A Note From Daylin
I hope everyone has been staying safe & healthy. Last week, counties here in southeastern PA started moving into the yellow phase. Montgomery and Delaware counties are among those that have seen the stay-at-home order lifted. Even with fewer restrictions, Pennsylvanians are still asked to use caution to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
This past month, my staff and I have been busier than ever, working to represent you in Harrisburg while also working in the community to assist you. One prevalent request I get is for help addressing ongoing issues with unemployment compensation. More than 2 million Pennsylvanians have filed for regular unemployment compensation, and an additional 136,000 have filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Regretfully, our system was not equipped for the demand that we’re seeing and my constituents have experienced a myriad of issues related to filing their claims. My office is always here to help - we have legislative liaisons with whom we work to resolve these matters. If you or someone you know is still having problems, please contact us at email@example.com or 610.768.4200.
I know these have been difficult times, but it’s because of your selflessness and your commitment that we’ve seen a decrease in the amount of reported cases. Please let me know how I can best serve you as we all get through this together.
June marks the beginning of summer, but it’s also something much more significant, the time to celebrate Pride Month. If you’re interested in learning more about Pride Month and ways you can help, please visit https://nationaltoday.com/pride-month/.
Also, during June, we recognize Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. More than 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which happens to be the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Memory loss is one of the most common warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which is why early detection matters. You can take action to increase public awareness of Alzheimer’s by sharing stories, supporting public policies and going purple online by visiting alz.org/abam.
The Latest News
With no active Covid-19 cases, New Zealand is lifting almost all its coronavirus restrictions
Almost all coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand will be lifted tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced, after the country reported no active cases.
Coronavirus outbreak is worsening globally, WHO warns’ single-day record for new cases reported Sunday
The number of daily COVID-19 cases worldwide hit a new high on Sunday, the World Health Organization reported Monday, warning that the pandemic appeared to be worsening across the globe and urging countries that have seen improvement to remain vigilant.
Congress updates PPP loan rules, making them more business friendly
The Philadelphia Inquirer
It’s gotten a bit easier for business folks trying to hold on by using a Paycheck Protection Program loan lifeline.Under new, liberalized rules passed last week, business folks have more time and more freedom to spend the money provided under the PPP.
Gov. Wolf Announces $225 Million Grant Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Office of Governor Wolf
Governor Tom Wolf today announced a $225 million statewide grant program to support small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent business closure order.
Celebrating Pride Month and rallying for racial equality: LGBTQ groups seek 'to stand in solidarity with the black community'
“The truth is that the movement for black civil rights and the LGBTQ+ movement – the Pride movement – have always exhibited a certain level of intersectionality,” said Jay W. Walker, the co-founder of Reclaim Pride Coalition, a group that created the Queer Liberation March, first staged last year in New York.
School safety, county block grants and Head Start: How Pa. is spending that $2.6B in CARES Act Money | The Numbers Racket
PA Capitol Star
Giving some insight into the appropriations of the $2.6 billion in federal relief dollars from the CARES Act, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives shared this breakdown Monday.
A dozen Pa. coronavirus cases traced to Jersey Shore ‘house gatherings,’ official says
A dozen new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania were traced to recent Jersey Shore “beach house gatherings,” the Bucks County Department of Health announced this weekend.
PennDOT reopens 19 Driver License, Photo License Centers
More PennDOT Driver License and Photo License Centers in counties in the yellow phase of coronavirus mitigation are open now, the department announced Friday.
More Antiviral Coronavirus Treatment Shipped To PA Hospitals
The fourth shipment of an antiviral drug used to treat coronavirus patients has arrived at hospitals around Pennsylvania. A total of 4,400 doses of the "investigational" medicine, remdesivir, were sent to 73 hospitals statewide by federal authorities.
Coronavirus testing available for more Montgomery County residents
The Times Herald
Montgomery County officials reported three more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and announced that the county now has enough testing supplies on hand to allow anyone who wants to be tested for the virus to do so at any of the three community-based testing sites.
Montgomery County restaurants start to reopen for outdoor dining
The Times Herald
Just as it is when we’re behind the wheel driving, what we’d like at all times is a green light. But sometimes a yellow light will do. While we’re not quite at the green stage, Montgomery County has officially given the go-ahead to the less restrictive yellow phase, where some outdoor dining is allowed.
