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COVID-19 News Updates for April 29, 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)

30 Days to Slow the Spread

President Trump announced updated guidelines to continue slowing the spread of Coronavirus in America. This 30-day window will be crucial: If every American does his or her part, the latest model suggests we could save 1 million or more U.S. lives. Please click here for more information: 30 Days to Slow the Spread (Español)

If you are a healthcare worker and would like to volunteer to assist in New York City, please find more information here.

White House COVID-19 Updates

·         We Built the Greatest Economy in the World—and Together, We Will Build It Again! (VIDEO)

·         President Trump Participates in a Roundtable (VIDEO)

·         President Trump Meets with the Governor of Louisiana (REMARKS, VIDEO)

·         An In-Depth Look at COVID-19’s Early Effects on Consumer Spending and GDP (HERE)

·         West Wing Reads: Trump Showcases Jobs Preserved by Paycheck Protection Program Amid COVID-19 Shutdown (HERE)

EPA, CDC Release Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play (HERE)

·         Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance to help facility operators and families properly clean and disinfect spaces. Developed in concert with the White House, the guidance provides step-by-step instructions for public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes, and falls in line with the Opening up America Again guidelines.

Joint Statement by Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Administrator Jovita Carranza on Establishing Dedicated Hours for Small Lender Submissions of PPP Applications (HERE)

·         U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza issued a statement today on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) amid continuing efforts to aid small community lenders, their small business customers, and ensure SBA’s systems run efficiently.

Secretary Azar Statement on Positive Results from NIH Remdesivir Trial (HERE)

·         On Wednesday, the National Institutes of Health announced that hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received Remdesivir—an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment administered via daily infusion—recovered, on average, faster than similar patients who received placebo, according to a preliminary data analysis from a randomized, controlled trial involving 1063 patients.

Eligible Providers Can Submit Information to Receive Additional Provider Relief Fund Payments (HERE)

·         The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun the distribution of an additional $20 billion of the $50 billion general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19, augmenting the $30 billion that was allocated earlier this month.

FDA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup April 28, 2020 (HERE)

·         FDA actions on warning letters, video resources on EUAs and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NIH Mobilizes National Innovation Initiative for COVID-19 Diagnostics (HERE)

·         The National Institutes of Health today announced a new initiative aimed at speeding innovation, development and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies, a pivotal component needed to return to normal during this unprecedented global pandemic.

NIH Clinical Trial Shows Remdesivir Accelerates Recovery from Advanced COVID-19 (HERE)

·         Hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received Remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo, according to a preliminary data analysis from a randomized, controlled trial involving 1063 patients, which began on February 21.

USDA to Implement President Trump’s Executive Order on Meat and Poultry Processors (HERE)

·         U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released a statement after President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 national emergency.

USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Maryland and New Mexico (HERE)

·         U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced Maryland and New Mexico have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed by President Trump, which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.

Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement (HERE)

·         The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

Secretary Ben Carson Commends DOJ’s Decision to Launch Investigation into Sexual Harassment Complaints (HERE)

·         U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carson today praised Attorney General William Barr for devoting all “necessary resources” to aide HUD investigations into reports of landlords demanding sexual favors in exchange for rent.

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Notice Regarding Essential Air Service Program, Given the Impact of COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced a plan to address the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on air carriers participating in the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.  The Department issued a Notice to all EAS air carriers indicating how those carriers may adjust their schedules and seek compensation due to the significant reduction in passenger demand and the financial impact on air carriers.

Statement of Enforcement Policy by Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA Loren Sweatt Regarding Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities (HERE)

·         OSHA has issued enforcement guidance indicating the agency will use enforcement discretion for employers adhering to appropriate guidance, including the Joint Meat Processing Guidance.

U.S. Department of Labor Issues COVID-19 Relief and Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today issued deadline relief and other guidance under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and beneficiaries, employers and other plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, and other service providers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Southern California Tire Company to Pay Back Wages after Denying Paid Sick Leave to Worker Whose Doctor Ordered Coronavirus Quarantine (HERE)

·         After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Discount Tire Centers will pay an employee $2,606 in back wages for refusing to provide sick leave under the newly passed Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPLSA), after his healthcare provider advised that he self-quarantine while awaiting a family member’s test for coronavirus.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces that all 50 States and the District of Columbia are Paying Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Benefits (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation’s (FPUC) weekly unemployment compensation boost is now being paid to eligible individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. FPUC is authorized under Section 2104 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Pub. L. 116-136), and provides an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits.

USPTO Extends Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines to June 1 (HERE)

·         In accordance with the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today further extended the time to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees, which otherwise would have been due between March 27 and May 31, to June 1, 2020. This is in addition to the prior extension the USPTO had announced on March 31, 2020

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Q1 2020 GDP Advance Estimate (HERE)

·         Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the advance estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020, finding that real gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 4.8 percent.

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability (HERE)

·         The State Department provided an update on their actions to fight against the virus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, and their efforts to continue to bring our people home. The count is now some 72,000 Americans from 129 countries that we have returned home to their lives and their families.

Joint Statement from DHS and VA on Continued Collaboration throughout COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·         In a whole-of-government effort, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs have worked very closely together throughout the coronavirus pandemic to bring critical medical supplies to our nation’s heroes. While the supply and demand for PPE during this crisis is greater than ever before, the federal government has worked with governmental and private sector partners to secure what the VA needs.

VA Joins XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance to Combat COVID-19 and Future Outbreaks (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has partnered with the XPRIZE Foundation’s Pandemic Alliance as part of a public and private coalition to help develop ways to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent global outbreaks.

VA Works with Communities Nationwide to Meet Critical Need for Blood (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its participating medical centers across the country kicked-off blood drives in late April — partnering with the American Red Cross and community organizations — in response to the ongoing national need for blood during the coronavirus disease 2019 public health emergency. Healthy individuals are encouraged to participate in the ongoing Share Your Health, Roll Up Your Sleeve Today blood drives hosted by VA medical centers and staffed by the Red Cross or other local blood collection centers.

Statement by USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa on the New Partnerships Initiative (HERE)

·         USAID announced three new funding opportunities as part of the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Agency’s intent to develop NPI Action Plans at all of our Missions around the world.

Court Orders Halt to Sale of Silver Product Fraudulently Touted as COVID-19 Cure (HERE)

·         A federal court in Utah has entered an injunction halting the sale of a fraudulent coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment, the Department of Justice announced today.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen Introductory Remarks to the National Sheriffs’ Association during Webinar Concerning DOJ’s Response to COVID-19-Related Crime (HERE)

·         “Americans look to you to keep their communities safe, and even before this health crisis came across the Pacific and hit our shores, your jobs required you to confront dangers on a daily basis and to make great sacrifices.  But now, your operating environment has never been more challenging.  At the Justice Department, we know that because we are seeing and experiencing it too.  And we also know the consequences for doing our jobs well are also high, and how important it is to continue our tasks and protect the public in these challenging times.”

Turkey Delivers COVID-19 Medical Supplies (HERE)

·         A Turkish Airbus A400M Atlas delivered medical gloves, masks, protective goggles, hand sanitizer and protective clothes to the United States as a gesture of support from one NATO ally to another.

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

·         COVID-19 by the Numbers

·         Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Whole-of-America Response