GovWin SLED Weekly Coronavirus Recon

Published: August 21, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicRecon

GovWin's SLED Coronavirus Recon, produced by Deltek's SLED Market Research team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by state, local, and educational (SLED) entities and the contractors that support them.

General

Funding & Economic Impact

  • (Alaska) Governor Proposes Expanding COVID Small Business Grants Eligibility Guidelines
    • Gov. Mike Dunleavy has submitted a proposal to change eligibility guidelines for CARES Act grants allowing businesses that have received federal loans to apply for grants and remove secondary income restrictions. The grants would be limited to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and if the proposal is approved by the committee, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development would also have more flexibility in the manner it distributes the remaining CARES funds to businesses.
  • Murphy announces $37M in pandemic assistance to 12 New Jersey counties
    • Twelve New Jersey counties will share about $37 million in funding to continue their fight against the coronavirus. The funding was announced Thursday by Gov. Phil Murphy who said the 12 counties are home to one third of the Garden State’s population. They cover a majority of South Jersey, portions of Central Jersey and the northwestern part of the state.
  • North Carolina Treasurer says state employees’ pension plan has rebounded from pandemic-driven losses
    • North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell says the state employees’ pension plan, also known as the North Carolina Retirement System, has rebounded from losses suffered during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and now has more value than it did at the end of last year.
  • Bullock: Montana budget has full funding for wildfires, pandemic
    • “We headed into this pandemic in a historically strong position financially,” Bullock said. “We were careful stewards of taxpayer dollars, and now Montana is in an enviable financial position compared to other states that are currently weathering budget challenges. And as a result, we are now taking steps to ensure that Montana will be well equipped to continue financially managing this pandemic in the future.”
  • (Kansas) Applications open for $130 million in grants to businesses
    • Gov. Laura Kelly today encouraged Kansas businesses to participate in the application process for more than $130 million in grants to support businesses affected by the pandemic and enable companies to expand broadband access in the state. The portal to apply opened at noon Wednesday, Aug. 19.
  • District of Columbia to Receive $38.5M to Cover Costs Related to COVID-19
    • The District of Columbia will receive more than $38.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse costs related to procuring personal protective equipment and implementing safety measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ‘Economic tsunami’: US cities and states hit by Covid-19 face dire budget cuts
    • Across the country, state and local governments are facing dire budget deficits. With falling personal income tax and sales tax revenue, state budgets are looking at an estimated $500bn shortfall over the next two years. Local budgets are not looking bright either: nearly all cities with populations over 50,000 are expecting revenue shortfalls this year.

Higher Education

  • UNC begins testing as coronavirus cases spike, while N.C. State switches to virtual classes
    • North Carolina State University will switch all of its undergraduate classes online after clusters of coronavirus cases were found on campus this week, adding to the chaos of students scrambling to find new housing as more colleges shut down.
    • At the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which had already announced an abrupt shift to virtual learning earlier this week, the chancellor said undergraduate classes would be canceled Monday and Tuesday to allow students time to move off campus as the number of cases continued to rise with 91 new cases reported Wednesday.
  • Michigan State And Notre Dame Suspend In-Person Learning Over COVID-19 Concerns
    • Two Midwestern universities announced on Tuesday that they will be modifying their fall plans because of the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Notre Dame is moving all undergraduate instruction online for two weeks, and Michigan State University is going fully remote for the semester.
  • Report: Colleges Ramp Up Advertising During COVID-19, Especially For-Profits
    • Colleges and universities are spending a lot of money on advertising during the pandemic, particularly for-profit colleges, according to a new study by the Century Foundation.
      • The progressive think tank has been tracking higher education marketing on Google and social media from February until May, focusing on the 100 colleges with the largest online enrollments before the pandemic started, based on Department of Education data.
  • Outdoor classes hold promise for in-person learning amid COVID-19
    • There’s a fourth option that’s not being given its due: outdoor spaces, such as open-air tents. From a learning space design perspective, this could be an effective way of maintaining in-person instruction, even when temperatures drop later in the fall.
    • A few universities are taking class meetings outside as an innovative way to safely keep students on campus.

