Each day a summary of news and information that has been gathered from community partners and credible news sites will be posted.

Governor Wolf:

 

State Government:

General CoVid resources: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/

 

Dept. of Human Services:

 

Dept. of Labor & Industry:

 

Dept. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Releases Revised Dental Health Care Guidance for Treating Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=800
  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 1,323 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 54,238” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=799
  • Lancaster Stats: 2,122 cases. 9,281 negative tests. 165 deaths. (According to DOH website- updated today at 12:00pm)
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Governor Wolf summary:
      • Today, 24 counties moved into the Yellow phase of reopening PA. On May 15th, 13 more counties will move to the Yellow Phase: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland. Residents should still be mindful that Yellow means ‘caution’.
      • Last night, Dr. Levine and I signed an order extending the Stay at Home Order for those counties that remain in the Red phase. We have provided additional guidance for businesses, including childcare centers, and an FAQ sheet to help answer questions for those transitioning to the Yellow phase of reopening.
    • Sec. Levine summary:
      • As of 12am this morning, we have 1,323 new cases bringing statewide total 54,238 cases in all 67 counties. This includes 3,553 cases in healthcare workers, this includes 2,122 cases in workers in the food industry at 127 facilities statewide, and this includes 10,919 cases among residents of 522 long-term care living facilities. 3,616 deaths- all have been adults.
      • The next phase of reopening also impacts dental providers. This afternoon we have released guidelines for dental providers to provide care to patients, statewide.
      • 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
      • If you, or someone you know, is suffering from an addiction you can call the Dept. of Drug and Alcohol Programs helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
    • Reporters’ Questions:
      • Can you talk more about how childcare centers can function in the Yellow phase given CDC guidelines of masks and social distancing?
        • Sec. Levine: All of that info is on the FAQ guidance that is being published today.
      • How reliable are the antibody tests that Chester County is doing for their frontline workers?
        • Sec. Levine: I don’t know granular detail about their test. It is very important for antibody tests to be reliable and have good sensitivity and specificity and for the tests to have been evaluated and approved by the FDA. And then there is what exactly the antibodies mean- they certainly mean that someone has had COVID, what we do not know is how protective those antibodies are yet, from contracting another case of the virus and then how long lived they are. There is data coming out about that every day and we are confident that as time goes on we will learn more about the utility of those tests and how exactly they should be used.
      • Why the decision to extend the Stay at Home order until June 4th? Why not just on a week by week basis?
        • Governor Wolf: We thought extending it another month made the most sense.
      • Was the extension based on the metric and if so, what if that is achieved before June 4th?
        • Governor Wolf: As the Secretary said, we are not just looking at one variable, we are looking at a host of things and we are trying to find the best way to keep people safe. We have never gone through this before, so we are looking at all the data we have, how the trajectory is changing over time, and then that all goes into our decision to extend the Stay At Home orders.
      • By extending the Stay At Home orders until June 4th, will there be special waivers for primary elections if some counties are still in the red?
        • Governor Wolf: First, elections are considered essential so that is just like going to the grocery store or pharmacy. But we are lucky that we have the ability to vote by mail, we have had over 1 million applications for that already, and so the safest way to vote on June 2nd is by mail. You can go online and have the ballot mailed to you and then you can fill it out and mail it back in. If you don’t want to do that, you can still go in-person to the polling place on June 2nd and do that.
      • You signed an executive order this week giving liability protection to healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic. You did not offer similar protection to facilities like hospitals and nursing homes- why not? Do you suspect there is possible wrongdoing and therefore you want to keep the option open for the people who may have been wronged to sue?
        • Governor Wolf: No, the executive order was aimed, we have brought a lot of people out of retirement into becoming frontline healthcare workers to address the needs of this pandemic, and I wanted to bring some limited protections for those folks. Again, if they are doing things that are foolish, they are not immune from prosecution. So I wanted to specifically protect those folks and that was the objective of the executive order.
      • New data released today from the CDC shows that PA has reported only about half of its confirmed COVID deaths up to the CDC. We have heard a lot about data reconciliation issues in PA, but what is causing this specific delay?
        • Sec. Levine: I did not see that report, so I will make sure my staff looks at that closely and that all of our data is reported to the CDC.
      • Are today’s reported increases in cases and deaths due to the data dump?
        • Sec. Levine: Yes, first we did get another data dump from a commercial lab, in terms of test results, so that always influences our specific numbers but also, as I mentioned before, we are doing an in-depth reconciliation with Philly Health Dept. in terms of cases and deaths so that has influenced our numbers over the last several days. My team is working with Philly to try to reconcile that data as fast as we can but some of that reconciliation will go on for at least another week, so we can expect some influence in terms of our numbers.
      • Yesterday’s Senate hearings brought to light the concerns of nursing homes struggling to get enough test kits for their staff and residents. Meanwhile, we see inmates in county and state prisons being tested. Which one of these is being given priority in the distribution of test kits?
        • Sec. Levine: We really have very little to do, in terms of county prisons, in terms of how they are determining how tests will be done. We are absolutely prioritizing nursing homes and long-term care living facilities. Any symptomatic patients and staff member in those facilities are being tested immediately and there is no shortage in terms of getting tests.
      • Were any coronavirus cases or outbreaks linked to the reopening rally in Harrisburg last month?
        • Sec. Levine: So we are not aware of that, but it is very possible. As I said at the time, I was very concerned about the individuals that were participating in that rally that were not exercising the preventative measures that we have been discussing. I had concerns since they were from throughout the commonwealth and actually many people from out of state that they could transmit the virus. We don’t know how many people have contracted the virus from that event, of course that was a couple of weeks ago, the incubation period is 5- up to 14 days so it might take a while to know and that would depend upon them telling us of course if they participated in the rally.
      • Thinking back to when you were first briefed on the virus until now, do you feel a sense of relief with the progress thus far? And are the numbers of positive cases are deaths lower than initially projected?
        • Governor Wolf: The number of deaths are lower than initially projected but I don’t have any satisfaction from that. It is a stressful time for everybody in PA, including me, we are all trying to do the best we can given the information we have in this very new territory, fighting this new fight. So it is dealing with a lot of unknowns, a lot of stress, so I wouldn’t say satisfaction is one of the things I am feeling right now.
      • Does the executive order you signed yesterday, providing eviction and foreclosure protection until July 10th, apply to commercial tenants? In other words, could evictions for commercial lessees start soon if the courts reopen before then?
        • Governor Wolf: I think the Attorney General answered that same question yesterday and his answer was no, this eviction executive order was focused on residences and renters, but there are all kinds of things that the banks have agreed to put off for landlords of commercial properties that should make landlords a little more receptive to the idea of renegotiating or extending lease payments or terms.

