Note From Daylin
I hope everyone is staying safe & healthy. I was very happy to see this article in the Philly Mag today congratulating Philadelphians for being among America’s top mask wearers. I encourage everyone to continue wearing a mask. A recent study from Cambridge and Greenwich universities indicates that mask-wearing prevents people from unknowingly giving the virus to others and can be critical as we prepare for a potential resurgence of the coronavirus in the fall. In addition to masks, I also encourage everyone to continue following social distancing guidelines to maintain the momentum we’ve gained as a community. Pennsylvania is one of just three states recently recognized by the CDC for COVID-19 reduction success. It’s because of your commitment and resilience over the last three months that we’ve been able to successfully flatten the curve.
As we continue to fight this battle, it’s so important that we do not retreat. I encourage everyone to stay alert and continue to do all we can to minimize the risk of spread. I know these have been difficult times, but it’s been because of your commitment and selflessness that we’ve seen a consistent decrease in the number of reported cases.
If there is anything my office or I can do to be helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 610.768.4200 or email@example.com.
The Latest News
State Senate OKs possible Constitution changes
The Daily Item
Under Senate Bill 1166, the governor would need to get the General Assembly to approve any plan to continue an emergency declaration beyond 21 days. The Senate passed SB 1166 by a vote of 33-17, with four Democrats joining the Republicans to support the change. Democrats voting in favor of the proposal were: Sen. James Brewster, D-Allegheny County; Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Lehigh County’ Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester County, and Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery County.
Gov. Wolf tightens restrictions on bars, restaurants as COVID-19 surge continues
More restrictions on Pennsylvania bars and restaurants become effective Thursday in response to what Gov. Tom Wolf characterized as an “unsettling climb” of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Pa. restaurants, bars, and social clubs cited for not abiding by COVID-19 guidelines
MONTGOMERY COUNTY | Baggataway Tavern in West Conshohocken | On April 24-25, served or sold food and/or alcohol intended for on-premise consumption or allowed the consumption of food and/or alcohol on the premises.
Ripple effects of coronavirus shutdown causing delays in car purchases
Since Pennsylvania moved into the green phase, which means residents are no longer required to stay at home, an abundance of people are shopping for new and used cars. But sealing a deal is not always quick and easy.
Lower Merion School District To Offer Fruit With Free Meals
The Lower Merion School District will offer families free fruit when they pick up their free meals for children starting on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
Each family will have a choice of a cantaloupe or two pounds of grapes.
Montgomery County officials frustrated, angry about delayed coronavirus test results
The Times Herald
While COVID-19 testing continues to be available for Montgomery County residents at six sites throughout the county, officials expressed “anger and frustration” with reports that citizens are experiencing delays of more than a week in receiving their results. County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh revealed on Wednesday that officials have received reports that some who have been tested experienced delays of between 7 and 10 days for test results.
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA offers support for a variety of clients
The Times Herald
Although the nonprofit has never stopped making itself available to those who need its services, even during the pandemic, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA is slowly gearing up to welcome clients back to its offices at some point. “We are here for anybody that has legal problems that have been made worse by the pandemic,” said Shawn Boehringer, executive director of the organization that provides free civil legal aid in Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties.
Hazard Pay Available for Front-Line Employees
$50 million in grant funding is now available to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across PA.
The funding was created through the federal CARES Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.
The following applicants are eligible to apply:
- Healthcare Non-Profit
- Public Transportation Agency
- A Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO)
Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:
- Healthcare and Social Assistance
- Ambulatory Health Care Services
- Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
- Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
- Food Manufacturing
- Food Retail Facilities
- Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
- Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings
Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.
Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Business Restrictions
Governor Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Levine last week updated restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in response to the recent rise in cases.
All businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, breweries, private clubs, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:
- Prohibition from conducting operations unless the facility offers sit-down, dine-in meals or is serving take-out sales of alcoholic beverages. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.
- Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.
- Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.
- Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e. tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
- Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.
- Occupancy is limited to 25 percent of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining, or 25 persons for a discrete indoor event or gathering in a restaurant. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.
You can read more about the recent announcement at the link below:
Updated Health Guidance Issued for School Leaders
The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education released updated health guidance for school leaders to use when crafting Health and Safety Plans for the resumption of in-person instruction. This guidance is comprised of endorsed best practices for public health and builds on prior iterations of school reopening guidance distributed by PDE.
Resources and Assistance Available
As a reminder, the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation#FPUC benefit ends July 25.
If you are concerned about making ends meet when the $600 weekly FPUC payments end, help is available from the other state through other programs. Check out this quick guide of resources to see the programs available.
Montgomery County’s Planning Commission recently launched a new initiative called RESTART Montco, which will focus on how planning can help our communities adjust and recover from the effects of the shutdowns required during the pandemic. RESTART Montco will focus on these diverse categories:
- Gov’t Regulations + Zoning
- Public Meetings
- Open Space + Recreation
Click here to learn more!
Lower Merion Township COVID-19 Rental & Mortgage Assistance Program
Grant monies are still available to assist Lower Merion Township Residents with rent and mortgage payments. If you and/or if you know of someone whose income, employment was impacted by COVID-19 please consider taking advantage of this opportunity. The deadline has been extended until all funds are exhausted. For more information, see below:
Lower Merion Township COVID-19
Rental & Mortgage Assistance Program
Lower Merion Township, through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 Relief Funds will provide assistance to households to make payments for rent and mortgage. To be eligible, household income must be under 80% of Area Median Income as set by HUD and must have been directly affected by COVID-19.
The grant will provide assistance for up to three months, and grants are not to exceed the monthly mortgage, rent insurance up to a maximum of $5000.00 per household. All payments will be made directly to providers (landlords, mortgage holders). Grant amounts will vary according to need and are intended to fill the gap to meet expenses after factoring in the difference between pre-COVID income and current income, including any unemployment compensation.
- Applicants must have either a rental agreement or a mortgage in their name.
- Applicants must provide documentation of all household income, including any unemployment collected by any member of household.
- Applicant, or any household member whose income has been affected, must have applied for unemployment if eligible.
- Applicant must provide evidence of loss of income directly related to COVID-19 (unemployment, reduced hours, inability to work as self employed).
- Household income cannot exceed 80% of AMI as of date of assistance. Do we need to reference HUD income standards?
- Preference will be given to applicants who have liquid assets equal to no more than 6 months of housing related living expenses, including mortgage/rent, taxes, insurance and utilities. (Liquid assets include: checking accounts, savings accounts, stock accounts. Liquid assets do not include the home itself, cars, retirement accounts, education accounts)
- Preference will be given to residents that met the household income standards prior to February 2020 as well as post February 2020. This will require the submission of documentation of income prior to February 2020.
Applicant must have received no other assistance for the same purpose. If the applicant is able to receive duplication of assistance in the future, they will be required to notify the Township immediately, and will be responsible to reimburse Lower Merion Township’s CDBG program for any funding deemed to be duplicate.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources