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 Labor & Industry:

 

Dept. of State:

 

Dept. of Health:

  • “Department of Health Holds First Regional Contact Tracing Meeting in Southwestern Pennsylvania” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=839
  • “Department of Health Updates Dental Guidance for Treating Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=841
  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 511 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 73,405” : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=840
  • Lancaster Stats: 3,267 cases. 17,460 negative tests. (According to DOH website- updated today at 12:00pm)
    • # of Deaths: 310 deaths. (updated 11:59 pm on June 2, 2020.)
    • County Population: 543,557
    • Death Rate per 100,000 residents: 57
  • Daily Press Briefing:
    • Dr. Levine summary: “Stay Calm. Stay Alert. Stay Safe.”
      • As of 12am this morning, 511 new cases bringing statewide total to 73,405 Pennsylvanians who have tested positive for COVID in all 67 counties. Tragically, 5,742 deaths are not attributed to COVID. Statewide we are now estimating that 68% of people with COVID have recovered.
      • Today I am pleased to announce a partnership with Jewish Healthcare Foundation to establish the Southwest Contact-Tracing Consortium. This consortium brings together community business organizations and employers, FQHC’s and county human services organizations, foundations and health systems, and colleges and universities with public health officials to work to increase contact-tracing in southwest PA. This consortium is the first of many regional groups across the state that will help assess the number of contact-tracers needed in each area, help recruit and train them, and coordinate information and data to ensure consistency. To increase our contact-tracing, we have also been working with Temple University School of Public Health, during the month of June we will be training 200 students from Temple to help with contact-tracing. We have also been working with Penn State College of Medicine to recruit medical students to do contact-tracing and so far there are 46 medical students helping with this effort.
      • In addition to contact-tracing, our teams are working on increasing testing capacity throughout the state. We are very excited to announce a new partnership with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics to increase testing for residents living in areas where there are few testing sites. Over the next few weeks, 19 free new testing sites will open at Walmart locations across north central and north west PA and will be testing residents MWF from 7am-9am. Anyone who needs a test, can get a test. Anyone. The Dept. of Health and the Wolf Administration are dedicated to health equity and nondiscrimination. We are removing barriers to testing including cost to ensure the accessibility and availability of testing for all Pennsylvanians. Residents must register one day in advance through Quest, up to 50 patients can be tested per day. The first 5 drive-through testing sites will begin Friday, June 5th. These site locations will occur in Clarion county, Erie county, Montoursville, Clearfield, and Hermitage. Additional sites will be announced prior to their opening in the next few weeks. Residents can find a map of these locations as well as a link to Quest’s portal to register on our website www.health.pa.gov. We are taking every precaution to ensure that residents who are being tested don’t expose health care workers or the community to COVID. People are required to stay in their cars to get tested and then drive directly home to self-isolate if they are having symptoms. Patients will receive an email from Quest with their test results within 24-48 hrs and physicians will call any patient who has a positive test result. For information and additional questions about the testing process we have more information on our website.
      • 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:
      • PDE released guidance today about schools reopening- with students potentially congregating more, do you have any concerns about a potential spike in cases of MIS-C?
        • Sec. Levine: We are still learning about MIS-C, but it does not seem to be an active infection with COVID, it seems to be a post-infectious process several weeks after an infection, and it’s an inflammatory reaction throughout the body and we are still learning about what causes that and learning much more about it. I think that we will be monitoring for that but since we don’t actually know what seems to trigger it that seems hard to say.
      • How much PPE does the state have in reserves in preparation for a second wave?
        • We do have PPE in reserve but we are getting it in every day and to be honest with you, we are pushing that out primarily to long-term care centers and nursing homes. So we are really not keeping it at this time, I know the federal govt. is starting to stockpile, and we will discuss when we get to the point where we will actually stockpile some. But right now we are receiving it in, processing it, and pushing it out to those facilities.
      • What do you want to see schools and school districts prove that they are safe in the fall?
        • Everything we are doing is a collaboration with the Departments, including Sec. Rivera at the Dept. of Education. I don’t t know that the schools have to prove anything but we are going to need to monitor the situations really careful among our children and then in our communities in general for any spikes in the fall of COVID.
      • Will masks be required or suggested for students?
        • Masks will be suggested for students. There are some medical conditions where people can’t wear masks, but yes masks will be part of the process.
      • Can you clarify the third piece of the three criteria of advancing to a new color: about recent outbreaks?
        • We want to see if there is any significant outbreaks that might impact that as well as all the different numbers and modeling that we have. The key is what the trend has been over the past 2 weeks that will determine our decision whether any county goes from Yellow to Green. We want to see those trends going down as opposed to going up. If any county has significant trends upward, that would make it really challenging, if we are seeing the trends go downward over the two weeks then that is a very positive finding.
      • So are those the three main measurements that you are now using? Those three criteria?
        • So we are going to be putting out a scorecard on Friday that people can see exactly what we are looking at. We also take into consideration the testing availability in counties, and of course in some of the counties we are going to be increasing their testing capabilities, we are going to be looking at the contact-tracing ability to make sure we can identify any type of cluster and prevent large outbreaks, and we also look at the hospital and ICU capacity. So we look at all of those issues and we will be putting out a kind of scorecard so that people can see exactly what we are thinking of.
      • With the increase of testing are you encouraging asymptomatic people to get tested as well?
        • We are prioritizing testing among symptomatic individuals, but that could mean any symptoms. Classically that is going to mean fever, cough, and shortness of breath but we know now that there are lots of different symptoms that people have and we know that some people or very mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. So anybody can get a test, but we are prioritizing symptomatic individuals. What we are not yet doing, but would like to when we have a very accurate, rapid, point of care test is to do more population-based surveillance testing, that we are not yet doing. But if people feel that they have been exposed or they want to get a test, they can get a test.
      • Any idea of when those tests could be coming?
        • We are working with companies, both inside and outside of PA, but we are hopeful as we prepare for the fall that those tests will be available.
      • Is southeast PA still on track to move to the Yellow phase and what are the main parameters guiding that?
        • Yes, southeast PA is still on track to go to Yellow this Friday and the parameters are everything we just talked about.
      • There has been a lot of talk about the second wave happening in the Fall, do you have any idea of when it would happen, what it would look like, and what preparations PA is making?
        • For the first two questions, actually no we don’t know what that is going to look like and we don’t know when that is going to occur. We certainly know the normal course of influenza, in terms of starting in October, increasing Nov and Dec, and then peaking in Jan and Feb but corona is not influenza. We are anticipating a potential increase in the fall, Dr. Fauci has discussed that potential and we don’t know when or how that will occur, but we need to be ready. So to be ready, we want to have robust testing, we are hoping for the type of testing that I had discussed before a rapid, accurate, point of care test, in addition it is possible that antibody testing could be really helpful. We don’t know a lot about the meaning of those antibodies, we are hopeful that they are meaningful and offer at least some protection. We want extensive testing and extensive contact-tracing throughout the state and that will put us in the best position to prevent a substantial increase in cases in the fall.
      • Has there been discussions about eliminating Phases in the fall or is it going to continue?
        • We have had some preliminary discussions, but we are concentrating right now on counties that are still in Red right now that are going to Yellow on Friday, and then there are many counties that will need to go to Green eventually so that is where our attention mostly has been. The Governor has mentioned that the things I mentioned in preparation for the fall are critical because no one wants to issue Stay At Home orders any more.
      • Is there anything you want to say to the public to the people who say COVID is over and behind us?
        • So the Governor has said over and over again that we are in a new normal but COVID is not behind us. We still have COVID in PA, in this country, and throughout the world. There are significant outbreaks happening right now in South and Central America. That’s why I say “stay alert” now everyday because I think people need to stay alert, they need to stay vigilant that COVID is still here. We need to wear masks, we need to practice social distancing, we need to wash out hands, and we all need to stay alert.
      • What does the new normal look like after the Green phase and will the scorecard coming out on Friday reflect that?
        • The scorecard will be showing what counties need to do to go from Yellow to Green. The new normal is going to continue and that means wearing masks. We are going to want people to wear masks for the foreseeable future if they are going to go outside and encounter people. We are going to want people to wash their hands, I mean really well, and pay attention to that for the foreseeable future. We are going to want people to practice social distancing, as much as possible, for the foreseeable future. As we just said, COVID is not gone and we do not have anywhere near herd immunity, really anywhere in the world. We are going to need to continue to be vigilant about the risk of COVID for the foreseeable future really until there is a safe and effective vaccine that can be distributed.
      • Is the vaccine kind of a cornerstone of what you are looking for as a threshold?
        • Yes, so the way to get through this without an enormous number of cases and a loss of life is with a safe and effective vaccine and obviously the federal govt is working really hard on promoting that.

