- President Trump Announces Guidelines for Opening Up America Again!: On Thursday, April 16, President Trump unveiled the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again! Developed by the top medical experts from across the Government and based on verifiable metrics regarding the situation on the ground, the guidelines outline a phased return to reopening and include specific steps for State, Local, and Tribal officials to follow in tailoring their response. The criteria include showing a downward trajectory of COVID-like symptoms reported over 14 days in a given state or region, as well as a decline in documented cases or positive tests during the same 14-day window. They also set clear benchmarks on new cases, testing, and hospital resources for States to meet to proceed toward a phased reopening. State and local officials may need to tailor the application of these criteria to local circumstances (e.g., metropolitan areas that have suffered severe COVID outbreaks, rural and suburban areas where outbreaks have not occurred or have been mild). Additionally, where appropriate, the guidelines recommend Governors working on a regional basis to satisfy outlined criteria and to progress through the tiered phases. In the days and weeks ahead, the Administration plans to continue robust coordination and outreach with State, Local, and Tribal leaders as we collectively work to reopen the country. Find a Fact Sheet here: President Donald J. Trump Is Beginning the Next Phase In Our Fight Against Coronavirus – Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.
- USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: On Friday, April 17, Secretary Perdue joined President Trump in announcing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to COVID-19. This $19 billion relief program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers and $3 billion in purchases of fresh produce, dairy and meat.
- DHS Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Releases Revised Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance: On April 17, DHS CISA released version 3.0 of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19. Version 3.0 provides clarity around a range of positions needed to support the critical infrastructure functions laid out in the original guidance and Version 2.0. This iteration includes a reorganization of the section around Healthcare and Public Health and more detail to clarify essential workers; emphasis for Emergency Medical Services workers; and adds lawyers and legal aid workers. Also included is language focused on sustained access and freedom of movement; a reference to the CDC guidance on safety for critical infrastructure workers; and a statement saying sick employees should avoid the workplace and the workforce. In worker categories, all references to “employees” or “contractors” have been changed to “workers.”
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Announce New Nursing Home COVID-19 Transparency Effort: On Sunday, April 19, CDC announced new regulatory requirements that will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. CMS will now require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Finally, CMS will also require nursing homes to fully cooperate with CDC surveillance efforts around COVID-19 spread.
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (WH IGA) will continue to share pertinent information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can be of assistance. As a reminder, WH IGA is the primary liaison between the White House and the country’s State and local elected officials and Tribal Governments.
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
William F. Crozer
Special Assistant to the President/Deputy Director
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Social Media Resources: Download the Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool. Follow the White House on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow HHS (Twitter/Facebook) and CDC (Twitter/Facebook) You can also find informational videos from Coronavirus Task Force members on mitigation, social distancing, etc. on the White House’s YouTube page.
- Mental Health Resources: Natural disasters – including such pandemics as the coronavirus outbreak – can be overwhelming and also can seriously affect emotional health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990 (or text TalkWithUs to 66746) – provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about the Disaster Distress Helpline here.
- Addiction & Substance Abuse Resources: The COVID-19 pandemic has created countless challenges for those delivering care to our most vulnerable populations. People with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) are especially at high risk suffering complications from COVID-19. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which leads and coordinates the development, implementation, and assessment of U.S. drug policy, released a fact sheet that contains information on Federal actions to expand telemedicine and e-prescribing, to increase flexibility for treatment with methadone and buprenorphine, to improve access to prescribed controlled substances, and to expand assistance to rural areas.
- Administration Actions and Federal Agency Resources: USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here. Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance. They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).