Pennsylvania - COVID-19 Covered

Pennsylvania

Total Cases: 72,778 (May 27)
Tests Administered: 408,472 (May 26)
Fatalities: 5,163 (May 27)
Testing:
  • Governor Wolf announced that providers of COVID-19 testing and treatment services will be able to be reimbursed for providing those services to uninsured patients through federal stimulus bills. (May 18) 
  • Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine has stated that the state has received its first shipment of remdesivir, a drug that is used to treat coronavirus. It has been shown, in a clinical trial, to reduce the recovery time in some patients. Five of the hospitals receiving the drug are in the Susquehanna Valley. (May 14) 
  • Governor Wolf has declared an executive order that ensures the allocation of medical resources, including tests, face masks, ventilators, respirators and other supplies to hospitals across the state. All health care providers and facilities must submit current inventory to the government. (April 7) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • 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:

  • 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) 
  • Governor Wolf asked that any Pennsylvania manufacturers that can produce COVID-19 supplies to visit the “Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal.” (April 6) 
  • Pennsylvania DOH Secretary Dr. Levine issued an order for guidance to essential businesses on how to maintain and clean businesses. (April 5) 
  • Governor Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear masks anytime they leave the house. The Pennsylvania DOH offers instructions on masking and how to make your own mask. (April 3)   
  • Governor Wolf implemented a no-visitor policy for correctional facilities and nursing homes(March 16) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Wolf amended his executive order protecting Pennsylvanians from foreclosure and evictions. Both actions are now suspended until July 20, 2020. (May 22) 
  • Governor Wolf announced an initial distribution of $51 million of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support childcare providers around Pennsylvania. The funding will go to 7,000 childcare centers. (May 20) 
  • Governor Wolf and Treasurer Torsella today announced that older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive early rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. (May 19) 
  • The U.S. Department of Education has approved Pennsylvania’s application for $523.8 million in a one-time federal emergency funds to help schools respond to COVID-19’s economic impact. (May 13) 
  • Governor Wolf signed an executive order that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures and evictions through July 10. (May 7) 
  • Governor Wolf joined the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts in unveiling a joint multi-state agreement to develop coronavirus testing kits, personal protective equipment and ventilators. (May 3) 
  • The Hospital Emergency Loan Program has allocated almost $324 million to 31 Pennsylvanian hospitals.(April 30) 
  • Governor Wolf signed House Bill 1869, which allocates virus-related healthcare to active National Guard members (April 29)    
  • The Wolf administration made changes to the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program to help ensure food banks are adequately supplied to meet the needs of Pennsylvania residents. (April 28) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds will be allowed to open on Friday May 1. (April 27) 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that hospitals can begin doing elective procedures. (April 27) 
  • Governor Wolf announced a plan for reopening Pennsylvania with a targeted May 8 start. The reopening will be categorized into three phases and will have a gradual, county-by-county implementation (April 22). 
  • Governor Wolf announced Plan for Pennsylvania – a three-tier program that provides Pennsylvanians financial relief along with the eventual public reopening and public recovery. (April 17) 
  • The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation (SB 613) to reopen businesses providing that they follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (April 15). 
  • Governor Wolf joined the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware to announce that they will share information and form a task force to help guide the reopening of the states’ economies once the crisis recedes. (April 14) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry implemented new federal unemployment compensation benefits provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The package provides an additional $600 per week as well as makes self-employed workers eligible for benefits and extends unemployment compensation (UC) benefits for an additional 13 weeks. (April 10) 
  • Pennsylvania’s Education Department received a waiver from federal regulators, allowing schools to give out free meals to children during the pandemic. (March 31) 
  • The Department of Human Services has instructed the state Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to allow Medicaid recipients to re-fill prescriptions early. (March 31) 
  • Governor Wolf requested a major disaster declaration from the White House. (March 29) 
  • Pennsylvanians applying for unemployment can now apply for benefits in the first week of unemployment, as the state’s “waiting week” guideline has been suspended. (PA GOV)  
  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements have been temporarily suspended for all unemployment compensation claimants. (PA GOV)  
  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission chairman signed an emergency order banning terminations of utilitiesincluding electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication, and steam. (PA GOV)  

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, which will assist testing and contact tracing as well as provide new job opportunities beginning Fall 2020. (May 6)  
  • The Wolf administration issued a press release listing free mental health resources for Pennsylvania citizens. “To be the strongest we can be in our efforts to ward off COVID-19, we need to ensure we are taking care of our mental health. So, please, if you need assistance, reach out,” stated Governor Wolf. (April 24) 
  • Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 841 – a bill that reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council; allows local governments to conduct remote public meetings; provides property tax relief until the end of the year; allows school districts to renegotiate contracts with service provides and allows the remote notarization of documents. (April 20) 
  • Businesses may request a waiver to continue in-person, physical operations prior to the state’s shutdown of all non-essential businesses. (PA GOV)  

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • All Pennsylvanian counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening by June 5. (May 22) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that 12 additional Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening on May 22. These counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York. (May 15) 
  • Beginning May 18, everyone in Pittsburgh International Airport is required to wear face coverings (May 15) 
  • The Pennsylvania State Police stated that county authority does not override Government Executive Orders and it will begin to take the appropriate enforcement action in counties that have not been approved for State Yellow re-openings. (May 14) 
  • Gun rights activist Chris Dorr has organized a reopen Pennsylvania rally scheduled in Harrisburg on Friday, May 15. Also planning to attend the rally is Jeremy Bemis, who created the petition calling for the impeachment of Governor Wolf. As of May 14, the petition has almost 80,000 signatures. (May 14) 
  • Republicans in Lancaster and six other counties have called on Governor Wolf to move the counties into the yellow phase of his reopening plan. In response, Governor Wolf pledged to halt discretionary funding to counties “that put us all at risk by illegally operating.” (May 11) 
  • Stay at home orders in the Philadelphia area have been extended until June 4. (May 9) 
  • Thirteen additional western counties will be allowed to reopen on May 15. (May 8) 
  • Twenty-four counties will be allowed to reopen businesses deemed non-essential on May 8. (May 1) 
  • Governor Wolf expanded his “Stay at Home” order to all counties in Pennsylvania, adding 34 more counties in his amended order. (April 1) 

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The Pennsylvania State Department has launched a campaign to inform the public about the primary election date and inform citizens of how to apply for a mail-in ballot (April 22) 
  • Governor Wolf and the DOH Secretary altered stay-at-home guidance to encourage religious leaders to find alternatives for in-person events. (April 4) 

Delivery Services:

  • Governor Wolf signed House Bill 327, allowing the temporary sale of cocktails-to-go from bars, restaurants or hotels with a liquor license. The law takes effect immediately. (May 21) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that restaurants and bars may not conduct dine-in services. Businesses may only offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru service. (March 16) 

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released summer camp and general recreation guidelines. (May 22) 
  • Governor Wolf announced that all schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. (April 9) 
  • The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. has cancelled all spring sports. (April 9) 

State Higher Education:

  • Governor Wolf announced that all schools should be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. The announcement stated, “additionally, postsecondary institutions have suspended in-person instruction and non-essential services.” (April 9) 

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