Headline News

COVID-19 News Updates for November 12, 2020


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: November 12, 2020 (HERE)

·       Today, the FDA issued a new Consumer Update urging consumers to avoid fraudulent flu products and offering tips on how to spot them. The agency has been and will continue to take action against bad actors, as evidenced by warning letters we’ve sent to companies offering for sale medical products with fraudulent claims to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure COVID-19.

CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment (HERE)

·       The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that starting today, Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). 

Medicaid & Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Managed Care Final Rule – CMS-2408-F (HERE)

·       The announcement of the 2020 Medicaid & CHIP Managed Care final rule highlights the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to reduce administrative burden and cut red tape, support state flexibility, and promote transparency and innovation in the Medicaid and CHIP programs for the growing number of people in Medicaid and CHIP managed care.

FEMA Provides More than $3.6 Million to Loyola University Medical Center (HERE)

·       The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that $3,629,528 has been made available in federal disaster aid to Loyola University Medical Center for emergency protective measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Generates more Than $10 Billion in Construction Activity to Preserve Affordable Housing (HERE)

·       Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a major milestone for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which has now facilitated more than $10 billion in capital investment since the program’s inception to improve or replace 140,000 public housing units – the majority of which house extremely low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Read more about RAD’s $10 billion milestone.

Houston Railroad Company Pays Back Wages And Reinstates Employee Wrongly Denied Paid Leave To Care For Child During Pandemic (HERE)

U.S. Economy Adds 638,000 Jobs as Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.9% (HERE)

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.

VA releases 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (HERE)

·       The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released today the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report which found no significant increases in the Veteran suicide rate from 2017-2018, average suicide deaths per day or total count of Veteran suicides — however, there were positive trends related to VA health care and suicide prevention efforts overall.

VA Releases COVID-19 Response Report (HERE)

·       “As the nation’s largest integrated health care system, VA’s COVID-19 response has been robust and far-reaching. This includes 24 current and 75 completed Fourth Mission assignments involving more than 2,000 VA employees helping to support non-Veteran patients and non-VA health care systems,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

DOD Working with Industry to Ramp Up 5G Network Innovation (HERE)

Recovery Resources

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.

·       Recovery Essentials

·       Business Resiliency

·       Underserved Communities

·       Faith-Based Communities

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, Ranchers, and Rural America

·       Coronavirus Food Assistance Programs (CFAP): On April 17, the President announced the CFAP program, which provided up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to farmers and ranchers across the country impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $13 billion was announced on September 18th to continue to assist farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

·       Federal Rural Resource Guide: USDA developed a Federal Rural Resource Guide, which outlines Federal funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. Find the Resource Guide here.

·       Farmers to Families Food Box Program (FFFB): On April 17, USDA announced that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes. More information here.

·       Emergency Meals to You: USDA announced an innovated public-private partnership to provide 5 million meals a week to the doorsteps of low-income kids in rural communities across America impacted by COVID-19-related school closures – five times its original goal. Meals to You boxes contained 20 nutritious meals – 10 breakfasts and 10 lunches – to cover the meals children would normally receive at school over two school weeks. In total, more than 38 million meals were delivered. More information here.

·       Emergency Supplemental SNAP Benefits: In response to COVID-19, USDA has brought all SNAP households up to the maximum benefit level, totaling more than $2 billion per month. These emergency benefits represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits. USDA also rapidly expanded the online purchasing pilot to allow more SNAP recipients to shop for their groceries online and stay safe. More than 97 percent of all households receiving SNAP now have access to online purchasing across 46 States.

·       Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): USDA worked with states to provide benefits (similar to SNAP or “food stamps”) to children who normally receive free or reduced price school meals through the Pandemic EBT or P-EBT program. P-EBT helps supplement family budgets by replacing the value of those lost school meals. SNAP and Child Nutrition agencies in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have collaborated to design, build, and administer P-EBT programs to distribute billions of dollars in food assistance to eligible children and their families.

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

·       Fact Sheet for PPP Borrowers

·       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.

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:

o   FY 2020 SPRINT Challenge NOFO 

o   SPRINT Challenge Overview 

o   Optional Budget Template 

o   FY 2020 SPRINT Challenge Full Application on Grants.gov

o   SPRINT Challenge Application Checklist 

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.

Donate Blood

·       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 nbeoc@max.gov 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 CampsChild Care ProgramsSchoolsMass TransitRestaurants 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   Washing Hands

o   Wearing Gloves

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   Key Times to Wear a Mask

o   Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019

o   COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs

o   Know Your Risk of Getting COVID-19

o   How to Wear a Mask

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   Stay Safe At Summer Camp

o   Stop the Spread of Germs

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.

o   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.

o   COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations

o   Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Distribution Process

o   8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning

o   How CDC Is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations

o   Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States

o   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.