Coronavirus Update
July 13, 2020
Information and resources on federal responses to the coronavirus crisis for state, local, and regional government.
Top News
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may release details of the next coronavirus relief package by the time the Senate reconvenes next week. As reported by Roll Call , Senator McConnell and the Trump Administration are aiming to keep the next package under $1 trillion (the House-passed HEROES Act is nearly $3.5 trillion). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected the $1 trillion cost estimate, saying $1 trillion is needed to help state and local governments alone.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden released his “ Plan to Combat Coronavirus and Prepare for Future Global Health Threats .”
 
According to The Hill , several states including Arizona, California, Texas, and Florida set record numbers for daily coronavirus deaths in recent days. Although the number of deaths from the virus have been decreasing nationally for months, recent trends in hard-hit states are causing a nationwide uptick.

Capitol Hill. Please visit our TFG Coronavirus Legislative Trackers public health & safety , local government relief , and business assistance for detailed information on recently introduced bills. 

Democrats and Republicans are considering how much funding will be necessary to assist schools in reopening for classes this fall. The House-passed HEROES Act included $90 billion for some costs, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the Senate version of the next – and potentially final – relief legislation will include relief for schools. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said , “… we want to have the criteria, the guidance, the requirements of the Centers [for] Disease Control to be very clear. Localities will make up their mind as to if they think it's safe for children to go to school.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), and the School Superintendents Association called on Congress “to provide the federal resources needed to ensure that inadequate funding does not stand in the way of safely educating and caring for children in our schools.”  

The Congressional Research Service published a report on privacy law and digital contact tracing with a focus on issues related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While the federal government may advise on contact tracing procedures, state and local government are responsible for contact tracing operations under state law.

There are a few hearings this week, including: 



Administration.   HHS released May and June COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities. The State Testing Plans served as a roadmap for each state’s testing strategy for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

HHS announced approximately $3 billion in funding for hospitals serving a large percentage of vulnerable populations and approximately $1 billion to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Agricultural producers will be able to submit applications that include these additional commodities beginning TODAY through August 28. 
Advocacy
The Committee for Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, published the “ COVID Money Tracker ” focused on federal funding disbursement.

NACo published an article highlighting protocols and strategies counties are implementing to help guide fall school reopening in the wake of COVID-19.
Webinars, Events and Resources
NLC WEBINAR: Taking Care of Your Community: Collective Trauma in Times for Crisis
July 14, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT

NLC/NACo WEBINAR: Contact Tracing and Testing: City-County-Corporate Collaborations
July 15, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

NLC WEBINAR: Cities at Crossroad: Responding to the Impacts of COVID-19
July 16, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

NACo WEBINAR: Telehealth and COVID-19
July 16 – 3:00 PM-4:00 PM EDT
For more information please contact Mike Miller: mmiller@tfgnet.com (707) 224-8648