Coronavirus Information - Helpful Links and Resources 

 

COVID-19: Important Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Officials from DHS

  • Coronavirus Guidelines for America: On Tuesday, March 31, the White House announced updated Coronavirus Guidelines for America, extending social distancing efforts through April 30. On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance recommending individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies, particularly in areas of significant community-based transmission. On April 8, CDC also provided guidelines regarding when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Additional information on critical infrastructure below.
  • Up-To-Date Information: The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website www.coronavirus.gov. The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent briefings, which can be viewed live here.
  • COVID-19 Response and Recovery Primer: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. It is important that requests for assistance, including for critical supplies, get routed through the proper channels as soon as possible. Learn more about the response and recovery process via this important resource Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Response and Recovery Through Federal-State-Local-Tribal Partnership. FEMAs public assistance guidance for COVID-19 response efforts can be found here. Guidance for Tribal Governments can be found here.
  • Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidelines: On March 16th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued updated critical infrastructure guidance in response to the COVID-19 emergency. DHS issued revised guidance on March 28th (see Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response). The guidance, and accompanying list, is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard.
  • Rural Resource Guide: USDA and Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses, and communities. USDA developed a resource guide for State, Local, and Tribal leaders, and other stakeholders, which can be found here: COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide.
  • Coronavirus Fact vs. Myth: Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. FEMA setup a website here to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Fraud & Scam Protection: The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJs Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website here. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website here with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.
  • 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 Administrations (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.
  • FEMA has published the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Addressing PPE Needs in Non-Healthcare Setting. It can be found here. This guidance summarizes how organizations should consider and manage their personal protective equipment (PPE) needs while ensuring the protection of workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response, including how to preserve limited supplies of PPE, how to consider need during periods of shortages, and how to acquire and request PPE (i.e., in the face of critical shortages and whereas normal supply chain allocation cannot meet operational requirements).
  • CISA issued a newCISA Insights titled, COVID-19 Disinformation Activity can be found here. This article provides guidance to deter false information and conspiracy theories related to COVID-19. It provides factual information to counteract inaccurate claims and provides simple steps the public can take to fact check information and minimize the risk of spreading false or misleading content.

 

Updated a resource on Keeping Your House Disinfected

Click here for an updated resource on keeping your house disinfected. It covers both the flu and the coronavirus, including disinfecting frequently touched objects and deep cleaning.  This guide can provide Americans with a practical guide on what to do after returning from the grocery store, receiving packages and many other situations arising during this time. 

 

Funding Sources for Law Enforcement: Apply Today

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, which is the third stimulus bill to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act provides more than $2 trillion for relief efforts.Most importantly the CARES Act includes funding for law enforcement and other first responders! Please review the prepared document here to see what funding your department or agency can apply for! The CARES Act includes various funding from DHS and DOJ that is open for immediate use.

  

Personnel (Employment) Testing During the COVID-19 Crisis - Best Practices from Stanard & Associates, Inc.

Over the last few weeks, Stanard & Associates have been fielding calls and emails from agencies seeking guidance on how best to move forward with their new hire and promotional testing processes. To help departments, they created an informational piece. Click here to access.
During this time, many departments are finding it critical to keep their staffing levels up during the pandemic and traditional in-person/onsite testing methods are not able to be conducted due to shelter in place restrictions and/or departments closing their facilities to the public. Perhaps the most important take away in the above communication is that last week, Stanard & Associates launched a NEW form of the POST exam (Form E) which is offered exclusively online and allows agencies to provide usernames and password to their candidates via email. With this new form, candidates can take the exam in the comfort of their own home with the tests scored by S&A and results sent to the authorized department contact. This new testing option has been extremely well received by agencies looking for a solution to keep their hiring processes on track.
 

DHS Release: COVID-19 Law Enforcement Exposure and Risk Mitigation Best Practices Resource Guide

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (OSLLE) facilitated the creation of the "*COVID-19 Exposure and Risk Mitigation Best Practices Resource Guide."  The guide can be found here.

Dr. Alexander Eastman, MD, MPH, FACS, FAEMS of The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) provided his medical opinion and reviewed all resources located within the document. "The Guide is a needed response to address many of law enforcements concerns and requests for risk mitigation resources. OSLLE hopes that these best practices provide guidance to ensure a strong public safety response and support all officers health and well-being."

The "COVID-19 Exposure and Risk Mitigation Best Practices Resource Guide" covers four (4) main topic areas:

  • Exposure Levels and Risk Assessment
  • Personal Protective Equipment for Law Enforcement
  • Mitigating Risk Through Altered Tactics and Procedures
  • Exposure Guidance and Decision-Making Tools