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GMA Answers Cities’ COVID-19 Questions

Question: As city leaders, we are receiving a lot of questions from our constituents about testing. How can we answer those questions and when can we expect more testing?
Answer: The situation around testing and the lack of testing has caused a lot of concern and is very fluid. In the State of Georgia, Governor Kemp indicated to local governments on March 17, 2020, that the state was establishing independent test sites in each region of the state. He noted that there were 18 health districts around the state and each one should have a testing site. Testing capabilities are growing daily. The Georgia Department of Public Health is attempting to prioritize testing for the most vulnerable, first responders, and health workers. Therefore, until testing capacity increases people who do not fit into those categories may experience testing delays and delays in results. Again, news on testing changes frequently so it is important for local government leaders to stay in constant contact with their local boards of health and state leaders.

Cities across the state are using GMA’s Frequently Asked Questions document, model ordinance and cities' emergency procedures as references and decision-making tools. Visit GMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center for more important questions and answers.

WEBINAR REGISTRATION: FEMA’s Public Assistance Program 

Next week, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) is conducting Applicant Briefings via webinar to explain FEMA’s Public Assistance Process and the steps to take in order to receive reimbursement for cost incurred due to COVID-19. Eligible subrecipients are counties, cities, state agencies and certain private nonprofits.
Webinar Dates:

Visit the links above or GMA’s Calendar of Events for call-in specifics.
FEMA has also simplified the Public Assistance application process and is developing a simplified online form that applicants can complete, and on which they may explain work activities, answer basic questions, provide limited supporting documentation, and provide a cost estimate. Read this fact sheet for more information.
In addition, cities are encouraged to read NLC’s guidance on seeking FEMA assistance and to follow these links to access two factsheets on HR6201: Factsheet 1 and Factsheet 2.

GMA Provides Update on The CARES Act

Today, the U.S. House approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), intended to bring financial relief to Americans and businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The Senate passed the relief measure by unanimous vote yesterday, March 26, and the President is expected to sign the legislation.
Although the CARES Act will serve many of the immediate needs of municipal governments to prevent economic decline (for the governments themselves and their residents), GMA thinks that the Act will be insufficient for intermediate and long-term economic stabilization. The CARES Act will primarily help states, and the potential impact on local budgets is largely unknown at this point because Governors will have maximum flexibility to allocate resources from the fund as they see fit. Find a summary of the Act’s key provisions on the GMA website.
In the coming weeks, GMA urges city officials to remain in touch with Georgia’s Congressional delegation to make them aware of these priorities. GMA will continue to advocate on behalf of our 538 member cities, but it is important for Congress to hear directly from municipal leaders.

Georgia DOR’s Alcohol Retail Licensee FAQ

The Department of Revenue is providing guidance to the public and to department personnel pertaining to the sales of alcoholic beverages via carry-out, drive-in window or curbside delivery/pickup. Read the full FAQ.

STAY ALERT: Fraud & Scam Protection    

The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.

NLC’s COVID Pandemic Response Survey Findings

The National League of Cities commissioned a survey with Morning Consult to gather data on how residents are feeling about the response of their local, state and federal government to the Coronavirus outbreak in their communities. Read the one-pager of survey responses.

GMA's Coronavirus Resource Center

As GMA receives pertinent resources surrounding COVID-19, we will update the Coronavirus Resource Center for Municipal Officials.

Additional Resource:

Visit GMA's COVID-19 Resource Page

Coronavirus Hotline

Contact GMA

GMA is here to help you! Please send all of your emails to We are regularly checking this email box. 

GMA's Listservs

City managers, finance directors and clerks, remember to stay connected with each other through GMA’s convenient listservs. To join, email Becky Taylor at:

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