As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide financial assistance to families for COVID-19 funeral related expenses that were incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, according to the Utah Department of Health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken many lives and brought immense tragedy to families who have lost loved ones to this novel virus,” the department wrote on its website at coronavirus.utah.gov.
The program will begin in April.
“Guidance is still being finalized and will be distributed by FEMA when it’s available,” the Utah Department of Health said.
In order to qualify for assistance, the death must have occurred in the United States.
The death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19 and the applicant must be a U.S citizen, but the individual who passed away doesn’t need to be a U.S citizen.
FEMA said when the program begins in April, individuals who need to apply for the assistance should keep an official death certificate, funeral-expense documents, and proof of funds received from other sources.
Qualified individuals can visit fema.gov and search “funeral assistance” to apply for assistance.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families,” FEMA wrote on its website. “At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tooele County has had 6,893 positive cases of the virus, according to the Utah Department of Health’s daily report.
The county has also had 211 hospitalizations and 40 deaths.
As of March 25, Tooele County had 6,242 positive cases of the virus, 210 hospitalizations, and 39 deaths, according to the Tooele County Health Department’s weekly report.
This means that since last Thursday, one individual has died from COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state of Utah has had 384,756 positive cases of the virus, 15,474 hospitalizations, and 2,114 deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.
862,756 individuals living in the state have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,375,124 individuals have been tested for the virus.
Gov. Spencer Cox signed legislation that ends the statewide mask mandate effective April 10, but masks are still required in schools and large gatherings of more than 50 people when physical distancing of six feet between groups is not possible.
Local health departments, with the approval of local legislative bodies, may approve local mask mandates and businesses may also continue to require masks. Certain other COVID-19 related restrictions may be terminated on July 1 or earlier if specified metrics are met.
In a press conference, Cox said that he doesn’t “love the bill,” but the April 10 date was the best compromise. He encouraged businesses to continue to require masks to protect workers and customers.
Cox also encouraged citizens to continue to maintain physical distance and wear masks.
“Assess the risks and take appropriate action, like we always do,” Cox said.