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COVID-19 News Updates - May 13, 2020

COVID-19 News Updates for May 13, 2020:

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. Please click here for more information: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

·         Testing Overview (HERE)

·         Testing Blueprint (HERE)

·         Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)


White House COVID-19 Updates

  • President Trump Meets with the Governor of Colorado and the Governor of North Dakota (REMARKS, VIDEO)
  • President Donald J. Trump Is Committed to Providing Support to Underserved Communities Impacted By the Coronavirus Pandemic (HERE)
  • Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate (HERE)
  • President Trump: America's Testing Capacity Is Unmatched and Unrivaled (VIDEO)
  • Readout from the Vice President’s Discussion with Higher Education Leaders (HERE)
  • Sec. Azar: A Coronavirus Vaccine Is Coming Soon Thanks to Operation Warp Speed (VIDEO)
  • Sec. Azar: President Trump Is Breaking Records to Develop A Coronavirus Vaccine (VIDEO)
  • Daily 1600: What a Safe Reopening Looks Like (HERE)
  • West Wing Reads: The Era of Offshoring U.S. Jobs Is Over (HERE)


Update on Treasury Implementation of the Payroll Support Program for the Aviation Industry (HERE)

  • Since announcing the Payroll Support Program, Treasury has approved over $25 billion in assistance to 352 applicants, supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Approved applicants include all of the major passenger air carriers, more than 260 smaller passenger air carriers, and a significant number of cargo air carriers and contractors.


Secretary Ben Carson Works Alongside Veterans Group to Support “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” in Philadelphia (HERE)

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today highlighted the Department’s “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign at a veterans’ community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As communities battle the coronavirus, Secretary Carson is meeting with business leaders, nonprofits, and community leaders to contribute to their response efforts.


HUD Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) COVID-19 FAQs for Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (HERE)

  • The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been designed to assist Tribes and TDHEs while they navigate the impact of COVID-19 on their day-to-day functions.


ICYMI | HUD Secretary Ben Carson Discusses Actions Taken to Safeguard the American Renter and Homeowner against Impacts of Coronavirus on ‘Good Morning RE/MAX with Nick Bailey’ (VIDEO)

  • “We have incredible people in the building industry, incredible ideas coming out, ways to utilize holistic programs so that we build communities that are helpful to people in terms of their general development. Those are the kinds of things we have to start thinking about because this will pass.” – Secretary Ben Carson


ICYMI | HUD Secretary Ben Carson Joins ‘The Ingraham Angle’ to Emphasize the Need for a Smart and Strategic Reopening of the Economy (VIDEO)

  • “And obviously one size does not fit all. That is so important. And, you know, this is the land of the free – maybe sometimes people forget that – but there is a reason that we rose from nowhere to the pinnacle of the world at record time because we had people that are free to use their gifts, their innovation, their entrepreneurship.” – Secretary Ben Carson


FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans (HERE)

  • Today, to help homeowners who are in COVID-19 related forbearance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option.


Speech by Chair Powell on Current Economic Issues (HERE)

  • “The overall policy response to date has provided a measure of relief and stability, and will provide some support to the recovery when it comes.” - Chair Jerome H. Powell


Chairman Reed Discusses EXIM’s COVID-19 Response with 30 EXIM Delegated Authority Lenders (HERE)

  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed today concluded a series of teleconference listening sessions with 30 of EXIM’s delegated authority lenders, discussing EXIM’s temporary relief measures and other efforts to protect both exporters and the taxpayer during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Decontaminating N-95 Respirators for Reuse in Houston (VIDEO)

  • The decontamination of N-95 respirators helps keep critical supplies available for workers battling COVID-19. Houston has received and set up a Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System and has begun decontaminating respirators for reuse for the city and state.


USDA Invests $22.5 Million in High-Speed Broadband for Rural Michigan (HERE)

  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced during a virtual press conference that USDA is investing $22.5 million for two recipients in Michigan to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas. These investments are part of USDA’s round one investments made through the ReConnect Pilot Program.


DHS Offers Flexibilities to Increase Food Security, Stabilize U.S. Supply Chain during COVID-19 (HERE)

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2B requirements to help support the U.S. food supply chain, maintain essential infrastructure operations and reduce the impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.


What Workers and Employers Can Do to Manage Workplace Fatigue during COVID-19 (HERE)

  • The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has touched all aspects of society including how we work. Emergency respondershealth care workers, and others providing essential services to the community have been especially stretched thin, working longer hours than usual, working more shifts or even over-night, and leaving less time to sleep and recharge.


Employees: How to Cope with Job Stress and Build Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

  • Whether you are going into work or working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably changed the way you work. Fear and anxiety about this new disease and other strong emotions can be overwhelming, and workplace stress can lead to burnout. How you cope with these emotions and stress can affect your well-being, the well-being of the people you care about, your workplace, and your community. During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and manage job stress, and know where to go if you need help.


A Different Kind of Outbreak (HERE)

  • Dr. Vikram Krishnasamy, a CDC medical officer, has been in the field twice—first to help repatriate Americans returning from Hubei Province, China, where the pandemic began; and again to support the tribal government of the Navajo Nation, which sprawls across three Southwestern states.


Responder Stories (HERE)

  • CDC has thousands of responders supporting the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about their unique stories.


Considerations for Memory Care Units in Long-term Care Facilities (HERE)

  • The first step in caring for people living with dementia in any setting is to understand that changes in behavior (e.g., increased agitation, confusion, sudden sadness) or worsening symptoms of dementia should be evaluated because they can be an indication of worsening stress and anxiety as well as COVID-19 or other infections.


