COVID-19 Updates September 14th, 2020

COVID-19 Updates September 14th, 2020

Federal

HUD AWARDS NEARLY $2 BILLION IN CARES ACT RELIEF FUNDS, FOCUSING ON COMMUNITIES WITH HIGHER RISK OF EVICTION

  • HUD has announced the allocation of the remaining nearly $2 billion in supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funds authorized through the CARES Act.
  • HUD allocated these CDBG-CV funds based on criteria determined by Secretary Carson, which takes into consideration communities’ risk of transmission, jobs loss and economic disruption
  • In April 2020, HUD allocated $2 billion in CDBG-CV grants using the regular FY 2020 CDBG formula allocation, and in May 2020, HUD allocated $1 billion in CDBG-CV grants using a formula that incorporates a range of variables, including public health needs and economic disruption. 
  • PA will be receiving  $1.988 billion in new funding from Community Development Block Grants as part of the Federal CARES Act for eviction relief. 

CDC: Testing for STDs plummeted during pandemic

  • A new CDC report shows that testing for sexually transmitted diseases plummeted during the pandemic, and the health agency estimates that tens of thousands of cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia and thousands of cases of syphilis have gone undetected as a result.
  • Many health clinics have been closed due to COVID-19 or reduced their services. STD testing could be further limited in the months ahead due to a shortage of testing kits and lab supplies exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Rates of STDs were already at record highs in the U.S. before the pandemic. While most are curable with antibiotics if caught and treated early, they can cause infertility and can even be fatal if left untreated. 

State

Federal judge in Pittsburgh declares Wolf’s key COVID-19 restrictions unconstitutional

  • A U.S. District court judge in Pittsburgh has struck down the most significant portions of the Wolf administration’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that state-imposed limits on outdoor gatherings, its stay at home order, and its business shutdown orders were unconstitutional.
  • The court’s ruling found that Wolf’s business shutdown plan, enacted by executive order in March as the pandemic took hold, violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause, and that the administration’s stay-at-home orders violated constitutional due process protections.
  • Gov. Wolf administration will be appealing the decision. 

Pa. could lose manufacturing jobs because of public transportation’sfunding crisis

  • An increasingly dire financial situation brewing for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s largest transportation network, could slash its spending on vendors across the United States.
  • This could have huge implications for workers in PA and New jersey. The MTA spent $1.7 billion on vendors in New Jersey and $1.4 billion on ones in Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2018 more than in any other states aside from New York. 
  • The MTA is preparing to cut subway and bus service in New York City by 40% if it does not receive an additional $12 billion, the New York Times reported in late August. Layoffs and fare hikes are also on the table.

Collegestudents driving Pa. case increases, Levinesays

  • There’s has been a 19% increase in cases among 19 to 24-year-olds so far in September when compared to April, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine said during a news conference. 
  • The two areas with the largest increases were North Central and Northeast Pennsylvania. In April, 19 to 24-year-olds represented just 7% and 6% of all coronavirus cases in those regions, respectively. This month, that age group represents 69% and 40% of cases, respectively.

City

CEO leaving African American Museum in Philadelphia

  • The president and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Patricia Wilson Aden, will step down from the museum she has led for eight years, to take a job in Memphis.
  • During her tenure, Aden is credited with keeping the 44 year-old museum afloat by diversifying the museum’s revenue streams through corporate sponsorships and gaining the support of local and national foundations.

Diversity is up among Philadelphia’s municipal workers

  • The office of the City Controller released its annual review of the diversity for the city of Philadelphia’s exempt or at-will employees for 2019. Diverse employees accounted for almost 53% percent of the City’s salaried workforce in FY19, a 1 percent increase from 2018.
  • Using Census data as a benchmark, the review found that the racial and ethnic breakdown of the City’s salaried employees was not representative of Philadelphia’s total population.
  • While the majority of the City’s workforce is hired through the civil service system, approximately 4,600 employees are not. The makeup of those almost 5000 employees is a direct reflection of the City’s ability to hire and retain diverse candidates.

Good News of the Day

Granddaughter Team Delight Community With Enchanting Fairy House Tours

Via The Good News Network – This grandmother-granddaughter team have been making fairy houses for years, but when COVID-19 hit they got busy creating little magical vignettes they could place outside for the community to enjoy.

The fairy tour begins on a New York state street, at a tiny mailbox next to a tree that holds a listing of each little house and its name—14 all together.

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