Your Update for 6-09-20
*This information is changing quickly, so be sure to check for any updated information.
We will be adding our daily updates to our website a week after publication. If you would like to receive RPG’s update as it comes out, please sign up here: eepurl.com/gKVAoP
Update from the Pennsylvania 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 9) on COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania has reached 76,436, an increase of 439 cases from yesterday. There were 61 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 6,014. There were 625 positive serology tests, which are counted as probable cases of COVID-19, and not confirmed cases.
There are 16,247 residential cases and 2,824 employee cases in 618 long-term care facilities in 45 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 4,117 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.
71% of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 in Pennsylvania have recovered, 56% of individuals in Long-term care facilities, and 78% of the employees in LTCs 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 5,796 COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers.
An Update from DC:
Police Reform Bill
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says Democrats are eyeing a floor vote on police-reform legislation the week of June 22. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Wednesday and markup next week. Hoyer said it’s “possible” police-reform legislation could be combined with a stimulus package but he thinks they will be separate negotiations
Separately, Republicans have “bipartisan ideas” on police reform that they will float out in the next few days, GOP Sen. John Cornyn said.
National Defense Bill
The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to mark up the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act through Wednesday. Subcommittee markups today include Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Airland, Personnel, Seapower, and Cybersecurity. All are closed except Personnel.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee next week will mark up a surface transportation package that would authorize highway, transit, and rail programs through fiscal 2025.
The measure would authorize $494 billion over five years, including $411 billion from the Highway Trust Fund, which would be a 46% bump over current levels, according to a committee summary.
The bill includes new infrastructure investment programs and policies to address the environment and bolster the resilie nce of infrastructure against extreme weather and climate change.
Future Pandemic Package
The Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, Lamar Alexander, wants Congress to bolster domestic production of vaccines, commit funds to federal health research, and improve the country’s disease surveillance system, a vision he laid out in a paper released Tuesday.
We are pleased that Chairman Alexander’s paper mentioned our partner, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, which Governor Ridge co-chairs. Senator Alexander is soliciting comments from the public on the ideas due June 26.
Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve expanded its Main Street Lending Program, which it said will be open for eligible lenders “soon.” The Fed lowered loan minimums to $250,000 from $500,000 and extended the loan term to five years from four. It also increased loan maximums across the three facilities. Company loans up to $300 million will now be eligible for the program. Loan recipients are still limited to 15,000 employees or fewer and an annual revenue cap of $5 billion.
HHS Hospital Funding
The Health and Human Services Department is distributing about $25 billion to doctors and health centers that primarily treat low-income and uninsured patients to combat the coronavirus.
The U.S. is expected to have a supply of at least 180 million N95 respirator respirator masks each month from August through October, exceeding the need for about 160 million in that three-month period, according to the White House projections for personal protective equipment needs.
The projections, created by the Administration’s Supply Chain Task Force, also estimate needs for gowns, surgical masks, gloves, and face shields.
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. 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
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:
- Damaged Business Guidance *New
- 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
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.
June 09, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf announced today that beginning Wednesday, June 10, five more COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across the state.
Additional testing sites will be announced in upcoming days and will be listed on the department’s website.
The Department of Health is partnering with Quest Diagnostics to process the tests. At this time, the tests are being provided at no cost to Pennsylvanians. Patients can create an account by visiting www.MyQuestCOVIDTestPA.com.
June 09, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today issued an order requiring that all hospitals take additional steps to further protect their staff and patients from COVID-19. The order requires all hospitals to develop, implement and adhere to safety measures by Monday, June 15.
The Order addresses several concerns raised by nurses and other frontline workers. It requires hospitals to develop, implement and adhere to the following policies and procedures that provide for the safety of the hospital staff and patients by:
· Notifying hospital staff members who have been in close-contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case within 24 hours of the known contact and provide instruction for quarantine and work exclusion.
· Testing symptomatic and asymptomatic hospital staff members who have received notice of a close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case upon request.
June 09, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today released guidance to Pennsylvania businesses damaged during the civil unrest across the state. The information is intended to assist business owners identify what is generally covered by understanding the terms in their policies and how and when to file claims.
Standard commercial insurance policies typically include coverage for physical loss or damage to the insured business resulting from looting, vandalism, and riots. Whether a specific loss will be covered depends on the actual language in the applicable policy and any coverage exclusions that may apply. The department recommends business owners familiarize themselves with the types of coverage that may be present in their policies, including benefits and coverage related to property losses, glass breakage, business and liability.
For more information and tips, businesses are encouraged to visit the Business page on the department’s website.
June 09, 2020
The Wolf Administration is urging the public to consider how COVID-19 could change or alter emergency preparedness plans leading into summer, when we face the threat of severe weather that comes with warmer weather.
Thomas said that families should review their emergency kits and plans. Emergency kits should be updated with COVID-19 necessities such as cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and medication. Additionally, if Pennsylvanians plan to host friends or family who evacuate their homes for any reason, they should consider the need for additional emergency supplies, and plan for physical distancing measures to protect family or vulnerable loved ones.
Emergency managers, public health professionals and state, county and local officials are taking measures to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 among people who seek safety in a disaster. Tips to prepare to shelter from severe weather include:
- Knowing where to shelter if you do not typically shelter at home;
- Following guidance on when and where to shelter;
- Staying informed with weather alerts through cell phone alerts, a NOAA weather radio or twitter alerts; and
- Prepare an emergency kit with personal items you need in an emergency.
This newsletter was prepared by Ridge Policy Group, a top Pennsylvania lobbying firm.