2020 CARES Act Resources

The 2020 CARES Act provided $150B in relief to states and local jurisdictions through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The relief fund received a 1-year spending deadline extension (Dec. 30, 2021) in the Congressional FY21 spending package. The resources below include fact sheets that detail the rules and regulations on how money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund is distributed state by state, and city by city, as well as information on how to advocate for spending to address the needs of Code Departments across the country.

CARES Act Federal Funding for Code Departments through State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments

Fact sheets and resources on CARES Act Funding distribution and use:


Free Webinars from the International Code Council

The free webinars presented below share more in depth information on how to access and use CARES Act funding to enhance digital services, and stories of success from jurisdictions across America:

Vaccine and Reopening Resources

Vaccine and Reopening Resources

On January 12th, Code Council CEO Dominic Sims sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urging the classification of code officials as frontline essential workers. This action is aimed at aligning CDC COVID-19 vaccine guidelines and priorities with standing guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designating code officials as members of the nation’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. The letter to CDC is the latest step in the Code Council’s broader effort to ensure code officials continue to be recognized for their critical role in building safety.

Additional information on CDC’s vaccine rollout recommendations, code official eligibility, and state actions are included below.

Phased Rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in early December 2020. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents be the first to receive the vaccine under Phase 1a of the rollout. An important note is that states and territories are ultimately responsible for developing their specific plans, policies, and procedures for administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

On December 20th the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations adding Phase 1b and Phase 1c.

Phase 1b - Currently includes persons 75 years and older and non-health care frontline essential workers (first responders, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, education workers and childcare workers).

Phase 1c - Currently includes persons aged 65–74, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b.

Code Official Eligibility for the COVID-19 Vaccine

In January, CDC published a crosswalk connecting standardized industry codes and titles (e.g., NAICS Codes) to DHS’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce recommendations and CDC’s recommendations for vaccination in Phases 1a, 1b, and 1c. While DHS’s guidance clearly recognizes code officials as members of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, CDC’s crosswalk is not as clear with regard to clarifying vaccine priorities. From our read of the crosswalk:

  • There is a strong case to be made that certain code officials, particularly those working on-site or in the field, should receive the vaccine during Phase 1b as members of the CDC category under NAICS Code 92219 - Other Justice, Public Order, and Safety Activities.
  • CDC’s guidance recommends fire prevention officials receive the vaccine during Phase 1b and substantively covers this group as first responders under NAICS code 92216 - Fire Protection.
  • Other code officials not working on-site or in the field are recommended to receive the vaccine during Phase 1c.

States make the Ultimate Decision

Importantly, while they may choose to adhere to CDC’s recommendations, the ultimate decision on vaccine distribution rests with states. For a complete listing of state and territory COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit the National Governors Association State COVID-19 Vaccine Resources page.

Talking points supporting state recognition of code officials as frontline and essential workers for COVID-19 vaccine distribution are available here.

CRC – Latest News

Latest News and Resources

Code Council
Affiliate Partner Resources for COVID-19
Additional Resources


CRC – Online Testing

Online Testing

As the country continues to respond to COVID-19, the Code Council remains dedicated to upholding our commitment by helping building safety professionals like you navigate through the developing crisis.

Stay updated on this webpage as we continue to provide flexible solutions to help you navigate your certification and career journey.

Many of the Code Council's national certification exams are available online via PRONTO.

CRC – Virtual Permitting

Virtual Permitting Software

If you are looking to switch to virtual permitting and inspections, we can help you. The Code Council offers a highly configurable web-based software solution for building and code enforcement officials called Municity. This software includes permitting, inspection management, mobile inspection, and public access to the permitting and scheduling process. Find out more.

CRC – Online Training

Online Training

Most code officials must complete continuing educational credits (CEUs) to maintain their certifications or satisfy state or local requirements. With many in-person classes being canceled and many departments imposing travel restrictions, officials may wish to consider self-paced, online courses or virtual live classes. We have resources to help you navigate exams, renewal date deadlines and CEUs during this challenging time. Go to the ICC Learning Center for all distance training options.

CRC – Plan Review

Plan Review

Take Advantage of ICC/ICC NTA Plan Review Services:

Deliver the Most Detailed and Precise Plan Reviews in the Building Industry with the International Code Council, the publisher of the I-Codes®

From high-rise commercial buildings and retail facilities to residential developments, schools, hospitals, and civic institutions, no other plan review service has as much expertise in ALL the International Codes® as the code experts ICC Plan Review Services.

Submit your plans and any questions about ICC’s Plan Review Services regarding plan review fees, turnaround time, or document submission to Ben Chisholm at bchisolm@icc-nta.org or call (574) 248-9136.

CRC – Digital Codes

Digital Codes

ICC Digital Codes and Digital Codes Premium

ICC Digital Codes is the industry’s most trusted authentic resource providing access to hundreds of building codes and standards titles.

Get digitally empowered and transform your code experience with a Digital Codes Premium Subscription. Whether you're just getting started or a seasoned professional, we've got you covered.

