HHS Region 7 Weekly Update

April 7, 2020

This week, HHS announced that it is purchasing the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid point-of-care test for state and territorial public health labs. This test allows for medical diagnostic testing at the time and place of patient care, provides COVID-19 results in under 13 minutes and expands the capacity for coronavirus testing for individuals exhibiting symptoms as well as for healthcare professionals and the first responder community.

Other HHS Resources:

Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19 with applications due no later than Friday, April 10, 2020.

ACF recently published new guidance announcing flexibilities in conducting human service activities related to or affected by COVID-19. Additional announcements:

  • Office of Head Start (OHS):   Communications regarding OHS coronavirus prevention and response are available here.
  • Office of Family Assistance (OFA):  OFA released a Program Instruction (PI) to State and Territorial Agencies and Tribal Agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program on March 24, 2020. The PI addresses TANF’s administrative flexibilities for states and tribes and includes questions and answers about how state and tribal grantees might use TANF to address COVID-19. The OFA PI is available here.
  • Children’s Bureau:  The Children’s Bureau issued a letter to Child Welfare Leaders on March 18, 2020 that addresses: (1) requirements for case worker visits to children in foster care; (2) Program Improvement Plans developed to address the results of a Child and Family Services Review; (3) the onsite Title IV-E Eligibility Review; (4) child abuse and neglect investigations; and (5) other legislative and regulatory flexibility requirements. The letter to Child Welfare Leaders is available here.  Additional information and resources for state and tribal child welfare professionals relating to COVID-19 are available here.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)The LIHEAP Initial COVID-19 Program Guidance can be found here.