FEMA OKs Disaster Relief for Nevada
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has come through with a pledge of new funding for Nevada health care workers and first responders battling the coronavirus. Governor Steve Sisolak (l.) is seeking federal aid for the growing number of Nevadans in need.
Nevada will be getting federal dollars to help the state’s hard-pressed municipalities in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Governor Steve Sisolak, who declared a state of emergency back in March, said Nevada’s request for a major disaster declaration was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one of three dozen states approved to date.
The FEMA endorsement will open a pipeline for funding from Washington that will be used principally to equip those who are battling the contagion on the front lines𑁋health care workers and first responders𑁋with personal protective equipment, testing supplies and facilities, emergency medical and triage equipment and other specialized resources, according to details released by the Governor’s Office.
It’s expected that certain private non-profit organizations also will share in the funding.
Nevada’s government agencies have already spent or committed at least $8 million to try to contain the spread of the virus, which as of late last week had infected more than 455,000 people in the United States and claimed more than 16,000 lives, the most of any country in the world. In Nevada, at least 80 have died of the more than 2,400 cases confirmed at press time.
With the state’s gaming- and tourism-dependent economy effectively shut down, thousands are without jobs, income and/or health insurance. The increased costs to Nevada’s Medicaid program alone have been estimated at $100 million. The Governor’s Office has asked the Legislature for an additional $6.25 million in spending authorization from the state’s disaster relief account, and a request also has gone out to the federal government for help with programs to assist the growing number of individuals in need of unemployment checks, legal services, crisis counseling, training and other aid.
As Sisolak put it, “It is painfully obvious that the resources of the federal government are also needed to supplement Nevada’s efforts and ensure our recovery, both physically and economically.”