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

 

Governor:

 

State Government:

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

 

Dept. of Education:

 

Dept. of Human Services:

 

Dept. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 780 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 69,417” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=829
  • Lancaster Stats: 3,031 cases. 15,012 negative tests. (According to Dept. of Health website- updated today at 12:00pm)
    • # of Deaths: 282 deaths. (updated 11:59 pm on May 26, 2020.)
    • County Population: 543,557
    • Death Rate per 100,000 residents: 51.9
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Gov. Wolf summary:
      • We are already seeing some of the results of our efforts, new case rates are declining even as most other states have plateaued or are increasing, more Pennsylvanians are engaging in activities outside the home, testing in more than 300 locations across the state, in almost every county, totaling nearly 80,000 Pennsylvanians per week, and a state program that is investigating every new case of COVID, identifying the contacts and then those contacts are followed for 14 days. As of today we are tracing 2,000 Pennsylvanians in addition to the work being done by county and municipal health depts.
      • Through DCED’s manufacturing call to action portal and critical medical supply portal, businesses connected with each other to work collaboratively toward the common goal of assisting Pennsylvanians during this pandemic. Many of these production efforts are still ongoing and are continuing to help us build our stockpile in anticipation of a resurgence.
    • Sec. Levine: “Stay Calm. Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
      • As of 12am this morning, 780 new cases bringing statewide total to 69,417 Pennsylvanians who have tested positive for COVID in all 67 counties. Tragically 5,265 deaths. Important to remember that while our total number of cases will continue to increase, new positive cases being reported each day continue to decline, this is good news for PA especially as we have added more testing. Regionally, we are seeing some fluctuations of case counts but overall they are trending downward. Statewide, we are now estimating that 62% of people with COVID have recovered.
      • As I mentioned yesterday, we are carefully watching the MIS-C syndrome in children. We now have 13 confirmed cases in children, ages 11 months to 18 years of age, and 10 cases are currently under investigation.
      • At the Dept. of Health, we are continuing our efforts to find and distribute the PPE to those providing direct care to Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by COVID. To date we have distributed nearly 5 million N95 masks, nearly 300,000 hospital gowns, more than 1.6 million procedure masks, nearly 2 million sets of gloves, and nearly 180,000 face shields, and in addition more than 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. These critical materials have gone to hospitals, long-term care living facilities, counties, and state agencies like PA State Police and the Dept of Corrections. Thanks so much to PA businesses who are also working to support our efforts either by supplying first responders with PPE or supplying other businesses with the equipment they need to go back to work. It is truly inspiring to see how our community in PA has come together.
      • Daily Reminders:
        • 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:
      • As summer arrives, people are going to be traveling- what advice do you have beyond avoid large gatherings, wear masks, and the rest of your daily reminders?
        • Sec. Levine: As we have been saying, as we progress all of our counties to the Yellow zone at the end of next week and then on into the Green zone, we still want people to be very careful and very vigilant about their exposure to COVID. We want people to social distance, we want people to continue to wear masks, to wash their hands and to limit their exposure as much as they possibly can.
      • Should parents in the Yellow zone allow their children to have play dates and under what circumstances would that be okay?
        • Sec. Levine: In the Yellow zone, I would really try to limit something like play dates. I think that would be more appropriate for the Green zone. We know that sometimes there will be some interactions but overall, if counties are still in Yellow, and Yellow means caution, then we want people to maintain that type of caution in terms of their daily activities.
      • What has the contact-tracing team for the state found out about people who are testing positive in the last few weeks? Are there any commonalities?
        • Sec. Levine: So most have not attended any particular large gatherings or have done significant amount of travel, I don’t have specific granular details about specific cases. Many of the cases are associated with outbreaks, we talked about long-term care living facilities, others would include those positive cases in the food industry, food manufacturers, processing, etc. or in stores. But there is still community spread of COVID in PA and that is how many people get exposed.
      • Restaurants, bars, hair dressers, and youth sports teams understand they can open, expand services, and begin practices with guidelines tomorrow in the Green counties- but are asking for specific guidelines. Do you have a document outlining detailed information for the Green phase?