Manufacturing Workers and Employers (HERE)

  • Manufacturing facilities are an integral part of the United States’ supply chain. Some facilities are part of the critical manufacturing sector identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. CDC’s Critical Infrastructure Guidance advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), provided they remain asymptomatic, have not had a positive test result for COVID-19, and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Facilities that are not part of the critical manufacturing sector should follow the CDC Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure following a workers’ potential exposure to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country (HERE)

  • The CDC has posted a map with country-specific travel health information about COVID-19.


What to do if Your Pet Tests Positive for the Virus that Causes COVID-19 (HERE)

  • We are still learning about how the virus that causes COVID-19 can affect animals. A small number of pets (cats and dogs) have been confirmed to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with a person with COVID-19. Some pets did not show any signs of illness, but those pets that did get sick all had mild disease that could be taken care of at home. None of the pets have died. Tests for COVID-19 in animals are available for most types of pets, but testing is only recommended for animals with COVID-19 symptoms and that have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.


CMS Issues Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit to Combat COVID-19 (HERE)

  • Today, under the direction of President Trump, CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. 
    • CMS News Alert - May 13, 2020 (HERE)


FDA COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit (HERE)

  • FDA created information graphics to share on social media to assist with spreading information about COVID-19.
    • FDA Daily Roundup - May 13, 2020 (HERE)


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Alternate Care Site (ACS) “Warm Sites” (HERE)

  • To address immediate and projected needs from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments may, under certain conditions, be reimbursed through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program for costs associated with keeping Alternate Care Sites (ACS), including temporary and expanded medical facilities, minimally operational when COVID- 19 cases diminish and the facilities are no longer in use.


Exercise Starter Kit for Workshop on Reconstituting Operations (HERE)

  • FEMA has developed an Exercise Starter Kit with sample documents your organization can use to conduct your own planning workshop to navigate the complexities of returning to full operations during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Exercise Starter Kit includes a sample facilitator guide and conduct slides that are designed to be adapted and customized for your own needs.


HHS Awards $15 Million to Support Telehealth Providers during the COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

  • Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $15 million to 159 organizations across five health workforce programs to increase telehealth capabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards demonstrate the Trump Administration’s continued efforts and commitment to building a national telehealth infrastructure.


AHRQ’s COVID-19 Resources Provide Critical Support for Healthcare Professionals (HERE)

  • The AHRQ COVID-19 Resources webpage is an online repository that provides digital access to a broad range of AHRQ-supported resources – from tools to support practice improvement, to relevant data analyses, to new COVID-19-related research findings from AHRQ grantees.


Media Statement from Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Director; Dr. Steve Hahn, FDA Commissioner; and Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director (HERE)

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have together determined that government entities working in support of the COVID-19 response efforts are providing essential services and the current guidelines for critical infrastructure workers apply. Therefore, providing that they are asymptomatic, screened, and monitored for fever and other symptoms, wear a face covering, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, Drs. Redfield, Hahn, and Fauci can and will participate in meetings on the White House complex when their attendance is needed.


USCIS Publishes Interim Final Rule Implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018 (HERE)

  • On May 14, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will publish an interim final rule (IFR) implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, which protects U.S. workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and ensures that U.S. workers will not be displaced or encounter a competitive disadvantage for employment compared to non-U.S. workers.


Questions and Answers for Postsecondary Institutions Regarding the COVID-19 National Emergency (HERE)

  • In response to inquiries received by the Department, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issues the following technical assistance document to assist postsecondary institutions with meeting their obligations under Federal civil rights laws during this difficult and unprecedented time. OCR will continue to update this document as needed throughout the crisis.


Engineer Charged in Texas with COVID-Relief Fraud (HERE)

  • An engineer has been charged in the Eastern District of Texas with allegedly filing bank loan applications fraudulently seeking more than $10 million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.


Reality TV Personality Charged with Bank Fraud (HERE)

  • A reality TV personality who stars in Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, has been arrested on federal bank fraud charges arising from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that he obtained in the name of Flame Trucking.


ICE HSI Promotes Online Safety for Kids through Virtual Presentations (HERE)

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Child Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU) is now offering virtual presentations for school systems and youth organizations nationwide through the Project iGuardian program. 


VA National Cemeteries to Commemorate Memorial Day (HERE)

  • The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced today it will commemorate Memorial Day this year with solemn wreath laying ceremonies. Another offering is a new online memorial feature allowing the public to pay tribute to Veterans interred in VA national cemeteries across the country.


VA Reports Rising Patient Capacity, Stable Supplies and Staffing 8 Weeks into COVID-19 Emergency (HERE)

  • Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has maintained an increasing supply of beds for both Veterans and COVID-19 patients, steady supplies across the nation and a stable staffing situation in the vast majority of VA locations nearly two months into the national emergency.


DOD Awards $138 Million Contract, Enabling Prefilled Syringes for Future COVID-19 Vaccine (HERE)

  • The Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America for “Project Jumpstart” and “RAPID USA,” which together will dramatically expand U.S. production capability for domestically manufactured, medical-grade injection devices starting by October 2020.


DOD Awards $134 Million Contract, Providing Personal Protective Equipment for Medical Personnel At 15,000 Nursing Homes (HERE)

  • The Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency, in coordination with FEMA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has signed a $134 million contract award with the Federal Resources Supply Company to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) kits including protective eyewear, gloves, gowns, and masks for medical personnel at over 15,000 nursing home locations.


Pensacola Sailors Return from COVID-19 Efforts in New York (HERE)

  • Thirteen of the 18 Naval Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pensacola sailors sent to support the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort's COVID-19 relief efforts in New York returned to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, May 5.


For the most up-to-date information, please see the below fact sheets and the CDC’s website:


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