Finally, at 1:37am ET Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced an agreement has been reached on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. Full details are being worked out by Congressional staff but the measure will assist large and small businesses, unemployment insurance, hospitals and private citizens. After five days of negotiations, the package needs to be approved by both the full Senate, which is expected, and the House of Representatives. Under an Unanimous Consent (UC) House rule, the House can pass “non-controversial” legislation without a roll call vote. While this package is not assured that status, it is hoped that the House will not have to call its Members back to Washington, D.C. to vote in person. Once again stay tuned for the latest and the details of the plan which will impact many business and employee provisions.
Automotive parts might be useful in production of much needed medical equipment. ARA has been in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will follow-up in writing to learn how recyclers can be of assistance for the production of hospital ICU ventilators. Canadian recyclers have entered a “Manufacturing ICU Ventilators Challenge” that will evaluate “standard industrial components” that might quicken production of medical equipment.
Ford, 3M and GE Healthcare have partnered together to begin the manufacturing of 100,000 plastic face shields in Ford’s Michigan plants. In addition, Ford will also produce powered air-purifying respirators that assist medical workers breathing as well as simplified ventilators for patients
Canada’s two largest provinces – Ontario and Quebec – have included automotive repair as an essential service during the provinces’ recently announced mandatory business closures.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announce that those truck drivers with expiring or soon to expire licenses or medical cards will have until at least June to renew and deadlines will be reviewed as the pandemic unfolds. In addition, the AAMVA website, https://www.aamva.org/ details state by state “Motor Vehicle Industry Response on COVID-19 Pandemic” when you scroll down the main page. NMVTIS is still working since so much of its activities are on-line.
Please note that at least one if not more employees of Amazon have tested positive for COVID-19 and the media is recommending continued caution when handling packages.
In order to comply with the Virginia Governor's Directive to close all non-essential businesses, we will close the ARA Office as of mid-afternoon Monday, March 25th, and work remote from home. You will still be able to reach us at 571-208-0428, Ext. 2 or 3. However, if an immediate response is needed, please call ARA Executive Director, Sandy Blalock, at 505-228-0401.
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