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. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 986 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 60,622” :
  • Lancaster Stats: 2,428 cases. 11,065 negative tests. 186 deaths. (According to DOH website- updated today at 12:00pm)
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Gov Wolf summary:
      • Today we reached the one week mark of the first counties moving from the Red to the Yellow phase of our reopening process, and the second round of counties moved today bringing the total number of counties in Yellow to 37. Beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, May 22, 12 more counties will enter the Yellow phase. Those counties are Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York. I cannot emphasize enough that you should continue to implement social distancing. This virus has not been eradicated from these counties and we are continuing to closely monitor new case counts. But if we see a continued decline in case counts, we can lift more restrictions and bring our lives closer to normal so it is in every single Pennsylvanian’s best interest to continue to take social distancing seriously.
      • If you live in one of the 18 counties that remain in the Red zone you may be feeling disappointed or frustrated. But remember, when we first started to take action in the Commonwealth, this virus was ravaging Italy and we kept hearing tragic story after tragic story. We didn’t want that to be our family, friends, or neighbors so we acted decisively- but time has worn us down. With each passing day it gets harder and harder to stay home- what makes fighting a pandemic even harder is that the disaster is not obvious like storms or floods. The danger is there and real.
      • The epidemiologists and the other staff at the Dept. of Health have dedicated their lives to tracking diseases. They are professionals trained to analyze not just the pathway of known viruses but opportunities for spread as well and I have based the movement of counties on their scientific and medical advice. It is not just about the number of known cases, although that undoubtedly helps us identify hotspots, it’s also about how the people in our communities move about and interact. It’s about the amount of close quarters and shared touchpoints. It’s about the likelihood that one case will become 100 cases. We all want our communities to succeed but we are not all trained to see the nature of a pandemic.
      • As the leader of this Commonwealth, I am responsible for the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians and I cannot and will not let this virus ravage our communities. So I have to take seriously the advice of scientists and medical professionals, and that includes information laid out in the Carnegie Mellon University Risk-Based Decisions Support Tool Report. We plan to release this Report publicly, twice a week, to help Pennsylvanians understand the risk factors where they live.
      • I understand all residents are eager to get back to regular business operations and I am lifting restrictions, and will continue to do so, as quickly as I think it’s safe. But continued cooperation, a united front against this virus is going to allow us all to reduce those risk factors. Instead of being frustrated about being in a Red phase county, consider this, we have saved lives by what we have done. Through our social distancing efforts we have not only reversed a trajectory of exponential new case growth, we have now cut it in half, and some of the counties moving into the Yellow phase next week eliminated concerns that we had just two weeks ago.
      • Please keep up your efforts in the fight so we can keep moving more counties into the Yellow phase. Thank you again for your patience and your hard work.
    • Secretary Levine summary:
      • As of 12am this morning, 986 new cases bringing statewide total to 60,622 in all 67 counties. This includes 4,349 positive cases in healthcare workers and 12,937 positives cases among residents of 550 long-term care living facilities. Includes 2,369 positive cases in the food industry and 150 facilities. Tragically 4,342 deaths- all have been adults.
      • As the Governor indicated, across the state the rate of infection has been declining over the last 14 days. That is good news for PA as we continue to move forward to a carefully coordinated phased opening. Regionally, case counts are trending downwards over the past 14 days but we are still seeing pockets of outbreaks that are of concern. The good news is that the current load of COVID has peaked in PA, however some areas of the state have only just begun to experience meaningful declines.
      • However, while we are on the decline, now is not the time to stop our efforts. These efforts will help us prevent a resurgence of the virus and will help us keep moving in the right direction. Testing continues to increase statewide with nearly 120,000 tests performed from April 30- yesterday at labs reporting results. So far in the counties that have gone from Red to Yellow, we are altogether successfully managing testing, contact-tracing, case investigations, and outbreak responses. It is important to remember that as counties move from Red to Yellow, that we still need to be careful. Yellow means caution. Parts of the country that have moved with a more aggressive approach have actually seen a rise in cases. We are keeping a careful eye on other countries whose outbreaks have subsided to see if they return and some of them have had increased number of cases.
      • It seems hard to imagine that it has been just over 2 months since PA announced it’s first cases of COVID-19. As we open areas of the state, the department will continue to do all we can to monitor any resurgence of this virus in PA.


National News:

Washington Post:

The Latest

Other important news:


Senior Survey

  • Please help distribute a county-wide senior risk assessment survey created in coordination with Lancaster County Office of Aging, Age Friendly Lancaster City, the Meals on Wheels Network, and United Way of Lancaster County. Paper copies are attached or the online version is found below. Urgency is important but information will be looked at on rolling basis. We hope to have a strong push over the next two weeks:
    Spanish version:
    English version:


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!
      • 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.
    • Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Update
      • This week, the Small Business Administration released an updated FAQ fact sheet on the Payroll Protection Program (HERE) that provided some additional insights and guidance – so we wanted to try to provide some quick insights from that.
        Currently, there is still about $120 billion in PPP money available. While some businesses may have felt discouraged about the program and everyone’s personal situation is different, some businesses may find that it is still worth applying for a PPP loan today with a bank, credit union, CDFI or other non-bank lender who is still open to applications from new and exiting customers.
        Guidance this week clarified that businesses with a PPP loan under $2 million now automatically fit the SBA forgiveness criteria with respect to financial hardship. For those, you no longer have to prove that COVID-19 had a negative impact on you business, as the assumption is any small business has suffered. This doesn’t change other requirements of the program such as tracking how much went to qualifying expenses like payroll and rent, but proving financial hardship is no longer one of them. According to the guidelines, “Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.” Please reference question #46 in the FAQ for more insight and check in with your accountant or other advisors to further understand what this means for your business.
        There are considerations businesses should give thought to regarding PPP (forgiveness, timing of funds, lack of clarity, etc.), but you can learn more on the SBA website, by checking in with your bank or accountant, or by checking resources in section 2 of our website.




  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:





Hunger Free Lancaster Update:

  • Please see the document below for the HFLC update on USDA waiver extensions.

USDA Waiver Extension Update