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Georgia Governor Kemp renews Public Health Emergency, requires vulnerable populations to shelter in place through June 12, 2020. Shelter in place order for general population expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 30.
The Pioneer Institute released a brief that goes over what to expect on the reopening of the U.S. and the state of Massachusetts. The brief uses case studies from several countries to draw its conclusions.
The Federal Reserve Board announced it is expanding the scope and eligibility for the Main Street Lending Program. As part of its broad effort to support the economy, the Federal Reserve developed the Main Street Lending Program to help credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the pandemic.
President Trump led a roundtable with industry executives and met with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to discuss reopening businesses and bringing employees back to the workforce, all while keeping citizens and communities safe. As of April 24, 25 states have released formal reopening plans in accordance with President Trump’s three-phased approach which calls for governors to evaluate specific data around new cases, coronavirus-like symptoms, and hospital capacity in their areas before deciding how to reopen.
President Trump signed an Executive Order to preserve the safety of our nation’s food supply chain during the COVID-19 outbreak. This order directs the Department of Agriculture to ensure America’s meat and poultry processors continue both safe and uninterrupted operations to the maximum extent possible.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a letter to state and local leaders on reopening the economy.
The Attorney General issued a memo directing Department of Justice prosecutors to act against state or local authorities imposing lockdown measures that "could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Labor issue guidance for the meat and poultry processing industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Retail Federation has issued a memo on how to prepare to safely re-open the retail sector.
Due to the unprecedented demand for Paycheck Protection Program loans by the nation's small businesses and to ensure equitable access and system integrity, SBA and Treasury are taking prudent and reasonable steps to protect SBA's loan systems for the next phase of PPP loan processing.
The SBA came out with an interim rule for the PPP program. The document addresses hedge funds and private equity firms (and their portfolio companies), hospitals with government ownership, ESOPs, entities in bankruptcy, and a “limited safe harbor” for entities that certified they needed the loan funds but give them back by May 7.
The U.S. Treasury Department released new guidance for the next round of funding for a government coronavirus relief program for small businesses that emphasizes companies must certify the request is necessary to limit large firms that have other options for coronavirus relief from applying. Any borrower that applied for a PPP loan prior to the issuance of this guidance and repays the loan in full by May 7, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith.
President Trump took action to prioritize American workers as we begin to reopen our economy by temporarily pausing immigration for 60 days.
More than two dozen House Republicans are calling on officials to create an exception to the Fed’s lending program that would allow partnerships and S corporations that pay shareholders on a quarterly basis to receive low-interest emergency loans from the government.
The NGA has released a public health guide for governors to guide their states to reopening gradually and safely.
A data breach in the Small Business Association‘s online application portal may have compromised personal information for nearly 8,000 businesses seeking emergency loans last month. In a letter to affected business owners, the SBA said it discovered on March 25 that the application system for Economic Injury Disaster Loans may have disclosed personal information to other applicants of the program — including social security numbers, income amounts, names, addresses and contact information. An SBA spokesperson said the breach affected 7,900 applicants for the EIDL program, which is separate from the Payroll Protection Program loans. The SBA said it will offer applicants a year of free credit monitoring.
President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said the administration will look at limiting liability for businesses over the spread of the coronavirus. President Trump has indicated the administration is looking to limit liability in cases where workers, or possibly customers, fall ill from the virus. Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said "Businesses, particularly small business that don’t have massive resources, should not be held liable, should not be held to trial lawyers putting on false lawsuits that will probably be thrown out of court.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that medical and dental services (including elective surgeries) can resume “as soon as practicable”, and most personal care businesses (including gyms, salons, and massage studios) can re-open with social distancing and other precautionary measures on Friday, April 24. Restaurants can resume dine-in services on Monday, April 27, if they adhere to similar measures. Governor Kemp’s order can be found here.
In partnership with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and the private sector, the federal government is actively planning to ramp government operations back up to the maximum extent possible, as local conditions warrant, consistent with the national guidelines for Opening Up America Again.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued new recommendations specifically targeted to communities that are in Phase 1 of the guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. The new CMS guidelines recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, and to review the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to re-start or increase in-person care.
Johns Hopkins University released a guidance for governors discussing public health principles for a phased reopening during COVID-19.
The White House released the Opening Up America Again guidelines for rolling back social distancing measures and reopening the economy amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Trump administration is asking a bipartisan group of lawmakers to join a task force on reopening the economy. Senators and House members received notifications Wednesday from the White House.
