COVID-19 Update 24 June, 2020

COVID-19 Update 24 June, 2020

Important update on COVID-19 Relief PA Statewide Small Business Assistance : 

 The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19. This is not a first-come, first-served program. There will be multiple rounds of application windows. 

The first round of funding is expected to open on June 30th and remain open for 10 business days. Additional rounds will be announced soon. 

To be eligible to apply a business must:

  • Be physically located, certified to do business, and generate at least 51% of their revenues in Pennsylvania;
  • Have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19; and
  • Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to February 15, 2020

 THE PROGRAM WILL PRIORITIZE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE:

  • Owned and operated by low and moderate-income people; or
  • Located in areas of need including areas with a population having incomes significantly below the median income level, high levels of poverty, higher than average unemployment rates, or significant population loss.
  • Types of businesses that were most impacted by the economic shutdown and experienced the greatest revenue losses.

At least 50% of the grants to small businesses will be awarded to Historically Disadvantaged businesses. 

Please find more information here.

Federal 

The pandemic wiped out 1.3M local gov’t jobs in just two months

  • Local Government lost nearly 1.3 million jobs in April and May according to a report by the National Association of Counties. The bulk of those losses, 310,000 positions, came from the education sector, according to the report.
  • 177,000 non-education jobs were also lost such as social workers, healthcare practitioners, law enforcement officers and construction workers.
  • These important job losses are stemming from the large loss of tax revenue. Counties have lost $114 billion in revenues, according to the analysis.

Rush to reopen schools worries a majority of voters

  • A combined 54 percent of American voters said they are somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with reopening K-12 schools for the beginning of the coming school year. The survey also suggests Black voters hold some of the biggest worries about schools reopening
  • The Department of Education has still not issued any guidance and training to educators on how to reopen schools. 

N.Y., N.J., Connecticut Impose Quarantines For Visitors From Coronavirus Hotspots

  • Visitors traveling from states above a set infection rate would have to quarantine for two weeks if they want to visit NY, NJ and Conn. Currently, those states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas. 
  • Governor Cuomo said that the travel advisory was not a travel ban and that people are still welcome to travel to the state. Visitors who are found to be in violation of the travel advisory could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine.

State 

Changes to landmark Senate bill overhauling Pa.’s probation system cost it support among criminal justice reformers

  • The state judiciary committee passed State Senator Williams and Bartolotta’s bill that aimed to cut costs and reduce the prison populations by lowering the amount of time someone can spend under probation and minimizing punishments for those who violate certain terms of their supervision.
  • An amendment to the bill filed by Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker complicated the bill and added more layers and requirements. After the bill passed with the amendment, many groups such as the ACLU decided to drop their support of the bill.

Pennsylvania does less coronavirus testing than almost every other state

  • PA has done 5,215 tests per 100,000 people — fewer than all but six states and Puerto Rico. If Philadelphia was not counted, where testing is widespread, the PA rate would be even lower — roughly 4,800 tests per 100,000 people, ahead of only Wyoming, Idaho, and Puerto Rico.
  • Currently, PA statewide positivity rate has met that benchmark, hovering at about 4% which may be a sign that PA does not have to be as much testing.

Philadelphia

Philly Council committee advances chokehold ban, measure to make police contract talks public

  • The City council committee passed a package of bills related to police reform. However, the bills will not get a final vote in the city council for months as legislators go on summer break.
  • One of the bills would bring transparency to the city’s collective bargaining negotiations with the police union while another bill would ban chokeholds and similar restraints under most circumstances. 

A Philly poll watcher got COVID-19, but the city isn’t notifying voters

  • A Philadelphia woman who worked the polls at Andrew Hamilton School in West Philly tested positive for COVID-19, 10 days later. However, due to a contact tracing program the city says isn’t fully staffed, the vast majority of voters and election workers who were at that polling place haven’t been notified that they may have been exposed.
  • State health officials said their guidance to contact tracers is to ask about close contacts that occur two days before a test that yields a positive result in someone who hasn’t developed symptoms.

Good News of the Day

Senior Home in Brazil Creates ‘Hug Tunnel’ So Visitors Can Embrace Their Loved Ones

VIa the Good News Network –

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on elderly people, who have been advised to strictly adhere to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines.

For those living in care facilities, this has meant that friends and loved ones cannot even visit them in person.

But, a care home in Brazil has come up with a creative solution, allowing seniors to connect with their loved ones while still keeping them safe from infection.

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