Pres. Trump approves California’s Major Disaster Declaration to support state’s COVID-19 emergency response

Will provide assistance to state and local government, and to individuals for crisis counseling

Washington, D.C. – FEMA announced on Sunday that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of California to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

The President’s action makes federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas of the state of California.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 in the state of California. The federal cost share is 75 percent.

Robert J. Fenton has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Fenton said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Governor Gavin Newsom also announced on Sunday that President Donald Trump has approved California’s request, submitted earlier that day, for a presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster California’s COVID-19 emergency response efforts. See the governor’s request here.

“Earlier today we requested a presidential Major Disaster Declaration and this afternoon we got it,” Newsom said on Sunday. “The declaration will supplement our state’s comprehensive COVID-19 surge planning and make vital resources available. We appreciate the quick response and partnership from the White House.”

The Major Disaster Declaration makes federal funding available to state, tribal and local governments for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, and makes funding available for crisis counseling for impacted individuals. It will include any and all individual assistance programs to assist those affected by the outbreak and lessen the economic impacts of the crisis. The request would provide additional assistance, including but not limited to, mass care and emergency assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster unemployment assistance, disaster legal services and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance.

The State of California and local governments have taken extraordinary steps to protect public health in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week, the Governor signed emergency legislation allocating $1.1 billion toward the state’s response, issued a Stay at Home orderdeployed the National Guard to help support food banks, and signed an executive order to prepare the health care system for a possible surge in cases. Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 emergency response here.

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