COVID-19 News: April 8, 2020

The number of organizations releasing information on COVID-19 crisis and the developments surrounding it are growing by the day. While this means more resources for in-depth analyses, it also can be very overwhelming. Hopefully, this newsletter helps you cut through the swarms of information.

  • As you have probably heard, Representative Neguse introduced a bill proposing the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, which if passed, would create a Coronavirus relief fund for units of government with populations of 500,000 or less. This aims to “fill the cracks” of the CARES Act, which only gave directly to cities with very large populations. According to the bill text, “the maximum aggregate amount paid under this section for fiscal year 2020 to units of local government in a State shall be the amount equal to the relative population proportion amount determined for the State…for such fiscal year.” Access the full bill text here.
  • For access to an hour long webinar regarding how local leaders can help vulnerable households get online, please register here! Courtesy of the National League of Cities, the webinar is free and on-demand. To register, all you need to do is enter your name and email. It couldn’t be easier.
  • Many public agencies are looking into applying for FEMA Public Assistance. One aspect of applying for those funds is compiling data regarding how much has been spent on responding to the crisis. If you do not want to build a tracking system from scratch, one has been created for you! Click here for access to download a full toolkit to track response costs, including a series of Excel templated developed specifically for this purpose and instructions describing what costs need to be tracked and how to track them. It’s free and can be downloaded with a single click, courtesy of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
    • For a list of eligible costs that FEMA’s Public Assistance funds can cover, click here.
  • Yesterday, Mayor Breed announced the rollout of new staffed public toilets and hand washing stations in neighborhoods determined to be high-need and areas where unhoused populations are known to gather. They will be accessible 24/7 and staffed to deter “unwanted activities”. To read more, click here.
  • The Department of Labor/OSHA is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers who report unsafe working conditions during the crisis. The types of retaliation they specifically call out include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion, or reductions in pay or hours. Their full press release can be accessed here.
  • Government Newsom issued an Executive Order yesterday to expand support for vulnerable populations. The order “allows for a 60-day waiver for In-Home Supportive Services program caseworkers to continue their work and be able to care for older adults, as well as individuals and disabilities.”
  • Governor Newsom issued another executive order yesterday to help the state procure necessary medical supplies.
  • If you have questions about the use of Weather and Safety Leave or Evacuation Pay in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, the Office of Personnel Management issued some guidance, which can be accessed here. They also issued this FAQ to answer more specific questions on evacuation payments during the crisis.

If you are in need of some not devastating COVID-19 news, the town of Llandudno in North Wales is under lockdown and a herd of over 100 Kashmiri goats have taken over the deserted streets. For some very adorable video footage, click here.

For more information about COVID-19’s impact on California’s political and administrative landscape, visit our coronavirus webpage.

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2020-04-08T16:21:16-07:00April 8th, 2020|