COVID-19 Update 19 June, 2020

COVID-19 Update 19 June, 2020

Federal

Debate rages over new lifeline for small business as loan program ends

  • The Paycheck Protection Program is going to be ending soon. That’s spurring a debate in Washington over how to provide a new lifeline to the beleaguered businesses.
  • There is still $130 billion left unspent in the so-called Paycheck Protection Program, lobbyists say that’s because there were onerous restrictions — chiefly that businesses are prohibited from borrowing a second time, so if they’re out of money, they’re out of luck. Others say that many potential borrowers were largely left out of the process, including minority employers, who often don’t have relationships with bankers.
  • Recently, there has been bipartisan support for new government-backed lending that would last much longer than lawmakers first envisioned with the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Zoom Call Eviction Hearings: ‘They’ll Throw Everything I Have Out On The Street’

  • Renters may have special protections from eviction during the outbreak. But the rules are complicated and differ from state to county to city. And it’s rare that tenants have a lawyer to help them.
  • In one county, tenants that were not able to dial in or connect to a call, they were automatically evicted through a default judgment. 

Apple Closing 11 Stores Again In States Seeing a Spike in Coronavirus Cases

  • The states where the stores are closing, starting Saturday, are in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona.

Members Of Congress Ask Why More Coronavirus Aid Hasn’t Been Spent On Nursing Homes

  • Although there have been huge outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes, much of the money promised to them from the CARES act has not been distributed yet. Only $1.2 million of over $200 million have been distributed. 
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did order state nursing home inspectors to conduct additional surveys focusing almost exclusively on infection control but just little over a half of those inceptions have been done. 

State 

80,762 cases of COVID-19 and 6,399 deaths of COVID-19 in PA. 

12 more Pa. counties, including Philly, set to enter green phase on June 26, Wolf admin says

  • Starting on June 26th, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna counties will enter the least restricted phase of the administration’s reopening plan.
  • Philadelphia will have remaining restrictions until  July 3rd.
  • The only county in the state that will not enter the green phase on June 26 is Lebanon County. The county decided to open early in May against the advice of the state health officials – they are now seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Top Pa. GOP lawmaker fast-tracking a lucrative gambling expansion that would benefit a major campaign donor

  • Top Republicans are working to fast track bills for big donors that would expand VGT (virtual gaming terminal). 
  • The donor, Golden Entertainment has donated thousands of dollars to top Republicans as they push to expand VGT. 
  • Under current law, truck stops, where VGT are legal,  brought in nearly $6 million in VGT revenues in the most recent fiscal year

Philadelphia 

COVID-19 Update: As of today, Philadelphia has 20,404 cases of COVID-19. 

Philly diverts $14 million from police funding in late-night budget agreement with no public comment

  • On Wednesday night, Philadelphia City Council approved a preliminary budget for the next fiscal year that cancels the original $19 million budget increase for the police department. 
  • The new budget divers $14 million of that to the mayor’s cabinet.
  • The total budget, $4.9 million, is expected to be solidified in the coming week. 
  • Funding was restored for the Cultural Fund and the African American Museum totaling $1.35 million dollars. 

13,000 Philadelphians applied for pandemic rental assistance. Funds ran out after 4,000.

  • Since the state of the coronavirus pandemic, 13,000 households have applied to the rental assistance program Philadelphia created early on. 
  • Of those, more than 10,200 meet the program’s requirements – but only 4,000 households got any of the $10 million federal dollars in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act fund
  • The city has been randomly selecting tenants to receive three months of rent up to the cost of $2,500, and those first payments go out this week. 
  • Pennsylvania’s eviction moratorium ends in less than a month. 

Good News of the Day

Color-Changing Inks Can Be Printed onto Clothing to Warn the Wearer About Potential Health Issues

Via the Good News Network – Thanks to a recent development from Tufts University’s School of Engineering, we may soon be able to wear clothing that can change color in response to chemicals released from our bodies or detected in the air.

The biomaterial-based inks can be screen-printed onto textiles such as clothes, shoes, or even face masks in complex patterns and at high resolution, providing a detailed map of human response or exposure.

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