Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

If you are looking for current information on Coronavirus, please visit these resources for your county:

Sonoma County: 
Visit SoCoEmergency.org
Questions can be directed to Sonoma County 211 by calling 2-1-1

Marin County:
Visit Coronavirus.marinhhs.org

Napa County:
Visit: County of Napa/Coronavirus

Yolo County:
Visit: Yolocounty.org

CARES Act Provides Financial Relief to Health Centers

On March 27, Congress passed and the White House signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion funding package that addresses an array of sectors that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The CARES Act includes $140.4 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services as well as an injection of funding for individuals, businesses, states, and local governments. You can find more details here. 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) – $140.4 billion 

  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund ($127 billion)
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention ($4.3 billion)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) ($945.5 million)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ($200 million)

Financial Support Available to Health Centers
The CARES Act also provides specific financial support for health care providers. We will share additional information as we learn more about how our health centers can access these funds.

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund: This provision provides financial relief to health care providers for expenses incurred due to the coronavirus, as well as revenue losses. “Health care providers” is defined broadly and includes hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, FQHCs, rural health clinics, health home aids, etc. Health centers can be reimbursed for expenses incurred for supplies as well as labor, staffing, training, etc. According to the bill, there will also be grants and loans available for future costs.

HHS has not yet released guidance on how to apply for these funds, but RCHC is closely tracking this and will update our members when info is available.

Small Business Administration Loans for Nonprofits: The CARES Act also provided relief to nonprofit employers through the Small Business Administration. According to CalNonprofits, two types of assistance is available:

  • The Disaster Assistance Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program provides low-interest loans to nonprofits of all sizes. Nonprofits, including health centers, can secure loans of up to $2 million to be used to pay payroll, accounts payable, debts, and other bills that can’t be paid due the impact of COVID-19; the interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%. The CARES Act expands this program to include an emergency advance, pending a loan application, of up to $10,000 that the SBA must distribute to the nonprofit within three days. The COVID-19 EIDL application is here.
  • The 7(A) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans of up to $10 million to nonprofits with less than 500 employees. These loans can cover expenses incurred between February 15 – June 30, 2020, for payroll, health benefits, rent, interest on mortgages, utilities, and fixed debts. Interest rates are capped at 4%, but portions of the loan (payroll, rent, interest on mortgages, and utilities) can be forgiven, turning the loan into a grant. The amount is forgiven, up to 100%, depends on the extent to which the nonprofit retains employees through June 30. A sample application is available here; an online application process is not yet available.

We encourage our members to contact the Northern California Small Business Development Centers (Norcal SBDC) to get information about these loans, how to apply, and what documentation you’ll need to provide.

More Resources for Health Centers are Needed
While we appreciate the $1.32 billion for health centers, we know that health centers will need more to sustain our workforce challenges and operations during the #COVID19 pandemic.

For the next three weeks, Congress is on recess and back in their districts. When they return in mid-April, Congress may work in an additional stimulus package. We are following this closely and encourage you to contact your Member of Congress today to share your story about how you continue to help Californians during this pandemic and the challenges you face.