Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

The news about coronavirus (more specifically known as COVID-19) continues to grow, with the number of infections and deaths increasing in the US. Many are rightly asking “what can we do to respond?” The very first step is prayer. We begin in prayer that the Lord of all will bring healing to those who are sick, comfort to those who mourn, and an end to the spread of this virus.

COVID-19 impact in the US increases on a daily basis. It is still a time for preparation, not panic. This page has been created as a repository for the latest information and updates that are applicable to PSD churches and schools.

The situation around COVID-19 is very fluid - the content and resources in these pages can change rapidly based on new developments. PLEASE MONITOR OFFICIAL INFORMATION  AND NEWS REGULARLY FOR CURRENT UPDATES.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Latest Information

The Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 website publishes the latest updates.

CDC's current risk assessment (CDC last updated 03/12/2020):

  • The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states.

  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location.

  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.

  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.

  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.

 

What May Happen (CDC last updated 03/12/2020):

More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. CDC expects that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus.

Rolling updates are available from the World Health Organization.

Links to the latest updates:

News

State Health Departments

Recent additions to this site

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Situation Summary

World Health Organization COVID-19 Information

Congregational Planning for Pandemics document provided by the LCMS

 

financial resources & Information

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt on multiple levels, not least of which is financially. As gatherings have been suspended,  churches, schools and preschools transition to new modalities, regular operations are suspended and other impacts are experienced, including significant concerns about financial stability. Know that there are options and assistance - see below for information and resources.

CARES Act: $2 trillion bill passed by Senate and House

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been passed by the Senate and House. This bill, the largest in US history,  provides very significant assistance to churches and schools - it is highly likely you will want to apply for this. Part of the bill includes:

  • Covering your payroll costs for a couple of months

  • Covering your rent or mortgage payment for a couple of months

  • Covering your utilities for a couple of months

 

The best part is that these loans could be forgivable if you maintain your current level of staffing at your organization.

NEW - Guidance has been issued by the Small Business Administration, and some lenders may accept applications for the CARES Act starting Friday, April 3 - see links below.

Learn more at the following links:

California unemployment benefits for church/school workers and staff

President Trump recently approved a major disaster declaration for California, joining those for Washington and New York. An important aspect of this declaration is that previously ineligible church and school workers who become unemployed may now be eligible for unemployment compensation in California through Disaster Unemployment Assistance. 

 

FEMA states, "The purpose of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is to provide unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular State unemployment insurance."

 

Learn more at the following links:

 

Disaster declarations have not been approved for Arizona and Nevada as of this point. We continue to closely monitor this situation and will provide information on any developments as it becomes available.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans

Low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) are available. The SBA states, "Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact."

 

The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship. These loans also feature a grace period of several months or more before repayment needs to begin.

 

Learn more at the following links:

LCEF Resources

If you have a loan with Lutheran Church Extension Fund and have financial concerns at this time please contact Tyler Fewins, LCEF Vice President for the PSD.

 

PSD Resources

In addition to LCEF resources mentioned above, limited emergency assistance may be available from PSD for congregations and schools experiencing a financial emergency due to the pandemic. Contact Jon Niederbrach for further information. 

Other Information

City of Los Angeles Residents: Emergency Financial Assistance Available from FamilySource Centers (04/06/2020)

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave (03/23/2020)

CA Employment Development Department FAQs: Disability, Paid Family Leave, Unemployment Insurance, Employer Information (03/16/2020)

California Guidance on Coronavirus and Employee Leave and Pay - CA Labor Commissioner's Office (03/13/2020)

Concordia Plan Services COVID-19 Information, with FAQs for ministries on paying benefits bills and more (03/18/2020)

Also see Online Giving resources on our COVID-19 Church Resources page

 
 

Pacific Southwest District-LCMS
1540 Concordia Drive East
Irvine, CA 92612-3203

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949-854-3232

info@psd-lcms.org

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