US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
In our effort to keep you informed about Federal response and recovery efforts regarding COVID-19, please find attached the latest stakeholder advisory for March 23.
The federal government continues taking aggressive and proactive steps to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The health and safety of the American people is our top priority. Under the direction of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, FEMA, HHS and our federal partners are working with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to execute a whole of government response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public.
On Sunday, March 22, President Trump directed the Secretary of Defense to allow the States of California, New York and Washington use of the National Guard in a Title 32 status to support State and local emergency assistance efforts. This allows the Governors to call up the National Guard to support their disaster response efforts, on a fully reimbursable basis and under their respective command and control, if that becomes necessary. Additional states are able to request this assistance and those requests will be considered.
Federal Partners Provide Additional Health & Medical Support for Coronavirus
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of Stafford Act. The President’s action cuts red tape and bureaucracy and avoids governors needing to request individual emergency declarations. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and two tribes are working directly with FEMA under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19. States, tribal and territorial governments do not need to request separate emergency declarations to receive FEMA assistance under this nationwide declaration.
In addition, the states of New York, Washington and California were approved for major disaster declarations to assist with additional needs identified in these states. Medical supplies are en route to these states, including respirators, surgical masks and gowns, face shields, coveralls and gloves, with quantities already delivered to Washington and New York. We anticipate additional supplies will be delivered within the next 48 hours.
The U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy is en route to Los Angeles to provide additional hospital beds and medical staff because the projected cases there are expected to be greater than Washington. Additional hospital beds are being made available in Washington, as well as California and New York.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed 12 reconnaissance missions and received a $350 million construction mission from New York to convert buildings into alternate healthcare sites. The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of up to $100 million for Dislocated Worker Grants to help address the workforce-related impacts related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is delivering one million meals per week to children in rural areas who are out of school. The U.S. Department of Education announced all borrowers with federally held student loans will have zero interest rates for at least 60 days. Additionally, these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility.
National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC)
The FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) is activated as part of the Interagency Crisis Action Task Force, supporting the Department of Health and Human Services, as our nation responds to COVID-19. NBEOC Operations Dashboard: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/nbeoc
The NBEOC / ESF 14 Cross-Sector Business and Infrastructure Conference Call are being held on Tuesdays and Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT
- Conference Bridget 1-800-593-7177
- Access Code #7963614
- Adobe Connect
Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program
On March 23, 2020 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment. Press Release
SBA has been working directly with states to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. To apply for SBA online, receive additional disaster assistance information or download applications visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.
SBA: COVID-19 Resources
Doing Business with the Federal Government
If you are looking for contracting opportunities with the federal government, please visit and register with the System for Award Management (SAM) website (www.SAM.gov) where you can bid on contracting opportunities. There is NO FEE for this website. The information you provide is also made available to FEMA’s contracting officers and program managers who may contact you if there is an identified need for the goods or services offered. Small businesses seeking more information on contracting with the federal government, can also refer to the Small Business Administration at: https://sba.gov/contracting. Additionally, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) around the country provide free help to local businesses wishing to compete successfully in the government marketplace. Locate a center near you: www.aptac-us.org
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. The American Red Cross has asked for support to amplify their blood donation messaging on social media and during media interviews, as appropriate. For more information visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org/
FEMA has established a Rumor Control page to amplify the importance of not spreading rumors during a disaster. CDC has also set up a Myth/Fact pages here. Additionally, for the most up-to-date information, CDC has started a What is New page– this includes the latest fact sheets and external communications materials on COVID-19.
Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration Expanded Emergency Declaration
The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration provided an Expanded emergency declaration
- Workplace, School, and Home Guidance
- People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19
- How COVID-19 Spreads
- Steps to Prevent Illness
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What to Do If You Are Sick with COVID-19
- Communication Resources
CDC Information for Businesses:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Information for Communities, Schools, and Businesses
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations – Community Facilities
FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.