News updates on COVID-19 for March 25, 2020:
HHS Announces Grants to Provide Meals for Older Adults (HERE)
· Today, HHS is announcing $250 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living to help communities provide meals for older adults. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020, provided the additional funding for the nutrition services programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965.
OCR Issues Guidance to Help Ensure First Responders and Others Receive Protected Health Information about Individuals Exposed to COVID-19 (HERE)
· The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance on how covered entities may disclose protected health information about an individual who has been infected with or exposed to COVID-19 to law enforcement, paramedics, other first responders, and public health authorities in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule.
Secretary DeVos Directs FSA to Stop Wage Garnishment, Collections Actions for Student Loan Borrowers, Will Refund More Than $1.8 Billion to Students, Families (HERE)
· Secretary DeVos announced today that, due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the Department will halt collection actions and wage garnishments to provide additional assistance to borrowers. This flexibility will last for a period of at least 60 days from March 13, 2020.
USDA Warns of Scams Targeting SNAP Recipients (HERE)
· Be on the lookout for potential scammers using the COVID-19 situation to steal personal information, the USDA warned Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants today. USDA is issuing this warning after receiving reports of several possible SNAP fraud attempts.
USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19 (HERE)
· USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.
DHS Initiating Crucial Research to Mitigate COVID-19 (HERE)
· DHS Science and Technology Directorate is conducting ongoing research that will help scientists better understand the coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19, and methods to prevent its spread. In the Trump Administration’s whole of government effort, this work is being done at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center laboratory in cooperation with the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.
Nearly 10,000 Guardsmen Called Up for COVID-19 Response (HERE)
· Nearly 10,000 National Guardsmen called up across the United States, with more expected soon, are performing a variety of missions in response to COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
Efforts Underway to Increase Sterilization Capacity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)
· The EPA is providing an update on efforts underway with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to safely and quickly increase production at sterilization facilities in the cities of Covington and Madison in response to the dramatically increased need for sterile medical equipment during the COVID-19 response.
For the most up-to-date information, please see the CDC’s website: www.coronavirus.gov.