COVID-19 Update 14 May, 2020

COVID-19 Update 14 May, 2020

Federal

Trump comes to Pennsylvania and urges the state to reopen faster

  • Today Donald Trump visited a warehouse in Allentown today that has helped make and distribute protective medical equipment.
  • He told supporters that Pennsylvania should quickly lift restrictions meant to stem the coronavirus, saying it’s time to “start opening up.” 

CDC releases delayed guidance on reopening

PAPoliticians call for essential workers to receive hazard pay

  • U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright are calling for essential workers to receive hazard pay due to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the bill that Democrats introduced yesterday, there is a $200 billion “Heroes Fund” that would provide hazard pay for first responders and front-line workers.
  • The proposal includes provisions from Cartwright’s Coronavirus Frontline Worker Fair Pay Act, which would establish a dedicated federal fund to provide hazard pay money to employers.

State 

DePasquale outlines scope of audit into controversial business waiver program

  • Today, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale gave an update to his ongoing audit of Gov. Wolf’s conservational business waiver program.
  • DePasquale said his audit will be guided by three main objectives to determine whether the process was executed in a fair and consistent manner. Those three focal points: the criteria used to grant the waivers, the development of the program and the consistency and timeliness of granted waivers
  • Gov. Wolf administration has released a list of businesses that received and were denied an exemption from the closure here

Pennsylvania Receives $523 Million in One-Time Federal Emergency Funds to Support Schools

  • Pennsylvania will be receiving $523.8 million in one-time federal emergency funds to help schools respond to COVID-19 impacts.
  • Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can apply to PDE to receive their allocation of the funding and can expect to start receiving funds within the next several weeks.
  • Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, at least 90 percent, or $471 million, of the funds will flow through to traditional public schools and charter schools.
  • A list of which schools received funds can be found here. 

Another 3 million Americans filed unemployment claims and Pa. has paid out almost $7 billion in jobless benefits

  • Almost 3 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, federal figures showed Thursday. This brings the eight-week nationwide total to 36.5 million since states started their lockdown orders.
  • Pennsylvania was among 17 states, led by California, that reported declines in the number of ongoing claimants for unemployment benefits, down about 172,000 people to 1,061,000 for the week ending May 2.
  • The department of labor this week said it had issued about 13.9 million payments in eight weeks, totaling more than $6.8 billion- four times the benefits paid out to jobless workers for all of last year.

Philadelphia 

‘An emergency on top of the emergency’: Philly drug rehabs grapple with virus outbreaks and empty beds

  • Much attention around the COVID-19 crisis has focused on it spreading rapidly in group settings such as jails and nursing homes, but residential drug treatment centers have also been facing outbreaks. 
  • The coronavirus has infiltrated a full quarter of the city’s 263 residential rehabs and behavioral health treatment centers. In total 214 residents have been infected. 
  •  Admissions have stalled at many facilities. 

The Jersey Shore Will Be Open In Time For Memorial Day,’ Gov. Murphy Says

  • All of New Jersey’s beaches can reopen on May 22nd. Amusement parks and playgrounds will remain closed. Boardwalk restaurants can operate but only to provide carryout or delivery service.

Upcoming Grants: 

The third round of the Verizon and LISC grants to small businesses will open today at 5 pm EST. This is very helpful for small business clients, especially minority businesses. Register here for updates regarding the third round of applications. 

See below for greater detail about the grant: 

  • An investment of $2.5 million from Verizon is making it possible for LISC to begin offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses, and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

Good News of the Day

Monty Python ‘Silly Walk’ Signs Around the World Are Encouraging Pedestrians to Laugh in the Face of COVID

Via The Good News Network –

Pedestrians all over the world are being encouraged to loosen up on their daily strolls through their neighborhoods by showing off their best silly walks reminiscent of the iconic Monty Python sketch from 1970.

Homeowners from Michigan to Ontario have been erecting signs in their front yards asking passerby to strut their goofy stuff similar to the original “Ministry for Silly Walks” comedic sketch.

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