 

National News:

Washington Post:

Other important news

Your questions, answered (Because we don’t have enough to worry about without people posting conspiracy theory videos to get people riled up! Woohoo internet)

“Have you seen the YouTube movie ‘Doctors in Black’? Can The Washington Post verify if any of this is true?”    Pete in Pennsylvania

  • “Doctors in Black,” a.k.a. “Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19,” is a conspiracy theory masquerading as a half-hour documentary that went viral this week. We won't link to it. Obviously, we're not fans.

The video stars Judy Mikovits, an American biochemist who fell into disgrace in the early 2010s, after one of her landmark studies was retracted over accuracy issues, and her employer accused her of theft. She has since restyled herself as an anti-vaccination activist, and found new popularity this week with the “Plandemic” video, which claims a cabal of billionaires helped spread the novel coronavirus in a malevolent plot to vaccinate people.

As this stuff goes, it's not particularly original. “In a pandemic, there’s immediately going to be conspiracy theories that the virus is either harmless, a bioweapon that’s going to kill everybody or an excuse for the government to give a vaccine that is going to kill everybody,” said Mike Wood, a psychologist who studied the spread of misinformation during the Zika outbreak in 2016.

YouTube, Facebook and other platforms have been deleting the video from their sites, citing dangerous misinformation such as the baseless claim that wearing masks is harmful.

You can read our story on the film here, and more on Mikovits's background here.

 

Recurring Resources:

  • OneUnitedLancaster.com
    • United Way of Lancaster County has launched a new website, OneUnitedLancaster.com. This digital source of information for our community works in tandem with United Way's 2-1-1 resources to connect people and resources during this time of upheaval.
    • The Asset Map is a county-wide resource for all to utilize. If you need to add/update/delete information please follow the link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UWMAP20

 

  • Lancaster Chamber:
    • Website updated daily: https://www.lancasterchamber.com/Apps/Pages/coronavirusnews
    • Past webinars are listed on the Chamber’s site listed above!
      • The Total Internship Management Workshop [Virtual Event]
        WHEN: Tuesday, May 12

        The Total Internship Management Workshop is designed to help you and your organization build a win-win internship program. Based on the most in-depth research ever to be conducted into the successful management of internship programs, you can be assured that you will leave the event with a newfound approach to internships. Now - it is virtual!
        REGISTER NOW
      • Maintaining A Compliant Workplace & Workforce Under COVID-19 Restrictions [WEBINAR]

May 12, 2020

This webinar will cover concerns companies and employees may have as states reopen, specifically about safety and working conditions. This webinar will cover steps employers are taking to comply with the Governor's orders and the implications to the workplace and workforce. It will specifically address: 1) what do employers need to do to maintain a safe working environment; 2) what are the OSHA, whistleblower, and workers' compensation considerations; and 3) what are the employees rights from a non-union and union perspective (e.g. protected concerted activity)

REGISTER NOW

      • Ask an Attorney: Workplace & Workforce Considerations [WEBINAR]

May 15, 2020

This session is part of a series to give employers an opportunity to hear more about what they should be considering as it relates to re-opening for business, while also providing an opportunity to have questions answered. This webinar will focus on three key topics: 1) On-site screening/testing and EEOC considerations; 2) return to work unemployment challenges and considerations; and 3) furlough call-back considerations. Following a brief overview on those, we will have time for Q&A with the attorney panel.

REGISTER NOW

      • Work Wisdom Series: Authentic Communication In The Remote Era [Virtual Event]
        WHEN: Wednesday, May 27

        Authentic Communication is the make or break factor for leaders, teams and organizations during the remote era.  During this interactive workshop, Kedren and Sarah will teach three remote communication techniques to enable you and your teams to practice Authentic Communication to foster efficiency, psychological safety and joy.  Join us to learn how to mitigate zoom exhaustion, select the proper medium for communicating, and techniques for co-creating clear, realistic expectations.
        REGISTER NOW

 

 

  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:

 

 

 

 

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.  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.

 

Hunger Free Lancaster

Melina Godshall
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