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  COVID-19
Updates

Here is the most recent information from National Headquarters on how the coronavirus is affecting meetings, programs and activities.

ATTENTION: Due to the current state of affairs and at the recommendation of the National organization, The American Legion Department of Montana has passed resolution #1 cancelling the 2020 Department Convention that was to be held in Billings in June 26-28, 2020.

Mobirise

Please read the following email; although this addresses The American Legion Baseball Regional Tournaments and the American Legion World Series this does not necessarily cancel our American Legion Baseball season. This may allow us to start much later and then have our tournaments in July or August. Our Baseball Committee will continue to address this.
To: All Legion Leadership
From: Daniel S. Wheeler
  
2020 American Legion Regional Tournaments and 2020 American Legion World Series canceled
Awarding American Legion Baseball and Samsung American Legion Scholarships suspended for 2020
With the unpredictability of the current worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the manner in which the virus spreads, its duration and the resulting public health regulations and restrictions across the nation, The American Legion is facing an improbable situation. The Americanism Commission, in consultation with National Commander James William “Bill” Oxford, announces cancellation of all 2020 American Legion Baseball national tournaments, inclusive of all eight 2020 Regional Tournaments and the 2020 American Legion World Series. The awarding of American Legion Baseball scholarships and Samsung American Legion Scholarships for 2020 have also been completely suspended (Samsung American Legion Scholarships awarded in years prior to 2020 will continue to be paid out to students upon their requests to receive their funds).
 
Many baseball coaches are unable to complete prerequisite league play scheduled between May and July due to the closure of schools and playing facilities across the nation. In August, more than 500 players, coaches and volunteer staff are scheduled to travel and participate in eight regional tournaments and the American Legion World Series, collectively attracting thousands of fans and spectators. Many of these individuals are of a high-risk demographic.
 
Currently, there are 32 American Legion Boys State and 9 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs who have found it necessary to cancel their 2020 programs due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with several more having indicated that cancellation is probable. It is through the Boys State and Girls State programs that youth are afforded eligibility to apply for Samsung American Legion Scholarships. Many, many Boys State and Girl State delegates did not pursue their applications for 2020 Samsung American Legion Scholarships as a result of the scores of Boys State and Girls State program cancellations.
 
The decision to cancel was extremely difficult but deemed necessary, first and foremost in the interest of health and safety, and in the face of uncertainty. As Americanism Commission Richard Anderson noted, “These times are unparalleled. And while it is distressing to think of all those youth across the nation who are disappointed to learn of the cancellation of American Legion programs this year, it would be a much, much greater tragedy if even just one of those youth were to fall ill during a program. The Americanism Commission feels this is the right thing to do.”



M E M O R A N D U M
DATE: April 6, 2020
MEMO TO: Department Commanders and Department Adjutants
           
FROM: Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant
SUBJECT: National Emergency Fund Post Excellence Award 
Our American Legion posts throughout the country go above and beyond the call of duty every year and particularly after natural disasters such as tornados, floods, hurricanes, and snowstorms. Those posts in impacted areas typically step up and extend a helping hand to those in need, even if their post home, and personal homes, may have sustained damage. Posts do this work and put forth effort, not for the recognition, but because it is the right thing to do.
Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic, many posts have stepped up to assist their members and their communities. Examples of what some of these posts have done can be found at this link:
https://www.legion.org/news/248688/american-legion-family-members-continue-serve-despite-covid-19
Posts that have handled logistics, became an emergency action center, provided shelter (for COVID-19, prepared and distributed food, supplies, masks, etc. while maintaining a safe distance) and extended support to their communities in times of natural disasters and the COVID-19 Pandemic are shining examples of The American Legion at its best, and each and every one of them deserve to be recognized for that.
In order to give these posts their proper recognition, the National Emergency Fund Post Excellence Award was established in 2009 and it is once again being offered to those posts that helped their communities impacted by a natural disaster or COVID-19 during 2019 and 2020.
Departments may submit to the National Internal Affairs Division posts that should be considered for this recognition of service award by the National Commander. You must submit a written narrative (no more than 500 words), along with documentation which may include newspaper clippings, photos or videos on a flash drive, CD or DVD, to: The American Legion, P. O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206, ATTN: Internal Affairs. Please have your input to Internal Affairs no later than September 25, 2020.
At the 2020 Fall Meeting of the National Executive Committee, the Internal Affairs Commission will review these submissions and validate the recipients to the National Executive Committee. This award previously was to be determined at the Spring NEC Meetings, but due to COVID-19 causing cancellation of the Spring Meetings, we have determined that this award will be determined at the 2020 Fall Meetings and will include posts that have provided services.
Questions can be directed to Michele Steinmetz, NEF Coordinator, Membership & Internal Affairs Division at (317) 630-1321 or msteinmetz@legion.org, or to Jack Querfeld, Director, Internal Affairs.
Daniel S. Wheeler
National Adjutant

