COVID-19 Updates August 24th, 2020

COVID-19 Updates August 24th, 2020

Federal

Not just a low-wage recession’: White-collar workers feel coronavirus squeeze

  • Lower-paid workers are losing their jobs at about three times the rate of higher-wage employees. But the drop in overall employment that white-collar industries like real estate, information and professional and technology services have seen in five months is already close or worse than the hits they took during the Great Recession.
  • Recently, as the economy tries to improve, lower-paying industries are recovering at a faster clip than those at the higher end of the pay scale, where new job postings have been weak by comparison. 
  • This trend may suggest that white-collar employers are increasingly unwilling to take expensive risks and hire more higher-wage employees at a time when the economy is precarious at best, economists say. 
  • However, low wage workers are still the most impacted by COVID-19, more than 9 million workers in the bottom 40 percent of wage earners remained out of work at the end of June, compared to 3.3 million in the top 40 percent.

Judge Rejects Betsy DeVos Plan To Send Federal Funds To Private Schools

  • Betsy Devos administration had come up with an interpretation of the CARES Act aid that would have directed money that was supposed to go to disadvantaged public school students to private schools instead. 
  • On Friday, a Washington state judge issued a stern injunction to stop the DeVos rule from being implemented.
  • The judge said that the department of education had no authority to write the rule in the first place; if Congress had wanted to give them that authority they would have given it to them in the CARES act legislation. 

State

Federal judge stays Trump campaign lawsuit over Pa. voting rules

  • U.S District Court Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan issued a ruling on Sunday saying that  the federal case won’t move forward until similar lawsuits in Pennsylvania state courts conclude or unless they’re delayed. 
  • The Trump campaign’s lawsuits wanted to ban drop boxes and  bar counties from accepting absentee ballots that don’t arrive without a second, internal secrecy envelope sent to all voters and allow Pennsylvania voters to serve as poll workers at any polling location in the state.  

State positivity rate decreasing, Wolf says

  • Gov. Wolf said that the percentage of Pennsylvanians testing positive for the coronavirus decreased “significantly” last week, the fourth-straight week that’s happened.
  • Last week, the state’s positivity rate was 3.4%, a decrease from 4%. 
  • Of those whose cases were reported between Aug. 9 and 15 and who responded to a question from case investigators, 50% said they had been to a restaurant within 14 days before developing symptoms. Twenty-three percent said they had visited a different type of business, 17% said they had gone to a bar, 8% had been to the gym, and 12% had gotten a salon haircut.

City

Mayor Kenney Claims 200 Sanitation Workers Are Out Sick Daily. Union Head Calls B.S.

  • Philadelphia has been experiencing a backup of trash collection since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • When asked when the trash collection schedule would return to normal, Mayor Kenney said, “A realistic timeline is when we no longer have about 200 employees calling out either sick or with COVID-related excused absences each day.” 
  • However, Omar Salaam, business agent for the union representing sanitation workers, says that the number is “hugely inflated”, and rather that the problem is drastic cuts to the department that have happened, on top of COVID-19. 

Philly announces supervised sites for families who need child care this fall

  • Philadelphia will have 31 sites this fall where families can take young children who need supervision during the day time. 
  • Parents will have to register in advance for slots at the centers and cannot drop children off on an ad hoc basis.
  • The access centers will be open for K-6 students from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 8. The 31 sites — which are open to students from public, charter and private schools — can serve up to 800 children, the city said in its announcement.

Good News of the Day

Live Theater and Movies Return to Philly, Along With Indoor Dining

On September 8th, indoor dining returns to Philly! There are, of course, rules to follow and capacity requirements. Movie theaters and live theaters are also returning – but they cannot serve food or drinks, and capacity must be at 50 percent OR a maximum of 25 people.

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