An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Daily Policy Update

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:


Dept. of Human Services:


Dept. of State:


Insurance Dept.:


Dept. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 543 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 57,154” :
  • Lancaster Stats: 2,256 cases. 9,887 negative tests. 168 deaths. (According to Dept. of Health website- updated today at 12:00pm)
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Sec Levine summary: “Stay Calm. Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
      • As of 12am this morning, 543 new cases bringing statewide total to 57,154 cases in all 67 counties. This includes 3,790 cases in healthcare workers, includes 11,801 cases among residents of 540 long-term care living facilities. 3,731 deaths- all have been adults.
      • Testing helps us identify outbreaks, so it is essential that we have accessible and available testing sites in communities across PA. Starting today, 9 new drive-through testing sites will be open to the public at Rite Aid locations across eastern PA. Patients will be able to get tested for free at these sites. These new locations are in addition to the 6 testing sites that Rite Aid has already established across the state. If you would like to get tested at one of these sites, you can make an appt. by going to A map with all of the testing locations can be found on our website at , also on the website, we have a symptoms and testing section that gives you tools to see if you should be tested, including a CDC symptom checklist tool. Symptoms of COVID can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, chills, shaking chills, muscle pains, headache, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell.
      • 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 (4357).
      • Please remember to wear a mask if you are going somewhere in public and will be around other people.
    • Reporters’ Questions:
      • Is the state stepping up license inspections of nursing homes and personal care homes in the wake of the increased numbers of COVID deaths in those facilities?
        • Dept. of Health regulates nursing homes and Dept. of Human Services regulates personal care homes. At the order of CMS, we are not doing the routine inspections that are done every year by one of our Depts. for those facilities, but we are certainly continuing to investigate for any complaints or concerns regarding the care at those facilities and we can do that either virtually or, if necessary, we can have our team go to the facility.
      • Given that NJ and NY are releasing facility-level data on long-term care infections and deaths, why has PA refused considering aggregate data does not violate the privacy of residents? What is the value of not releasing this infection data to the public?
        • As I said last week, we were awaiting the CMS guidance about the data to be released, we have been working on that plan and the data will be released later this week.
      • What advice do you have for childcare centers in areas moving into the Yellow phase this Friday?
        • Those are available on our FAQ document on our website, and it is the Dept of Human Services that determines those guidelines.
      • Please provide more details regarding your discussions with Philly leadership and the southeastern PA counties regarding an opening plan tailored to their specific challenges.
        • We have had discussions with Philly, Montgo, Bucks, and other counties and we are going to continue those conversations about the metrics we would use and the data we would use, and all the other considerations we would use for the southeast to  go from Red to Yellow. Those conversations will be continuing this week.
      • What message do you have for counties defying Gov. Wolf’s orders and moving themselves into the Yellow Phase? How could their reopening affect neighboring counties?
        • The Governor had addressed that earlier. We are concerned about counties going from Red to Yellow before they are ready, from a public health perspective, looking at all the different data because we want to make sure that we don’t precipitate outbreaks of COVID.
      • Any update in the specific criteria to send a Yellow county into the Green phase?
        • We have not determined what the exact criteria will be for counties to go from Yellow to Green. Of course the first 24 counties just went to Yellow on Friday, we have 13 more counties going to Yellow this Friday, and we are working on other criteria for counties to go from Red to Yellow and as we are working on that, we will start to think about what will be necessary to go from Yellow to Green.
      • Do all PA counties have to be in Yellow before any can move into Green?
        • We haven’t made any of those determinations at the present time.
      • Are residents expected to help enforce the new rules in the Yellow phase? If so, to whom should they direct their reporting- police, 911, or the Dept. of Health?
        • Well I would not call 911 unless there is an emergency. I think if that there are concerns about businesses then they can contact local authorities and I believe that there is a business line that people can either email or call that is on our website.
      • What are some of the health consequences for counties who move into the Yellow phase before you and the Governor say it is okay?
        • So it is more than just the Governor and I saying it’s okay. We have a quite expert team, in terms of our epidemiologists and our public health officials, looking at all of the data and different ways to depict the data, and the trajectory animations that are available on our website. In addition, we have a number of different models we are looking at that we have discussed and we go over the public health impacts, we discuss them with the Governor’s office, of course there are social impacts, political impacts, and particularly economic impacts. So all of that has to be taken into consideration when we make our recommendations and then the Governor makes his decisions.
