COVID-19 Related Health News and Opportunities

Toolkit for Faith and Community Organizations

Updated guidance and tools to help community and faith-based organizations make decisions, communicate with their communities, and protect their employees, volunteers, and members. In Spanish and other languages.


Meet the Researcher Leading NIH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development Efforts

A helpful blog post for those who want to learn more about the current fast-paced efforts to develop a safe, effective vaccine as the ultimate tool for ending the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Also learn more about the new clinical trials network that will enroll tens of thousands of volunteers* in large-scale clinical trials testing a variety of investigational COVID-19 vaccines.

*Volunteers Participating in Vaccine Trials

The Covid-19 Prevention Network, formed by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to respond to the global pandemic, launched a website for volunteers to sign up to be considered when the first clinical trials for the testing of COVID-19 vaccines begin later this month.

Virtual Conversation with Dr. Fauci

Fri.,  July 17, 2020, 11:00 a.m. EDT, Register here

As part of Path Forward, a series produced by the U.S. Chamber Foundation to help business and community leaders find the answers they need to execute a responsible reopening strategy and plan for a post-pandemic world, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci will talk about the state of the pandemic, when he expects to see a vaccine, and what businesses should be doing to prepare for the coming months.

Cafecito Time: COVID-19

July 23, 2020, in English 1:00 p.m. EDT or in Spanish: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Are members of your community feeling scared, worried or overwhelmed? They are not alone. Promote this opportunity to talk – in English or Spanish – about coping during the pandemic.

HHS Releases May and June COVID-19 State Testing Plans

Last week, HHS released the May and June COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities. The State Testing Plans serve as a roadmap for each state’s 2020 testing strategy for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. View Testing Plans by state and jurisdiction online.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

The U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan data by state for loans of $150,000 and above.

Warnings on Fraudulent COVID-19 Products

As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers, the agency issued a warning letter to Ionogen, LLC which offers “Ionopure Skin & Hands” for sale in the U.S. with misleading claims that their products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. There are currently no FDA-approved products to prevent or treat COVID-19.   Previously, the FDA warned against “Miracle Mineral Solution,” an industrial bleach that was claimed as a cure for COVID-19 and other serious diseases. Get FDA consumer updates here.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist.  The 2018 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report found that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. For access to mental and behavioral health data for different racial and ethnic minority groups and for links to a wide variety of resources visit the OMH website.

Compassion in Action Webinars

Part II Tues., July 14, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here

The Partnership Center’s second webinar, Putting People First: Initial Steps for Addressing Mental Illness in Faith Communities, will cover the first steps for a faith community in addressing mental illness that are reflected in the first two principles of the Compassion in Action Guide – affirming the inherent dignity of each person and acknowledging mental illness as an illness.

  • Watch Part I: “The Seven Principles for Faith Communities Addressing People Experiencing Mental Illness and Their Caregivers,” (webcast June 23).

Build your Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills through the free Motivational Interviewing Learning Collaborative!

It’s not too late to join this on-going series on the third Wednesday each month (this week, July 15), 11:00-11:45 a.m. EDT, Register here.

Join this series of interactive calls via Zoom for people who want to enhance their MI skills. This learning opportunity provides practitioners with a no-cost, easy to access opportunity to continue to build their practice skills towards fidelity.

Taking on the “Perfect Storm”: Faith-based Organizations and Partnerships Address COVID-19 and Critical Behavioral Health Needs in Communities of Color

Thurs., July 16, 2020, 3:00 p.m. EDT. Register here.

This July, communities are facing the “perfect storm” of crises that are deepening the disparities in mental health and wellbeing. Join this virtual roundtable to learn how community and faith-based organizations are supporting the mental health concerns of racial/ethnic minorities and providing opportunities to receive support and connection through faith-based practices and partnerships.  Additional event and speaker information here.

Awards and Grant Opportunity

Throughout the year federal, state, and private funds are being invested in communities to support public health and human services efforts. To participate in federal grants, local community and faith-based organizations may need to identify where the investments are being made in their community and seek to participate in locally funded programs or research initiatives.

HHS Awards More Than $21 Million to Support Health Centers’ COVID-19 Response

HHS awarded more than $21 million to support health centers’ COVID-19 response efforts. The majority of this investment—$17 million—supports 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) with funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing.

DOL Awards More Than $90 Million in Grants to Help Justice-Involved Individuals Enter the Workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the awarding of $90,992,062 through two grant programs, Pathway Home and the Young Adult Reentry Partnership (YARP), focused on assisting justice-involved individuals in gaining meaningful employment.

Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) Grant Program

FOA-WB-20-01- DOL announced $4.1 million in grants available to community organizations to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality apprenticeship programs, and to help those women pursue successful careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, healthcare, and other industries. Closing date: August 3, 2020.