Gov. Wolf Announces 12 Additional Counties Moving to Phase Green

Your Update for 6-5-20

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Press Conference with Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine:

At 2:00 pm on June 5, Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine held a press conference to provide an update on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, and announce what additional counties will move to a different phase of reopening.

Governor Wolf announced that 12 additional counties will be moving to Phase Green on Friday, June 12. Those counties are: Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York.

The 16 counties that moved to Phase Green today are: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

The 10 counties that moved to Phase Yellow today are: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.

>>Long-term and congregate care restrictions will remain in place

Secretary Levine gave an update on the number of cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth (+74,385), an increase of 443 cases. COVID-19 is in all of the Commonwealth’s counties. There were 69 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 5,886. There were 620 positive serology tests, which are counted as probable cases of COVID-19, and not confirmed cases.

There are 15,929 residential cases and 2,768 employee cases in 611 long-term care facilities in 45 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 4,077 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.

70% 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 ~77% of ventilators in Pennsylvania Hospitals are still available. A total of 5,659 COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers.

Check out the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Dashboard here. You can view the data on infections by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania here.  You can view the Pennsylvania County Dashboard here.

You can watch the daily press conference here.

An Update from DC:

Upcoming COVID-19 Response Packages:

President Donald Trump today said he’ll ask Congress to pass more economic stimulus, including a payroll tax cut. “We’re set up to do more if we want, I think we should because we are dominant,” President Trump said about additional coronavirus relief legislation.

Separately, Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg TV he doesn’t know how fast Congress will move on next relief package, but that he and others at the White House have been holding conversations with lawmakers. “We have taken some time off from legislation,” but will come back after July 4 and we’ll have a good discussion he said.

Paycheck Protection Program Updates:

President Trump signed the bill passed by the House and Senate to increase flexibility in the Paycheck Protection Program. The law will extend the current eight-week period during which businesses must use funds to have loans forgiven to 24 weeks or Dec. 31, whichever comes sooner.

Vaccine Development:

President Trump also today said there will be some “positive surprises” on vaccines. Separately, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says he is “cautiously optimistic” that at least one coronavirus vaccine candidate can get into phase 3 trial in July.

National Defense Bill:

The House Armed Services panel will consider the FY21 defense authorization bill on July 1, with subcommittee markups starting June 22, committee leaders announced today.

Business Community:

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.

Red Phase:

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

Yellow Phase:

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. There are currently 33 counties in Phase Yellow. On June 12, an additional 12 counties will move into Phase Green.

  • 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

Green Phase

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. There are currently 34 counties in 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:

Critical Needs Portals:

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.

You can find the application for the Paycheck Protection Program here.

You can find the application for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, here.

Press Releases:

Gov. Wolf: 12 More Counties Going Green on June 12

June 05, 2020

Effective today, all 67 Pennsylvania counties are either in the yellow or green phase of reopening and Governor Tom Wolf announced that 12 additional counties will move to green at 12:01 a.m., June 12. Those counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York.

The final 10 counties that moved out of red and into yellow today include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

There are 33 counties currently in yellow and 34 in green.

Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania outlines any remaining restrictions for counties that are either yellow or green.

You can read the full press releases here.

Wolf Administration: Long-Term and Congregate Care Restrictions Will Remain in Place to Protect Vulnerable Populations as Pennsylvania Reopens

June 05, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania departments of Health and Human Services issued guidance for nursing homes, personal care homes, and other long-term and congregate care facilities as counties enter the green phase of the Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania. To further prevent outbreaks within these vulnerable populations, ongoing restrictions in long-term and congregate care facilities will remain in place at least 28 days after the respective facility’s county enters the green phase.

On March 18, the department issued guidance for nursing home facilities on COVID-19 mitigation. This guidance required visitor limitations, personnel restrictions, and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities. This guidance has since been updated on May 12.

DHS has issued guidance restricting visitation to its licensed intermediate care facilities, assisted living residences as well as DHS’ 17 state-run facilities, which include state centers, state hospitals, youth development centers, and youth forestry camps. Individuals served by these facilities often have chronic medical conditions and are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19, so caution and care must be taken to keep residents and staff at these facilities safe from the virus. Guidance to DHS providers is available here.

You can read the full press release here.

Wolf Administration Shares Update on Efforts to Support Businesses during COVID-19

June 5, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin shared the critical actions the Wolf Administration has taken to support businesses throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, from ongoing outreach to stakeholders to financial support.

Davin said he has received critical feedback during outreach meetings the department held with several industries throughout the commonwealth. The department began holding the calls in April as another avenue to support communities and economy during mitigation efforts.

Over the past several weeks, representatives from DCED, including Secretary Davin and deputy secretaries, have been meeting with industry representatives and other stakeholders to provide them with updates, ask for feedback, and answer questions surrounding their industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These stakeholder outreach calls were crucial in assessing the true needs and concerns of the industries that took part. This valued feedback will be used as the state prepares to reopen and help Pennsylvania businesses and communities transition from red to yellow and to green phases.

You can read the full press release here.

Online Grocery Purchasing for SNAP Recipients Now Available, Retailers Encouraged to Join Program

June 05, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that the system changes necessary to implement the pilot program that lets recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchase groceries online through participating retailers have been completed, and online grocery purchasing is now active at approved retailers.

The pilot program currently includes three approved retailers: Amazon, Walmart, and ShopRite. Only eligible food items normally paid for by SNAP will be able to be purchased from these retailers online with SNAP benefits; delivery fees, driver tips, and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. Due to the expedited timeframe to implement, this initiative does not include the ability to transact Cash Assistance benefits using the EBT card.  Therefore, individuals will need to use another method of payment, such as a pre-paid debit card, to cover non-allowable fees.

A fourth retailer, The Fresh Grocer, was approved by the federal government to participate in the program, and once necessary system changes are implemented, they too will begin accepting online SNAP payments. Retailers that are interested in participating must contact FNS to review the requirements to be added to the program.

You can read the full press release here.

Wolf Administration Approves $10.8 Million in New COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program Funding

June 05, 2020

Restaurants, Fitness Facilities, Salons Supported with New Capital Funding

Harrisburg, PA – Today, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that 133 companies have been approved for funding in the final disbursement of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA). The latest cohort of businesses to receive funding includes chiropractors, restaurants, breweries and wineries, salons, fitness facilities. Over the course of the program, nearly $61 million was awarded to businesses across Pennsylvania.

In total, 745 businesses were approved for loans totaling $60,722,641. View a list of approved projects. New projects are highlighted in yellow.

You can read the full press release here.

Written by

Ridge Policy Group


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