COVID-19 Federal IT Diary for March 13

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has unleashed a flood of information whose volume can be nearly overwhelming.  Here is our take at highlighting a few items from today’s news that will be the most help to the Federal IT sector and its employees:

President Declares National Emergency

President Trump declared a national emergency related to COVID-19, which he said in Rose Garden speech at the White House will create the ability to make $50 billion available in Federal support to states, localities, and territories.  He said the declaration will also allow the medical community to further embrace telehealth services.

Call for COVID-19 Research to be Made Public

The director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and government scientists from countries around the world are calling for publishers to make COVID-19-related research available to the public including in formats where they can apply artificial intelligence (AI) to the task of analyzing the data.

Along with OSTP Director Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, science ministers and chief science advisors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom have joined the call to make COVID-19 research and data available immediately.

Read more about the call for public research here.

DoD Answers FAQs About COVID-19

The Department of Defense (DoD) answered a few frequently asked questions related to travel restrictions amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

These questions are related to service members and how they and their families should proceed during the time of uncertainty. DoD says it will “use all means available to assist services members who were impacted by COVID-19.”

Additionally, there will be a hiring freeze that involve PCS to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 2 and Level 3 designated locations.

DHS Outlines Process for Americans Returning from Europe, China, and Iran

Elsewhere, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlined a new process for residents and immediate family members returning home after visiting certain European countries, China, and Iran. Those restricted-European countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Citizens returning from the restricted countries will have to travel through one of 13 airports upon return for flights taking off at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13. Those include:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts;
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington and
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia.
Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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