'Phased reopening' of Montgomery County parks begins June 10
The Times Herald
Montgomery County officials announced Monday that they will implement a “phased reopening plan” beginning this week for the county’s parks, which have been closed for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Norristown Farm Park will be the first to reopen.
Neighbors helping Neighbors in Ardmore
Main Line Media News
It started as a way to help get a few meals to students in need after schools were shut down due to the pandemic, but it’s grown into an effort to help many more families through a program called Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
Reopening Phase Orders Updated
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine recently amended yellow phase orders to include 10 additional counties. The counties include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
In addition, the governor and the secretary signed amended green phase orders to include 16 counties moving to the green phase as of June 5. The counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.
With these orders, there are no counties in the red phase.
Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania includes details of each phase of reopening.
As regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, hair and nail salons, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place.
The purpose of this phase is to begin to power back up the economy while keeping a close eye on the public health data to ensure the spread of disease remains contained to the greatest extent possible.
Work and Congregate Setting Restrictions
- Stay-at-Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation
- Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited
- In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
- Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
- Restaurants and Bars May Open Outdoor Dining, in Addition to Carry-Out and Delivery (effective 6/5/2020)
After a county transitions to the yellow phase, we will closely monitor for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If the overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, we will transition the county to the green phase.
The green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.
While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.
Work and Congregate Settings Restrictions
- Continued Telework Strongly Encouraged
- Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements
- All Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% Occupancy
- Child Care May Open Complying with Guidance
- Congregate Care Restrictions in Place
- Prison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual Facilities
- Schools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance
- Large Gatherings of More Than 250 Prohibited
- Restaurants and Bars Open at 50% Occupancy
- Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment Only
- Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly Encouraged
- All Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% Occupancy
- Construction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of Protocols
The latest business guidance can be found here.
The Governor’s amended yellow phase order can be found here.
The Governor’s amended green phase order can be found here.
The Secretary of Health’s amended yellow phase order can be found here.
The Secretary of Health’s amended green phase order can be found here.
School Re-Opening Guidelines
The Department of Education has issued preliminary guidelines for schools to reopen. Schools will be required to take steps to protect students and staff at higher COVID-19 risk, train staff and faculty, monitor for symptoms, space desks apart, and more. K-12 schools can begin reopening for summer courses July 1, and colleges, trade schools, and other post-secondary schools can begin offering classes again as soon as June 5.
Learn more here.
Department of Health Launches COVID-19 Phased Reopening County Dashboard
The Department of Health recently launched an online dashboard to show county progress as Pennsylvania moves through the COVID-19 phased reopening plan. The dashboard breaks down four main categories that are used to determine if a county can move into the next phase of reopening.
“As the dashboard shows, there are several metrics used to determine if it is safe for a county to reopen to the next phase,” Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We too, want to get back to a normal life. However, we need the help of all Pennsylvanians to make that happen. By taking simple steps, like continuing to wear a mask, staying home when sick, and implementing social distancing, we can help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 and help Pennsylvania fully reopen in a safe and efficient manner.”
The dashboard shows metrics used to help identify if a county can reopen to the next phase, including:
- Stable, decreasing, or low confirmed case counts, past two weeks compared to the previous two weeks;
- Contacts of case are being monitored;
- PCR positivity rate <10% in the past 14 days; and,
- Hospital bed use is 90% or lower per district population.
SNAP Recipients are Now Able to Make Online Grocery Purchases
The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that the system changes necessary to implement the pilot program that lets recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchase groceries online through participating retailers have been completed, and online grocery purchasing is now active at approved retailers.
The pilot program currently includes three approved retailers: Amazon, Walmart, and ShopRite. Only eligible food items normally paid for by SNAP will be able to be purchased from these retailers online with SNAP benefits; delivery fees, driver tips, and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. Due to the expedited timeframe to implement, this initiative does not include the ability to transact Cash Assistance benefits using the EBT card. Therefore, individuals will need to use another method of payment, such as a pre-paid debit card, to cover non-allowable fees.
Learn More: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=549
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