COVID-19 Update 04/15/2020

COVID-19 Update 04/15/2020

Federal

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Senate Democrats seek $30B to expand virus testing
  • Top Senate Democrats laid out a plan to spend $30 billion on dramatically boosting coronavirus testing.
  • The lawmakers would wrap funding to enable hundreds of millions of tests into the next major coronavirus relief package. 
  • The Dems plan was outlined in a Democratic Roadmap.  The roadmap also calls for establishing a core public health infrastructure fund that reaches $4.5 billion annually to strengthen the local public health system in the United States. 

New York nurses union to sue state health department, hospitals over equipment shortages 

  • The New York State Nurses Association plans to file three lawsuits on Monday over a lack of personal protective equipment and what it considers dangerous guidance issued by the state department of health during the coronavirus pandemic — the first legal action of its kind since the outbreak began.

States have issues with how federal funds will be distributed from CARES ACT

  • States like New York that are the epicenter of the CoVID-19  crisis have voiced concerns over the funding formulas used in the CARES ACT as the formula does not take into account how hard states have been hit. 
  • Gov Cuomo cited one estimate that said Nebraska would get about $379,000 per case while New York would only get $12,000.
  •   New York and New Jersey have proposed that Congress should allocate at least $40 billion in additional federal aid that would be distributed based on each state’s share of the national total of coronavirus cases

Grant Opportunities and Upcoming Webinars 

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania 

The Housing Alliance has funds available for homeless assistance programs to expand their ability to create social distancing for clients, especially those at the highest risk of contracting and dying from the disease.

 Please submit your application here by 5pm on Tuesday, April 21.  We will make funding determinations promptly in the interest of making these funds available quickly. 

 Please reach out to a Bellevue Associate if you need assistance applying for this grant. Please also find grant and funding opportunities on our website. 

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Webinar: Senator Vincent Hughes  telephone town hall on financial resources during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Thursday April 16th 8:20pm

The senator will be joined by Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak, Dr. Priscilla Mpasi of Penn Medicine, Deputy Secretary of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia Karen Lockhart Fegley and Rob Goza, Lead Economic Development Specialist with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Eastern Pennsylvania District Office. The goal of the conversation is to address individual concerns as well as questions from small business owners. RSVP here 

Webinar: Accessing PA’s Share of Federal Stimulus Funds for Affordable Housing, Homeless Assistance, and Community Development April 16th 1:00-2:30 pm

Please join the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania for a webinar on accessing federal coronavirus related stimulus funds from the C.A.R.E.S. Act  (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.) 

We will review programs that can be used for short term rental assistance and other supports. If this webinar is full, please send an email to info@housingalliancepa.org expressing your interest and we will put your name on a waiting list.

You can register here 

Cloudflare offers free protections to state, local governments amid pandemic

  • State and local governments can now get free access to the internet infrastructure firm Cloudflare’s enterprise security protections as they struggle to defend their critical online resources amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company said today.

State

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COVID Update: 26,584 confirmed cases in PA and 737 deaths. 

 The total number of cases grew by just 4.9% on Wednesday — the second-lowest since the pandemic hit the state last month. The lowest rate so far was Tuesday at 4.8%.

New rules for Pa. companies still conducting business face-to-face

  • Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine signed an executive order to protect workers whose businesses are still allowed to work in person. 
  • Gov. Wolf said he is looking forward to the “re-opening phase” of the pandemic, but did not outline a specific plan.
  • The Gov. also announced a task force, led by Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, to look at health disparities, and how the COVID-19 outbreak is disproportionately affecting “minority populations.”

State Launches New COVID-19 Job Hiring Portal

 

  • The state has launched a new website where individuals can look for employment opportunities.  Job opportunities are listed by employers who can hire ASAP. 

State Senate sends Wolf bill aimed at reopening Pa. businesses

  • The Republican-controlled state Senate approved a bill on party lines that would reopen many businesses across the state and give county officials greater influence in Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response plans. 
  • The Senate also passed a bill convening a task force with appointees from the legislative, executive and judicial branches to advise the state on its COVID-19 response.
  • Senate Democrats said the measure does nothing but put citizens in danger. 

Wolf admin. temporarily waives sales tax prepayments

  • Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has waived Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments for April, May and June 2020 in order to “provide support to our businesses at a time when they are doing their part to help us prevent the spread of the virus,” the administration said in a statement Tuesday

Philadelphia 

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COVID-19 update: Philadelphia has 7,121 COVID-19 deaths and 222 COVID-19 deaths. 

Congressman Evans announced $10.7 million in federal funding will go to 11 health centers and organizations in the 3rd Congressional District.

  • “ In a statement, Congressman Evans said “This funding is coming to the district as a result of the CARES Act, which I voted for on March 27. I’m working to make sure that help gets to the individuals and families, small businesses and health-care providers who need it as quickly as possible,” said Evans, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Medicare and much of the U.S. health-care system.”

Free baby supplies, food for elderly in Philadelphia

  • Ten sites around Philadelphia are providing free food, diapers and other supplies for babies. The locations can be found here .
  • 20 sites are providing free grab and go food for those above 55 or 60 years old depending on the site. Seniors should call ahead to reserve meals, which can also be picked up by family members. More information is available on the city webpage.

Good News of the Day

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Via The Good News Network – The LEGO Group is offering their assistance to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis by using their facilities to produce thousands of protective facial visors.
According to an Instagram post that was published by LEGO earlier this week, the company’s Billund-based factory in Denmark has reworked some of their machinery to make more than 13,000 plastic masks per day. The masks will reportedly be distributed to hospitals and medical facilities across the country.

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