COVID-19 Updates 12 June, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 12 June, 2020

Federal

CDC warns U.S. may reimplement strict coronavirus measures if cases go up ‘dramatically’

  • The CDC and other public health officials are warning states not to reopen prematurely. 
  • The “pandemic is not over”, said the CDC’s deputy director Jay Butler, but added that decisions regarding the reimplementation of social distancing measures will have to be made locally and based upon disease transmission locally. 
  • It is unclear what constitutes a “dramatic” rise, as on a state-by-state basis, the numbers vary. 

Appeals court rejects AFL-CIO lawsuit over lack of COVID-19 labor protections

  • On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the AFL-CIO’s emergency lawsuit filed against the Trump administration.
  • The filing claimed that the administration failed to enact strong labor protections amid the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The court said that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the department with the authority to decide whether or not to issue new rules during the pandemic. 
  • This comes after the AFL-CIO filed an emergency petition with the D.C. Circuit accusing OSHA of “ignoring calls for urgently needed labor rules to protect workers vulnerable to the coronavirus”. 

State 

Rush to dole out billions in coronavirus relief dollars in Pa. could lead to waste, fraud

  • In May, Gov. Wolf signed off on a plan to spend $2.6 billion that Pennsylvania received as part of the federal stimulus package. The issue now is how to dole out the money and ensure that it is being spent correctly. Normally programs are developed over the course of years and months, but due to the federal stimulus rules, the money must be spent by December – leading to programs that were developed in a matter of weeks. 
  • A federal oversight committee created by the CARES Act recently warned that the influx of federal dollars offers “unparalleled opportunities to assist those in greatest need,” but also “unmatched prospects for fraud, misuse of the funds, and other criminal conduct.”
  • The only form of oversight currently is that recipients must “provide documentation to DHS, upon request, for purposes of an audit review.” A spokesperson for Gov. Wolf said they are still working on other auditing requirements. 

Eight more Pa. counties, including Dauphin Co., will go green on June 19, Wolf says

  • Today, Gov. Wolf announced new counties would move into the green phase on June 19th. These counties are Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill.
  • In the Green phase, restaurants and bars are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. The same is true for businesses like gyms and wellness facilities, where appointments are encouraged. 

Philly 

Former Philly deputy mayor Nina Ahmad wins Democratic primary for Pennsylvania auditor general

  • Former Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad has captured the Democratic nomination for auditor general with 35% of the vote. The closet candidate behind Ahmad was Michael Lamb who had 28% of the vote. 
  • In a statement, Ahmad thanked her opponents “for running strong campaigns based on progressive ideas for delivering positive change in our commonwealth.” She will face Timothy DeFoor in the general election. DeFoor ran unopposed in the Republican primary.
  • Just five women have been elected to statewide executive offices in Pennsylvania in the last 66 years. No woman of color has been elected attorney general, treasurer, or auditor general. No woman has ever been elected governor.

Protection from abuse orders drop 40% in Philly during pandemic, compounding domestic violence fears

  • According to judicial data, applications from protection for abuse orders dropped nearly 40% under the pandemic when compared to previous years.
  • At the same time, calls seeking guidance on how to apply for PFAs have been steady — even if the application numbers themselves are down.
  • Another issue that is facing these individuals is the lack of childcare. 

Good News of the Day

Good Samaritans Use CPR to Revive Baby Deer Found Floating in the Middle of a Lake

Via The Good News Network –

These Good Samaritans are being hailed as heroes after they used CPR to save the life of a baby deer they found drifting in a Texas lake last week.

Brian Ballard and his wife Liz had been out boating on Lake Tyler when then they saw something floating in the water. Although they initially suspected it to be a dead fish, they were shocked to find that it was actually a fawn.

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