The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Sunday that President Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Delaware.
The designation paves the way for federal emergency aid to be made available to supplement state and local recovery efforts related to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
FEMA’s announcement comes on a day when total reported cases of the virus in Delaware reached 673, up from 593 yesterday. Total deaths in Delaware attributed to COVID-19 held steady at 14, and hospitalizations bumped up slightly to 101.
Delaware is now among 44 states slated to receive additional federal help from FEMA.
The FEMA designation will mean federal funding is available to state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for all areas affected by coronavirus COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent. The official starting date of the pandemic period eligible for funding is January 20, 2020.
FEMA has yet to fill PPE requests from Delaware
Prior to the emergency designation, Delaware had only received a fraction of its request for a 120-day supply of medical supplies from FEMA.
However, a state spokesperson says the 120-day request came at the behest of FEMA, which made the same request of all states. FEMA subsequently requested that states provide a 14-day supply order request, which Delaware submitted on April 1.
“We can provide the attached information (excel below) which includes the request made on March 25, 2020, which was not able to be filled, and the request made on April 1, 2020, which also has yet to be filled,” said Delaware Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Jeff Sands.
According to Sands, Delaware has a three-pronged approach to obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other needed supplies for the ongoing COVID-19 response.
• Using the state’s existing supplies
• Obtaining supplies through open market purchases and donations
• Requesting supplies through the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)
One model public health officials are eyeing predicts that the virus’ peak in Delaware could come as early as April 11, but experts have cautioned that more data is needed to fully inform projections.
Regional FEMA lead MaryAnn Tierney has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. The Trump administration said that Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.