New subscription for Premium Complete offers access to all premium code titles and features for one simple price.

  • Work Faster, Navigate Smarter: Navigate from section to section with ease using reference links, color coded version changes and content tag effortlessly.
  • Collaborate Seamlessly: Collaboration is hard; a Premium Subscription makes it easier. Use intuitive and easy tools to organize your notes inline to codebook text-filter, export, and share notes with your team.
  • Get More With Your Access: When you upgrade to a Premium Subscription, you get everything you need. Access supplemental content such as significant changes, expert code interpretations and revision history.
  • Improve Efficiency: A Premium Subscription simplifies the way you review, research, and interact with code. Save time, reduce errors, and improve efficiency.

Learn more about Digital Codes Premium and sign up for a free trial to experience the Premium difference today.

CRC – Advocacy Resources

Coronavirus Advocacy Resources

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined construction and code enforcement as essential to the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic and no state has found otherwise. The Code Council conducted a survey  which showed that 6 in 10 departments experienced or expected budget cuts, while 5 in 10 respondents did not have the capability to remotely carry out critical aspects of their work at a time when nearly half had important personnel working remotely. Governments can utilize federal funding under the recently enacted American Rescue Plan to assist departments in continuing their essential functions by maintaining or restoring staffing and operations and by addressing their virtual needs for remote work.

As a member of the building industry, we urge you to join us in advocating for funding for code departments to ensure our buildings are built in a safe, timely, and efficient manner during the age of virtual work and COVID-19. We encourage you to connect with the ICC Government Relations staff liaison for your area to coordinate your advocacy. Click here to go to the contact map below.

NEW - 2021 American Rescue Plan

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments through newly established Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF). The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has finalized funding allocations for all government types. Those allocations, and Treasury’s methodologies, can be found here.

According to Treasury guidance and its FAQ, FRF resources can be used to for code department hardware and software investments. Testimonials on how code departments successfully utilized CARES Act funding for virtual capability needs can be found here and here.

Additionally, unlike the CARES Act funding, FRF resources may be used to rehire public sector staff, up to pre-pandemic staffing levels, and “to provide government services to the extent necessary because revenues have declined due to the pandemic,” so long as the funds are not used to replace revenues lost because of tax cuts. Per a prior Code Council survey, roughly 6 in 10 code departments experienced or expected budget cuts. Jurisdictions facing revenue downturns will be able to use FRF resources for department staff salaries and operations.

As this new funding is made available, Code Council members, partners, and allies are encouraged to reach out to their state, county, city, or other local government and advocate for their code department’s needs, including expanding their virtual capabilities.

Click here to see the Code Council's Fact Sheet on the American Recovery Plan and here for Talking Points to advance for your department!


Intro Webinar: The American Rescue Plan: Funding For Code Departments (originally aired on 4/6/2021)
View Recording
View Slides

Webinar 1: Community Development Solutions (originally aired on 6/9/2021)
View Recording

Webinar 2: Digital Codes Premium
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
3 – 4pm CT
Recording Coming Soon!

Webinar 3: Custom Local Building Codes
Week of September 13
Registration Coming Soon!

Webinar 4: Code Officials Funding Success Stories
Week of October 4
Registration Coming Soon!

Webinar 5: ICC Plan Review Services
Week of November 8
Registration Coming Soon!

Compare the benefits of the CARES Act of 2020 to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 by downloading the infographic below.

Download jpg file of full infographic.

Assistance through the Administration and Congress

On May 1, 2020, the Code Council led letters to congressional leadership, FEMA, and the National Security Council (NSC) encouraging they direct additional federal resources to help code departments develop virtual capabilities. More than 50 organizations and businesses supported these efforts, representing state and local government, residential and commercial contractor, building owners/manager, manufacturer, insurance, housing, energy efficiency, renewable energy, engineering, design, and resilience interests:

We encourage you to connect with ICC's Washington D.C. Governmental Affairs Office to coordinate your advocacy on federal issues.

GR Contact Map

Coronavirus Response Advocacy Placeholder
Coronavirus Response Advocacy

CRC – Free Webinars

Free Webinars

to Help You Navigate the Pandemic

Using Federal CARES Act Funds: A Panel of Code Officials’ Success Stories (August 2020)
Length:  60 minutes
Code officials across the country have successfully secured federal CARES Act funds to protect and support their departments and communities through hardware, as well as virtual and digital solutions. This session will outline the opportunity for federal funding, and feature code officials from four municipalities who will discuss the steps they went through to receive funds, the solutions they’ve sought and why, and their advice on navigating the process.
CEUs not available
Click here to access webinar playback.
Download a PDF of the webinar slides here.


Use CARES Act Funds to Purchase Essential Digital Solutions (July 2020)
Length: 45 minutes
The critical Digital Solutions that your organization needs are an eligible expense for CARES Act funds. The Code Council’s family of solutions offers several tools that improve telework capabilities and enable the remote function of government. Join this webinar to learn how these tools will make your organization resilient. CEUs not available.
Click here to register to access webinar playback.