Coronavirus: Policies & Closures
Updated April 5th
The spread of the coronavirus has created large disruptions across the United States and the world by impacting both supply chains and demand. Countless events, travel plans, sporting events have been canceled and schools are being closed. Federal and state governments are taking a vast array of actions including the declaration of disaster areas, dramatic interest cuts, and low interest SBA loans. Emergency declarations allow officials at the federal, state, and local levels to mobilize quickly and activate a menu of powers that they can use to respond to a crisis. We are monitoring these activities and will strive to stay current on the options available.
Information & Resources
- Federal Relief: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened on Monday, January 11th, to businesses with up to 300 employees. Public companies are not eligible, and businesses must show a drop in gross receipts of 25% or more in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Loans are capped at $2 million. For the loan to be forgiven, at least 60% of the funding must be used for payroll; the remainder may be used on mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and the purchase of PPE for staff.Employee Retention Credits are available through June 30, 2021. Employers are eligible if operations are either fully or partially suspended due to government order or if they can show a decline in gross receipts of 80% in a calendar quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2019. The maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021. Employers with fewer than 500 employees can request advance payment of the credit.As of October 8, there’s a new PPP Forgiveness Application, Form 3508S (and instructions) available to PPP borrowers whose loan was $50,000 or less, which the SBA determined to be de minimis. The application requires fewer calculations and less documentation, although SBA reserves the right to request additional information subsequently.The Lost Wages Assistance program will enable workers to receive up to $2,400 over six weeks, including federal and state subsidies. That’s $300/week in federal assistance, plus $100/week state assistance (subject to limitations based on individual and state circumstances).
- Family Medical Leave Act: Employees who have a “serious health condition” and otherwise satisfy the FMLA eligibility criteria are entitled to FMLA benefits. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 have been reported as similar to the flu, COVID-19 may be considered a serious health condition depending on the circumstances of the employee’s illness. Serious health conditions under the FMLA include conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility, and conditions that incapacitate an employee for more than three consecutive days and have ongoing medical treatment. Therefore, an employee who suffers from COVID-19 or an employee who is taking care of a qualifying family member who has contracted COVID-19 may be eligible for FMLA leave. Employees who refuse to come to work out of fear of contracting COVID-19 would not typically qualify for FMLA leave. Among other criteria, the FMLA applies to employers of more than 50. There are also requirements relating to annual hours worked and length of employment to be eligible for coverage. See the act.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Families First Coronavirus Act strengthens the social safety net by providing tax credits to business to cover the costs of both the expanded sick leave and expanded FMLA coverage as outlined below. The credit is applied to the tax the company normally pays for each employee’s Social Security. This is the 6.2 percent tax employers pay on each employee’s salary. If sick leave or family and medical leave ends up costing more than the Social Security bill, the U.S. government will send the employer a check to cover the remaining costs. The expanded coverage includes:
- Increased Sick Leave Benefit – Requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for people who become infected with the coronavirus or have to care for someone who is, as well as people who are quarantined or whose place of work or children’s school is closed due to coronavirus.
- Expanded Emergency Family and Medical Leave – Employees may take up to three months of paid family and medical leave, equal to no less than two-thirds of their pay if they have to quarantine themselves or care for a family member who is quarantined or for a child whose school has been closed.
- Increased federal dollars for Food Security Programs – Provides f$1.5 billion for food programs aimed at helping those who may struggle to get access to meals during the pandemic, including those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food banks, and the 22 million children who receive free or reduced-price lunch at school.
- Increased Emergency Unemployment Insurance – Provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states to assist with processing and paying unemployment insurance. These funds are managed by each state and further mandates state’s waive waiting periods and job search requirements if the unemployment was caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Claim a casualty loss: Emergency declarations also allow the taxpayer to deduct the loss incurred in 2020 on either the 2019 tax return or the 2020 tax return. This situation is unique and doesn’t include “property loss” but lost earnings, disinfecting, quarantines, work from home costs, might all be elements eligible for a casualty loss claim. We are awaiting additional guidance from the IRS.
- Business Interruption Insurance: In many commercial property insurance policies, business interruption coverage is triggered when the policyholder sustains “direct physical loss of or damage to” insured property by a covered cause of loss. In the event of a claim for coronavirus-related business interruption, certain insurance carriers may dispute whether this “physical loss” requirement has been met. Policyholders should keep in mind, however, that courts across the country have not settled upon a uniform rule for when insured property has suffered a “physical loss.” Courts in a number of jurisdictions have determined that contamination and other incidents that render property uninhabitable or otherwise unfit for its intended use constitutes a “physical loss” sufficient to trigger business interruption coverage. The determination of whether “physical loss” has occurred will therefore continue to require a close examination of the particular facts of each case. In addition, many commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for business income losses sustained when a “civil authority” prohibits or impairs access to the policyholder’s premises. Depending upon its specific wording, a policy’s “civil authority” coverage may or may not require that the access restriction result from “physical loss” by a covered cause of loss and, if so, often does not require that “physical loss” occur to the policyholder’s own property. Accordingly, in the event that a federal, state, or local governmental authority limits access to or from areas where active transmission of an infectious disease has been identified, “civil authority” coverage may respond with insurance for the attendant income losses of affected businesses. Checking your policy.
- Health Insurance: Insurance likely covers costs for coronavirus testing, care, and vaccination. Check your policy. There is no effect on health savings account qualifications.
Support from Industry Providers
On Tuesday, May 26th, USIndoor hosted a free webinar with over 100 sports facility operators featuring industry providers with helpful offerings during the current pandemic. (Replay the recording and note the timestamps below for each provider.)
- Covermaster (Sandy Henderson; 3:15) – Temporary barriers, modular partitions, and crowd control solutions for physical distancing. See presentation slides.
- Pixellot (Steve Gracio; 8:50) – Livestreaming technology for facilities to connect athletes and fans safely while generating new revenue. See presentation slides.
- Profitable Food Facilities (Mike Holtzman; 18:21) – Responsibly managing food and beverage services without sacrificing quality or profit.
- Shop4ties (Becky Galvez; 24:00) – Machine-washable, reusable, custom-branded face masks made with double-sided, tightly-woven cotton. See presentation slides.
- Airius Fans (Chad Bonfiglio; 27:48) – Pendant-hung fan, outfitted with a UV bulb that mitigates air and surface mold, bacteria, viruses and odor. See presentation slides.
- Tersano (Bo Batchelder; 35:48) – Ozone cleansing that sanitizes and deodorizes simply, safely and economically. See presentation slides.
- LiveBarn (Ray Giroux; 41:44) – Automated, subscription-based live and on-demand video streaming. See presentation slides.
- Pure-X (Larry Kinsman; 52:35) – Hospital grade chlorine dioxide disinfectant that is effective on coronavirus, noncorrosive, and safe.
- SnapSports (Jeff Vance; 1:00:19) – Snap-together flooring that can be placed over fields, expanding social distancing on non-field uses.
- Creative Works (Russ Van Natta; 1:02:58) – Programming with social distancing, including modified activities and e-sports.
- WSBSPORT (Pierfrancesco Iazeolla; 1:12:19) – Mobile robot for sanitizing surfaces overnight. See presentation slides.
Support from The Sports Facilities Advisory
The Sports Facilities Advisory and its facility management branch published a COVID-19 Response & Reopen guide, providing an outline and sample for implementing new procedures and guidelines to operate under restrictions.
Catch up on discussions about the coronavirus from meetings of facility operators.