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 Human Services:


Dept. of State:


Dept. of Health:


National News:

Washington Post:

The latest

  • The United States crossed a sad threshold last night: More than 100,000 people in the country have died of the coronavirus. It’s about 20 times the number killed in homicides in that length of time and about twice the number who perish from strokes. Yet the demise of these people has had strangely little public impact in a country with a long history of honoring its fallen and committing to common cause in their memory. (Scroll down to read about the lives of those who died.)
  • The Trump administration mishandled the initial distribution of a scarce COVID-19 treatment, in some cases delivering it to the wrong hospitals, to sites with no patients eligible for it, and to facilities without the needed refrigeration to store it, according to nine current and former senior administration officials. Demand for remdesivir has soared since a clinical trial showed that patients with severe cases recovered faster after taking it. The drug is the only approved coronavirus treatment and is in extremely short supply, so doctors say any delay could be catastrophic.
  • Researchers are asking why the death toll from COVID-19 has apparently been lower in Asia than in Western Europe and North America. Parts of Asia did react quickly to the outbreak and implemented strict measures early on, but scientists are also looking at other possibilities: differences in genetics and immune system responses, separate virus strains and regional contrasts in obesity levels and general health.
  • Health experts encourage everyone wear a mask while in public because the coronavirus is so extremely contagious, and people who don't have symptoms can still spread it. But some businesses are banning masks. At a Kentucky gas station, no one is allowed inside if they are wearing one. Near Los Angeles, a flooring store encourages hugs and handshakes. The owner of a campground in Wisconsin vowed to treat clients sporting masks as she would “a robbery in progress.” Businesses are fashioning themselves as fortresses of the resistance in the mask culture war.
  • As 2.1 million more people filed for unemployment claims last week (bringing the total to around 40 million over 10 weeks), the White House has decided not to release economic projections this summer. Critics in both parties say the White House should publish its economic projections in line with the precedent set by prior administrations, regardless of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The Obama administration continued to release these numbers during the Great Recession, although they were unflattering.
  • The Post asked three public health experts what they and their families will — and won’t — do this summer, and what precautions they will take. “Yes, we have to get back to having fun,” said one. “But we need to do it very carefully and differently until we have this infection under control.” Pools? Planes? Camps? Here's what they're planning for their summers.
  • Researchers say the constant stream of data from fitness devices, like Oura rings, Fitbits and Apple Watches, could eventually be used as an early-warning system that can spot symptoms before you even know you're sick. Read about the initial findings from two studies that our tech columnist says are a small step in the fight against the coronavirus — and a giant leap for wearable tech. Do you wear a device?

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:




  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:






  • FEMA’s Exercise Starter Kit
    • On May 12th, 2020, FEMA released an Exercise Starter Kit. The kit is designed to help organizations facilitate their own exercises, such as workshops and tabletop exercises, to examine their readiness for a range of threats and hazards. It is designed to help organizations across the whole community facilitate their own conversations in a virtual workshop format around planning considerations for reconstituting operations during COVID-19. This workshop, which is intended to be guided by a facilitator within your own organization, provides a framework to assess your current status and begin planning to reconstitute operations. Each organization is unique and should establish its own criteria for successful reconstitution. The suggested discussion questions focus on four themes: People, Facilities, Messaging and Communications, Resources and Logistics.
  • CDC updates and guidance
  • IRS, Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    • The IRS has issued a guidance indicating that, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, employers can grant paid leave for an employee to take care of their health needs related to COVID-19 or to care for their family members. This relief helps ensure employees are not forced to choose between being paid or staying home to care for themselves, a child or other family member. Read more here.
  • Webinar: Resilience at Risk: Cities, Crises, and Confronting a Changed World
  • Information for Summer Food Service Program
    • The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced the sites where children can get free nutritious meals through the 2020 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the program, which PDE administers. Many students who receive free or reduced cost meals during the school year through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs lack access to healthy and nutritious food during the summer months and are at risk of hunger. Limited access to nutritious food during the summer can have an impact on learning all year long and can make students more susceptible to illness and other health issues. There are several ways to locate a participating summer meal site:
    • A.  Call the "211" phone number for the national call center.
      B.  Call "1.866.3Hungry" or "1.877.8Hambre" to find the place and time of free meals.
      C.  Log onto for locations and times where free meals are to be served.
      D.  Text "FOOD" to “877877” to find out the nearest SFSP site near your location.
      E.  Log onto the Range App, which is used to locate places and times where free meals are served.
    • For additional information on the Summer Food Service Program, visit PDE's website or call 800-331-0129.
  • Gov. Wolf issues green phase order, guidance on dining and professional sports
    • As more counties move to yellow and green, Governor Tom Wolf has issued an order to elaborate on the reopening process for green phase counties and guidance on outdoor dining in yellow counties, dining in green counties, and professional sports in yellow counties. Read full article here.