CDC Interim Guidance for the General Population (May 14, 2020)
Small Business Administration PPP Information Page
Payroll Protection Plan Loans - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Latest COVID-19 Updates from the CDC
Q&A on COVID-19 - WHO
Coronavirus Disease Outbreak
Covid-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University
Covid-19 United States cases by County at John Hopkins University
Small Business Administration releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application (May 19, 2020)
Surveying and COVID-19: A lesson in essential services
by Tim Burch (GPS World - May 6)
PPEs for Surveyors (May 6)
Many surveyors are discussing safety processes for certain workers, particularly those who cannot easily follow social distancing rules. This includes aerial photo and LiDAR flight crews, those who work in a SCIF, those in mobile LiDAR vehicles or hydrography boats, survey crews out in the public, those in states where there are orders and guidelines to wear masks in public, and others.
If you need personal protective equipment (PPE) for any such employees, such as gloves, face masks, etc., NSPS Government Affairs Consultants, John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. can help. JMP&A is working with a provider. Click here to review PPE's that are available. Note on the attached there are minimum quantities on each order.
To begin the ordering process, click here.
NSPS Surveyor Says! Podcast
Episode 26 - 5-6-2020
This “Surveyor Says!” podcast from the National Society of Professional Surveyors pulls the curtain back on how Washington D.C. is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Director Curt Sumner is joined by NSPS Lobbyist John “JB” Byrd and our legislative consultant, John Palatiello, for conversation about issues effecting the surveying profession during this extraordinary time. Lots of great insight from our legislative group.
State Resources (updated May 5)
Arizona Professional Land Surveyors (APLS)
Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC)
Hawaii Land Surveyors Association (HLSA)
Maine Society of Land Surveyors (MSLS)
Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers (MALSCE)
North Carolina Society of Surveyors (NCSS)
Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO)
Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS)
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS)
Utah Council of Land Surveyors (UCLS)
Vermont Society of Land Surveyors (VSLS)
Land Surveyors of Washington (LSAW)
NSPS Surveyor Says! Podcast
Episode 25 - 4-29-2020
This episode is with Executive Director Curt Sumner and Gary Kent, chair of the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Committee brings you the first installment of “Table A Talk” in the age of quarantine, “shelter-in-place” and COVID-19. They talk about how communication with surveyors help the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey committees shape additions, deletions and revisions to the standards. Thanks for joining Curt and Gary discussing how standards are decided and settling uncertainty with the standards on this edition of “Table A Talk” here on the “Surveyor Says!” Podcast.
IRS ruling regarding non-deductibility of expenses (May 5)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Information Sheets (April 24)
OSHA COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce
OSHA Prevent Workers Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
OSHA Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus
For more information, visit www.osha.gov/coronavirus or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)
NSPS wishes to thank Survey Technician Brian Briggs in Massachusetts for sharing important information regarding potential danger to surveying field crews working on projects where gathering data in manholes is required.
To read article click here.
Brian provided the following text from a MIT study:
Researchers from MIT’s wastewater analytics spinout Biobot, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have come up with a different way to identify cases of COVID-19. They’ve launched a pro bono program to test community sewers. They’ll be looking for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in people’s poop.
It’s not a gimmick. Earlier this month, three researchers from China found that SARS-CoV-2 really can be found live in fecal matter, making it possible to transmit the virus through sewage systems. They published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Summary of the Payroll Protection Program compiled by NSPS President-Elect, Mark Sargent and his office manager.
NSPS Joins Coalition Request to President Trump on DHS Essential Infrastructure List
U.S. Department of Labor | April 2, 2020
U.S. Department Of Labor Announces New CARES Act Guidance on Unemployment Insurance for Statesin Response to COVID-19 Crisis
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 14-20 (UIPL) outlining relevant provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act related to the administration of and eligibility criteria for state unemployment insurance (UI) programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for those not typically eligible for UI, such as gig workers, and expanded UI benefits. Today’s guidance is the first of several upcoming UIPLs to states on the unemployment insurance provisions of the CARES Act.
The CARES Act follows decisive and timely actions already taken by the department, Congress and President Trump to provide American families with much-need relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
“As workers across the country make sacrifices to combat the coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Labor is focused on supporting them and their families during a time of economic hardship,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The Department is offering guidance and support so that States can provide benefits quickly while protecting the integrity of the unemployment insurance system.”
The UIPL outlines several new programs under the recent CARES Act. PUA provides benefits for eligible individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for UI benefits under state or federal law. To be eligible, among other requirements, individuals must demonstrate that they are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of COVID-19 related reasons.
Under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, eligible individuals who are collecting certain UI benefits, including regular unemployment compensation, will receive an additional $600 in federal benefits per week for weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020. Additionally, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program allows those who have exhausted benefits under regular unemployment compensation or other programs to receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits. States must offer flexibility in meeting PEUC eligibility requirements related to “actively seeking work” if an applicant’s ability to do so is impacted by COVID-19.
For more information UIPLs or previous guidance, please visit: https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/.
