COVID-19 Update 13 July, 2020

COVID-19 Update 13 July, 2020

Federal 

Pandemic upends Trump’s plans to shrink health care safety net

  • President Donald Trump has moved to forcefully push unprecedented limits on government health assistance for the poor, trying to follow through on conservatives’ long-held goals for reshaping the health care safety net.
  • As the November election approaches with millions out of work, there’s a growing recognition that more people will come to depend on that safety net. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans who aren’t on Medicaid themselves said it’s likely they or a family member will turn to it within the next year. 
  • Support for Medicaid expansion has also increased in states where Republican leaders have rejected it, with about two-thirds of voters saying leaders should extend coverage to hundreds of thousands more.

CDC Employees Call Out Agency’s ‘Toxic Culture Of Racial Aggressions’

  • More than 1,200 current employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the federal agency to address “ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination” against Black employees. 
  • In the letter, the authors point to a variety of “well-meaning, yet under-funded” efforts to diversify the agency’s workforce over the past several decades and assert that none of them have made much difference. 
  • The authors make seven demands for action, including diversifying senior leadership, addressing racism in the CDC’s culture, and publicly declaring racism a public health crisis in the U.S.

State 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting 328 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, July 13, bringing the statewide total of positive cases to 95,742 in all 67 counties. The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between July 6 and July 12 is 135,631 with 5,560 positive test results.

Presidential elections usually inspire a big jump in voter registration. Not in Pa. this year.

  • This year voter registrations increased more slowly than expected. They usually jump sharply before a presidential primary.
  • Between the November 2015 election and the 2016 primary, Pennsylvania’s voter rolls grew by a net 200,528 voters, or 2.5%. This time — even with the delayed primary adding more than a month to get registered — the electorate grew by only 68,311 voters, or 0.8%.
  • Pennsylvania’s numbers fit a national trend of a dramatic drop in voter registration as the pandemic shut down everyday life, said David J. Becker, head of the Center for Election Innovation and Research in Washington.

People outside at beaches aren’t driving up cases, N.J. says, but indoor parties in beach towns are

  • There is no evidence that people outdoors at the beach or on the boardwalk are driving up coronavirus cases, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a press conference Monday.
  • The Gov and his Department of Health medical director said that indoor parties and graduation parties were the most likely spread of COVID-19. 

Trump and the RNC sued to tighten Pa. voting rules. Pennsylvania Democrats just sued back

  • The Pennsylvania Democratic Party and a group of Democratic politicians have filed a lawsuit in state court to loosen some rules on voting for November, including extending mail ballot deadlines.

The Democrats are asking Commonwealth Court to:

  • Explicitly allow counties to collect mail ballots at drop boxes, pop-up drop-off locations, or other sites;
  • Extend the mail ballot deadline so ballots postmarked instead of received by Election Day will be counted;
  • Require counties to give voters a chance to fix mistakes on their mail ballots;
  • Count mail ballots missing the internal “secrecy envelope” meant to protect the vote from being seen as it is processed;
  • And uphold the current requirement that voters can only serve as poll watchers in the county in which they live.

City 

COVID-19 update: There were 234 new cases over the weekend. A total of 27,575 Philadelphia residents have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. At least 1,631 have died, with the city reporting two new deaths on Monday.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Expands PlayStreets to Bring Safe, Fun Recreation to Young People on their Doorstep This Summer

  • Due to most summer camps being canceled. Philadelphia will be expanding its  PlayStreet program. The 2020 PlayStreets program will provide a day camp-like experience to over 310 locations. 
  • 10 streets will be part of the William Penn Foundation-funded PlayStreets of Wonder program, which focuses on playful learning and literacy. 
  • 100 PlayStreets will receive giveaways like: “Cooling Kits”, which include personalized misting fans, super soakers, branded tents and patio umbrellas, and neck cooling rags.

Good News of the Day

Nursing home residents, nurses beautifully re-create iconic album covers on lockdown

Via The New York Times –

Quarantine hasn’t stopped these seniors from rocking.

North London’s Sydmar Lodge Care Home has been under lockdown for four months, but restricted living hasn’t curtailed residents’ creativity: The nursing home’s seniors and carers alike have been spending their time re-creating classic album covers.

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