Pennsylvania - COVID-19 Covered

Pennsylvania

Total Cases: 118,894 (August 4)
Tests Administered: 1,256,569 (August 3)
Fatalities: 7,224 (August 4)
Testing:
  • Approved COVID-19 testing sites across Pennsylvania can be found here 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health announces the hiring of 1,000 additional contact tracers. (July 31) 
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced that beginning Wednesday, June 17, nine more free COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across the state. (June 15) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • 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:

  • 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 nearly $19 million in funding awards to assist in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus on homeless families and individuals. (July 10 
  • Governor Wolf signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure until August 31. (July 9 
  • Governor Wolf amended his executive order protecting Pennsylvanians from foreclosure and evictions. Both actions are now suspended until July 20, 2020. (May 22) 
  • 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 announced Plan for Pennsylvania – a three-tier program that provides Pennsylvanians financial relief along with the eventual public reopening and public recovery. (April 17) 
  • 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) 
  • 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 that $10 million is now available for Pennsylvania businesses that have worked to maintain access to fresh, healthy food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 9)
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced $53 million in additional financial support for childcare providers who have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 6 
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced that 309 nonprofit arts organizations will receive grants totaling $2.3 million to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 6 
  • Governor Wolf announced that beginning June 30 small businesses across Pennsylvania can apply for grants to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order. (June 29) 
  • Governor Wolf announced a $225 million grant program to support small businesses. (June 8 
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Office of State Fire Commissioner will be working to enact recent legislation providing $50 million in direct financial relief to fire and emergency medical service companies negatively impacted by COVID-19. (June 4) 
  • The Hospital Emergency Loan Program has allocated almost $324 million to 31 Pennsylvanian hospitals. (April 30) 
  • 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) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • 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 Tom 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, Lebanon County, has been approved to enter the green phase on July 3. (June 26) 
  • Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna have been approved to end the green phase of reopening on Friday, June 26. (June 19) 
  • Governor Wolf signed into law House Bill 2502, which enforces stricter safety standards for the upcoming general election. (June 18) 
  • The following interactive map indicates what phase of reopening (red, yellow, and green) each Pennsylvania county is in, and guidelines for each phase. (Link 
  • Governor Wolf released reopening guidelines made up of three-phase to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. (June 17) 
  • The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Human Services announced that restrictions in long-term and congregate care facilities will remain in place for at least 28 days after the respective facility’s county enters the green phase. (June 5) 
  • 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) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Wolf announced $3 million for Preschool Early Intervention Programs to purchase personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related supplies. (July 28 
  • Education Secretary Pedro Rivera announced that schools in counties that have reached either the “green” or “yellow” phase of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan may resume in-person instruction on July 1. (June 3) 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released summer camp and general recreation guidelines. (May 22 

State Higher Education:

  • 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 
  • A list of Pennsylvania universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • 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