COVID-19 Updates 22 June, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 22 June, 2020

Federal 

‘We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall’: Government preparing for coronavirus second wave

  • Safe is always better than sorry, and so, the United States is “Filling a stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall,” said White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. 
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to say that even though the virus has slowed, it is far from over.
  • Confirmed coronavirus cases have reportedly risen by double-digit percentages in at least six states over the last week, and four states have seen cases rise by nearly 4,000 n a daily basis. 

Citing coronavirus, Trump extends immigration order and limits foreign workers

  • On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order that bars many foreign workers and curbs immigration visas through the end of this year.
  • The administration cited protecting U.S. workers, following the job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

State 

Lancaster County Rep. Bryan Cutler becomes the new speaker

  • Rep. Bryan Cutler, a 45-year old Lancaster County Republican, will become the new speaker of the Pennsylvania state house as Rep. Mike Turazi stepped down last week to take a job in the private sector 
  • Rep. Cutler was first elected in 2006, his nearly 14-year long ascent to hold the speaker’s gavel is among the quickest in modern history. 
  • Cutler, who is a former x-ray technologist and attorney has an interest in health care policy and worked with the Gov. to create a state health exchange. He is anti-choice and a strong supporter of gun rights.

Pa. Dems call for ‘recovery and healing,’ as state emerges from COVID-19 pandemic

  • Senate and House Democrats held a press conference to go over what should be policy priorities as the state begins to reopen.  These policies included access to healthcare, resources, and funding for school districts and working families.
  • Rep. Matt Bradford said the commonwealth could improve access to care, by requiring insurance companies in the state to cover the same types of care covered under the ACA, such as preventative, pediatric, and mental health care.
  • The leaders also expressed their support for a new school funding formula that would not be based solely on property taxes.  

Philadelphia 

Students, parents, teachers weigh in on how Philly schools should reopen in the fall

  • The School District of Philadelphia is debating how to reopen schools in the fall – and they’re taking parents, students, and teachers’ ideas into consideration.
  • Using feedback from web surveys and town halls, the district is considering a full in-person return to school in the fall, virtual education, or a combination of both, where students come into school on alternating days.
  • Some educators still oppose any return to physical classrooms, like after-school program manager Whitney DiTaranto, who told the school board, “This conversation around safety precautions and social distancing regarding children is absurd. Whether there are 200, 20 or two children in one classroom, they will find a way to come into contact with one another.”

Philly suburbs to move to green next Friday; city to enter a modified green phase

  • While Pennsylvania moves into green next Friday, Center City Philadelphia and immediate surrounding areas will keep some restrictions in place until July 3rd or later. 
  • Bucks, Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery county will all move into green on June 26th. 

Good News of the Day

‘Extinct’ Harlequin Toad Rediscovered; Such Survivors Are Bringing Hope That Amphibian Apocalypse is Abating

Via the Good News Network – A researcher from New Brunswick has rediscovered a species of harlequin toad presumed extinct, and the details of the discovery offer hope not just for the species, but for the entire atelopus genus, which was nearly wiped out by the amphibian epidemic.

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