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Those who are grieving loved ones lost to COVID-19 may qualify for federal assistance in paying for funeral expenses.
On Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin accepting applications for a program that will provide up to $9,000 to cover the burial costs of Americans who died of COVID-19 — including 6,672 in Wisconsin. The program, created and expanded through two stimulus bills enacted by Congress, is “the largest program of its type ever offered by the federal government, according to The Washington Post.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate,” Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said in a statement.
Applicants can ask questions or file applications at 844-684-6333 beginning Monday. (Users of text telephones can call 800-462-7585.)
Reimbursement is available for deaths that occurred in the United States after Jan. 20, 2020, and the death certificate must specify that COVID-19 was a cause, FEMA says. Neither immigration status nor citizenship affects eligibility. The agency encourages applicants to gather information including an official death certificate, funeral expense documents and proof of funds received from other sources. The agency offers more information here.
Biden administration to launch massive funeral assistance program for covid victims — The Washington Post
‘My kids deserve to eat’: Wisconsin officials fail to get food assistance to thousands of poor children — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Here’s what to do if you haven’t received pandemic-related school lunch benefits — Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
13% of adults say they will ‘definitely not’ get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are their reasons. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tribal health departments offer vaccines to non-tribal members — Green Bay Press-Gazette
Infections again surge
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Friday that 77.9% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 35.9% of the state’s overall population. Some 22.9% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.
Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed — particularly as infections again are surging. On Friday, the state DHS reported 1,092 new cases, the most since Feb. 11. The state also reported five new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,672.
WisContext offers this visualization.
Find a vaccine site near you
DHS has this interactive map of vaccine providers across Wisconsin. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. Curious about how well your county is doing on vaccinations? The Washington Post created this searchable map.
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