Each day a summary of news and information that has been gathered from community partners and credible news sites will be posted.
- “Gov. Wolf: State Continues Phased Reopening with 16 More Counties Set to Go Green on June 5” : https://www.governor.pa.gov/?p=3612711
- “Gov. Wolf Signs Budget to Sustain Education, Support Communities Amid Pandemic” : https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-budget-to-sustain-education-support-communities-amid-pandemic/
- “Yellow Phase Orders Updated to Include Eight Additional Counties Moving on May 29” : https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/yellow-phase-orders-updated-to-include-eight-additional-counties-moving-on-may-29/
General COVID resources: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-COVID-19/
Dept. of Health:
- “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 693 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 70,735” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=831
- Link to Statewide map of testing sites: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Symptoms-Testing.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0q72qATsxBX9zL0KMErYO_OQZutSgVMY1I4fEEa8-3zcHN_7WixZ-VFAY
- COVID-19 Data: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx
- Lancaster Stats: 3,105 cases. 15,609 negative tests. (According to Dept. of Health website- updated today at 12:00pm)
- # of Deaths: 292 deaths. (updated 11:59 pm on May 28, 2020.)
- County Population: 543,557
- Death Rate per 100,000 residents: 53.7
- Daily Press Briefings:
- Gov. Wolf summary:
- Before we get to the coronavirus, I just want to make a comment about what happened out in Minneapolis and I want to make sure I share my condolences, and the condolences of everyone in my administration, with the family of George Floyd and it reminds us of what we need to do here in PA as well. This happened in Minnesota, a different state, but each and every one of us has a stake in making sure our society is fair and we treat everybody equally. If some of us are not free, if some of us are not treated equally, then all of us are in jeopardy. We need to do this every day, we need to recognize this in every corner of our society. Again, even though this happened in Minnesota, it has relevance for us here. Racism is not ‘right there’, it’s not ‘right here’, and we have to do everything to ensure that the commonwealth of PA is welcoming to everybody.
- Today, the first PA counties moved into the Green phase. Next week at 12:01am on Friday, June 5th, 16 more counties will move from Yellow to Green: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland. And every county that is currently in the Red phase is slated to move into the Yellow phase at the same time: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
- We will continue to monitor these counties, we will keep talking with local officials so that everyone feels comfortable as we move toward reopening. We have selected these based on medical and epidemiological experts and we have been able to do this because of the precautions taken by Pennsylvanians. We have increased our testing up to a high point a couple days ago, 13,000 tests per day, at more than 300 sites across the state. We have more test sites than any other state in the country and we keep figuring out ways to open more. We have also expanded our contact-tracing to allow a case investigation rate of every single new, diagnosed case and because of this, we are able to take important steps to return to a sense of normalcy as we remain careful and vigilant.
- Counties moving from Red to Yellow or Yellow to Green will see more businesses reopen and more activities resume, but it is important to act with caution especially as we reopen. Let’s remember how quickly this virus spread back in March when it first arrived, we were not yet taking precautions, we weren’t wearing masks, exercising social distancing, or staying home, we needed to buy time and we did that. But before we bought time, before we were successful, we saw 6 weeks of exponential growth of the virus. When we isolated ourselves to limit the likelihood of transmissions, we succeeded in reducing our new case count and we succeed in reducing the rate of hospitalizations. We also increased our testing and that helped, but we cannot isolate ourselves forever and we still don’t have enough tests or a vaccine. So we need to continue to be careful.
- At our peak, our daily new case count topped 2,000 and that was back in March. Now, even with increased testing and reopened businesses and activities, our daily count is now below 600 and our contract-tracing capabilities are growing daily which is allowing for an increasing number of Pennsylvanians to go about their daily activities without knowingly spreading or contracting COVID-19. All of this wont be enough unless all of us continue to take simple but important precautions to prevent the spread of and outbreaks of cases.
- Again, one of these precautions is wearing masks. For some reason, I don’t know why, wearing masks has become politicized even though scientific studies have shown that it actually reduces the likelihood of spreading COVID. This means fewer infections, fewer infections means fewer outbreaks and fewer spikes in cases. It will mean that our lives can return more quickly to the normalcy that we are all look forward to.
- We also need employers to be responsible and diligent. Most of them have been and I thank them for dong their part in keeping their workers, their customers, and their families safe. We need you to keep being responsible, if employees are sick, encourage them to stay home, and notify your workers and take steps if their fellow workers are sick. If all of us take the simple steps of wearing a mask, staying home when we are sick, and practicing social distancing tactics we are going to all work together to succeed in eliminating the spread of COVID and a huge contribution to getting our Commonwealth back on track.
