Trucking News and Memories for Tuesday, December 22, 2020:
Congress adopts second COVID relief package
On Monday afternoon, both houses of Congress passed a $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief package that, in part, reopens the paycheck protection program for small businesses.
For companies that received PPP funding in the first round, they can apply for a second loan of up to $ 2 million, provided they have fewer than 300 employees, have used or will use the full amount of their first. ready, and may show a decrease of at least 25% in revenue in a quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019, according to the Journal of Accountancy.
The bill also includes a second round of direct payments to working Americans – $ 600 for each adult and child earning less than $ 75,000 per year. It also adds $ 300 per week to unemployment benefits on top of state benefits from December 26 to March 14, 2021.
With regard to road transport specifically, the bill allocates $ 10 billion for national roads.
“Since the early response to the pandemic, state DOTs have suffered severe losses in state transportation revenues as vehicle travel declines,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). “This COVID relief bill keeps state DOTs on track and supporting the efficient movement of essential goods and services while maintaining their transportation systems. In addition, this timely federal support will help state DOTs maintain their institutional capacity and be prepared for future infrastructure investments, propelling economic recovery and growth. ”
As of Tuesday morning, the bill awaits President Trump’s signature before being enacted into force.
Truckers now recommended for third group of COVID vaccine
Following a federal advisory committee meeting on Sunday, December 20, truck drivers and other transportation and logistics personnel are now part of the third group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, only behind other essential front-line workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (ACIP) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has placed truckers in phase 1c, based on the group trying to strike a balance between preventing deaths and preserving d ‘a functioning society.
In the first group, phase 1a, are people in long-term care facilities and health personnel. This group has already started receiving vaccine from the first vaccine shipments that were dispatched last week.
The second group, Phase 1b, is made up of people aged 75 and over and “essential frontline workers”. Phase 1c, the third group which includes truck drivers, includes people aged 65 to 74, people aged 16 to 64 with high risk health conditions and “other essential workers”.
Workers considered “essential frontline workers” in Phase 1b include first responders, teachers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, transit workers and more. Within the group of “other essential workers” are transportation and logistics workers, food service workers and more.