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Cal Cities weekly COVID-19 update: Jan. 28-Feb. 3

February 3, 2021
Great news for cities! After months of urging Congress and FEMA to fully reimburse eligible COVID-19 services, the Biden Administration announced last week that the cost share would indeed be adjusted to 100 percent. 
It was not clear at the time of the announcement last month if the reimbursements would be retroactive, but the Administration clarified in an announcement today that FEMA will be “retroactively reimbursing states fully for the FEMA-eligible services — including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations, and mobilization of the National Guard — back dated to the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020.” See the revised memorandum.

Cities should contact their state emergency management agencies and their Regional FEMA offices to ensure they receive the full reimbursement for the cost share adjustment. 

The second application round for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opened earlier this week, and the application period ends on Feb. 8. The $500 million program is intended for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Grants range in size from $5,000 to $25,000, and approximately half of the available funds were awarded in the first round. The application portal will remain open through 6 p.m. Feb. 8. Eligible applicants who submitted all necessary documents in Round 1, but did not receive a grant, will be rolled over for consideration in this second round — there is no need to reapply. 

In response to growing interest among California cities about COVID-19 vaccine availability and distribution, Cal Cities has pulled together the below information and resources that may be of interest from the National League of Cities (NLC) and the state.
 NLC vaccine resources
  • NLC Webinar: Building Trust Around COVID-19 Vaccinations — On Feb. 1, this webinar showcased how cities across the country are working with their communities and health departments to provide clarity about vaccine distribution/prioritization and vaccine administration, as well as addressing the challenges of vaccine hesitancy and issues of trust among high-risk communities. We will send a link to the recording as soon as it is available.
  • NLC Town hall: How Local Leaders Can Support Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations — On Jan.15, NLC CEO Clarence Anthony and Dr. Oscar Alleyne, Chief of Programs & Services at the National Association of County & City Health Officials, spoke in a conversation and Q&A about the role of local leaders in vaccine distribution. View the recording.
  • AARP Coronavirus Town Hall with NLC: Vaccine Distribution and Protecting Yourself — On Jan. 28, this live Q&A event focused on the latest vaccine information, including updates on candidates and the current distribution process, with a particular emphasis on nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The experts also addressed how communities and local governments are responding and assisting in distribution. View the recording
 State vaccine updates
  • On Feb. 3, the state announced a pilot partnership with the federal government to open community vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland. The sites will be co-run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of California through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Preparations and buildout of these two locations are now underway and the sites are expected to be open to eligible members of the public beginning February 16. Registration for vaccine appointments at these two sites will be available through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system in the coming days.
  • On Jan. 27, the state launched My Turn, a new system for Californians to learn when they are eligible to be vaccinated and a place to make an appointment when eligible as well as a mechanism to easily track vaccination data. Through My Turn, individuals will be able to sign up for a notification when they are eligible to make an appointment and schedule one when it is their turn. Providers will be able to use My Turn to automatically share data on vaccines received and administered with the state, reducing lag times. MyTurn can be accessed via the State’s COVID-19 Vaccine webpage. 
Additional state updates For more information

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