For department resources on COVID-19, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
The Employment and Training Administration administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the department is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
Thank you NYSAPLS for sharing this valuable information below:
We have been inundated with requests for specific determination of surveying as essential or specific jobs as being essential. Since we have not been given clear and concise direction by the state, the executive board has decided to provide the following informational outline as a result of our numerous meetings over the last few weeks and hope to provide some insight or provide a level of comfort for how to proceed in these trying times. Keep in mind they are only SUGGESTIONS.
Suggested Field Procedures
- Employees should report to a job site in a separate vehicle. Employees should utilize their personal vehicle at this time.
- Employees should maintain a safe distancing separation of a minimum of six feet at all times.
- Only one member of a field crew should report to the office.
- All personal field equipment should remain with each employee, no personal equipment should be left in company owned vehicles or in the office.
As directed by the governor’s office in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, companies should be implementing a telework policy for all employees whose job duties are conducive to working from home to the maximum extent possible.
Suggested Work At Home Procedures
- Employees should designate a safe and secure remote workplace to perform their duties while working remotely from home.
- Information security for employees working at the office, telecommuting employees would be expected to ensure the protection of proprietary company and customer information accessible from their home office.
- Employees should confirm they have adequate internet access to perform work.
- Employees should use reasonable measures to maintain the confidentiality of all work-related information and follow the company’s and client’s confidentiality policies
- Employees designated as support staff for essential services should be permitted in the office to perform limited duties that are not conducive to telework.
- A single person may attend a closed business temporarily to perform a specific task as long as they will not be in contact with other people; this includes picking up the mail, payment of bills, etc.
If anyone has additional ideas, please forward them to Amber. We will update the membership with these suggestions and as information or governmental policy changes.
Please keep in mind a common sense approach at this time is the best course of action. Providing field staff with data via flash drive, Bluetooth, text and email and having different crews report to the office at different times will help adhere to social distancing and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Recognizing that federal legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be final until the Senate and House reach agreement, NSPS wants to share with members the information that is known from time to time. Below is a summary of the current situation provided by American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
Business Tax Relief
- Deferral of payment of the employer portion of the Social Security tax, with half due by December 31, 2021 and the other half due by December 31, 2022.
- Allows net operating losses arising in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to be carried back for five years.
- Modifies the loss limitation applicable to passthroughs and sole proprietors so they can utilize excess business losses and access cash flow.
- Increases business interest deductibility from 30 to 50 percent for 2019 and 2020.
- Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for employers whose operations are partially or fully suspended by a COVID-19 shutdown order or whose gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
- Provides a technical fix for the qualified leasehold improvement provision in the TCJA.
Small Business Assistance
- Provides $562 million for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses.
- The package also authorizes $350 billion worth of 100 percent guaranteed SBA loans, a portion of which SBA will forgive based on allowable expenses for the borrower.
- This small business package also includes $10 billion in direct grants for businesses that do not qualify for the EIDL program, and $17 billion to have SBA step in and make six months of principle and interest payments for all SBA backed business loans.
- Establishes the maximum 7(a) loan amount to $10 million through December 31, 2020 and provides a formula by which the loan amount is tied to payroll costs incurred by the business to determine the size of the loan.
- Note that 501 c(3) non-profits qualify for small business assistance programs, not 501 c(6) entities; ACEC will work with ASAE and other associations to address in the next package.
- The agreement provides direct payments to individuals with incomes up to $75,000 ($150,000 for couples), $1,200 for each adult ($2400 for couples), as well as $500 for each child.
- The bill would add $600 per person per week onto the base maximum unemployment benefit for four months.
- The bill enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis, contributing up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employer under current law. The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee after date of enactment and before January 1, 2021. Note that this provision is based on legislation that ACEC has advocated for to Congress as part of the Council’s workforce agenda.
- $25 billion for mass transit systems
- Available for operating expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, and reimbursement for lost revenue
- Distributed under current transit program formulas
- $10 billion for airports
- $7.4 billion available for any purpose, distributed 50/50 by number of enplanements and ratio of overall debt service
- $2 billion for AIP formula grants, available for any purpose
- $500 million to cover the 100% federal cost share of FY20 programs
- $1 billion for passenger rail
- $492 million for Amtrak Northeast Corridor, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19
State Assistance -- Provides $150 billion to States, Territories, and Tribal governments to use for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 in the face of revenue declines, allocated by population proportions, with a minimum of $1.25 billion for states with relatively small populations.
Community Development Block Grant – $5 billion is provided for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to enable nearly 1,240 states, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services.
Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund -- Provides $500 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and other investments, distributed as follows:
- $25 billion for passenger air carriers, eligible businesses that are certified under part 145 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, and approved to perform inspection, repair, replace, or overhaul services, and ticket agents;
- $4 billion for cargo air carriers; and
- $17 billion for businesses important to maintaining national security;
- $454 billion, as well as any amounts available but not used for direct lending, for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities. Federal Reserve 13(3) lending is a critical tool that can be used in times of crisis to help mitigate extraordinary pressure in financial markets that would otherwise have severe adverse consequences for households, businesses, and the U.S. economy.
CARES Section by Section
Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Summary