Each day a summary of news and information that has been gathered from community partners and credible news sites will be posted.
- “Gov. Wolf Announces Reopening of 24 Counties Beginning May 8” : https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-reopening-of-24-counties-beginning-may-8/
General CoVid resources: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/
Dept of Human Services:
- “Wolf Administration Releases Guidance on Emergency Housing, Quarantine Sheltering, Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=524
Dept of Health:
- “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 1,208 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 46,971” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=792
- Link to Statewide map of testing sites: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Symptoms-Testing.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0q72qATsxBX9zL0KMErYO_OQZutSgVMY1I4fEEa8-3zcHN_7WixZ-VFAY
- COVID-19 Data: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx (now available at zip code-level data)
- Lancaster Stats: 1,820 cases. 7,809 negative tests. 106 deaths. (According to DOH website- updated today at 12:00pm)
- Daily Press Briefings:
- Gov. Wolf Summary:
- Beginning 12:01am on Friday, May 8th, 24 counties will have some COVID mitigation restrictions lifted. Those are: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
- Selected because they have low per capita case count, the Dept. feels they are ready with contact-tracing and testing, and a variety of other factors, such as population density, determined by our epidemiologists
- But all of those counties must continue to abide by the underlying message of Yellow: “Proceed with Caution”. Everyone still needs to continue to implement social distancing as much as possible.
- Sec. Levine summary: “Stay Calm. Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
- As of 12am this morning, 1,208 new cases bringing statewide total to 46,971 cases in all 67 counties. 2,354 deaths- all have been adults.
- As of noon, hospitals are reporting that approx. 2,677 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID. 561 of those have required the use of a ventilator. Across our healthcare system, approx. 47% of hospital beds, 40% of ICU beds, and nearly 70% of ventilators are still available.
- 24 counties moving from Red to Yellow: as part of that we are providing our plans for contact-tracing and testing in these counties: Contact-tracing is an established public health protocol that the Dept. uses in every disease investigation:
- First, we receive a report of a positive test result, then our community health nurses contact the patient and do a full case investigation: discuss symptoms, collect demographic data, and discuss risk factors. In addition, they determine whom they might have been in contact with while they have been infectious. Also do this investigation with probable cases as well.
- Next, our nurses and public health staff notify the individuals who are contacts of the positive patient. (The patient is not identified by name.) Close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days from the time of their last exposure. The Dept. checks with them everyday to make sure they aren’t developing symptoms and are remaining in quarantine.
- We are moving to bolster this case investigation and contact-tracing process using additional personnel, technology, and improved workflows. Our strategy includes investing in an infrastructure focused on people, using innovative processes through technology tools and robust case investigations, partnering with the established healthcare community, and focusing on underserved and vulnerable communities.
- In the counties announced today, we will be able to use our current infrastructure of our community health nurses to initiate this important work. We will work to maximize the efforts of our case investigators and contact-tracing teams by utilizing our partners in the healthcare system, academic institutions, volunteers, and hiring of personnel when needed. Also be using new alert system that will help with the daily check-ins. In addition, we will be able to get a more complete picture of the communities most impacted by COVID by carefully collecting data such as race and ethnicity from the patients themselves.
- We know that Pennsylvanians living or working in large congregate settings, like long-term care facilities, food processing or packaging plants, correctional facilities, and in healthcare are most at risk for an outbreak. We have special teams of our epidemiologists, epidemiology research associates, master and doctoral students of public health, and a CDC public policy advisor trained and assigned to work with facilities to work with outbreaks once they are identified.
- In addition to the contact-tracing efforts I just discussed, increased testing capacity is also a critical aspect of successfully moving counties from the Red to the Yellow Phase. Our testing strategy focuses on ensuring that testing is accessible and available for all symptomatic Pennsylvanians, as well as adaptable to the evolving landscape of the virus transmission.
- To accomplish this we plan to make testing widely available by partnering with existing community resources such as retail pharmacies and FQHC’s. We are also planning to target resources where they are most in need such as long-term care living facilities. We will continue to build our network of community-based testing sites.
- To secure the equipment and materials needed to do this testing, we are working closely with DCED, as well PEMA and our federal partners. Using our current incident command structure, the DOH will have the responsibility of determining who should be tested based on the best science available. DCED will proactively seek out FDA-approved resources and work with PA companies to produce tests and testing supplies that PA needs. PEMA will assist in deploying testing to communities. We will continue to remain flexible in our testing strategy as the disease changes and progresses, new technology is developed, and more data is available.
- If you, or someone you know, needs mental health resources please contact the mental health crisis line by texting “PA” to 741741 or call the statewide support and referral helpline at 1-855-284-2494
- Gov. Wolf Summary:
Office of Advocacy and Reform: (Executive Director is Dan Jurman)
- The Office of Advocacy and Reform Facebook page is now live and getting followers! We’ll be sharing news and updates as well as resources for vulnerable populations generally and during Covid-19.
- The mysterious origin of the novel coronavirus is now a matter of international dispute. The U.S. intelligence community concluded the virus is not man-made in a new report, but would not rule out the possibility that it was accidentally released from a virology lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began late last year.
- President Trump has seized on that idea, which aligns with a Republican Party electoral strategy to blame the pandemic on China and avoid discussing the U.S. government's belated efforts to confront the outbreak, which has spread to more than 1 million Americans and killed nearly 65,000. The Washington Post on Thursday reported that in private, the White House is considering extraordinary punishments against China, including suing the country or refusing to pay outstanding U.S. debt. Trump suggested to reporters on Thursday he had seen confidential evidence the virus escaped from a Wuhan lab. But the president offered no details, and he has a well-documented habit of making false or misleading claims.
