The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated $78 million to the State of Iowa to help reimburse eligible expenses for emergency protective measures that the state has incurred as a result of its response to COVID-19.
The grant funds, awarded by FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program, were made available Thursday, May 6, and are authorized under a major disaster declaration approved by President Trump on March 29 for the entire state. In total, FEMA has provided nearly $150 million to date in support of the state’s COVID-19 efforts.
The money reimburses 75 percent of projected eligible costs associated with buying essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and medical supplies and equipment during the months of May and June 2020. The supplies include medical gowns, surgical masks, face shields, safety glasses and gloves, disinfectant, respirators and viral swab collections kits.
This obligation also includes: $19.5 million in contract services for TestIowa, $35,000 in contract services associated with overseas PPE purchases and $13.7 million for additional medical supplies and equipment for the month of April. All figures represent the 75 percent federal share. The 25 percent is paid by the grant recipient.
“We are pleased to provide this significant grant to the State of Iowa to help them manage the financial demands that they’re experiencing as a result of COVID-19,” said Paul Taylor, FEMA Region VII Administrator. “We will continue to work closely with them as our shared efforts to respond to this pandemic continue.”
In addition to the $78 million, FEMA has obligated the following money for Iowa (75 percent federal share):
- $44 million to reimburse eligible costs for buying essential PPE, medical supplies and equipment for March and April;
- $4 million to reimburse state administrative costs associated with COVID-19 response;
- $17 million to pay costs associated with the deployment of Iowa National Guard members deployed under Title 32 authorities;
- $4.2 million to the Veterans Health Administration to pay for use of up to 20 beds at VA facilities and to pay for extra nursing care at state veteran’s facility.
**Note: Numbers are rounded to the nearest million and represent money made available to the state. Final dollars will be determined after expenses are reconciled so totals may differ.
The Public Assistance program provides grants at a 75/25 cost share to state and local governments, tribal nations and certain non-profit entities to assist with eligible costs associated with responding to and recovering from disasters.
For COVID-19, FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and to allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These reimbursements can play a critical role in helping local, state and tribal officials assist their communities during this response.
The current disaster declaration for Iowa authorizes help with Emergency Protective Measures, which includes the purchase of PPE, durable medical equipment, and consumable medical supplies necessary to respond to COVID-19 cases.
The disaster declaration also authorizes Direct Federal Assistance to help governmental entities and tribal nations with certain COVID-related actions that the states, localities and tribes themselves cannot undertake at this time for some reason, such as the inability to use their own personnel to perform a function or an inability to contract with someone else to do the work.