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.


State Government:

General COVID resources:


Dept. of Agriculture:


Dept. Drug & Alcohol:


Dept. of Education:


Dept. of Human Services:


Dept. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 938 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 59,636” :
  • Lancaster Stats: 2,364 cases. 10,730 negative tests. 183 deaths. (According to DOH website- updated today at 12:00pm)
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Sec Levine summary: “Stay Calm. Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
      • As of 12am this morning, 938 new cases bringing statewide total 59,636 cases in all 67 counties. This number includes 4,217 positive cases in healthcare workers and includes 12,677 among residents of 549 long-term care living facilities. 4,218 deaths- all have been adults.
      • Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been difficult for parents to get their children to the pediatrician for well-child visits and immunizations. It is very important for parents to continue with these check-ups because of the important vaccines children receive, especially those required for children to return to school in the fall. Unlike COVID-19, infectious diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox, and polio already have reliable, effective, and safe vaccines. Vaccines not only protect children, they protect our community, especially those with compromised immune systems who cannot get vaccinated.

I know parents are concerned about their children’s safety when visiting the doctor - pediatricians and health care providers have made changes to the way they see patients and families to ensure that they are getting the necessary care as the pandemic continues. This includes scheduling well-visits and sick visits at different times of the day, separating those with sick visits in different areas of the primary care office or another location, and collaborating with other providers in the community to identify even separate locations for providing well visits for children.

Most importantly, we want to make sure we don’t have a secondary health crisis because we have had a delay in vaccinations. These are very real threats. Last year, during the measles outbreak of 2019, we saw the most cases of measles in the United States in over a decade.

      • 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:
      • Why has the state not withdrawn those who tested positive for COVID and been cleared under the protocol, from a county’s number of cases? Or at least provide a number of people who have recovered in each county. Is this something the state would consider doing?
        • Yes it is. It is challenging to determine an exact number of recovered patients. But we realize this is important to the public and our epidemiologists are working on a way to estimate the number of recovered patients in PA and are hoping to have that sometime next week.
      • Is there currently any mechanism in place for counties to argue their case for moving to the Yellow phase if they feel they meet the standard for doing so? If not, how often are groups of counties considered for progression to the yellow phase?
        • So as we know last Friday 24 counties moved from Red to Yellow and tomorrow 13 more counties are moving from Red to Yellow, so we are looking at our data now and the different metrics and modeling that we look at and will be having discussions. In terms of counties that have questions in terms of their status, we are always pleased to speak with them as is our Dept. of Intergovernmental Affairs through the Governor’s office.
      • CVS just announced that they will be opening drive-through, self-swab testing sites in PA- what will the criteria be for who is able to get a test?
        • We are so pleased that CVS will be doing more testing, we are looking to roll out more testing throughout PA. We are prioritizing testing patients who are symptomatic, who have some symptoms they do not have to be severe symptoms, but I know Rite Aid, for instance, will test asymptomatic people. I don’t exactly know CVS’ specific criteria, I believe there is a website to go onto to register for testing or maybe a phone call to check with CVS about their testing.
      • As we await tomorrow’s announcement on the next set of counties to  move to the Yellow phase, are you pleased with the results of last weeks’ Yellow counties and have there been any concerning data spikes in those Yellow phase counties?
        • So there have not been specific concerning data spikes, but you have to remember that it’s been now 6 days since the first counties went to Yellow and the average incubation period of the virus is 5 days but it can be up to 14 days. So we are going to continue to be looking really closely, now and in the future, at all of the counties of course but particularly the counties that go from Red to Yellow.
      • When will you know the criteria for the counties to move from Yellow to Green and what can we expect?
        • It’s a very important question and we have been asked this several times, again it’s been 6 days since any counties went from Red to Yellow, but we are going to start to look at that next week.
      • There was a spike in deaths today - your reports on Tuesdays and Wednesdays usually have these due to a lag in reporting, is the spike for the same reason or is it indicative of counties who are now in the Yellow phase?
        • This is part of the continued reconciliation process that we talked about. We have been working very closely and successfully with the Philadelphia county health dept in terms of reconciling our data on a daily basis, we are still working on reconciling our two data systems. Today there were 44 new deaths reported overnight and the remaining 231 were as a result of that reconciliation and that is deaths over the last number of weeks.
      • In your professional opinion, is it safe to plan on attending in-person summer camps this year? Has the state made a decision yet whether summer camps will be open or closed for the summer?
        • We are working on that now with the Governor’s office and other departments and I expect a decision and reports to go out soon.
      • Have you received any updates on whether PA has any cases of the childhood inflammatory condition linked to COVID?
        • We are making those calls to the 6 fantastic children’s hospitals in PA today and I hope to have more info tomorrow.
      • Do you think the country has an adequate system in place to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available?
        • I think that it will be a challenge. We will be working within PA, and I am sure within the nation, for the distribution of that vaccine. Of course, physicians and other healthcare personnel give vaccines regularly, our fantastic FQHC’s give vaccines, in fact vaccines are given under the Vaccines for Children Act at our health centers in the counties, as well as in the county municipal health centers. But in terms of giving a vaccination program for the population at large, it will be something we will need to work on when that vaccine is available and we will be working on it now.


National News:

Washington Post:

The latest

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:


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.
    • Letter from the Chamber about the “reopening” of Lancaster ahead of the Governor’s orders:



  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:





Tenant Forum

  • Attached you will find a flyer for a countywide tenant forum (you may recall there was just recently a landlord forum) that is scheduled for May 20 5-6pm.

The event is free and people can sign up using this link:

Online Tenant Forum May 2020 - Flyer