COVID 19 Community Action Resources

COVID 19 Community Action Resources

From Virginia CSBG Office 

Virginia Specific Resources 

From National Partners 

HUD Resources

From Office of Community Services (Federal Level)

From the Office of Head Start:

Helpful Articles

Helping Communities Know Mitigation Strategies

The CDC released their “Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission.”  Essentially, this is a guide describing possible mitigation strategies for communities dealing with transmission at three different levels: (1) None/Minimal, (2) Moderate, or (3) Substantial.  Community mitigation strategies, which are non-pharmaceutical interventions, are often the most available interventions to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 in communities.  The Mitigation Plan includes a set of actions that persons and communities can take to slow the spread of respiratory virus infections. The Community Mitigation Plan can be found here.

Guidance for Preparing Workplaces

The Department of Labor released practical guidance for how to prepare workplaces for COVID-19. This guidance will help to educate workers and employers about the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance can be found here.

Guidance to Prepare Homeless Shelters

We recognize persons experiencing homelessness are an especially vulnerable population. CDC released guidance on March 9, to help homeless shelters plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19. The guidance can be found here.

General Preparation Information

On March 9, 2020, the White House Coronavirus Task Force released practical steps that we recommend posting and sharing to keep workplaces, school, home and commercial establishments safe. This information can be found here.

Funding for States to Address COVID-19

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced upcoming action by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide resources to state and local jurisdictions in support of our nation’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The $8.3 billion dollar Supplemental passed by Congress included statutory language which prescribed the exact formula for disbursing the money: states will receive 90% of their 2019 CDC PHEP grants.  This marks the first tranche of funding to states from the $8.3 billion supplemental.  Today, CDC is contacting State Health Officers to move forward with awarding over $560 million to states, localities, territories, and tribes. CDC will use existing networks to reach out to state and local jurisdictions to access this initial funding. To view the list of CDC funding actions to jurisdictions, click here.

Department of Labor information on FLSA/wage and hour considerations can be found here.

VEC released FAQ’s on this page (the top of the page with red coronavirus language, there is a link for Office Closings Due to Coronavirus, with a Q&A document).

From Tamarah Holmes, Director of the Office of Broadband at DHCD – Covid 19 Broadband Resources

  • This is an issue that is evolving. Several school systems have moved to secure hotspots for students. One thing to do would be to reach out to your school system and see what has been done on their front, they may have started this conversation.
  • First action Tamarah recommended was to reach out to your current cell or LAN-line provider. Many are waiving restrictions or restructuring deals temporarily in light of current situation. For example, Tamarah noted that some providers have opened networks beyond customers. This is one example, not meant to encourage any provider, just to show what to look for. As you work with providers, I would suggest sharing information with us that we can broadly share if you are successful.
  • Another idea is to check with libraries, as they sometimes have hotspots and may be willing to share with agencies, if they can.
  • In relation to the three points above, there are initiatives to ensure that providers make access available, both of these resources talk about working with schools and libraries on plans with providers on these lists:
    • Several broadband and cellular providers in Virginia have signed onto the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected“, pledging that for the next 60 days these companies will not terminate service or impose late fees due to circumstances from the virus, as well as open wifi hotspots in areas of need.
    • The FCC has also waived gift rules in the Rural Health Care and E-Rate programs to allow healthcare providers, schools, and libraries to accept improved capacity, Wi-Fi hotspots, networking gear, or other equipment or services from broadband providers during the coronavirus outbreak.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there CSBG-specific COVID-19 guidance available to states?
    OCS plans to release an Information Memorandum (IM) by Monday, March 23, 2020. While awaiting this guidance, NASCSP held a regional call with OCS to provide an opportunity for states to tell OCS what sort of guidance would be most beneficial at this time. To listen to the regional call, click here. In the meantime, NASCSP will continue advocating on behalf of state administrators of CSBG to solicit a prompt response from OCS around these issues, and we will share information as soon as it is available.
  • Can the CSBG eligibility requirements be adjusted?
    The 125% of the Federal Poverty Level is a statutory requirement and therefore cannot be waived by state offices. However, states may revise eligibility documentation requirements or calculation methodologies. See CAPLAW’s publication on client eligibility for additional considerations. CSBG IM #154 also provides guidance to states on revising eligibility criteria in times of crisis or disaster.
  • Will CSBG receive additional federal allocations to respond to COVID-19?
    There is potential that CSBG may receive supplemental funding. While specific details and timelines are not yet available, typically supplemental funds are allocated by Congress with a clear intended purpose, and then the funds would be able to be used just like normal CSBG for that purpose. Typically, supplementals follow all normal funding rules unless Congress specifies otherwise. We will keep you posted as this unfolds. To note, multiple funding streams used by the Community Action Network are receiving supplemental and emergency funding. Funding streams included in recent aid packages include several nutrition programs including Meals on Wheels, congregate meals, and WIC. States and agencies should be aware that this funding may reach the Community Action networks.
  • Can organizational standards requirements for local agencies be adjusted?
    The role of states in the implementation of Organizational Standards is outlined in IM 138. The IM describes the state’s authority and discretion to determine how the standards are implemented and what “meets” an organizational standard.
  • Can the requirements for a Community Needs Assessment be adjusted?
    Criteria for what constitutes a comprehensive community needs assessment vary by state – the state has authority to revise requirements (outside of those required in Organizational Standards) as appropriate. Created by NASCSP | MARCH 2020 States should review their processes and procedures on community needs assessments and revise where appropriate.
  • Can state policies around board vacancies be adjusted?
    States may need to allow for longer board vacancies due to virus impacts. Refer to your state policy for extenuating circumstances/extensions.
  • Can local agencies spend more than 20% of their allocations on administrative funds?
    Although the federal GPRA target for administrative costs is 20%, CSBG does not have a set administrative cap at the federal level. States may determine that administrative caps for local agencies need to be raised to allow agencies to cover PTO, costs associated with maintaining clean and safe facilities, and other virus related administrative costs.
  • How are other CAA's addressing the operations of emergency services such as Food Pantry?
    From Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53: “Nothing in the Order shall limit: (a) the provision of health care or medical services; (b) access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; (c) the operations of the media; (d) law enforcement agencies; or (e) the operation of government. ”