COVID-19 Updates 06 July, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 06 July, 2020

 Employers Find Testing Employees More Trouble Than It’s Worth

  • Many employers are not going to mass test their employees when they reopen citing cost and that tests only measure one point in time. 
  • Although tests are supposed to be covered by insurance, many insurers do not cover multiple tests, which has also caused issues for nursing homes throughout the county. In addition, employers are ultimately likely to bear COVID-19 costs themselves through higher premiums.

Trump administration reveals thousands of small business aid recipients

  • The Trump administration on Monday revealed the names of more than 650,000 employers that secured billions of dollars in small business aid designed to avert mass layoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The release marked the biggest disclosure yet of the record amount of bailout funds authorized by Congress during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The information is especially important as lawmakers begin to plan the next COVID-19 relief package. Lawmakers say they want to target aid at hard-hit employers, but they’ve had little visibility into where the first wave of the money went.
  • In an industry-by-industry breakdown, health care and social assistance businesses received the greatest share of the loan funds — about $67 billion.


COVID-19 update: There were 450 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of cases in PA to  90,304. There were a total of four new deaths for a total of 6,754 deaths.

Wolf announces $53M in aid to child care centers to help them through pandemic

  • Today Gov. Wolf said that his administration is directing $53 million in federal aid to childcare centers. 
  • The state has already distributed $51 million in federal CARES Act funding to eligible childcare providers, with another $116 million to be distributed in the coming months. In total, the state will be giving out $220 million in assistance. 
  • The money is being distributed through the Human Services Department’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), which licenses child care providers across Pennsylvania. 

In Pa.’s growing fireworks war, it’s fed-up residents versus cold, hard cash

  • It has been three years since PA lifted its ban on fireworks. The reason the ban was lifted as part of a revenue-raising package that brought an end to a protracted budget battle with Gov. Tom Wolf. The 2017 law put a 12% tax on fireworks on top of the state’s 6% sales tax. Between the end of that year and mid-2019, that tax raised $8.2 million for the state.
  • Some legislatures are proposing allowing certain municipalities to prohibit residents from setting off fireworks. 


COVID-19 update: Philadelphia added 247 new cases since Friday. Overall, 26,810 city residents have contracted the virus. 1 person died from COVID-19 since Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths among city residents to 1,617. 

Independent police oversight could be coming to Philly, but funding is still a question

  • In November, Philadelphia voters will be asked to approve the creation of an Oversight Commission that would be an independent body that has the power to investigate complaints against police officers. The Oversight Committee would be replacing the current Police Advisory commission which does not have the authority to provide effective oversight.
  • The city currently spends only $550,000 on police oversight. This amount is significantly less than other major cities in the U.S. In New York and Chicago they each spend $16 million to $19 million on police oversight annually and have at least 180 employees working on oversight.

Minority-owned company brings testing facility to Cheyney University

  • Sure-BioChem Laboratories, LLC, a woman minority-owned business has opened a new testing facility in Cheyney’s Science Center. SBL specializes in providing microbial and chemistry testing services for the government, biotechnology medical device, environmental, and food manufacturing industries.
  • SBL is one of several corporations that are located on the Cheyney campus and provide paid internships for students at the University.

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