Coronavirus

Coronavirus Updates: Atlanta Gets $11M To Help People Who Are Homeless During Pandemic

Atlanta can use the funds to pay for hotel rooms, cover the costs of shelters or to provide mental health services.
Atlanta can use the funds to pay for hotel rooms, cover the costs of shelters or to provide mental health services.
Credit stephannie stokes / WABE
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Atlanta is getting another $11 million to help people who are homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

The money comes from a federal relief package that Congress passed in March. Atlanta can use the funds to pay for hotel rooms, cover the costs of shelters or to provide mental health services.

The $11 million grant is just the latest from the congressional relief bill known as the CARES Act.

In total, the federal government has promised the city $13 million for homeless services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding comes as providers across the city worry about a coming surge in homelessness.

With lost jobs, renters may struggle to make rent. And evictions are expected to resume next month.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, there were 53,980 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia, and 2,329 deaths.

Volunteers Reopening Some Federal Offices Closed In Pandemic

New regional surges in coronavirus cases forced the Environmental Protection Agency to put on hold some of the earliest planned returns of federal employees to their offices, while the first volunteers at a few other federal agencies are quietly going back to their desks.

The Trump administration’s guidance, called “Opening up America Again,” lays out specific conditions for calling workers back, like 14 straight days of downward-trending cases in an area. But there have been complaints that the administration is moving too quickly.

On Monday, small numbers of Energy Department headquarters staff returned to offices in Washington, D.C., and Germantown, Tennessee, spokeswoman Jessica Szymanski said.

Less than 4% of the agency’s 7,000 federal and contractor workers were expected to return to work in this first phase of the administration’s plans, Szymanski said. This initial phase allows for voluntary returns of staffers.

The State Department said Monday that it expects to start its in-office restaffing on June 15, also with voluntary returns of employees. The Agriculture Department brought back all political appointees in the Washington area at large on June 1.

Many federal workers, like Americans in general and people around the world, have worked from home since mid- to late March, as the coronavirus spread. Essential federal employees stayed in the field, and the IRS early on become one of the first agencies to ask some workers to come back to offices, to handle taxes and taxpayers.

President Donald Trump earlier publicly urged reopening of some federal sites, including national parks, as a sign of “our significant progress against the invisible enemy” of coronavirus. That was in late April, as U.S. coronavirus deaths were climbing on their way past 100,000.

The EPA had some regional offices on track for the start of the phased return of federal employees. Agency officials put that on abrupt hold for Boston and Dallas regional offices Friday, citing increases in coronavirus infections in those cities, according to agency documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Sixteen other office sites, labs and other spaces in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Washington are in an early phase of the agency’s restaffing plans, spokeswoman Angela Hackel said.

Union officials said that could mean mandatory return of workers in some parts of the country — Atlanta, Seattle, Denver and suburban Kansas City — by early July.

Other Information:

How Medical Personnel Avoid Taking Coronavirus Home

Protesting? Here’s How To Help Keep Your Family Safe From COVID-19 When You Go Home

Senate Panel Asks: When Can K-12 Schools Safely Reopen?

From Rent Freezes To Liquor Buybacks: How States Are Helping People Cope

Modelers Suggest Pandemic Lockdowns Saved Millions From Dying Of COVID-19

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