- Scientists who spoke to The Post are overwhelmingly skeptical of the lab-escape theory. “The balance of the scientific evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the new coronavirus emerged from nature — be it the Wuhan [seafood] market or somewhere else. Too many unexpected coincidences would have had to take place for it to have escaped from a lab,” we reported in our latest Fact Checker analysis.
- We also have a fascinating story on the research complex at the heart of this intrigue, where for nearly a decade virologists “crisscrossed southern Asia in a high-stakes search for bats and the strange diseases they harbor” in a risky effort to head off exactly the sort of pandemic that now exists. Read it here.
- The outbreak could go on for another two years, and the U.S. should prepare for a resurgence of infections this fall or winter that might dwarf the current wave, according to a new report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota. “The idea that this is going to be done soon defies microbiology,” said the center's director, Mike Osterholm.
- Meanwhile, many states continue to roll back quarantine measures after the federal government’s social distancing guidelines expired on Thursday and were replaced by less stringent advice. People are now dining out in states such as Georgia, Tennessee and Alaska — albeit sometimes with gloved waiters, disposable menus and “a faint whiff of bleach in the air,” we reported. And there is a bizarre dynamic in Iowa, where businesses are reopening in the suburbs and countryside, but Sioux City remains shut down with the fastest-growing infection rate in the United States. “How do you convince people that if you live on one side of a line, you can’t leave your home, but if you live on the other, you can?” a skeptical epidemiologist asked.
- Meanwhile in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) extended business closures for another month despite GOP lawsuit threats and an armed anti-quarantine protest at the state capitol. “Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk,” Whitmer said, dismissing the furious opposition.
- The Federal Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for health-care providers to administer remdesivir, an antiviral drug that had shown promising effects in diminishing recovery time.
- People are setting fire to cell towers across Europe, apparently because they believe a false conspiracy theory that 5G mobile networks spread the virus.
- The United States is pressuring Mexico to keep some factories that supply American companies open, despite deaths at some of them and a rapidly rising infection rate south of the border.
- Workers at dozens of Amazon warehouses planned to join May Day walkouts in protest of their treatment during the outbreak. Amazon's chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called the Senate to return to work Monday, despite complaints from Democrats that the risk of disease is too great.
- Federal prosecutors investigating coronavirus scams are looking into a New York family doctor who promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine as an unproven treatment to the White House and on Fox News.
- Lancaster Chamber:
- Website updated daily: https://www.lancasterchamber.com/Apps/Pages/coronavirusnews
- Past webinars are listed on the Chamber’s site listed above!
- Local Govt.:
- Mayor Danene Sorace is hosting daily briefings on Facebook every night at 5pm
- The County has a COVID site to keep up to date with their response: https://co.lancaster.pa.us/1296/Coronavirus-Disease-COVID-19
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health COVID-19 Data: online dashboard with COVID-19 testing and patient data. The site is accessible from the LGHealth.org homepage (click “data” in the top red banner), or at the link below. Data is updated each morning.
- WellSpan Health System:
- Meals: Hunger Free Lancaster
- Hunger Free Lancaster County: https://hungerfreelancaster.org/resources/important-resources-during-covid-19/
- Resource to find childcare providers with waivers: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Coronavirus-Child-Care.aspx
- Joining Forces for Children Resource Directory
- Joining Forces for Children is an extension of Lancaster County Joining Forces and works to coordinate direct services to support children affected by parental substance use disorder. The Joining Forces for Children Leadership developed a resource directory of services and supports focused on the needs of children impacted by substance use disorder. Please feel free to share this directory This document will be updated regularly. Please send any additions to Chris Glover.
- Help is Still Here
- Substance use disorder treatment and recovery support are still available, even if they look a little different right now. Local treatment providers are using telehealth methods to provide ongoing access to counseling and medications, and recovery meetings are taking place on virtual platforms.
- For direct recovery support, Lancaster County has a strong network of certified recovery specialists who can provide individual social support and connections.
- To connect to treatment, recovery support or support for loved ones, contact Compass Mark at 717-299-2831 or visit their website at CompassMark.org/find-help.
- Outside of normal business hours, you can contact the Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the online treatment locator here.
- The RASE Project can help find treatment and recovery support. Speak to a certified recovery specialist at 717-295-3080.
- For online recovery resources, see the attached PDF.
- If you are using drugs alone, ask a friend to stay on the phone with you or call the Never Use Alone hotline at 800-484-3731.
- In the event of an overdose emergency, always call 911 for emergency medical care.
- Census is still happening! You can check your area’s response here: https://www.2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html
I’m In Campaign
- The “I’m in!” campaign: Lancaster County’s health systems and community organizations are teaming up on a public service message to encourage everyone to continue taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. We are making progress to slow the spread, but we need everyone in the community to join in to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. The I’m In campaign will include TV ads, social media engagement, and will encourage everyone to show that they are IN to help slow the spread and save lives.
- How your organization can help: Create your own “I’m in” messages on social media and encourage your community to do the same. Attached are the simple instructions to create and share your message. We will share additional resources and tips for joining the campaign over the coming weeks.
- If you would like to share the PSA video, please do! Here are the links to the 30-second and 60-second clips on YouTube:
- With questions about the “I’m in” campaign, please contact Brenda Buescher.