Your Update for 6-19-20
*This information is changing quickly, so be sure to check for any updated information.
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An Update on What Counties are moving to Phase Green:
Governor Wolf did not hold a press conference today (June 19) to announce what new counties will be moving to Phase Green. However, his administration did provide a press release on the topic. Twelve additional counties will be moving to Phase Green on June 26, and those counties are: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna.
An Update from the Department of Health:
Secretary Levine and the Department of Health did not hold a press conference today. However, the Pennsylvania Department to Health did release an update today (June 19) on COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania has reached 80,762, an increase of 526 cases from yesterday. There were 38 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 6,399. There were 630 positive serology tests, which are counted as probable cases of COVID-19.
There are 16,895 residential cases and 3,012 employee cases in 651 long-term care facilities in 47 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 4,345 reported deaths in long term care facilities due to COVID-19. Deaths in nursing and personal care facilities account for ~68% of the total deaths in Pennsylvania. Long-Term Care Facilities Dashboard.
77% 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 ~79% of ventilators in Pennsylvania Hospitals are still available. A total of 6,141 COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers.
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 eight counties moving to Phase Green on June 19, there are only 13 counties in Phase Yellow. On June 26, twelve additional counties will move to Phase Green, leaving 1 county in Phase Yellow.
- 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. Eight additional counties moved to Phase Green on June 19, bringing the total counties in Phase Green to 54. On June 26, twelve additional counties will move to Phase Green.
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:
- Department of Aging Guidance
- Sports Operation Guidance
- Damaged Business Guidance
- School Reopening Guidance
- Childcare FAQs
- Restaurant Industry Guidance
- Business Guidance
- Business FAQs
- 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.
Gov. Wolf: 12 More Counties to Go Green on June 26
June 19, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that 12 more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 26. These counties include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna.
Philadelphia County met the criteria and will move to the state’s green phase on June 26; however, local officials will maintain some additional restrictions until July 3. The Wolf Administration has supported specific county requests for more restrictions throughout the phased reopening process.
The only county not slated to move to green on June 26 is Lebanon County. Against the advice of public health experts and against orders from Gov. Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine aimed at keeping Pennsylvanians healthy, Lebanon County commissioners voted 2 to 1 along party lines to prematurely reopen in late May. Now, the county is facing an uptick in cases, and is unable to move to green.
Department of Health: More than 4,000 Close Contacts of COVID-19 Cases Identified, Monitored through Contact Tracing Efforts across Pennsylvania
June 19, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced more than 4,000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases have been identified and monitored to date through the contact tracing efforts of 500 trained contact tracers throughout the state, including 130 state health nurses. These efforts include the support from the six county health departments and four municipal health departments who have primary responsibility for all efforts inside their jurisdiction.
Pennsylvania’s public health professionals are the backbone of contact tracing and are supported by volunteers to supplement their ongoing work and case management technology tools to track, manage and evaluate efforts.
Over 800 contract tracers have volunteered through the ServPA platform, at least 50 through AmeriCorps and hundreds through other community organizations or academic institutions. The state has focused on building partnerships with organizations like AmeriCorps, who are volunteering 50 individuals to perform contact tracing this summer and exploring an additional 100 individuals in the fall. This month, Temple University has plans to onboard 200 students to help with contact tracing.
Reopening Phase Orders Updated to Include 8 Additional Counties Moving to Green on June 19
June 18, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today signed amended green phase orders for the 8 counties moving to green at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, June 19. The counties include Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike and Schuylkill.
With these orders effective at 12:01 a.m., tomorrow there will be 54 counties in green and 13 counties in yellow.
Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania includes details of each phase of reopening.
Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate At 13.1 Percent in May
June 19, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for May 2020. The May unemployment and jobs surveys collected data that referenced the week from May 10 – 16 prior to many counties moving to the yellow phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down 3.0 percentage points over the month to 13.1 percent in May. The national rate fell 1.4 percentage points from May to 13.3 percent. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate increased by 8.9 percentage points from May 2019 while the national rate was up 9.7 points over the year.
Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 198,300 over the month to 5,191,400 in May. May’s gain was the largest single-month increase on record. Jobs increased in 9 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest volume gain was an increase of 77,400 in construction, which recovered over two-thirds of its March and April losses.
Department of Health Applies for $301 Million Federal Grant to Strengthen COVID-19 Response, More Than $100 Million for Local Health Departments
June 18, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced that the Department of Health has applied for a more than $301 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen state and local public health capacity in Pennsylvania.
The Department will also continue its close collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, who separately received more than $92 million to assist their work from CDC.
Throughout Pennsylvania, there are six county health departments and four municipal health departments, who have primary responsibility for public health efforts inside their jurisdiction.
This newsletter was prepared by Ridge Policy Group, a top lobbying firm.