        • Gov. Wolf: The guidelines I believe will be out today, and if there are things, in those guidelines, that leave some ambiguity or some questions, we will also post up to date FAQ’s and if there are still issues I want to hear about them.
      • Your guidance indicates that you want people to continue wearing masks in public- can you clarify whether a business that serves the public is required to refuse entry to customers who are not wearing masks, in the Green phase counties, and how is the mask requirement changed for those counties?
        • Gov. Wolf: I think we have left it up to the individual businesses to make that decision. It’s their property, it’s their business and they have the right to demand their patrons, like the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”, I guess it’s like an add-on to that.
      • What’s next after counties go Green?
        • Gov. Wolf: Well, that’s a great question. I think for all of us there is a new normal and none of us at this point can tell. I mean, the hope is that we will get a vaccine soon or therapies; companies are talking about working feverishly to develop therapies to address the need here. So, we are all waiting, there is a lot of uncertainty. We don’t have enough testing yet, I think we have bought time, which was the idea of what we have done over the past 2 months, to buy time to allow our healthcare systems to develop the capacities that they need. As to what the future beyond Green holds at this point, I think we are all still working at that. Dr. Levine, do you have anything to add?
        • Sec. Levine: As the Governor was saying, this is going to be a new normal. We expect for the foreseeable future that we will recommend that people wear masks when they are outside, that they continue to be really, really careful about washing their hands, that they continue to practice social distancing, and just be careful about their exposure to this virus. There are many, many research studies about different treatments. We do have a treatment, remdesivir, that is an intravenous treatment used for very ill patients in the hospital with COVID. I know that there are many clinical trials going on about future treatments. The federal govt has been talking about potential vaccines that are in development- we will see, sometimes those things take time but I think that that would certainly be a remarkable development to protect people from the virus. There has been discussion that there might be a resurgence in the fall, Dr. Fauci has said in the last day or so that maybe or maybe not, we will have to see. But what we are going to do is to be prepared. We are going to continue to be testing and to continue to expand our testing, we have done that, we are going to continue to expand it further. We have an aspirational testing plan which would require a development of a rapid, accurate point of care test that could be done very rapidly, even by a lay person or at home, that would be very helpful. And we will continue to do investigations of positive tests, our contact tracing, appropriate isolation and quarantine and try to keep any outbreaks under control. I think that is the future right now in the Green zone.
      • We have heard from many viewers that they are concerned that they will not receive their ballots on time, can they vote at the polls if they registered for a mail-in ballot and did not receive it?
        • Gov. Wolf: I think they have to get what’s called a provisional ballot if they have applied and have not received the ballot, they can vote. If they have received a ballot and voted by mail but are concerned that is hasn’t been counted, they have to take a provisional ballot at the polling place. But we will have someone confirm that.
      • What is your biggest regret or decision or policy choice that you would change thus far in your Administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis?
        • Gov. Wolf: That’s a good question. I think we are too early on in the process to start talking about regrets. I think down the road, when we start talking about this, there will inevitably be things that we will say ‘maybe I should have done this’ or ‘maybe I should have done that’ but right now I think, like every other decision-maker around the world, each of us is trying to do what we can to keep people safe and we are making decisions on the run as the decision time comes up and we are doing the best we can. Down the road I think we will all be able to look back and say I think there might be a better road map.

 

National News:

Washington Post:

The latest

Other important news

 

Local News:

 

Commissioners:

  • Press Conference.  You can view the Commissioner’s weekly press conference from last week here.  https://www.facebook.com/LancasterOnline/videos/789451514918416/
  • Meetings. We have taken multiple significant steps toward reopening in the last several weeks, including passage of an approx. $33m economic recovery package for small businesses, a $23m package for a partnership with LGH for ramped up testing, and a nearly $1m package for testing of all nursing home residents and staff in the county as well as increased infection control training for them.

 

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

 

 

 

  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:

 

 

 

 

Extras:

Submitted by one of our readers:

Melina Godshall
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