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FEMA expands costs eligible for COVID-19 aid

The Maui News

Changes to a federal COVID-19 Public Assistance Program now allow applicants to claim expenses used for the safe reopening and operation of their facilities, even if the cost is not directly tied to COVID-19 positive case.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency updated its policy and extended the eligibility period for the program through Dec. 31, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA may provide assistance to all eligible program applicants, including state, local, tribal and territorial governments and eligible nonprofits for the following measures:

• Purchase and distribution of face masks, including cloth face coverings, and personal protective equipment.

• Cleaning and disinfection, including the purchase and provision of necessary supplies and equipment in excess of the applicant’s regularly budgeted costs.

• COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

• Screening and temperature scanning, including, but not limited to, the purchase and distribution of handheld temperature-measuring devices or temperature-screening equipment.

• Acquisition and installation of temporary physical barriers, such as Plexiglas barriers and screens/dividers, and signage to support social distancing, such as floor decals.

• Purchase and storage of personal protective equipment and other supplies listed should be based on projected needs for the safe reopening and operation of the facility.

Organizations that have already submitted a request for public assistance for COVID-19 and have been deemed eligible will be contacted by a state public assistance officer. Those that have not submitted a request and would like more information about how to do so can contact douglas .m.carroll@hawaii.gov and will be contacted by a state public assistance officer with a request for public assistance form.

HI-EMA oversees the administration of the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program in Hawaii by assisting applicants and managing disbursement of the federal funds.

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