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WSW Coronavirus Update - March 24

Tuesday, March 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: TCAA Staff
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Senate Agreement on Coronavirus "Imminent" Heading into the Evening

Throughout the day today, Congressional Leadership gave public and explicit expressions of support for the imminent agreement on Phase Three coronavirus relief legislation to assure colleagues - and the financial markets - about the progress being made.

 

Recognizing that the agreement will not address all the priorities that Democrats raised, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said today that there will likely be a fourth and fifth phase of pandemic relief bills to come.

 

The Senate could approve the bill as soon as this evening, with the House following suit as soon as tomorrow. Both chambers are working through the logistical challenges of approving the package by "unanimous consent" to avoid having to bring Members physically to the House and Senate chambers.

 

Department of Labor Guidance on New Coronavirus FMLA and Sick Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued preliminary guidance on the expanded Family and Medical Leave Act and paid sick leave provisions recently enacted into law as part of the Phase Two, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which takes effect on April 1, 2020.

 

The guidance - provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document - addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.

 

New COVID-19 Research Resources

Yesterday, the White House announced the launch of a new public-private COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will provide researchers with access to high performance computing capabilities to accelerate research on COVID-19.  Additionally, last week the White House announced the release of the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, a free resource of over 44,000 scholarly articles about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family for use by the global research community.

 

WSW Competitive Grants Update

As developments with coronavirus and its effects continue to evolve, federal departments and agencies are providing varied guidance to grant applicants and awardees.  Some federal agencies, for example the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts are attempting to operate normally, releasing funding announcements and accepting, reviewing and processing grant applications as planned.  Other federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the Office of Justice Programs have extended deadlines for a number of programs and funding opportunities, or will accept late applications on a case-by-case basis, for example the National Institutes of Health.  Many federal departments and agencies are also providing current grantees with guidance on the impact of coronavirus on their projects as it relates to in-person research activities, field work, implementing virtual technology, travel, conferences, meetings, and project and budget extensions.  While other federal departments and agencies, for example the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Resources and Services Administration, have provided resources on the impact of coronavirus more broadly or for specific programs, but have not issued information generally as it relates to the effects on grant operations and programs.  Please see the links below for specific and ongoing updated guidance for applicants and grantees:


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