Coronavirus Update
July 9, 2020
Information and resources on federal responses to the coronavirus crisis for state, local, and regional government.
Top News
The United States surpassed 3 million coronavirus infections on Wednesday. The New York Times also reports the US set another record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with more than 59,400 infections. It was the fifth national record in nine days.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the press “fully operational” schools must reopen physically in the fall. DeVos said “how that happens is best left to education and community leaders." DeVos tweeted “it is not a matter of IF but How.” The Hill reported that the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has expressed disagreement with the Administration's statements.

The White House has officially moved to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO). The withdrawal was submitted to the United Nations secretary-general and requires a year’s notice, so the withdrawal will not go into effect until July 6, 2021. Senate Committee on Health Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stated his disagreement with the President’s decision. 

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. 

The House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee included significant additional funding aimed at stimulating the economy and helping those impacted by coronavirus. The full Appropriations Committee reported a list of “plus-ups” for many programs in addition to funds provided in the main body of the bill, including $24 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, $4 billion for CDBG, $17.5 billion for HOME Investment Partnerships, $3 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, $5 billion for CRISI rail grants, and $15.9 billion for transit formula grants. 

The Senate is not in session.

There are a few hearings this week, including: 


Oversight. The Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury announced the release of detailed loan-level data regarding loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The disclosure covers 4.9 million PPP loans.

Administration.   HHS announced new "surge" coronavirus testing sites in Florida, Texas and Louisiana where there has been “a recent and intense level of new cases and hospitalizations” due to COVID-19.

HHS and Department of Defense (DoD) announced a $1.6 billion agreement with Novavax, Inc. to demonstrate commercial-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational vaccine. The federal government will own the 100 million doses.

EPA approved the first surface disinfectant products test to safely and effectively kill the coronavirus on surfaces. The two products are the Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist.

The Labor Department announced unemployment claims for the week ending July 4. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week's revised level. A DOL graph appears to show the new claims curve flattening out but still well above claims figures for the nine months preceding the coronavirus taking hold in March.

HUD released the Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit to encourage Public Housing Authorities and House Choice Voucher landlords to plan for and implement strategies to keep families housed and mitigate economic hardships due to COVID-19.

The Federal Communications Commission approved an additional 25 funding applications totaling $10.73 million to provide telehealth services during the pandemic – the final set of approvals for its $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program. 
Advocacy
NACo updated its memo on the status of Human Services and Education Funding provided by coronavirus relief legislation.

NLC continues updating its COVID-19 Local Action Tracke r . The Tracker collects and shares actions taken by local leaders in response to COVID-19.
Webinars, Events and Resources
NACo WEBINAR: Interacting with Residents during COVID-19
TODAY, July 9 – 2:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

NACo WEBINAR: Telehealth and COVID-19
July 16 – 3:00 PM-4:00 PM EDT

ICMA BLOG: “Lessons Learned: The City of Cedar Park and COVID-19 Response”

ICMA ARTICLE: Community Conversations on Local Government Impact
For more information please contact Mike Miller: mmiller@tfgnet.com (707) 224-8648