Pennsylvania - COVID-19 Covered

Pennsylvania

Total Cases: 793,138 (January 22)
Tests Administered: 4,309,670 (January 21)
Fatalities: 20,063 (January 22)
Testing:
  • Approved COVID-19 testing sites across Pennsylvania can be found here.  
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced that U.S. Specialty Formulations (USSF), LLC, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, will expand its operations in Allentown, Lehigh County to continue its work developing a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with VaxForm, LLC. (December 3) 
  • Governor Tom Wolf and Director of Testing and Contact Tracing Michael Huff announced the extension of the Department of Health’s contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) to provide COVID-19 testing in five regions across Pennsylvania. (December 1)  
  • Michael Huff, Director of Testing and Contact Tracing for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, announced the state’s plans to distribute more than 3.8 million Abbott BinaxNOW antigen rapid tests allocated by the federal government. (November 18)  
  • Pennsylvanians can now use the COVID Alert PA app when traveling to New York, New Jersey or Delaware. (October 2) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Wolf announced that the Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) will be awarding $50 million worth of grant funding to fire, rescue, and EMS across the commonwealth to offset expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 8)  
  • Governor Wolf announced that 23 awardees will receive $10 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments and Therapies (CV-VTT) program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 27)  
  • Governor Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 16 
  • Following his order for all non-life sustaining businesses to close, Governor Wolf issued a comprehensive list dictating which businesses may continue physical operations. (March 21)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Wolf signed a bill that provides a temporary freeze on cost-of-living salary adjustments for certain public officials, including the governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, auditor general, attorney general, commissioners of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, heads of departments, judges, and members of the General Assembly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 16)  
  • Governor Wolf directed the Department of Labor & Industry to submit an application for President Trump’s temporary Lost Wages Assistance grant funds to provide an additional $300 per week in supplemental payments to some Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment benefits. (August 21) 
  • Governor Wolf announced the recipients of $50 million in grants to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 17 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health updated dental health care guidance for dental clinics reopening. (June 3) 
  • Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an order that outlined protections for employees dealing with in-person customers. The order required that businesses provide masks to employees, stagger work start and stop times, provide sufficient space for employees to have breaks and meals 6 feet from each other, and, if possible, conduct meetings and trainings virtually. (April 15) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Wolf announced the opportunity for one-time, $600 grants for child care workers across Pennsylvania. (January 20) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that nearly $20 million would be available to assist Pennsylvanians currently experiencing homelessness. (November 5) 
  • The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency updated the COVID Relief Mortgage & Rental Assistance Grant Program to help more renters and homeowners remain in their homes. Effective October 17, landlords and mortgagees had the option to reach agreements with renters and homeowners for repayment of rent and mortgage payments above the program’s $750 monthly cap. (October 13) 
  • Governor Wolf allocated more than $117 million in CARES Act funding to child care providers across Pennsylvania. (August 28) 