Georgia Governor Kemp issued this order on April 13, 2020 which states that it is not illegal to wear masks in public as the CDC has issued guidance on wearing masks in public to prevent the spread of the disease. His order states that the law at O.C.G.A. § 16-11-38(b)(4) is not to be enforced when an individual is wearing a face mask in complying with guidance of any healthcare agency or preventing the spread of disease.
The CDC and FEMA have created a plan to reopen the U.S. in several phases beginning in May. The plan gives guidance to state and local governments on how they can ease mitigation efforts, moving from stay-at-home orders in a phased way to support a safe reopening.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order designating auxiliary emergency management workers and emergency management activities, limiting civil liability of auxiliary emergency management workers who engage in emergency management activities while providing patient care if such care results in death or injury of a patient. The healthcare facilities and medical facilities include such facilities such as hospitals, ASCs, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, personal care homes, health testing facilities, infirmaries, diagnostic and treatment centers and public health centers. See O.C.G.A. § 31-7-1(4)(A) and (C)-(G) and O.C.G.A.§ 38-3-5.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 27 has extended Tennessee’s stay at home order, requiring that all persons in Tennessee stay at home (except for engaging in essential activities or essential services) until April 30. The stay at home restrictions were originally set to expire on April 14 under the prior Executive Orders issued by the Governor.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued a new executive order that extends the state of emergency currently in place, extending all previous orders for another 15 days.
Georgia Governor Kemp signed an order, pertaining to remote notarization and attestation, on April 9, 2020 which addresses notary publics in the COVID-19 crisis. This order is broader than the one previously issued which solely related to real estate transactions.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the Department of Corrections officials to establish a temporary program to reprieve sentences of incarceration to help aid the department in the transfer of qualifying individuals to community corrections facilities or home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 131 which imposes mandatory mitigation requirements on skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) in the state and “strongly encourages” the same measures, to the extent personal protective equipment (“PPE”) is available, be taken by other long term care facilities, including adult care homes, family care homes, mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued interim guidance for implementing safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have had exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Governor Kemp extended Georgia’s shelter in place order through April 30, 2020. He also issued orders imposing new requirements on nursing homes and long-term care facilities, suspending short-term vacation rentals, and deploying additional National Guard resources to assist with the State’s response to COVID-19.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created an Essential Workforce Tracker that compares "stay at home" guidance issued by individual states to the guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The second tool is a set of international principles intended to provide a more consistent approach for safeguarding essential economic functions.
President Trump unveiled a new hashtag today to highlight Americans helping one another during the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump will use the #AmericaWorksTogether hashtag to promote companies that are hiring employees in the middle of the economic turmoil caused by the virus and those who are donating food and other supplies to front line health care workers.
The Honorable Harold Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, has extended the statewide judicial emergency in Georgia until May 13, 2020.
The SBA has released additional frequently asked questions regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. Use this tool to find a nearby lender eligible to issue a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf urged Pennsylvania manufacturers that are currently producing or can pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies to submit their information to the newly developed Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20 providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, are eligible for PUA benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidance on unemployment insurance for states in response to COVID-19. The new guidance helps states implement new legislation that makes workers who are normally not eligible for unemployment benefits — such as self-employed and gig workers — eligible for benefits and that provides expanded unemployment insurance benefits for all workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a temporary rule related to implementing new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an order to deputize sheriffs for enforcement of his Executive Order issued on April 2 regarding the shelter in place and specifically involving business establishments (both for profits and not-for-profits). This permits the sheriffs and their deputies to enforce the closure of businesses, establishments, corporations, nonprofit entities, or organizations in accordance with Executive Order 04.02.20.01.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are issuing new recommendations to state and local governments and long-term care facilities (also known as nursing homes) to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order to extend the closure of all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools in Georgia for the remainder of the academic calendar year.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule against health care providers or their business associates for the good faith uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) by business associates for public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
The distribution of economic impact payments to individuals will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Social security recipients, who are not typically required to file a tax return, will automatically receive economic impact payments. For guidance, see Economic Impact Payments: What You Need To Know.
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that the exemption application process for businesses created in response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s orders to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, will close on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
The Treasury Department and IRS provided more guidance to employers about federal reimbursements for paying employees for sick and family leave during the coronavirus emergency. The IRS posted an explanation of the refundable tax credits available to small and mid-sized businesses that are required to provide the leave under a coronavirus-response package signed into law last month.
In a letter to the U.S. Senate, TechGC urged that lawmakers clarify that technology startups with equity investors and under 500 employees are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act.
Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Carranza and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need. The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. More information can be found below and on Treasury’s CARES Act website.
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