COVID-19 Update 13 July, 2020
- President Donald Trump has moved to forcefully push unprecedented limits on government health assistance for the poor, trying to follow through on conservatives’ long-held goals for reshaping the health care safety net.
- As the November election approaches with millions out of work, there’s a growing recognition that more people will come to depend on that safety net. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans who aren’t on Medicaid themselves said it’s likely they or a family member will turn to it within the next year.
- Support for Medicaid expansion has also increased in states where Republican leaders have rejected it, with about two-thirds of voters saying leaders should extend coverage to hundreds of thousands more.
- More than 1,200 current employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling for the federal agency to address “ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination” against Black employees.
- In the letter, the authors point to a variety of “well-meaning, yet under-funded” efforts to diversify the agency’s workforce over the past several decades and assert that none of them have made much difference.
- The authors make seven demands for action, including diversifying senior leadership, addressing racism in the CDC’s culture, and publicly declaring racism a public health crisis in the U.S.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting 328 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, July 13, bringing the statewide total of positive cases to 95,742 in all 67 counties. The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between July 6 and July 12 is 135,631 with 5,560 positive test results.
- This year voter registrations increased more slowly than expected. They usually jump sharply before a presidential primary.
- Between the November 2015 election and the 2016 primary, Pennsylvania’s voter rolls grew by a net 200,528 voters, or 2.5%. This time — even with the delayed primary adding more than a month to get registered — the electorate grew by only 68,311 voters, or 0.8%.
- Pennsylvania’s numbers fit a national trend of a dramatic drop in voter registration as the pandemic shut down everyday life, said David J. Becker, head of the Center for Election Innovation and Research in Washington.
- There is no evidence that people outdoors at the beach or on the boardwalk are driving up coronavirus cases, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a press conference Monday.
- The Gov and his Department of Health medical director said that indoor parties and graduation parties were the most likely spread of COVID-19.
- The Pennsylvania Democratic Party and a group of Democratic politicians have filed a lawsuit in state court to loosen some rules on voting for November, including extending mail ballot deadlines.
The Democrats are asking Commonwealth Court to:
- Explicitly allow counties to collect mail ballots at drop boxes, pop-up drop-off locations, or other sites;
- Extend the mail ballot deadline so ballots postmarked instead of received by Election Day will be counted;
- Require counties to give voters a chance to fix mistakes on their mail ballots;
- Count mail ballots missing the internal “secrecy envelope” meant to protect the vote from being seen as it is processed;
- And uphold the current requirement that voters can only serve as poll watchers in the county in which they live.
COVID-19 update: There were 234 new cases over the weekend. A total of 27,575 Philadelphia residents have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. At least 1,631 have died, with the city reporting two new deaths on Monday.
- Due to most summer camps being canceled. Philadelphia will be expanding its PlayStreet program. The 2020 PlayStreets program will provide a day camp-like experience to over 310 locations.
- 10 streets will be part of the William Penn Foundation-funded PlayStreets of Wonder program, which focuses on playful learning and literacy.
- 100 PlayStreets will receive giveaways like: “Cooling Kits”, which include personalized misting fans, super soakers, branded tents and patio umbrellas, and neck cooling rags.
Good News of the Day
Via The New York Times –
Quarantine hasn’t stopped these seniors from rocking.
North London’s Sydmar Lodge Care Home has been under lockdown for four months, but restricted living hasn’t curtailed residents’ creativity: The nursing home’s seniors and carers alike have been spending their time re-creating classic album covers.