What You Need to Know: COVID-19 Coronavirus
In response to the threat of the Coronavirus, my office will not be taking visitors in my Washington, DC Office, and the Anderson District Office. Visitors may visit my Carmel District Office by appointment only. Our phone lines are still available and if you need assistance, please call my Washington, DC office at 202-225-2276, Carmel District Office at 317-848-0201 and my Anderson District Office at 765-640-5115.
My office will be updating our website daily with new developments. I also encourage you to sign up for my e-newsletter at https://susanwbrooks.house.gov/contact/newsletter.
For more detailed information on legislation in response to the coronavirus, click here. For more detailed information on coronavirus responses from various federal agencies as well as the state of Indiana, click on one of the following links: FEMA, IRS, SSA, SBA, VA, State of Indiana.
Latest Update on Coronvirus Pandemic
There are currently at least 2,623,217 cases and 127,258 deaths in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins. There are at least 10,393,467 cases and 508,392 deaths worldwide.
Please keep in mind that states are constantly reporting new cases, and the numbers in the attached document quickly become outdated. Johns Hopkins has created a website with worldwide case information, available here, as well as a U.S. map including county-specific information regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., available here.
HHS announced that it will extend its partnership with CVS, Rite-Aid, Quest (through services at Walmart) and eTrueNorth (through services at Kroger, Health Mart, and Walmart) to provide community-based testing. This partnership has scaled up to more than 600 COVID-19 testing sites in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 70% of these testing sites are located in communities with moderate-to-high social vulnerability. To date, this program has tested over 750,000 individuals. The contract utilizes a federal bundled payment program paid directly to retailers that receive a flat fee for each test administered, with participating retailers responsible for coordinating the full end-to-end testing. (Here)
- As of June 23, FEMA has procured and delivered to the states 29.4 million swabs and 21.5 million units of media in support of the Administration’s Testing Blueprint.
- As of June 26, FEMA, HHS, and the private sector combined have coordinated the delivery of, or are currently shipping: 167.1 million N95 respirators, 682.5 million surgical masks, 27.3 million face shields, 299.2 million surgical gowns/coveralls, and over 17.1 billion gloves.
- As of June 29, Project Air Bridge has completed 248 flights with one additional flight scheduled for a total of approximately 249 flights. All Project Air Bridge activities will end on June 30.
- As of June 24, the following supplies have been delivered into private sector supply chains through Project Air Bridge: nearly 4.5 million N95 respirators, 937 million gloves, 122.0 million surgical masks, 63.3 million surgical gowns, more than 2.4 million thermometers, more than 2.6 million face shields, 1.4 million coveralls, 109,000 stethoscopes, 370,000 oxygen masks, and more than 160,000 cannulas.
- In addition, 99 non-Air Bridge flights carrying over 16.8 million Hanes gowns and 55 non-Air Bridge flights carrying over 72.3 million FEMA-procured masks and respirators from 3M have landed in the U.S.
- FEMA has shipped 23,343 deliveries of medical supplies to nursing homes in 53 states and territories. FEMA coordinated two shipments totaling a 14-day supply of PPE to all 15,400 Medicaid and Medicare-certified nursing homes. The shipments are meant to supplement existing efforts to provide equipment to nursing homes. Final shipments in the second wave of deliveries are expected to be completed by July 21.
Scroll to the bottom for the latest information from the CDC.
Healthcare Providers please click here for important information.
Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a two-month extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages. I encourage all Indiana homeowners in need of assistance paying their mortgage payment to visit: www.877gethope.org.
- The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others.
- The bill provides additional benefits to each recipient of unemployment insurance for up to four months and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after state benefits are no longer available. For people who were employed on March 1 and have lost their job due to coronavirus, the bill provides paid leave for them as well.
- For more information, visit my State of Indiana COVID-19 Info Page.
Assistance for Local Governments
The Federal Reserve has opened up their Municipal Liquidity Facility program. This is an open program that any qualifying state or local government can apply to using an online form to receive cash assistance from the Nation’s federal bank.
President Trump and Congress acted at unprecedented speed to provide financial assistance to state and local governments. In addition to the $765 billion Congress allocated through the CARES Act, the law also established a $500 billion program through the Federal Reserve to provide further resources for these governments if needed.
This program, the Municipal Liquidity Facility, helps “state and local governments better manage the cash flow pressures they are facing . . . related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” These are not loans; it is a way for state and local governments who are reporting a cash flow crisis to simply receive more money from the Federal Reserve. The facility is available to counties with more than 500,000 residents and cities with more than 250,000 residents. The Federal Reserve stressed that this is not a “first come, first serve” program – any eligible government facing financial hardship can apply for assistance from this $500 billion program.
You can learn more about the lending facility here.
You can learn more about the relief that Congress has delivered to state and local governments here.
FEMA Releases Updated Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide
Updated Guide Is Effective June 8, 2020
FEMA announces the release of the agency’s updated Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide (PDA Guide) and its accompanying Preliminary Damage Assessment Pocket Guide (PDA Pocket Guide). The PDA Guide will be effective on June 8, 2020 and will have a one-year public comment period until June 8, 2021. The purpose of the public comment period is to give state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners and stakeholders who participate in preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) an opportunity to provide feedback to FEMA on the PDA process.
The PDA Guide and its accompanying PDA Pocket Guide establish a framework for how emergency management officials, at every level of government, document and validate details of damage following a disaster. The guide includes a concept of operations, defined roles and responsibilities, recommended methodologies and the documentation and data required to validate damage. The PDA Guide supersedes FEMA’s 2016 Damage Assessment Operations Manual.Find the PDA Guide and PDA Pocket Guide and comment matrices on the FEMA website: Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide | FEMA.gov. Use the appropriate comment matrix and submit comments to FEMA-RecoveryPolicy-Inbox@fema.dhs.gov.
Latest From The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
CDC released a report on serial laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection among incarcerated and detained person in Louisiana in April and May 2020. Testing among quarantined contacts of patients with COVID-19 in a correctional and detention facility identified a high proportion of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases that were not identified through symptom screening along. Approximately one fourth of cases were found through serial testing during quarantine. Early detection of isolation of persons with COVID-19, along with testing of close contacts, can slow the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in correctional and detention facilities. Serial testing, particularly for close contacts of patients, is important for complete identification of cases and prompt public health response. (Here)
CDC issued interim considerations for institutions of higher education administrators for SARS-CoV-2 testing. The document describes scenarios when institutes of higher education may need to conduct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing for students, faculty, or staff, including testing for asymptomatic transmission. CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff. (Here)