FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, announced Wednesday that it has approved more than $292 million in total assistance for Utah. The press release says the funds will support the state’s fight against COVID-19 over the last 18 months and will be used by Utah tribes, counties, cities, individuals and other state and local partners.
$113 million from FEMA’s Public Assistance program is being used for vaccines, testing sites, medical staffing and supplies including ventilators, masks and personal protective equipment. Long-term care facilities and meals for Utah's vulnerable community members are also receiving a portion of the funds.
The federal agency also contributed almost $80 million in Lost Wages Assistance to individuals to help ease the economic burden of Utah residents struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic, and $3.8 million for Crisis Counseling to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the psychological effects of the pandemic through outreach and educational services.
FEMA has allocated $5.1 million for Funeral Assistance in Utah. According to the agency funds are available to families for pandemic related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. There is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for families who have lost a loved one. Those in need of such aid can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Time.
Utah also has been allocated $25 million from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to invest in mitigation planning and projects that reduce risks from natural disasters.