COVID-19 Update July 1, 2020
- The CDC is cautioning colleges and universities against testing all of their students and faculty for the novel coronavirus before allowing them onto campus.
- The CDC suggested broader testing for people who have been in contact with infected patients in settings where the disease can quickly spread, including residence halls, laboratories, and communal spaces such as bathrooms or lounges.
- Senate Democrats yesterday released a bill that includes $345 billion in aid to schools and colleges and $50 billion for childcare. The proposal comes ahead of talks with Republicans over another Senate coronavirus aid package.
- The $345 billion for schools includes $175 billion for K-12 schools, $132 billion for higher education, and $33 billion in education aid that would be at the discretion of governors. There is also $1.5 billion for programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.
- Trump is threatening to revoke the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule that required local governments to track patterns of poverty and segregation with a checklist of 92 questions in order to gain access to federal housing funds.
- The AFFH rule was part of the Fair Housing Act passed by Congress in 1968, however, it was not enforced until 2015. The Trump administration has already delayed the program by pushing back the submission of program participants’ required fair housing plans.
COVID-19 update: There were 636 new cases reported in PA today and 38 new deaths. There have been 87,242 people with the coronavirus infection in the state and 6,687 total deaths. Of the individuals who tested positive today, 37% are aged 25-49 which is the highest percentage of all the age groups.
- 4,500 COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania are associated with nursing homes or personal care homes. Republicans in Congress have begun criticizing PA and four other states New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and California for their handling of nursing homes.
- One of the issues that Republicans are focused on is in regards to the Wolf administration in March telling nursing homes that the state needed to preserve available beds in hospitals for an anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases. This meant that nursing homes would have to continue accepting residents even if they were COVID-19 positive.
- Last week, the State Government Committee passed a bill that includes a tracking number on each ballot and giving voters the OK to drop off a sealed mail-in ballot at their polling place.
- The bill is just the beginning of the third round of negotiations over the commonwealth’s election law.
- Counties are pushing for a change to allow them to pre-canvass ballots. Pre-canvassing involves opening a mail-in ballot, but not counting the votes.
- The state Supreme Court today rules that the legislature cannot force Gov. Tom Wolf to end his coronavirus disaster declaration. The Gov. has asked the Supreme Court to consider the Republican lawsuit in early June.
- Gov. Wolf signed an executive order that requires masks be worn whenever anyone leaves the home. The order does have some exceptions including:
- Individuals under the age of two do not need to wear a mask
- Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance
- The city of Philadelphia is partnering with a community development financial institution based in Kensington to offer loans of up to $10,000 for small landlords in low-income areas. Landlords with 15 or fewer residential rentals have until 5 p.m on July 7th to apply.
- The average loan will be $5000 to $6000 and should be awarded as early as July.
- The city’s program, for example, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for six months after the city’s last payment.
- Although the police department has required officers to wear a mask while on the job on April 8th – many continue to not follow the rule.
- However, city managing director Brian Abernathy has said that those police officers will likely not be punished.
- Made in America have canceled this year’s event. The event will be rescheduled for Labor Day weekend 2021 and organizers are working with city officials, the site says.
- Tickets will be valid for next year’s events.
Good News of the Day
Via the Good News Network – Sony introduced the Walkman, the first portable audio cassette player, and though they predicted it would sell about 5,000 units a month, it sold more than 50,000 in the first two months and over the next 30 years more than 385 million Walkmans in cassette, CD, mini-disc and digital file versions, until the arrival of Apple’s iPod (1979)