills-based hiring practices.
- Remove obstacles to the modernization of American education and training to accelerate reskilling and facilitate innovation in workforce development.
- Build the technological infrastructure necessary for the future of work.
Find Something New: FindSomethingNew.orgcan help workers of all ages and backgrounds identify the right path for their career goals by recommending multiple educational pathways, providing aptitude testing, offering a directory of critical resources for child care, food assistance, internet access and more. Educational pathways featured include online learning, professional certification programs, associate’s degrees, and vocational, technical and trades education.
Economic Impact Payments: The CARES Act provides for Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 ( or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old – or up to $3,400 for a family of four. More information can be found here.
Preserving Jobs for American Industry: The CARES Act offers meaningful financial support to American businesses and job creators so they can better support employees and be prepared to get back to business as soon as possible. More information can be found here.
Supporting Child Care: The CARES Act provided an additional $3.5 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant to support families with child care options during this public health crisis. Additional information and State-level information can be found here.
Dislocated Worker Grants: The U.S. Department of Labor is providing Dislocated Worker Grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. State-by-State data and additional details can be found here.
Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions: On August 8th, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order to ensure Americans facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus do not face eviction or foreclosure.
- Assistance for Homeowners
- Assistance for Renters
- Frequently Asked Questions: HHS/CDC Temporary Halt In Residential Evictions To Prevent The Further Spread Of Covid-19
- CDC Notice: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19
- CDC Declaration: Halt Evictions to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19
- FHA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium for Homeowners Through Year End
- Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners
- President Donald J. Trump is Working to Stop Evictions and Protect Americans Homes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- WATCH: President Trump’s Executive Order Protects from Eviction
School and Child Care Programs: The CDC and U.S. Department of Education continue to provide resources and tools for school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians, and caregivers as schools open this fall.
- The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall
- School Decision-Making Tool for Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians
- Operating schools during COVID-19: CDC’s Considerations
- Cleaning, Disinfection, and Hand Hygiene in Schools – a Toolkit for School Administrators
- Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020
- Guidance for K-12 School Administrators on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Schools
- Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19: Limitations and Considerations
- Interim Considerations for K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing
- Strategies for Protecting K-12 School Staff from COVID-19
- Back to School Planning: Checklists to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers
- FAQ for School Administrators on Reopening Schools
- CARES Act Emergency Relief
- Remote Learning: Resources for Educators, Administrators and Related Service Providers
- Resources for Learning at Home
- Program Information: FAQs and Responses
- Waivers and Flexibility
Assistance for Communities
CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA)is awarding CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. These grants are being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit the recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.
SPRINT Challenge: The Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge will enable organizations across the country to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.
- The SPRINT Challenge is a $25 million national competition funded by the CARES Act.
- With the publication of the SPRINT Challenge Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), EDA seeks projects that aim to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic and future pandemics. The deadline to apply for the Challenge is December 3, 2020.
- Applicant Resources:
Opportunity Zones: Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on December 22, 2017, to stimulate economic development and job creation, by incentivizing long- term investments in low-income neighborhoods. During the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump directed the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to focus on underserved communities impacted by the virus. For more information, visit opportunityzones.gov.
- Opportunity Zones Best Practices
- Opportunity Zones Toolkit Volume 1
- Opportunity Zones Toolkit Volume 2
- Fact Sheet: President Donald J. Trump Is Lifting Up and Driving New Prosperity in Previously Forgotten American Communities
How to Help
Donate COVID-19 Plasma
- If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. Learn more here.
- To find where you can donate source plasma, visit donatingplasma.org.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. Blood is needed every day to provide lifesaving treatments to a variety of patients. You can help ensure that blood continues to be available for patients by finding a blood donor center near you to schedule your donation. Learn more here.
- To find where you can donate blood, visit aabb.org.
Donate Supplies and Equipment
- If you represent a business that would like to donate medical supplies, equipment or pharmaceuticals, please provide details on what you would like to give. This form is for donations only.
Sell Supplies and Equipment
- If you are interested in doing business with FEMA with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov.
- The federal government is purchasing medical supplies or equipment under the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Request for information (RFI). Visit the DLA website for more information.
Developing Medical Countermeasures
- If you would like to meet with a federal agency regarding a vaccine, diagnostic, therapeutic or other medical device that you are developing for SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, please go to medicalcountermeasures.gov.
Other Forms of Help
- If you or someone you know represent a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.
- If you represent a private sector business and wish to learn more about getting involved in a way that is not listed here, please e-mail email@example.com or visit our National Business Emergency Operations Center page.
For additional information, please visit FEMA’s website: www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
- Testing Overview (HERE)
- Testing Blueprint (HERE)
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)
- CDC guidance for Camps, Child Care Programs, Schools, Mass Transit, Restaurants And Bars, and Workplaces
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again (HERE)
- 🎬 WATCH: CDC Videos:
o Practicing Social Distancing
o Cleaning and Sanitizing Toys and Child Care Programs
o Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Homes
o Staying Safe at Aquatic Venues
o Considerations for Bars and Restaurants
o Wear a Mask to Protect You and Your Friends
o Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019
o COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs
o Know Your Risk of Getting COVID-19
o The Difference Between Quarantine and Isolation
o Maintaining Heart Health in COVID-19
o Emergency Care for Heart Disease in COVID-19
o How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home if Someone has COVID-19
o Shopping for Food and Other Household Essentials
o I Think or Know I had COVID-19, and I had Symptoms. When Can I Be With Others?
o Spending Time with Friends and Family Who Need to Take Extra Precautions
o Visiting Friends and Family with Certain Medical Conditions
o Stay Safe at the Pool and Beach
o Considerations for Bars and Restaurants During COVID-19
o How Did COVID-19 Get its Name?
o Know How to Wear Your Face Mask Correctly
Operation Warp Speed
- The President is using all available means to ensure safe vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time and scale in response to COVID-19.
- Earlier this year, President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking partnership between the Federal Government, scientific community, and private sector to develop and deliver vaccines in record time.
- Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021.
- The Administration has made large investments in multiple vaccine candidates to provide financial infrastructure for mass manufacturing, in parallel with late-stage clinical trials.
- Operation Warp Speed has invested in more than five vaccines and teamed up with multiple pharmaceutical companies to safely produce as many effective vaccines as possible.
- A number of vaccine candidates have shown promising early clinical results and are either in or starting Phase 3 clinical trials.
- Clinical resources on vaccines, including continuing education training on best practices can be found here.
- The Operation Warp Speed Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine can be found here.
- COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations
- Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Distribution Process
- 8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning
- How CDC Is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations
- Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
- More information on Operation Warp Speed can be found here.
For the most up-to-date information, please see the CDC’s website: www.coronavirus.gov.