there new areas in the state where business reopening capacity is limited?
Yes. Executive order GA-32
was issued by the governor back on October 7, 2020. A key feature of GA-32 is
the ability of most facilities (not including bars, which are subject to additional
restrictions) to reopen at 75% capacity,
unless they are located in a Trauma Service Area with high COVID-19 hospitalizations. An "area with high
hospitalizations" is defined as "any Trauma Service Area that has
had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized
patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until
such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the
number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital
capacity is 15 percent or less." Hospitalization data by Trauma
Service Area can be found here.
we last reported on this issue on October 27, the Texas Department of State
Health Services (DSHS) updated their GA-32
webpage with three new Trauma
Service Areas that are now considered to be high COVID-19 hospitalization
areas - Trauma Service Area J (17 counties in the Midland region), Trauma
Service Area M (Bosque, Falls, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan counties); and
Trauma Service Area T (Jim Hogg, Webb, and Zapata counties). These three
regions joined areas A, B and I as the six regions of the state where
re-openings are limited to 50 percent under GA-32.
The county judge of a county located
within a high-hospitalization Trauma Service Area may follow an attestation
process with DSHS to continue to operate at 75% capacity for certain
businesses if there have been fewer than 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over
the previous 14 days within the county. The affected counties that have
submitted an attestation and qualified to continue operating at 75% capacity are
listed on the GA-32 webpage linked above.
the US Treasury Department issued any new guidance on CARES Act expenditures?
Yes, on November 25, the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General
(OIG) issued an updated FAQ document. All changes from the previous
document are highlighted in yellow.
National League of Cities has helpfully outlined the most important changes
to the FAQ as follows:
- The most important
Question 86, the recoupment of funds.
OIG laid out two fact patterns of how it will deal with funds that were
used in violation of this section of the CARES Act.
- Before December 30,
prime recipient would need to either recover such funds and
redeploy them for COVID-19 related expenditures or demonstrate that
other eligible expenses incurred during the covered period of March 1
through December 30, 2020 would qualify as allowable. The prime
recipient can dispute the determination of the OIG. Once Treasury OIG
makes a final determination, it will request a written response from
the prime recipient to include the corrective action(s) to remedy the
- After December 30,
Treasury OIG may (1) seek recoupment of funds, or (2) allow the prime
recipient to demonstrate that other eligible expenses incurred during
the covered period of March 1 through December 30, 2020, would qualify
that will be recouped will be done so through he the Treasury's Bureau
of Fiscal Services - Centralized Receivable Services.
Prime Recipient will have the opportunity to enter into a repayment
agreement. The Treasury Department's Fiscal Services will follow the
normal debt collection practices.
Number one says "seek recoupment of funds" then it has a
comma and a disjunctive, "or", followed by a second
stipulation that includes the term "prime recipients", a
term absent from the first stipulation. What is unclear from this
reading is whether or not "seek recoupment of funds" applies
to non-prime recipients. We are seeking clarification from the
Treasury's OIG on this point today.
- Question 48
deals with payroll costs to individuals, and any other payments to
individuals. This question answers how these payments should be
- Question 49
deals with the non-federal cost share portion of covered CRF funds be
reported for monies FEMA has determined to be eligible under the
In the example, it talks about prime recipients. Only 36 cities (those
with more than 500,000 residents) in the U.S. were prime recipients.
Where can I find archived
issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?
TML Coronavirus Updates are
archived by date here
and by subject here.