K-12 Education

  • What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools
    • A $1 trillion bill released by Republicans on July 27 proposes $70 billion for K-12 schools, granting two thirds to that money based on the extent to which schools are holding in-person classes. This comes after President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke about cutting federal aid for schools that don't reopen for in-person instruction or shifting those dollars to schools that do reopen.
    • The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, calls for states to distribute one third of the stabilization money to districts within 15 days of receiving it from the federal government. Much of that money could go toward reopening priorities, such as providing masks, increasing cleaning services and adding more school buses. The remaining two thirds would be allocated after school districts submit plans to the governor providing a detailed timeline for providing in-person instruction, a description of how many days of such instruction students will receive each week, and an assurance that district will provide "as much in-person instruction as is safe and practicable."
  • Wisconsin releases guidelines for reopening K-12 schools
    • The guidelines outline how schools can prevent the spread of COVID-19 as students, teachers and staff partially return to in-person classrooms in some school districts. The measures include best practices for wearing face coverings, co-horting students, and detailing how to effectively detect and respond to cases and outbreaks in a school.
    • In addition to the guidelines, DHS Public Health officials will be working with local health departments to help school districts with reopening. DHS stresses that the guidelines are not just for school districts, but for county health departments as they investigate and control cases and outbreaks in schools in their respective counties. The goal is for school districts and public health departments to work side-by-side as they execute reopening plans, and make adjustments through the 2020-21 school year.
  • (Colorado) Community colleges feel impact of uncertainty surrounding K-12 education, COVID-19
    • Community College of Aurora said its enrollment was down 15 percent compared to the same day the year before. Community colleges in the state have said many of their students are parents who are impacted by changes to K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Colleges are looking to add more online courses that allow students to complete the course at their own pace, allowing them to work it into their own schedule.
  • (Michigan) Gov. Whitmer signs education bills, says measures help schools craft COVID-19 safety plans
    • On Wednesday, Whitmer announced $65 million in federal aid would be made available to schools with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students. The districts could use these funds to pay for computers or other items that would make virtual learning easier, or for protective equipment if districts plan for to face-to-face classes.
  • Mapping K-12 School Reopening in Massachusetts
    • A full 200 districts, representing 526,229 students, have decided to reopen with a hybrid of in-person and remote learning options for parents. Fifty-five districts, representing 251,172 students, have opted to reopen fully remote, while 13 districts have chosen an in-person reopening. As of August 18th, 14 districts have yet to post their plans, while vocational-technical and charter schools are currently not included.
  • Idaho officials extend K-12 schools soft closure through remainder of school year, with option for reopening
    • The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously to extend the “soft closure” of all public schools to the end of this school year or until local and state social distancing orders have been lifted and re-entry criteria established by the state board have been met.
    • The soft closure prohibits instruction in school buildings, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but still allows school districts to continue remote learning and to distribute meals to students.
  • Michigan health officials report 14 coronavirus outbreaks at schools
    • Michigan health officials reported 14 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks at K-12 schools and universities as of Thursday, Aug. 20.
    • The health department said it has plans to publish outbreak data, including school outbreaks, at a regional level in the near future.
    • The MI Safe Schools: Return to Learn Roadmap provides actions to be taken if there is a case of COVID-19 in the school, including contact tracing and enhanced cleaning.
  • (Pennsylvania) Schools get state guidance about handling COVID-19 outbreaks
    • Pennsylvania state government agencies are providing school leaders with advice about how to respond when students or employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been on school property, from cleaning and tracing their contacts to shutting down buildings for two weeks or longer.
  • (Pennsylvania) PA Dept. of Education updates guidance for when students can remove masks in school
    • The Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings. This order applies to all students, staff and visitors age two and older while in school entities.
    • The Department of Education says schools may allow students to remove face coverings when students are at least 6 feet apart during “face-covering breaks” that last no longer than 10 minutes, or when eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart, or when wearing a face-covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
  • (Ohio) Use of Face Shields Not Appropriate Substitute for Masks
    • As schools get ready to start the 2020-21 academic year, the Ohio Department of Health is following federal guidance and prohibiting the school-wide use of face shields as a substitute for facial coverings/masks. Such use of face shields does not comply with the Director’s Order Requiring the Use of Facial Coverings in Child Education Settings.
  • Michigan Legislature gives schools flexibility in pandemic
    • Michigan legislators gave final approval Monday to bills that would provide flexibility for K-12 schools as they prepare to open amid the coronavirus pandemic, waiving physical attendance and minimum instruction requirements to allow for remote classes.

Health Care

Social Services 

Justice/Public Safety

Transportation

Public Utilities

Community Development/Housing

  • (Connecticut) Lamont extends eviction moratorium for tenants behind on rent
    • Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday he will use his emergency powers to extend until October the ban on evictions, a step that will require him to either declare a new public health emergency or seek legislative support for the dozens of orders that otherwise expire on Sept. 9, the last day of the six-month emergency declared in March.