A Note From Daylin
Thank you everyone who joined me for my first ever Facebook Live Blog Q&A yesterday. At this point, it’s been over two weeks since we decided to close my senate office so that we could assure that my staff, our constituents and service personnel wouldn’t be exposed to COVID-19, or the coronavirus. In the meantime, we’ve been trying our best to connect with constituents in new ways. Feel free to email us any of your ideas! ICYMI: You can still find last week’s Facebook Live Town Hall archived here.
We also recently published a Coronavirus Resource Guide on our website. There you can find helpful information for employees, resources for small businesses, updates on mitigation efforts, program updates on PA’s medical marijuana program, food access info, online educational resources and FAQs. We also have links to certain DOH resources available and we were able to incorporate a self-help portal that constituents can use to find relevant state forms and applications. We hope you’ll check it out!
Even though our physical office is closed, you can still call us, and your call will be re-routed to me or my staff, and we are available to help you in any way we can. We will be answering calls, and addressing constituent needs as effectively and expeditiously as possible. Legislators will also continue to meet for session as well. The PA Senate yesterday hosted its first ever remote voting session, where I participated via video conference (I’m glad my two children, Brennan and Justin, were home to help with the technology!). We voted on a few bills that will help Pennsylvanians during this crisis, one which would waive the one-week waiting requirement and job search requirement typically mandated for those on or seeking unemployment benefits. We also voted to for legislation that provides protections to teachers and students by ensuring that school employees can keep their compensation packages & benefits, and waives the 180 school-day requirement for students. Another bill we voted on will move the April 28 primary election to June 2 to allow more time for the Department of State to plan and accommodate for the recent changes in regular business. We expect Governor Wolf to sign all of these bills into law.
Governor Wolf on Monday issued “Stay at Home” orders to Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, as we continue to fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. This order will continue until April 6. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed through at least April 6.
Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a healthcare professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
- To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
- To care for a family member or pet in another household
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
- Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
The following operations are exempt:
- Life-sustaining business activities
- Health care or medical services providers
- Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
- Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders.
- News media
- Law enforcement
- The federal government
- Religious institutions
We’ve seen this virus impact all 50 states in the United States. As of this email, we’ve been notified of 1,687 positive cases and 16 deaths of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Pennsylvania. We anticipate that there will continue to be more Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 in the coming weeks. As new details come in, my office and I will do our best to communicate as much information as possible. Please consider reviewing the rest of this email for prevention tips and more information on this ongoing situation. You can always feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 610.768.4200 with questions and/or concerns.
The Latest News
Pa. Lawmakers Pass COVID-19 Response Bills
In addition to postponing the state's primary election from April 28 to June 2, lawmakers passed measures to amend the school code to address extended closures, make emergency changes to the state's unemployment compensation law and provide additional funding to health care facilities.
Gov. Wolf opens $60 million coronavirus small-business loan fund
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday announced the creation of a $60 million fund to lend money to small businesses that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program, businesses with fewer than 100 employees worldwide can apply for loans up to $100,000. The program is designed to pay for operating expenses rather than for investments in property and machinery.
Pennsylvania Allows Mariner East Pipeline Construction to Continue Despite Coronavirus Shutdown
Energy Transfer LP will be permitted to complete pipeline construction work at 17 locations across Pennsylvania, most of them associated with its contentious Mariner East project, after appealing directly to Gov. Tom Wolf’s office for waivers from the emergency coronavirus shutdown.
Pennsylvania to Allow Retired Health Care Professionals to Bolster COVID-19 Response
Pennsylvania is acting to enable retired health care professionals to assist with the COVID-19 response by waiving certain licensing regulations.
Coronavirus checks, direct deposits are coming. Here’s everything you need to know.
Who qualifies? How much is being sent? When? How will I get the money? Questions and answers.
Many More Are Now Eligible For Montco Coronavirus Testing Site
More people can now be tested at Montgomery County's coronavirus testing site, Montgomery County Commissioners announced on Monday. Testing had previously been limited only to the highest risk groups, including those with severe symptoms and first responders who had known contact with an infected individual.ut.
Crocs giving free shoes to healthcare workers during coronavirus pandemic
Healthcare workers can get a free pair of shoes from Crocs. The company launched a program to give a pair of select Crocs Classic Clogs and Crocs At Work styles to healthcare workers “on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19,” according to businesswire.com. The company said it will give away up to 10,000 pairs a day.
Pa. school districts prepare for possibility of students not returning to classrooms
Some Pennsylvania school districts on Tuesday announced plans to move forward with remote instruction, one day after the governor extended the school-building shutdown due to the coronavirus.
Crisis spurs 'Can Do' solutions in Delaware County
In Haverford Township, employees have built, in-house, high capacity foggers to disinfect ambulances, police cars and high trafficked areas of public buildings.
Who Knew Grocery Shopping Could Be So Stressful?
New York Times
Pushing a shopping cart, braving crowded aisles and even unpacking bags feel perilous. Here’s our guide to shopping during the coronavirus crisis.
How the Pandemic Will End
The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world.
Information for PA Employees Impacted by COVID-19
If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers' Compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves.
You may be eligible if:
- Employer temporarily or permanently closes
- Your hours are reduced
- You’ve been told not to work to mitigate COVID-19
- You’ve been told to self-isolate or quarantine
Learn more about your eligibility.
File your initial claim.
The Montco Office of Veterans Affairs Is Here for You
The Montgomery County Office of Veteran Affairs remains open and committed to the Veteran Community. Although they are almost 100% operational, they are unable to accept person to person appointments due to staff working remotely.
They are unable to return calls within 24-48 hours. Email is the best way to reach someone.
Please contact them at 610-278-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Montco Health and Human Services Facebook page has regular updates concerning their services. For additional important information, please visit and share their website: www.montcopa.org/266.
Alzheimer's Association Resources
The Alzheimer’s Association provides support and resources to individuals who are impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk. For example, people with Alzheimer's disease and all other dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other recommended precautions to prevent illness. In addition, diseases like COVID-19 and the flu may worsen cognitive impairment due to dementia.
To that end, the Alzheimer’s Association wants you to know they are here to help:
U.S. Department of Justice
Please be vigilant for fraudulent/criminal activity related to COVID-19. Examples may include robocalls regarding PPE and social media campaigns regarding cures or seeking donations.
Complaints regarding fraudulent activity should be reported to 1-877-720-5721 or email@example.com.
U.S. Department of State
Approximately 15-20 million U.S. citizens are currently living outside the country, with many now seeking to return. Since January, the Department of State has helped 9,500 citizens return home.
If you know a person that wants to return to the U.S., please have them register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program by visiting www.step.state.gov. STEP is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.