White Paper on the CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE SUMMARY (as it pertains to small business and nonprofits)

SBA has streamlined the application process and reduced the administrative burden as of today. Start applying for the disaster relief loan or emergency $10k relief grant here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/

PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOAN

• Small Business Administration Loans-$349 billion authorized (pg31 lines 8-13, CARES ACT)

• Administration participation increased to 100% instead of existing 75-85%.

• Period covered: February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020 ◦ “Payroll costs” includes wages, tips, leave pay (vacation, sick, parental, etc.), group health care benefits including insurance premiums, retirement benefit, and state or local taxes

• Applies to employees, and also expands coverage to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.

• Excludes any wages or other compensation in excess of $100k per year, prorated for the covered period, some IRS taxes, and any employee whose principal place of residence is outside the United States

• Also excludes benefits (sick leave and FMLA) under phase 2.

• Eligibility expanded from just small businesses to any business concern, nonprofit organization, veterans organization or tribal business concern of less than 500 employees (FT and PT count).

• Maximum loan amount: payroll cost average per month during the prior 1 year period multiplied by 2.5 (seasonal businesses can use month average from Feb-June of 2019) ◦ Or $10million (whichever is less).

• Allowable uses: payroll, group health care and leave benefits, mortgage interest (but no prepayment of principal), rent, utilities, and interest on any debts incurred prior to covered period.

• Pg. 21 Lines 4-13-delegated authority-a lender approved to make loans under this subsection shall be deemed to have been delegated by the Administrator to make and approve covered loans (additional lenders shall be approved w/ necessary qualifications-pg. 22 lines 4-11, CARES ACT).

• Minimal requirements. No personal guarantee. No collateral.

LOAN FORGIVNESS FOR PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOANS

• A separate section of the CARES Act calls for a portion of the aforementioned paycheck protection loans to be forgiven on a tax-free basis. The amount to be forgiven is the sum of the following payments made by the borrower during the 8-week period beginning on the date of the loan:

• payroll costs (as defined above)

• mortgage interest,

• rent,

• certain utility payments.

• To seek forgiveness, a borrower must submit to the lender an application that includes documentation verifying the number of employees and pay rates, and cancelled checks showing mortgage, rent, or utility payments.

• Loan forgiveness is reduced proportionally if employer reduces FTEs.

• Loan forgiveness is reduced if employer reduces wages by more than 25%.

• Employer can avoid reductions by bringing back employees and restore wages within 30 days and maintain through June 30.

DELAY OF PAYROLL REMITTANCE

• Delay payment of employer payroll taxes (social security) between now and 1/1/21

• 50 % due 12/31/21

• 50% due 12/31/22

• Does not apply to employers who have loans forgiven under Paycheck Protection Program

EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT (ERC)

• Employers fully or partially shut down or with 50% drop in gross receipts in a quarter compared to last year

• Shutdown must apply to all aspects of nonprofit organization

• Refundable tax credit for 50% of the wages (including employers health plan expenses) by the employer up to $10k per employee

• Employers with 100 or more employees applies to employees not providing services

• Employers with 100 or less employees applies to all employees paid during the eligible period.

• Employers are not eligible for ERC if they receive a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

• Allows for advanced payment of credit

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN PROGRAM (EIDL)

• The CARES Act expands the SBA's Disaster Loan Program. The covered period for this section is January 31, 2020-December 31, 2020. In addition to current eligible entities, the following may receive SBA disaster loans:

• A business or nonprofit organization (including faith based) with 500 or fewer employees;

• Sole proprietorships, with or without employees, and independent contractors;

• Cooperatives with 500 or fewer employees;

• ESOPs with 500 or fewer employees; and

• Tribal small business concerns.

• The CARES Act makes the following additional changes to the SBA Disaster Loan program during the covered period for loans made in response to COVID-19:

• Waives rules related to personal guarantees on advances and loans of $200k or less for all applicants;

• Waives minimum 1 year in business rule

• Up to $2 million working capital loan up to 30 year term; 3.75% interest for businesses; 2.75% for nonprofits

• Payments deferred up to 1 year.

• Loan is based on credit score; no tax return needed.

• No collateral for loans under $25k.

• $10k emergency grant that is issued within 3 days. The advance can be used to maintain payroll, and is not required to be repaid, even if the borrower’s request for a 7(b) loan is denied.

• Effective Time Period: FEBRUARY 15, 2020 –JUNE 30, 2020

• A loan made under the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program on or after January 31, 2020, may be refinanced as part of a covered loan under this new program as soon as these new loans are made available. The CARES Act specifically allows SBA Disaster Loan recipients with economic injury disaster loans made since January 31, 2020 for purposes other than the permitted loan uses under this program to receive assistance under this program.

PAID SICK LEAVE AND FAMILY LEAVE PROVISIONS FROM FAMILIES FIRST ACT

PHASE 2

• Employers with less than 500 employees are required to provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave if it involves a child sick or home from school because of Coronavirus.

• Leave paid is 2/3 regular pay at a maximum of $200 per day and $10k in the aggregate

• Paid FMLA is in addition to any leave the employer provides

• Payment for FMLA leave will reimbursed by the federal government

• Businesses with less than 50 employees may be exempt under special circumstance.

• Paid leave is not available if employee can telework.

PHASE 3

• The CARES Act provides a few clarifications and makes modest changes to the Family Medical Leave Act provisions in the Phase 2 Families First relief package. Those changes include:

• Authority for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to exclude certain US government employers and executive branch employees for good cause from the expanded COVID-19 FMLA requirements; and

• A new rule for rehired employees under which “eligible employee” (defined as employed for at least the last 30 calendar days) includes someone who:

• Was laid off by the employer March 1, 2020 or later,

• Had worked for the employer for at least 30 days in the last 60 calendar days prior to the lay-off; and

• Has been rehired by the employer; and

• Allows for advances on anticipated tax credits for employers’ paid family leave costs (the details/process for which will be worked out in instructions provided by the Department of Labor (DOL)), and provides penalty relief for failure to deposit tax amounts in anticipation of credits allowed under this section.

PAID SICK LEAVE

PHASE 2

• Employers with less than 500 employees are required to provide 10 days of paid sick leave if it is related to coronavirus

• Sick leave can be taken when ill, quarantined, to care for a sick or quarantined family member or a child from school closure

• Leave is paid at regular rate with maximum of $511 per day if taking care of oneself or 2/3 rate with maximum of $200 per day if caring for family member

• Payment up to the max will be reimbursed by the federal government.

• Leave is in addition to any other leave the employer may provide

• Businesses with less than 50 employees may be exempt under special circumstance.

• Paid sick leave is not available if an employee can telework.

PHASE 3

Includes provisions intended to improve the ability of taxpayers to monetize the benefit of the recently-enacted sick and family leave credits. Specifically, the CARES Act allows employers to receive an advance tax credit from Treasury instead of having to be reimbursed on the back end. Also, it provides penalty relief for failure to deposit tax amounts in anticipation of credits allowed under this section.

• Treasury is currently in the process of scaling this to provide advances on future refundable tax credit so employers can afford to provide sick leave for employees.

This link provides a great tutorial for pursuing the loan programs: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/sites/default/files/C3_COVID_EmergencyLoanGuide.pdf


Add this to your 'virus' file(s)
Helpful info from John's Hopkins hospital
Very informative
The following is from Irene Ken, physician, whose daughter is an Asst. Prof in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University
* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
* The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam).
By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
* HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.
* Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
* Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.
* Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.
* NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC SERVES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.
* NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only
-between 3 hours (fabric and porous),
-4 hours (copper and wood)
-24 hours (cardboard),
- 42 hours (metal) and
-72 hours (plastic).
But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
* The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars.
They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
* UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.
* The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
* NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.
* LISTERINE IF IT SERVES! It is 65% alcohol.
* The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
* You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.
* You have to HUMIDIFY HANDS DRY from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.
* Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.
-JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL