As all of us handle the disruptions to our personal and professional lives caused by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), we would like to share some useful information regarding legislation as well as state and local updates. See below for links to state and federal resources, along with summaries of recent legislation to help mitigate the economic fallout of the outbreak.
The City of Alpharetta has enacted an emergency ordinance as part of its response to COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.
Below are resources and information passed along to us by Sen. John Albers (GA District 56):
- Summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
- Treasury, IRS, and Labor Announce Plans to Recover Cost of Coronavirus-Related Leave
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Resources
Georgia Department of Public Health – https://dph.georgia.gov/
CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/
Governor Kemp updates – https://gov.georgia.gov/
Unemployment – https://www.dol.state.ga.us/fileaclaim/
Small Business Association (SBA) Loans – https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
President Trump updates – https://www.whitehouse.gov/
COVID-19 Hotline – (844) 442-2681
Businesses & Individuals – Unemployment Benefits
A business can file unemployment for their staff and encouraged to do so online. Individuals can file directly as well. Benefits are available within 48 hours to help and all online.
Fulton County Schools Students – https://www.fultonschools.org/
SNAP/Food Stamps – https://dfcs.georgia.gov/food-stamps
Women, Infants & Children SNP – https://dph.georgia.gov/WIC
North Fulton Community Charities – https://nfcchelp.org
Georgia Power suspends utility shut offs for 30 days
Atlanta Gas Light offers resources
Comcast offers free internet for low-income households, enables free Xfinity wifi hot spots around the county and has no disconnections or late fees for 60 days.
AT&T is not terminating any wireless, home phone or broadband service, is waiving late payment fees, removing data caps and is keeping wifi hotspots open for free.
Charter Spectrum – no disconnects or late fees https://www.spectrum.com/
Cobb EMC https://cobbemc.com/
Sawnee EMC https://www.sawnee.com/
Rent & Mortgage Assistance
President Trump directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April as Americans grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus.
Paid Sick Leave
Emergency Paid Sick Leave – Any employee who works for an employer is eligible.
- Full-time Employees – 80 hours of paid sick leave
- Part-time Employees – Paid based on the average number of hours the employee worked for the six months prior to taking this paid sick leave
Expanded FMLA – https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic
Delayed Tax Filing & Student Loans
The deadline to file taxes has now been extended to July 15th. This will provide immediate relief to those with pending tax liabilities or access to complete returns. Student loans payments have been suspended for 60 days.
The President and Congress are rolling out significant stimulus programs ongoing. More information on real-time updates can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/.
Updates from The White House
Expanding Testing Accessibility
- The FDA issued emergency approval for new commercial coronavirus tests to significantly expand testing across the country.
- The President signed legislation that will ensure Americans are able to be tested for free.
- Admiral Brett Giroir – the Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the Public Health Service – has been appointed to coordinate coronavirus testing efforts.
- The Administration is actively working with state and local partners and the private sector to open up drive-through testing sites.
- The Administration is working with the private sector to develop a website that Americans can utilize to determine whether they need a test and, if so, where to get it.
- HHS is providing funding to help accelerate the development of rapid diagnostic tests for the coronavirus.
- The FDA cut red tape to expand testing availability. Today, Thursday, March 19, President Donald J. Trump announced the approval of existing drugs to test a COVID-19 treatment. The FDA continues to expand its work regarding therapeutic options and has a vaccine trial underway.
- The FDA is empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by laboratories in their states. Every state laboratory is empowered to conduct testing.
- The President signed legislation requiring more reporting from state and private labs to ensure our public health officials have the data they need to respond to this outbreak.
Strengthening Essential Medical Supplies
- The President issued an Executive Order invoking the Defense Production Act. Under the Defense Production Act, the President has the authority to determine that certain supplies are essential for the national defense during challenges like this The President’s action allows the Administration, if it becomes necessary, to order the distribution of health and medical supplies to where they are most needed.
- The President signed a memorandum directing his Administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers.
- HHS announced it will be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile.
- The Department of Defense announced it will be providing 5 million respirator masks and 2,000 specialized ventilators to assist.
- The President signed legislation removing restrictions that prevented manufacturers from selling industrial masks – which can readily protect healthcare workers – directly to hospitals.
Informing the Public
- The Administration launched a website – coronavirus.gov – to keep the public informed about the outbreak.
- The President launched a partnership with the Ad Council, media networks, and digital platforms to communicate public services announcements about the coronavirus.
- The President announced guidelines (outlined below) for Americans to follow and do their part to stem the spread of the virus.
- The Task Force is holding nearly daily press conferences to provide the American people with the latest information.
- The Task Force has recommended mitigation strategies (outlined below) to heavily impacted communities, like those in New York, Washington, and California.
- CMS announced guidance to protect vulnerable elderly Americans and limit medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes (outlined below).