COVID-19 Update 04/14/2020

COVID-19 Update 04/14/2020

Federal

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Devos announces that $3B in emergency education grants that governors will award 
  • Today Education Secretary Besty DeVos on Tuesday announced the availability of $3 billion in eagerly awaited emergency education relief funding for governors to allocate at their discretion to support schools and colleges hard hit by the coronavirus.
  • The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund is part of a nearly $31 billion stabilization fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748 (116). The department will award grants to governors based on a state’s student-aged population and poverty levels.
  •  In addition to authorized educational activities, the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund can be used for child care, early childhood education, social and emotional support and protecting education-related jobs.

Department of Justice  awards $10 billion in grants to nations airports 

  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao today announced $10 billion in grants to airports available to cover capital expenditures, operating expenses like payroll and utilities, and debt payments amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The amount of grant funding available varies widely — from as little as $1,000 to small facilities to hundreds of millions for the nation’s largest hubs. For example, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will receive $338.5 million; John F. Kennedy International Airport will get $193.4 million; Los Angeles International Airport will get $323.6 million and Miami International Airport will receive $206.9 million.
  • Here is a list of the grants received in Philadelphia. 

Democrats propose an expansion of benefits programs for public safety officers killed or disabled by COVID-19 

  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is proposing to expand a federal program to provide benefits to police, firefighters and other public safety officers who are permanently disabled by coronavirus — or death benefits to their families if they die from complications connected to the virus.
  • The measure complements a parallel to a similar expansion of the program that Nadler authored after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which provided death and disability benefits for those public safety officials killed or permanently injured during their response to the attacks. 

State 

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COVID-19 cases in PA have reached 25,345 in all 67 counties. There have been 584 known fatalities. Overall 133,631 Pennsylvania’s have been tested.

Senator Casey joins bipartisan push for domestic violence money in COVID-19 relief bill 

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline has reported that there has been an increase in calls and abusers are taking advantage of the situation to further isolate individuals. 
  • Senator Casey is asking for “Funding for shelters and supports, resource centers and technical assistance to support victims of domestic violence, including an additional $100 million for programs funded by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)” 

Gov. Wolf stay the course-and stay home 

  • Gov. Wolf in a speech yesterday “By doing nothing’, we are doing something truly extraordinary,” Wolf said during a brief video address.
  • Gov. Wolf offered no concrete timeline for when he could scale back the social distancing measure. 

Lawmakers in the state House vote to open business 

  • Today state lawmakers in the house voted on party lines to loosen Gov. Wolf’s business closure announcement. 
  • The vote was 93 Democrats and 107 Republicans. 
  • Gov. Wolf has said he will veto the bill as it goes against public health guidelines. 

Mental Health Resources for Employees 

  • Minding Your Mind is a nonprofit that provides mental health resources to all age levels. 
  • They are offering free webinars to help employers and employees cope with COVID-19. 
  • You can find more information here.  

Philadelphia 

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COVID-19 cases: 7,130 confirmed cases in Philadelphia and 206 deaths. 

Why some people in Philly may wait longer for coronavirus checks 

  • Americans who do not link their bank accounts to the IRS may have to wait longer for their tax refund to arrive via paper check potentially up to an additional three months. 
  •  Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh ranked among the top 15 cities where residents still receive tax refunds by check, along with Boston and New York.
  • If you didn’t file a federal tax return in 2018 or 2019, you can still go to a website set up by the IRS to enter information to receive a stimulus payment check.

Philly area hospitals grapple with a shortage of drugs to put patients on ventilators

  • Philly hospitals have begun to experience a shortage of drugs used to put patients on ventilators 
  • All three kinds of drugs are in short supply, according to an April 6 survey from the Pennsylvania Society of Health System Pharmacists. 

Good News of the Day

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HBO launches #StayHomeBoxOffice to stream for free

  • HBO is making almost 500 hours of its “top programming” available to stream for free for a limited time on HBO NOW and HBO GO-without a subscription. 
  • You can watch classic shows such as The Wire, VEEP, and The Sopranos.

 

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