COVID-19 Update 03/27/2020

COVID-19 Update 03/27/2020

Federal 

  • Today President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus rescue package into law.
  • The bipartisan legislation, referred to as the CARES Act, is the third aid package that Congress passed this month.
  • The CARES Act is the largest rescue package in American history.
  • This vote comes after the U.S overtook China to lead the world in the number of coronavirus cases. Johns Hopkins reported that the U.S. has more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,300 have died.
  • Some highlights of the bill include:
  • Direct payments to Americans who make less than $75,000.
  • $260 billion to unemployment insurance programs.
  • Expands unemployment coverage to 4 months and raises the weekly benefit by $600.
  • Unemployment will also cover nontraditional workers, including the self-employed, freelancers and those working in the gig economy.
Next steps
  • There has been talk of a fourth or fifth recovery or stimulus bill. These bills would include job creation and infrastructure spending such as transportation funding. Other issues that may receive renewed attention include an expansion of family and medical leave and emergency health and safety regulations to protect first responders.
  • Cruise lines were left out of the CARES Act due to the fact that they do not locate their headquarters in the U.S.
  • To be eligible for aid from the $500 billion funds, companies must be created or organized in the United States.
Bellevue Strategies will be doing a webinar next week on the impact this legislation will have on nonprofits and businesses. Please stay tuned for more information.
State
  • School districts this week have begun to post education plans on their websites. This is in response to a bill that was passed by the state legislature on Wednesday requiring school districts to submit these plans to the state department of education.
  • Many districts are conducting technology surveys to determine how many students have access to devices and WiFi to receive online instruction.
  • Most districts will be offering enrichment activities for students that will not be graded.
  • Employees at the Somerset District and the Elmwood District of the Philadelphia County Assistance took sick time after learning of at least four COVID-19 cases among their colleagues.
  • The positive cases led DHS to shut down the two assistance offices today.
  • The goal is to have the office reopened on Monday after the buildings are cleaned.
  • DHS has published an interactive map that shows the location of the 700 child care providers that have been granted waivers to operate from Gov. Wolf’s administration.
  • State officials published the platform to help frontline workers such as grocery and foodservice employees and emergency responders find childcare providers.
  • Human services officials expect that the 700 centers that have been granted waivers will only serve the children of essential workers until Wolf lifts the statewide COVID emergency declaration.

City

  • The Board of Education approved the school district’s $11 million request Thursday night.
  • The school district said that any student who needs a Chromebook will receive one.
  • The school district will begin handing out laptops in mid-April.
  • Philadelphia area hospitals are preparing for the surge of Covid-19 patients.
  • P.J. Brennan, chief medical officer of the massive University of Pennsylvania Health System said that Philadelphia is no more than two weeks behind New York City. He said that the peak of the crisis is projected to be in late May or June.
  • Temple University is letting the city use the Liacouras Center to expand its hospital-bed capacity. Temple health system has also turned its entire Boyer Pavilion into a coronavirus hospital.
  • Penn is now checking employees’ temperatures at hospital entrances.
  • Gig workers for the grocery delivery app Instacart are planning to strike on Monday to protest the company’s lack of protective gear for its employees.
  • Instacart has become a lifeline for some consumers during the outbreak as more states order residents to shelter-in-place.
  • Instacart workers are asking for hand sanitizer and disinfectants, an additional $5 per order in hazard pay as well as for the default tip to be set to 10 percent, rather than 5 percent.
Good News
Elton John Will Host A Televised Benefit Concert To Support Medical Workers
While the remainder of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour is on pause due to COVID-19, Elton John has announced he will be hosting a televised benefit concert to support and pay tribute to medical staff in America who are on the frontlines battling Coronavirus.
The commercial-free hour-long special, dubbed “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” will air at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) on FOX on Sunday, March 29 and will also be broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations as well. (Via Sunny Skyz News)
From all of us here at Bellevue, stay safe and stay healthy!

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