      • Johns Hopkins Univ. started enrollment today for an online training course to become a contact-tracer. Since there is now a push for contact-tracing in PA, would you recommend people take this training course?
        • There are a number of different training courses that are available and I think the training courses are great, I don’t have a specific preference for one or another, Johns Hopkins obviously is a fantastic university with a great public health school so I am sure it excellent.
      • Will the Dept. of Health release hospitalization rates and discharges by county? How about revised daily death counts?
        • We are working on all of our death data so I will talk with our team about how granular we can get.
      • Some people in PA who have taken a COVID antibody test have been told that if the results are positive they would be given to the Dept. of Health and would be considered as a presumed COVID case. Is that true and has the Dept. of Health been reporting that number in its daily count or will that be reported soon in a separate category?
        • We have been getting that data and no we are not reporting it in a separate or different count.
      • If moving to a Yellow causes infections, how long would it take for you to realize that and how do you plan to monitor that situation?
        • As we have been discussing, expanding testing in those areas as well as our ability to do case investigations and contact tracing and then responding to any outbreak with the patient being isolated and then the contacts being quarantined. Of course the incubation period has to be taken into consideration, the incubation period ranges from 2 days to 14 days with an average of 5 days, so for us to know it would be at least 5-7 days if there starts to be an increase of cases and then possibly 2 weeks or more.
      • Rite Aid says it would provide testing to asymptomatic people in keeping with guidelines from the DHHS. Can you please clarify the role the PA Dept. of Health guidelines play in determining which PA residents get tests?
        • We have been prioritizing the testing of symptomatic individuals, but I have no problems if Rite Aid tests asymptomatic individuals as well, our priority is for symptomatic individuals. But as we announced today, they are gong to be expanding their sites and anyone can go and register to go get a free test and so we want to be able to expand testing throughout PA.
      • If Rite Aid can administer tests more widely, what’s to stop other healthcare providers rushing ahead of state guidelines to test asymptomatic patients?
        • I don’t have an objection if providers want to do that, where we are going to prioritizing our testing is symptomatic individuals, but we do want to get to the point where we are doing that population-based, surveillance-type testing and we are going to be continuing to work towards that.
      • Could the Dept. of Health work with Rite Aid to direct their supply of tests to nursing homes, prisons, or other congregate settings that could benefit from congregate testing?
        • We will work with all testing facilities to certainly prioritize testing in nursing homes and personal care homes.
      • NY has ordered the testing of all nursing home staff twice per week- does PA have plans to issue a similar order?
        • We are working on those plans and we plan to announce more information later this week.
      • This is the fewest number of single day new cases since March 28th, is that promising or a function of less intense reporting over the weekend?
        • We will see, we have noticed for weeks now that there tends to be a decrease in reporting on the weekend, especially if there is a holiday and yesterday was Mother’s Day, so we will have to see as data comes in this week if that is one day’s reporting or if that is a trend.
      • Can you list some of the variables listed into the Red, Yellow, Green phases- for example have you factored in that there will be some people that are non-compliant and exhibit other high-risk behaviors?
        • The models that we look at do factor in behavior in terms of their compliance with the Stay at Home recommendations for Red counties and masking, etc. so the universities that are doing the modeling do factor that behavior into their models.
      • With 65% of COVID deaths occurring in nursing or personal care homes- going forward what measures are you taking to ensure the wellbeing of those patients and workers?
        • I have said before that the safety and health of individuals in long-term care living facilities are really our top priority so we have a collaboration between the Dept. of Health and PEMA and with the facilities themselves. We have infection control experts and public health experts at the Dept. of Health that have been working with 100% of the facilities who have had cases. As we have said, we have contracted with ECRI, we also have had the National Guard go in to provide additional staffing, we have pushed out well over 1500 different specific pushes to all the nursing homes of PPE and we will be continuing to do that. Actually over the last number of weeks, as hospitals have been doing better our priority has been pushing out the PPE towards those facilities. We are going to be working on the release of the specific data regarding nursing homes and cases later this week.


National News:

Washington Post:

Other important news


Recurring Resources:

    • United Way of Lancaster County has launched a new website, 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:


  • Lancaster Chamber:
    • Website updated daily:
    • 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!
      • 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)


      • 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.


      • 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.



  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:





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