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COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

Release date: 
March 13, 2020
Release Number: 
HQ-20-017-FactSheet

On March 13, 2020, the President declared the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia pursuant to section 501 (b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”).  State, Territorial, Tribal, local government entities and certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations are eligible to apply for Public Assistance.  

In accordance with section 502 of the Stafford Act, eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials’ may be reimbursed under Category B of the agency’s Public Assistance program. FEMA will not duplicate assistance provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or other federal agencies.  This includes necessary emergency protective measures for activities taken in response to the COVID-19 incident.  FEMA assistance will be provided at the 75 percent Federal cost share

This declaration increases federal support to HHS in its role as the lead federal agency for the federal government’s response to COVID-19. The emergency declaration does not impact measures authorized under other Federal statutes.

FEMA assistance will require execution of a FEMA-State/Tribal/Territory Agreement, as appropriate, and execution of an applicable emergency plan.  States, Tribal and Territorial governments do not need to request separate emergency declarations to receive FEMA assistance under this nationwide declaration.

FEMA encourages officials to take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance. 

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FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.

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The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
March 13, 2020 - 17:15