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COVID-19 News Updates – March 26, 2020

Coronavirus news updates for March 26, 2020:

HHS Implements President Trump’s Hoarding Prevention Executive Order (HERE)

·       Today, under President Trump’s Executive Order to prevent hoarding of health and medical resources necessary to respond to the spread of COVID-19, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced a list of certain health and medical resources that are subject to hoarding prevention measures.

Secretary Azar Statement on Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (HERE)

·       “President Trump has always made the health, well-being, and independence of older Americans a top priority. The President’s signing the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act could not be more timely, as the Trump Administration and all of America mobilizes to protect older adults from the threat of COVID-19.”

New Guidance Regarding Enhanced Medicaid Funding for States – Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Frequently Asked Questions (HERE)

·       CMS released a set of Frequently Asked questions regarding the implementation of provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that provide states with enhanced federal Medicaid funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the release of implementation guidance.

Temporary Policy for Manufacture of Alcohol for Incorporation Into Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products (HERE)

·       In response to the demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers and their active ingredient, alcohol, certain entities that are not currently regulated by the FDA as drug manufacturers have requested guidance on the preparation and distribution of alcohol for incorporation into hand sanitizer products for the public’s use.

FDA: Emergency Use Authorization for Ventilators, Anesthesia Gas Machines, and Positive Pressure Breathing Devices (HERE)

·       The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for ventilators, anesthesia gas machines modified for use as ventilators, and positive pressure breathing devices modified for use as ventilators (collectively referred to as "ventilators"), ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories. Manufacturers and other stakeholders may submit a request to FDA under the process outlined in the EUA to have their device(s) added to the EUA. If you have questions, please email [email protected].

DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline (HERE)

·       “Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline.”

FEMA Assistance for Tribal Governments (HERE)

·       This fact sheet provides additional information about the assistance FEMA can provide to tribal governments as either Recipients or Subrecipients during the nationwide COVID-19 emergency.

USDA Feeds Kids, Helps Families During COVID-19 Emergency (HERE)

·       The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to be as flexible as possible to get food out to the people who need it during the COVID-19 National Emergency.

USDA Makes it Easier to Feed Kids and Those Who Need Food During the COVID-19 National Emergency (HERE)

·       Secretary Perdue announced additional flexibilities to make it easier for children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities to get food during the COVID-19 national emergency and remove administrative roadblocks for the dedicated local staff who serve them.

Readout of Vice President Pence and Secretary DeVos’ Conference Call with Education Stakeholders (HERE)

·       Vice President of the United States Mike Pence and Secretary Betsy DeVos held a conference call with leaders of several national K-12 education organizations to answer their questions and to provide an update on what the Department of Education has done so far to support students, parents, and educators during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Statement by Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on Unemployment Insurance Claims (HERE)

·       “This large increase in unemployment claims was not unexpected, and results from the recognition by Americans across the country that we have had to temporarily halt certain activities in order to defeat the coronavirus.”

DOL Announces Additional Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HERE)

·       Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

COVID-19 Energy Sector Response Efforts and Frequently Asked Questions (HERE)

·       These FAQs are a product of collaborative efforts to gather current information. DOE appreciates everyone’s patience during this dynamic event and encourages everyone to share information. Send any updates, concerns or questions to [email protected]. These FAQs will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

EPA Continues Efforts to Help Increase the Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use Against the Novel Coronavirus (HERE)

·       Today, the EPA took steps to provide additional flexibilities to manufacturers of disinfectants and other pesticides. EPA intends for these flexibilities to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel coronavirus.

EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·       The EPA is mindful of the health and safety of the public, as well as our staff, and those of Federal Agencies, State and Local Governments, Tribes, Regulated Entities, Contractors, and Non-governmental Organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency is taking these important considerations into account as we all continue our work to protect human health and the environment.

EXIM Board Takes United Action in Response to COVID-19 to Support U.S. Exporters and Jobs with Unprecedented Financing Flexibility (HERE)

·       To bolster American businesses and workers and their families in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) board of directors today underscored its strong support for new initiatives to inject liquidity into the market and give maximum financing flexibility to facilitate sales of U.S. goods and services abroad.

Navy Reserve's Medical Professionals Report to USNS Mercy (HERE)

·       Nearly 60 Navy Reserve medical professionals reported to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy this week to support the ship's upcoming medical relief mission.

DOD Establishes Task Force to Meet U.S. Medical Equipment Needs (HERE)

·       DOD has established a joint task force to deal with daily requests the department is receiving for medical and personal protective equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, and others.

200 New Doctors, Advanced-Practice Nurses to Join Military Medical Ranks Early (HERE)

·       More than 200 military medical students and graduate nursing students from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, known as USU, will be graduating early to support their colleagues in the U.S. military health system amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Operation Steady Resolve Aids Ohioans During Coronavirus Pandemic (HERE)

·       A joint military task force is working to help their fellow Ohioans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect their state.

Top Navy, Marine Corps Officials Provide COVID-19 Update (HERE)

·       The Navy and Marine Corps are taking actions across the force to prevent the spread of COVID-19, containing outbreaks and recovering the force as quickly as possible, acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly said.

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