 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Wolf initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to be used for grants for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (December 23) 
  • Governor Wolf announced four new low-interest loan approvals through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) that will provide for business expansion and job creation in Elk, Lancaster, and Northumberland counties. (November 4)  
  • Governor Wolf announced a plan to waive liquor license fees to provide financial relief to restaurants and bars, which have faced significant financial impacts during the COVID-19 public health crisis. (October 22) 
  • The Department of Health updated its travel recommendations to add Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming and remove Georgia from the list of states recommended for domestic travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. (October 5) 
  • Governor Wolf announced the launch of the COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, to help fight the spread of the virus. (September 22) 
  • Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders enabling restaurants to increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting Monday, September 21. (September 17 
  • Hawaii, North Carolina, and Texas were removed from the list of states with high amounts of COVID-19 cases and require travelers to quarantine for 14 days. (September 14 
  • Governor Wolf announced that restaurants may increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting September 21. (September 8) 
  • Governor Wolf signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 1 
  • Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity released a report containing six policy recommendations related to housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, health disparity, education, and economic opportunities. (August 13) 
  • This interactive map indicates what phase of reopening (Red, Yellow, and Green) each Pennsylvania county is in, and outlines the guidelines for each phase. (June 19) 
  • Governor Wolf signed an executive order authorizing state agencies to conduct administrative proceedings remotely. (July 10) 
  • The Wolf administration released updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) about summer recreation, camps and pools. (July 9 
  • Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed amended Green Phase orders for the Lebanon County, the last Pennsylvania county to move to green. (July 2 
  • Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed a new order requiring individuals to wear masks whenever they leave their homes. (July 1 
  • The last county in Pennsylvania to enter the Green Phase, Lebanon County, was approved to do so on July 3. (June 26) 
  • Governor Wolf released reopening guidelines made up of three-phases to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. (June 17) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Levine announced the fourth version of the COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. (January 8 
  • Governor Wolf announced additional COVID-19 restrictions. All in-person indoor dining is prohibited, and indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are now banned. (December 11) 
  • The Department of Health changed the travel quarantine guidance to 10 days on Dec. 5 based on new CDC guidance. (December 7)  
  • The Department of Health provided an updated travel order requiring anyone over the age of 11 who visits from another state to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in a travel quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania. (November 30)  
  • On November 24, Governor Tom Wolf signed a third renewal of his 90-day Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. (November 25)  
  • The Wolf Administration will begin using the national Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system to provide important public messages about the COVID-19 pandemic. (November 25)  
  • The Department of Health changed its travel guidance, requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the commonwealth. (November 23)  
  • On November 25 only, all sales or dispensing of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at businesses in the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end at 5PM. Indoor dining may continue, but takeout is encouraged. (November 23)  
  • The Department of Health updated its travel recommendations, adding Virginia to the list of states recommended for returning domestic travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. (November 16)  
  • The Department of Health updated its travel recommendations, adding Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts to the list and removing Louisiana from the list of states recommended for domestic travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. (November 9)  
  • The Department of Health updated its travel recommendations to add Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Texas from the list of states recommended for domestic travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. (November 2)  
  • The Department of Health updated its travel recommendations to remove Texas from the list of states recommended for domestic travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. (October 19) 
  • Governor Wolf announced the launch of the COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, to help fight the spread of the virus. (September 22) 
  • Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders enabling restaurants to increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting Monday, September 21. (September 17)  
  • Hawaii, North Carolina, and Texas were removed from the list of states with high amounts of COVID-19 cases and require travelers to quarantine for 14 days. (September 14)  
  • Governor Wolf announced that restaurants may increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting September 21. (September 8) 
  • Governor Wolf signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 1)  
  • Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity released a report containing six policy recommendations related to housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, health disparity, education, and economic opportunities. (August 13) 
  • This interactive map indicates what phase of reopening (Red, Yellow, and Green) each Pennsylvania county is in, and outlines the guidelines for each phase. (June 19) 
  • Governor Wolf signed an executive order authorizing state agencies to conduct administrative proceedings remotely. (July 10) 
  • The Wolf administration released updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) about summer recreation, camps and pools. (July 9)  
  • Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed amended Green Phase orders for the Lebanon County, the last Pennsylvania county to move to green. (July 2)  
  • Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed a new order requiring individuals to wear masks whenever they leave their homes. (July 1)  
  • The last county in Pennsylvania to enter the Green Phase, Lebanon County, was approved to do so on July 3. (June 26) 
  • Governor Wolf released reopening guidelines made up of three-phases to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. (June 17) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Wolf announced he would dedicate $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to K-12 school districts and charter schools affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to support food programs, technological improvements and other education services. (January 15) 
  • The Wolf administration announced it would require Pre-K to 12 public schools in counties that habeen in the substantial transmission level for at least two consecutive weeks to commit to safety measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and educators. If they choose not to, they would be required to move to fully remote learning without all extra-curricular activities. (November 23) 
  • Governor Wolf vetoed House Bill 2787, which would have mandated that school activities be under the sole jurisdiction of local school districts. (September 21) 
  • Governor Wolf dedicated $15 million for schools to secure broadband, mobile hot spots, and other platforms that increase equitable access to remote learning. (September 10) 
  • Governor Wolf dedicated approximately $17 million to help 220 local education agencies to improve educational services for approximately 180,000 students at schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. (August 25) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Pennsylvania universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Governor Wolf will dedicate approximately $28 million to postsecondary institutions and adult basic education providers to assist in implementing public health and safety plans that can help them resume operations in the fall. (August 3 
  • Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities are planning to reopen in the fall, but the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors is giving individual presidents authority to work on details for their campuses. (June 10) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com