COVID-19 Update (03/25/2020)

COVID-19 Update (03/25/2020)

Federal 

Stimulus Bill: 

  • The Senate passed the $2 trillion rescue package last night. The bill will not be voted in the House until Thursday. 
  • The bill includes: 
    • $130 billion for hospitals 
    • Extensive oversight of a $500 billion fund for corporations including a provision that the Trump family business and any senior government official can not receive loan money from the fund.  
    • $1,200 in direct monetary support for American citizens with incomes up to $75,000 per year. The direct monetary fund ends with those earning $99,000 a year. Families will receive an additional $500 per child. 
    • Unemployment insurance will be expanded by 13 weeks and will include a four-month enhancement of benefits. Democrats pushed for the unemployment benefits to include freelancers, furloughed employees and gig workers. 
    • Small businesses will be able to receive loans at community banks but they must pledge to not lay-off their workers. 
    • The loans will be available until June 30th and will be forgiven if the employer continues to pay workers for the duration of the crisis. 

Here is a look at what other states are doing to fight Covid-19:

  • Gov’s across the US are urging residents who have summer homes to not come back in order to stop the spread of Convid-19. 
  • Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking anyone from New York, Connecticut or New Jersey who are coming to Florida to self-quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Some states have begun to include abortion as elective surgery, thus banning them during this time. 
  • Widespread testing is months away as states across the U.S. wait for federal help. In New Jersey, the largest testing center reaches capacity within an hour of opening every day. 
  • In Arizona, the House approved a $50 million emergency relief package, which is expected to be signed by the Governor next week. The package includes funding to prevent evictions and foreclosures, help for small businesses, payment for food bank operations and services for the homeless.
  • In Massachusetts, a bill has passed that allows cities and towns to postpone and reschedule municipal elections. 
  • In Ohio, the legislature introduced a bill that would appropriate $20 million to support homeless shelters and provide emergency rental assistance. 

Federal Government pushes back Real ID Deadline

  • President Trump announced that he will be moving the deadline back for Real ID. The extended deadline has not been announced yet. 

India’s 1.3 billion people have been told to say home 

  • India’s prime minister announced yesterday a 21-day shutdown of nearly all services. 
  • Although India has only reported 606 coronavirus cases so far, health officials are afraid of what the virus could do to a country with a high population density and a weak public health system. 
  • The effect this will have on the economy is unknown, but signs were starting to emerge today that it could lead to chaos and wide-spread economic damage. 

 State

Pa. Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through April 6 as Lehigh, Northampton Added

  • Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday extended his coronavirus stay-at-home order to include both Lehigh and Northampton counties. This brings the total to ten counties across the commonwealth, which will now lockdown at home through April 6.
  • The order begins for Lehigh and Northampton residents at 8 p.m on Wednesday evening. 

Pennsylvania ‘particularly ill-prepared’ for financial blow caused by the coronavirus

  • Last month, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $36 billion budget.
  • Estimates showed that the possibility of a recession was only around 20%. 
  • Now, with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are new challenges. Pennsylvania has not experienced such a large percentage of its economy being down for a prolonged period of time, and experts worry that the state will take time to rebound. 

Pennsylvania House unanimously backs proposal to delay the 2020 primary due to the coronavirus

  • Pennsylvania House approved a bipartisan proposal to postpone the 2020 primary until June 2nd, to allow counties time to consolidate voting places and hopefully slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Bill to shorten the school year and ensure that school employees get paid passes the state House and state Senate

  • Today PA lawmakers passed legislation that shortened the school year and made sure that school employees will be paid and earn pension credits. 
  • The bill also requires schools to continue education and submit a plan to the State Department of Education on how they will achieve this. 
  •  The bill also requires schools to provide employees who clean school facilities during the pandemic with the appropriate cleaning materials and protective clothing and gear.

City

Philadelphia reports first COVID-19 death

  • Philadelphia officials reported the city’s first COVID-19 related fatality.
  • “The unfortunate reality is there will likely be more deaths as the number of cases grows,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, and reiterated that this highlights the need for people to follow the stay-at-home orders put in place. 

More than half of Philly’s Convid-19 cases are from younger adults

  • More than half of Covid-10 patients in Philly are people younger than 40 years old. 
  • Health officials across the U.S. have been sounding the alarm that younger people are the ones who transmit the disease especially after many young people returned from Spring break. 

Beds at Penn Medicine’s $1.5 billion hospital expected to be ready 15 months ahead of schedule

  • Penn Medicine’s $1.5 billion hospital project in University City is moving at a breakneck pace.
  • The portion of the Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is expected to be ready for occupancy 15 months ahead of schedule, according to a contractor.

Good News

Pittsburgh Pirates players buy 400 pizzas for hospital staff on coronavirus front lines On Monday night, the team announced that players bought 400 pizzas and pasta for medical staff at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

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