PA Reaches 7th straight day of sub-1000 COVID-19 Cases

Your Update for 5-16-20

*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 currently not holding press conferences on the weekend. However, the Pennsylvania Department to Health released an update today (May 16) on COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. The number of cases of COVID-19 has reached 61,611, an increase of 989 cases from yesterday. There were 61 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in Pennsylvania to 4,403.

There are 13,257 residential cases and 2,075 employee cases in 556 long-term care facilities in 44 counties, which includes nursing facilities and personal care facilities. There have been 3,043 reported deaths in long term care facilities due to COVID-19. Deaths in nursing or personal care facilities account for ~69% of the total deaths in Pennsylvania.

According to the Hospital Preparedness Dashboard, 45% of hospital beds, 38% of ICU beds, and ~76% of ventilators in Pennsylvania Hospitals are still available. A total of 4,432 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.

Their metrics will focus heavily on a regional approach that is built on a population based incidence rate of 50 new confirmed cases per 100,000 population reported to the department in the previous 14 days.

An example: An area with a population of 800,000 people would need to have fewer than 400 new confirmed cases reported in the past 14 days to meet the target.

The first regions that the administration will target are the north-central and the north-west regions of PA, with a goal of moving them from phase red to phase yellow on May 8.

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. 30 counties are currently in Phase Red, however 12 additional counties will move to Phase Yellow on May 22.

  • 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 37 counties currently in Phase Yellow, however 12 additional counties will move to Phase Yellow on May 22.

  • 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.

  • 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:

Deadline to Register to Vote in Primary Election Approaches

May 16, 2020

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today reminded all eligible Pennsylvanians to register to vote by the May 18 deadline so they can participate in the June 2 primary election.

Boockvar encouraged voters to use the state’s Online Voter Registration (OVR) website whether they are registering for the first time or updating an existing registration with a change of name, address or party affiliation.

Individuals wishing to register to vote in the June 2 primary must be:

  • A citizen of the United States for at least one month before the primary.
  • A resident of Pennsylvania and of the election district in which the individual plans to register and vote for at least 30 days before the primary.
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the date of the primary.

Read the full press release here.

Written by

Ridge Policy Group

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