PA Reaches 19th Straight Day of Sub-1000 COVID-19 Cases

Your Update for 5-30-20

*This information is changing quickly, so be sure to check for any updated information.

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Update from the Pennsylvania Department of Health:

Secretary Levine and the Department of Health are not holding press conferences on the weekend. However, the Pennsylvania Department to Health released an update today (May 30) on COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania has reached 71,415, an increase of 680 cases from yesterday. There were 616 positive serology tests, which are counted as probable cases of COVID-19, and not confirmed cases.

There were 73 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 5,537.

There are 15,376 residential cases and 2,650 employee cases in 607 long-term care facilities in 44 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 3,535 reported deaths in long term care facilities due to COVID-19. Deaths in nursing and personal care facilities account for ~63% of the total deaths in Pennsylvania.

66% 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 5,280 COVID-19 cases are in healthcare workers. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. You can view the data on infections by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania here.

You can watch the daily press conference here.

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 10 counties in Phase Red. The rest of the Phase Red counties will move to Phase Yellow on June 5.

  • 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 40 counties in Phase Yellow, however 8 additional counties moved to Phase Yellow, while 17 counties moved to Phase Green on May 29

  • 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 0 counties in Phase Green. There are currently 17 counties in Phase Green. An additional 16 counties will move to Phase Green on June 5.

  • 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.

Industry Guidance:

Critical Needs Portals:

The application for the COVID-19 Working Capital Access program is closed. The program reportedly received roughly 900 applications requesting roughly $75 million. The program’s original appropriation was $60 million. A link to the DCED page can be found here. The first round of funding was announced on April 20, you can find information on the funded projects here.

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:

Sec. of Health Dr. Levine Meets with Future Health Care Professionals to Talk about COVID-19

May 30, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today met virtually with high school students from Susquehanna County Career and Technical Center (CTC) to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Governor Wolf’s Schools That Teach Tour. The class of 10th, 11th and 12th graders are all pursuing a career in the health care field after graduation.

The Schools That Teach tour celebrates the teaching and learning taking place in Pennsylvania classrooms every day and provides a forum for communities across the state to discuss how to create and improve educational opportunities for students, regardless of their zip code. More information on the Schools That Teach program can be found here.

You can read the full press release here.

DEP Accepting Feedback on Regulations to Reduce Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development

May 29, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting public comment and will hold three virtual public hearings on regulations to reduce air pollution from existing unconventional natural gas wells and infrastructure. The regulations would restrict volatile organic compounds (VOC) and have a co-benefit of reducing methane emissions as well.

The draft regulation would require additional controls at unconventional natural gas well sites and related infrastructure like compressor stations. The draft regulation, if enacted, would reduce air pollution by 4,404 tons per year of VOCs and 75,603 tons per year of methane.

To view the regulation or submit written comments please visit DEP’s eComment system at https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/. DEP will accept comments through Monday, July 27, 2020.

DEP will hold three virtual public hearings on the regulation:

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 6 PM
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 2 PM
  • Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 6 PM

You can read the full press release here.

This newsletter was prepared by Ridge Policy Group, a top Pennsylvania lobbying firm.

Written by

Ridge Policy Group

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