Your Update for 6-12-20
*This information is changing quickly, so be sure to check for any updated information.
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Update on The Counties Moving to the Green Phase:
Governor Wolf did not hold a press conference today (June 12) to announce what new counties will be moving to Phase Green. However, his administration did provide a press release on the topic.
Eight additional counties will be moving to Phase Green on June 19, and those counties are: Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill.
Update from the Pennsylvania Department of Health:
Secretary Levine and the Department of Health did not hold a press conference today. The Department of Health has not released a press release with updated information today, however you can review the data at the Department of Health’s COVID-19 page.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania has reached 77,999, an increase of 686 cases from yesterday. There were 49 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 6,162. There were 629 positive serology tests, which are counted as probable cases of COVID-19.
There are 16,450 residential cases and 2,899 employee cases in 635 long-term care facilities in 45 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 4,249 reported deaths in long term care facilities due to COVID-19. Deaths in nursing and personal care facilities account for ~69% of the total deaths in Pennsylvania. Long-Term Care Facilities Dashboard.
73% of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 in Pennsylvania have recovered.
According to the Hospital Preparedness Dashboard, 45% of hospital beds, 38% of ICU beds, and ~78% of ventilators in Pennsylvania Hospitals are still available. A total of 5,931 COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers.
An Update from DC:
Paycheck Protection Program
Sen. Mike Rounds and 43 Republican and Democratic senators asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza to ease paperwork requirements for businesses seeking Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.
Separately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 46 others wrote to Mnuchin and Carranza for “significant improvements to the forgiveness application process.”
According to the Federal Reserve, the global economy will probably suffer its worst downturn since World War II because of the Covid-19 outbreak and efforts to contain it. In the U.S., business debt soared in the first quarter by the most in records back to 1952. Firms in quarter one boosted debt by nearly $755 billion, or at an 18.8% annualized rate, to a total outstanding $16.8 trillion that passed the level of household borrowing.
Face Mask Usage
In a press conference, the CDC focused on reminding people to take the same precautions the CDC has been recommending: wear masks, keep six feet apart, wash your hands.
At the same time, the federal government plans to hand out 96 million cloth face coverings to people riding on airplanes, trains and public transportation systems. The Transportation Department said today it will provide 87 million masks to airports and 9.6 million to 458 transit agencies and Amtrak. Separately, research found that masks can reduce the growth rate of Covid-19 infections by 40%,. After the city of Jena, Germany, became an early adopter of face masks in transit and shops on April 6, new infections in the municipality of 108,000 almost disappeared.
Governor Wolf’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania:
On April 22, Governor Wolf announced his plan to reopen Pennsylvania, focusing on a regional decision making approach. Along with the previous standards the Governor announced last week, he highlighted that the data-driven decision making process will be done in consultation with Carnegie Mellon University.
You can review Governor Wolf’s Plan for Pennsylvania here.
The three color phases determine when regions are ready to begin easing restrictions on businesses, stay-at-home orders, large gatherings, child care and more. The three phases are red, yellow and green, with the entire state currently in the red phase. Movement between phases will be based on the population incidence rate above.
- Contract Tracing Plan
- Testing Strategy Plan
- Universal Testing in Nursing Homes
- Testing Guidance for COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities and Healthcare Personnel
The red phase singularly purpose is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through strict social distancing, non-life sustaining business and school closures. There are currently 0 counties in Phase Red
- Life Sustaining Businesses Only
- Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place
- Schools (for in-person instruction) and Most Child Care Facilities Closed
The stated purpose of the yellow phase is begin to power back up the economy, while maintaining social distancing while easing restrictions on certain businesses and travel. However, the Department of Health will maintain strict monitoring over public health data to contain COVID-19. Guidance for businesses in Counties in the Yellow Phase. With 12 additional counties moving to Phase Green, there are 21 counties in Phase Yellow. Eight additional Counties will move from Phase Yellow to Phase Green on June 19.
- Telework Must Continue Where Feasible
- Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders
- Child Care Open with Worker and Building Safety Orders
- Stay-at-Home Restrictions Lifted in Favor of Aggressive Mitigation
- Large Gatherings Prohibited
- In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
- Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities (such as gyms, spas), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
- Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only
The green phase should facilitate a return to a “new normal”, by easing most restrictions on stay-at-home orders and business closures. Strict adherence to CDC and Health department guidelines are required, and similar to the yellow phase, monitoring of public health data will continue. 12 new counties moved to Phase Green on June 12, increasing the total count of counties in Phase Green to 46. Eight additional counties moving to Phase Green on June 19.
All Businesses Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines
- Aggressive Mitigation Orders Lifted
- All Individuals Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines
The standards previously highlighted by Governor Wolf:
- Our approach will be data driven and reliant upon quantifiable criteria to drive a targeted, evidence-based, regional approach to reopenings in Pennsylvania.
- We will put forth guidance and recommendations for employers, individuals, and health care facilities for assured accountability as we reopen.
- Reopening necessitates that adequate personal protective equipment and diagnostic testing are available.
- Reopening requires a monitoring and surveillance program that allows the commonwealth to be deploy swift actions for containment or mitigation.
- Protections for vulnerable populations must remain steadfast throughout the reopening process, such as limitations on visitors to congregate care facilities and prisons.
- Limitations on large gatherings unrelated to occupations should remain in place for the duration of the reopening process.
Guidance for Pennsylvania:
- Sports Operation Guidance
- Damaged Business Guidance *New
- School Reopening Guidance
- Childcare FAQs
- Restaurant Industry Guidance
- Business Guidance
- Business FAQs * New
- Real Estate Industry Guidance
- Construction Industry Guidance
- CDC Guidance for child care centers
- Life Sustaining Business FAQs
- Dental Health Care Personnel Guidance
Critical Needs Portals:
- Business-2-Business (B2B) Interchange Directory
- Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal
- Manufacturing Call to Action Portal
- COVID-19 Job Portal
- Critical Medical Supplies Donations Portal
COVID19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Grants:
On June 8, Governor Wolf announced a $225 million grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Today, June 11, the Department of Community and Economic Development released guidelines for the use of funds and additional application information.
- $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program
- $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program
- $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program
With the application closed for the CWCA, please look into the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program or the Paycheck Projection Program.
June 12, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that eight more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 19. These counties include Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill.
Effective today, there are 46 counties in green and 21 in yellow.
The data dashboard of county cases and criteria for reopening consideration can be found here.
Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania outlines remaining restrictions for counties in yellow or green.
As counties reopen, Pennsylvania continues to see a steady decline in cases, a positive indicator that it’s phased, measured reopening plan is working to balance public health with economic recovery.
According to analysis by the New York Times, new COVID-19 cases are declining in less than half of all U.S. states and territories.
June 12, 2020
As Pennsylvania continues to implement Governor Tom Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA, the state is also among a select few with a steady decline in cases, a positive indicator that the state’s phased, measured reopening plan is working to balance public health with economic recovery.
According to data analysis from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center data, Pennsylvania’s steady decline in cases since a peak in mid-April is particularly important as more counties reopen. The latest report indicates Pennsylvania is among the states with a sustained decline in cases over the past two weeks, an important indicator that reopening plans are measured and thoughtful.
In an Associated Press analysis, more than half the states in the U.S. are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases as reopening begins. Pennsylvania is not among them. Many other states are experiencing significant case increases tied to reopening too soon or too much.
For more information on COVID-19 cases, visit the data dashboard here.
A top lobbying firm, the Ridge Policy Group prepares these updates daily.