Vermont disaster request approved, earmarking public assistance funds for pandemic response

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (NEWS10) — President Donald J. Trump granted disaster status in Vermont on Wednesday, following a Tuesday request from Gov. Phil Scott for a federal disaster declaration due to the coronavirus.

“These funds are critical to the state as we continue to respond to, and work to recover from, this pandemic.”

Gov. Scott

Vermont’s Department of Finance and Management says the state has already spent much more than $20 million on supplies, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and personnel necessary to address the outbreak. The final cost will be far greater.

The disaster declaration allows state and municipal governments—and some nonprofit organizations—to access public assistance funds that will reimburse 75% of costs for emergency protective measures. Expenses that may be eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Operating emergency centers
  • Emergency medical care
  • Medical sheltering and supplies
  • Provisions of food, water, ice, medicine, and other essentials
  • Temporary security and law enforcement
  • Communicating general health and safety information

Potentially qualifying nonprofits include nursing homes, laboratories, rehab centers that provide medical care, hospitals, emergency care and education facilities, and emergency fire and rescue services.

Vermont also requested disaster unemployment and crisis counseling assistance on Tuesday. These requests are still under federal review.

Disasters have already been declared in New York and Massachusetts.

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