COVID-19 Pandemic Community Resources
Looking for straight answers to your questions about how the stay-at-home order affects you, or how you are covered under the Paycheck Protection Plan? This list of reliable sources can answer your questions and concerns related to services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wash Your Hands
First, a reminder from Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard: "The CDC says handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy." https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Springfield-Greene County, Missouri, Stay-at-Home Order Frequently Asked Travel Questions.
The order does not close the borders of Springfield or Greene County. You may leave your home for what are considered "essential" activities. Learn more here.
Help for Older Adults.
SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging is posting the most updated information for the latest breaking news relating to seniors.
Do you qualify for benefits?
If you lost income or health insurance due to COVID-19, you may now qualify for help.
Missouri Family Support Division
Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
How to help local relief efforts
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the United Way of the Ozarks are working as a triad to coordinate the response of the nonprofit community. Anyone who would like to donate money or otherwise assist in relief efforts throughout this crisis should call 417-888-2020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
211 Help Service
211 is a vital service that connects millions of people to the help they need.
Help for Hospitality Workers
Applications for the Mother's Industry Support Fund are now being accepted. Donate at cfozarks.org/mothers
Unemployed hospitality workers in Springfield can apply for up to $150 in assistance from the fund at cfozarks.org/mothersapp
Mental Health Support for Front Line Health Care Workers
Burrell Behavioral Health launched a series of free psychoeducational videos and a telephonic support group for front line health care workers. https://burrell.formstack.com/forms/healthcare_videos_covid
Where to find community resources
Community Partnership of the Ozarks continues to update its list of resources of how to help and where to find help.
Where to find food assistance
Do you need help finding food assistance? Click here to see a full list of Ozarks Food Harvest pantry partners. Many food pantries have changed their hours and services, so please call before planning your visit.
Changes to Food Stamp Benefits in Response to COVID-19
To meet the nutritional needs of low-income Missourians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Social Services Family Support Division has announced an extension of the Food Stamp/SNAP certification period by six months for re-certifications coming due in March, April and May. This ensures that benefits will not end during the COVID-19 pandemic. DSS is also currently waiving all work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents through the end of the federal emergency declaration.
Any low-income individual or family who are now in need of Food Stamps or other benefits, can apply for services online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or apply over the phone at 1-855-373-4636.
Economic, Health, Housing Help from Prosper Springfield
Free Legal Advice from the American and Missouri Bar Associations
The Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org website is an online legal clinic created by the American Bar Association and administered by The Missouri Bar. This service has recently expanded its guidelines to help even more Missouri citizens of modest means receive answers to legal questions, at no cost, from licensed Missouri lawyers.
Connectivity for people who don't have it
- Springfield-Greene County Libraries are making Wi-Fi available 24 hours a day on the parking lots of most library branches. https://thelibrary.org/services/wifi.cfm
- FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot spots.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free Wi-Fi for two months to low- income families plus all Xfinity hot spots are free to the public during this time
- Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
- AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
- Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement
- Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow)
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge
The Paycheck Protection Plan
Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. The Department of Treasury and SBA are encouraging those who need assistance to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. Below find additional information on the final overview provided by the Department of Treasury, the borrower application form, and an eligible lender lookup.
Final Overview of the PPP: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf
Borrower Application Form: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf
Eligible Lender Lookup: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find
Treasury Payroll Support: Title IV of the CARES Act related to payroll support to aid airline industry employees, and on loans to airline industry and businesses critical to national security.
Treasury has opened the online portal to apply for Payroll Support: https://forms.treasury.gov/caresact/PayrollSupportRequestForAirCarriers
Q&A document on Payroll Support: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/QandA-Payroll-Support-to-Air-Carriers-and-Contractors.pdf
Economic Impact Payments to Social Security Recipients
The Department of Treasury provided an updated statement regarding Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients. On April 1, 2020, Sec. Steven Mnuchin clarified for Social Security recipients that they will NOT have to file 2018 or 2019 tax returns to be eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account. The IRS will be using data from Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 for Social Security recipients so they can receive their payments as a direct deposit or check as they would their normal benefits.
City Utilities Transit Services Changes
Effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, CU Transit Service began operating on a modified schedule and routes. The schedule and routes will be in effect until April 24, 2020, and will be reviewed at that time. Schedule and route modifications are listed below. Additional route information is available at cutransit.net or by calling the CU Transit office at 417-831-8782, Monday – Friday.
- See the full news release.
- View the Maps & Schedules page.
Access Express will be available during all of the scheduled hours of service. At this time the Transit Center at 211 N. Main Ave. will remain open for service to CU Transit customers.
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Playgrounds closed, parks and trails remain open
Effective Monday, March 23, all Springfield-Greene County Park Board playgrounds, play equipment and high-density gathering areas are closed until further notice, to help prevent spread of COVID-19. Director of Parks Bob Belote said the decision was made in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Aside from playgrounds, outdoor parks and trails, including Ozark Greenways trails, remain open and are following normal hours. In accordance with the City of Springfield's Civil Emergency declaration, all gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited through April 25, and parks visitors may not gather in groups larger than 10. All parks visitors are advised to follow CDC prevention guidelines, including frequent hand washing, staying at least 6 feet from others, avoiding touching your face, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home while sick.
Numerous Park Board facilities are closed and events are canceled to control spread of COVID-19. Additional closures and cancellations may be announced. Check for updates at ParkBoard.org and on Facebook @TheParkBoard.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield remains open for people to exercise, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Park operations continue to be evaluated daily and may change. Park officials encourage all visitors to follow CDC prevention guidelines.
Hospital visitor restrictions
To further protect patients, the community and health care workers, CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield communities expanded visitor restrictions beginning Monday, March 23.
No visitors will be allowed in the health systems' hospitals across southwest Missouri, with some exceptions for laboring mothers, pediatric and NICU patients, end-of-life situations and drivers for urgent procedures.
For specifics at CoxHealth, please visit: https://www.coxhealth.com/newsroom/coxhealth-issues-new-guidelines-visitors-due-covid-19-concerns/
For specific restrictions at Mercy, please visit:
Mobility Reports from Google
Google is now producing mobility reports showing the change in traffic to six key areas due to COVID. Attached is the most current one for Missouri. This shows data for the state, but then also breaks it down by county. The website is here: https://www.google.com/covid19/mobility/
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