COVID-19 Update 29 May, 2020

COVID-19 Update 29 May, 2020

Federal

House passes bill to ease small business emergency loan rules

  • On Thursday the House passed legislation that relaxes the initial restrictions on loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • The new rules give businesses seeking full loan forgiveness more time to spend the money that they receive – 24 weeks instead of the original eight. The amount of the loan that must be spent on payroll has also been lowered to 60%, rather than 75%. 

2.1 million new unemployment claims filed last week, as workers still struggle to get benefits

  • Even as coronavirus restrictions ease, unemployment is still rising, with 2.1 million new unemployment claims being reported just in the past week. This suggests that nearly a quarter of the United States’ workforce is jobless and seeing aid.
  • The total figure of unemployed individuals is up to 40.8 million, in just 10 weeks. 
  • DOL reported that an estimated 1.2 million people have applied for benefits under the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which was created recently for individuals who are typically ineligible for unemployment, such as self-employed workers. 

State

COVID-19 Updates: 625 more confirmed cases, and 108 deaths occurred in Pennsylvania today. 

Pa. legislature sends $26 billion short-term budget to Gov. Tom Wolf

  • Pennsylvania’s short-term $25.8 billion budget has already been sent to Governor Tom Wolf, and it features no new tax increases. The budget passed by 44-6 in the Senate, after passing on party lines in the House. 
  • PA lawmakers have also approved the use of $2.6 billion of the federal stimulus money allocated to the state for purposes such as long-term-care facility relief.

What’s next? A look at which Pa. counties could be headed for green under Wolf’s coronavirus rules

  • 20 counties in northern and western Pennsylvania have been in the yellow phase for at least two weeks – the mandatory 14-day waiting period denoted by Gov Wolf and State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. 
  • After these 14 days, all 20 counties will be reassessed to determine whether or not they can advance to the “green” phase. 
  • In addition to the waiting period, other things that will be taken into consideration when reopening counties are how much out-of-region commuters there are, ICU capacity, the percentage of the workforce operating in the “physically closed” employment category, population density, and the percentage of the population over the age of 60. 

Fine Wine & Good Spirits to open 60 more stores for in-person sales Friday, including 14 in Dauphin County

  • Sixty more Fine Wine and Good Spirit stores across Pennsylvania will be opening starting today for “limited in-person” retail sales. 
  • Locations are in Dauphin County, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill County, all of which have moved to the yellow phase of Governor Wolf’s plan. 

Philadelphia

COVID-19 Updates: As of this evening, Philadelphia has 17,208 cases and 1,217 deaths related to coronavirus. 

Reopening Philadelphia: Officials Release ‘Safer At Home’ Plan As City Nears Yellow Phase

  • Today Philadelphia unveiled its new plan as the city nears the yellow phase, entitled “Safe At Home”. 
  • Under the new plan, certain activities will be able to resume but will be limited – fewer than five customers per 1,000 square feet in stores, and limited outdoor seating for restaurants. 
  • The Safe At Home Plan will focus on: 
    • Containment: A combination of rapid case identification, case isolation, contact tracing, and contact quarantine.
    • Social Distancing: Some businesses and activities that were previously considered nonessential will begin to restart based on risk level; a safety checklist of precautions tailored to the specific activity and setting will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they reopen. Residents are advised that they are “safer at home.”
    • Protecting Vulnerable Populations: Philadelphia will emphasize protections for disproportionately impacted populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, people in congregate care, and those who are elderly or have chronic medical conditions.
  • All shoppers and workers will still be required to wear masks

Philly launches pickup recycling service for clothing, electronics

  • Philadelphia has partnered with the service Retrievr, which offers free doorstep pickups to anyone who wants to dispose of something that needs to be recycled. 
  • Larger items such as televisions, microwaves, and air conditioners may require a small fee.
  • The pilot program is the first in Philadelphia’s Pitch and Pilot challenge, which is part of the SmartCityPHL initiative, that is attempting to “unite the private and public sectors to solve city problems.”  

Good News of the Day

7-Year-old Hosts Adorable Mini-Prom for Babysitter Whose Event Was Cancelled

Via The Good News Network – This 7-year-old boy from Raleigh, North Carolina may not be old enough to attend high school, but he has proven himself to be quite a prom king since he came to the rescue of his heartbroken nanny.

When Curtis heard about Rachel’s prom, he insisted on throwing a socially distanced “mini-prom” for his beloved nanny in their backyard.

The youngster pulled out all the stops for the celebration, too—he even used a giant “promposal” sign to invite Rachel to the event.

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