- Secretary Levine summary:
- As of 12am this morning, we have 693 new cases bringing statewide total to 70,735 Pennsylvanians who have tested positive for COVID in all 67 counties. Tragically 5,464 deaths have been attributed to COVID. Statewide, we are now estimating that 64% of people with COVID have recovered.
- As more counties move into the Green and Yellow phases, we all have an important job- we need to stay alert. Please, be alert to your surroundings when you leave your house, plan how you are going to maintain social distancing when you go to places where there is going to be a lot of people, if you can't social distance please consider whether you really have to go, and just like you remember your keys or your cellphone, add a mask and hand sanitizer to that list. When you get together with friends or family, try to stay outdoors as much as possible as the weather is getting nicer. Make sure your children have a mask and know how to properly use it, it is going to be harder for them to keep social distancing but its important to keep them safe even while they are playing. While we can resume some of our regular activities, it is important to be alert to the fact that COVID hasn’t gone away. Be aware and alert, and that will keep you and your family, and really all of us, safe.
- 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.
- Gov. Wolf summary:
- A wave of protests and riots over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, could lead to surge of new coronavirus infections, officials warned.
- “The forecast is for very large protests this weekend, with a lot of people coming in from across the state and around the country and gathering in large groups. That’s almost sure to have an impact on furthering spread.” Minnesota's health commissioner told reporters Thursday, hours before a crowd set fire to a Minneapolis police station. Most people protested peacefully and many wore masks, but the unrest has spread to cities in multiple states, injecting chaos into what was supposed to be an orderly transition out of quarantine.
- A Washington Post map based on cellphone data shows that people in most parts of the country are leaving home more often than they did last month, though still less than before the outbreak. Habits vary widely by state, and a breakdown of the data shows that some businesses, such as fine-dining restaurants, are still widely shunned. Find out how much people are moving around in your state.
- Housebound or not, “we’re over it,” our Style desk wrote. “The masks, the kids, the Lysol. Over it. The tragic hair, the diminished hygiene, the endless construction next door, the Zoom meetings from hell, the mind games with the unemployment office, the celibacy, the short tempers and long evenings, the looking forward to the mail, the feeling guilty about the mail carrier working double time, the corporate compassion pushing products we didn’t need even before the world went funky and febrile. The now-more-than-everness, the president-said-whatness. Over it.” But here's the catch: The virus isn't over with us.
- Imagine you're a dentist, working with your hands in strangers' mouths, your face inches from theirs, in a mist of saliva and whatever pathogens that saliva might contain. As the country attempts to reopen, dentists and hygienists are trying to figure out how to safely resume a job that could bring them into direct contact with the coronavirus any time someone schedules a cleaning.
More important news
- The Trump administration abruptly removed language from its reopening guidance that had warned against singing in church choirs — a practice believed to spread the virus with extreme efficiency.
- Many churches are still shut down, and some of them are transforming their empty naves into food distribution centers.
- Lawmakers are debating a national “return-to-work” bonus that would pay people who move off unemployment assistance.
- Children suffering from a mysterious syndrome linked to COVID-19 may be experiencing a lethal ‘cytokine storm,’ an exaggerated inflammatory reaction, doctors theorize.
- Puerto Rico is facing hunger, scarcity and an economic collapse after strict stay-at-home orders were imposed in the American territory.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs has drastically scaled back the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients after a study raised serious safety issues with the much-hyped drug.
- PennLive: “Pa. lawmakers move emergency coronavirus aid, short-term budget bills to Gov. Wolf” : https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/05/pa-lawmakers-move-emergency-coronavirus-aid-short-term-budget-bills-to-gov-wolf.html
- 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
- Lancaster Chamber:
- Website updated daily: https://www.lancasterchamber.com/Apps/Pages/coronavirusnews
- “Important Updates Related to the Lancaster County Economic Recovery Plan” : https://www.lancasterchamber.com/Apps/Pages/page-slug-92504?formEntryId=21836
- Local Govt.:
- Mayor Danene Sorace is hosting daily briefings on Facebook every night at 5pm
- The County has a COVID site to keep up to date with their response: https://co.lancaster.pa.us/1296/Coronavirus-Disease-COVID-19
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health COVID-19 Data: online dashboard with COVID-19 testing and patient data. The site is accessible from the LGHealth.org homepage (click “data” in the top red banner), or at the link below. Data is updated each morning.
- WellSpan Health System:
- Meals: Hunger Free Lancaster
- Hunger Free Lancaster County: https://hungerfreelancaster.org/resources/important-resources-during-COVID-19/
- Resource to find childcare providers with waivers: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Coronavirus-Child-Care.aspx