COVID-19 Updates 04/22/2020

COVID-19 Updates 04/22/2020

Federal

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Senate passes $484 billion deal to bolster small businesses and hospitals
  • The Senate has approved a nearly half a trillion-dollar coronavirus aid bill yesterday, sending the legislation to the House for passage later this week where it will most likely pass. 
  • The bill includes $310 billion for the Payment Protection Program, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for disease testing. 
  • In addition, there was $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund — divided into $50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants — and farms and other agriculture enterprises would be made eligible.
  • $60 billion is set aside for underbanked businesses which were a top priority for Senate and House Democrats.

McConnell Says He Favors Allowing States to Declare Bankruptcy

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes that he favors allowing states struggling with high public employee pension costs amid the burdens of the pandemic response to declare bankruptcy rather than giving them a federal bailout.
  • He specifically cited California, Illinois, and Connecticut as states that had given too much to public employee unions. Mcconnell also said that he blocked additional state and local aid in the latest relief package that passed on Tuesday.

Trump administration begins sending hospital bailout funds for virus hot spots uninsured patients 

  • Health care providers in COVID-19 hotspots will receive $10 billion in CARES Acts funds starting next week. Hospitals will also soon receive money for treating uninsured patients. 
  •  Democrat and Republican lawmakers have been pushing the Department of Health and Human Services to send out the money as soon as possible. 
  • Hospitals in areas with a surge of COVID-19 cases can apply for their share of $10 billion. An additional $10 billion will be sent as early as next week to rural hospitals and health clinics. 
  • $30 billion will also go toward nursing facilities, dentists, providers that only service Medicaid patients. However, HHS has declined to further detail how those funds would be distributed

Upcoming Webinars and Grant Opportunities: 

National Alliance to End Homeless: COVID-19 Webinar Series: Federal Funding to Address Homelessness and COVID-19: Ask the Experts April 23rd 3:00pm 

 State Rep. McClinton Small Business Webinar April 23rd 6-7pm 

Experts from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, PA Department of Community and Economic Development and the U.S. Business Administration will be available to answer questions from nonprofits and small businesses. 

Local Initiatives Support Corp Small Business Relief Grants Due Tuesday, April 28th, 11:59 pm 

If you are a client of Bellevue Strategies, please reach out to an associate if you need assistance. 

State

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COVID-19 update:  35,684 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 1,622 deaths in PA. 136,272 individuals have tested negative. 

Senate Republicans Pass a telemedicine bill 

  • Yesterday the Senate  passed a telemedicine bill 29-21 that is opposed by Gov. Wolf as it limits access to abortion drugs. 
  • The bill originally passed the Senate in October, but it was before House lawmakers added the provision restricting access to a list of nearly 60 FDA-approved drugs with potential side effects that may require additional attention from physicians.

House passes a bill that would allow retail stores to open under strict guidelines

  • Yesterday the State House passed HB2376 that would allow retail stores to open if they limit their occupancy to one customer and one employee at a time.
  • House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), cautioned lawmakers against voting for any bill that would open op businesses against the Wolf Administration’s wishes.
  • The State Senate now will consider three bills that Republicans have pushed to reopen the economy, HB2400 that would allow construction to continue and HB2388 that would allow car sales to continue that adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

Pennsylvania’s nonprofits are fraying in the face of the coronavirus onslaught

  • A recent survey by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations of the impact of COVID-19 on nonprofits groups found that a large majority of the 190 survey respondents (71 percent) from every Pennsylvania county projected a collective revenue shortfall of $42 million and more. 
  • Even though there has been an increased need for nonprofit services, the survey found that two-thirds of the 190 groups reported that more than 800,000 clients had seen a reduction in services. 
  • In addition, the survey found that 10,000 staff members are currently facing pay cuts or furloughs and layoffs.

Gov. Wolf outlines Red, Yellow, Green Phase of Reopening PA

  • Today Gov. Wolf continued to outline his plan for reopening PA. 
  • The Red phase is currently the phase all of PA is in at the moment, the yellow phase will allow for certain businesses to open while still continuing to wear masks. The Green phase would lift the stay at home order, but would still require individuals and businesses to comply with the CDC guidelines such as wearing masks. He mentioned that the administration is considering moving the NorthCentral and Northwest to the Yellow phase on May 8th. 
  • The Gov. also mentioned that all construction can resume on May 1st

Please see below more detailed information: 

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Bills that have been introduced related to COVID-19  

HB2425 Toohil, Tarah ( R ) 

  • Act providing for forbearance on principal repayment on economic development loans during the COVID-19 crisis.

HB2421 Cephas, Morgan (D) 

  • Amends Public School Code, in school finances, establishing the Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program.

SCO1526 By Boscola.  Requires the Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development to issue a waiver to the Governor’s COVID-19 Business Closure Order to all real estate-related activities that can adhere to social distancing practices.

Philadelphia 

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 COVID-19 updates: 10,643 confirmed cases in PA and 419 confirmed death. 

City businesses likely to open later than rest of state in Philadelphia 

  •  Mayor Jim Kenney said city business will be slower to reopen than those in the rest of the state which Gov. Wolf said can begin on May 8th. 
  • The Mayor said that he is working with the other Southeastern counties that have been hit hard by COVID-19. 
Philly students without internet can do remote learning in parking lots, district says
  • Students who don’t have reliable internet access at home can do their remote learning in parking lots, the School District of Philadelphia says.
  • Teachers have received push back when they brought this option to parents. 
  • Remote learning in Philly has been unstructured, but this Monday the district released guidelines for the next phase. 
  • The District said it will be giving out hotspots to students, but a timeline was not reported. 

SEPTA warns of potential disruptions on Thursday

  • Transport Workers Union Local 234 president Willie Brown said during a news conference Wednesday that his members were not striking, but threatened to take “action.
  • Local 234 has a list of items on its website for what they want from SEPTA in order to keep their members safe. These include taking employees’ temperatures, test air quality on vehicles, and further reduce the number of riders on board at any time. The union also wants greater transparency on which employees have tested positive for COVID-19 

Good News of the Day

After WWII Vet Makes History By Raising $33 Million for NHS, People Are Calling for Him to Be Knighted

Via The Good News Network – It has been a little over a week since Captain Tom Moore set out to raise £1,000 for healthcare workers by walking 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30th.
The World War II veteran has since raised a jaw-dropping £27 million ($33.7 million)—and counting—for NHS Charities Together through his Just Giving crowdfunding page.
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Wondering what will be in the next stimulus package or have questions about federal and city grants?

Please join Bellevue Strategies for our 3rd COVID-19 Webinar featuring City councilmember at-large Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Jack Groarke Economic Development Director for the Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

Copy of TOWN HALL April 3rd-2

As part of this webinar, we are asking that you fill out a quick survey so we can tailor our questions to what you need most. Survey link here.

 

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