 

National News:

Washington Post:

The latest

  • Many of the first testing sites in the United States went up in areas that happened to be whiter and more affluent, despite the requests of black leaders. In the first months of the pandemic, health officials were focusing on risk factors such as travel, age and chronic health conditions — not race. It was time wasted to protect black Americans from the coronavirus, which today is three times more likely to kill someone in a black community than it is a white community. 
  • The pandemic has killed more than 107,000 Americans, and now the country is reeling from the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. If you want to protest, how can you protect yourself from the coronavirus while doing so? An infectious-disease physician shares advice on how to demonstrate in crowds of thousands and do your part to limit the spread at the same time.
  • The race to develop a successful vaccine is starting to look like the jockeying for technological dominance during the Cold War and the space race. Scientists see researchers, companies and countries that are working in rare unity against a common enemy — the virus — but health policy experts already see “vaccine nationalism” creeping in, and the winning nation would have a lot to gain. With the November election approaching, it's possible that a successful vaccine could also be a potent campaign tool. 
  • In an interview Tuesday night, Anthony S. Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will show some degree of effectiveness. The question is how long that effectiveness will last. “There’s never a guarantee ever that you’re going to get an effective vaccine,” Fauci said. “I’m concerned a little bit more about … the durability of response than I am about whether” the vaccine will provide some protection.

Other important news

 

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

 

  • 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
    • INFORMATIONAL WEBINARS/TRAINING:
      • PANDEMIC SAFETY MANAGER TRAININGJune 10
        This program is based on the latest science being produced out of the CDC, NIH, NIOSH, FDA and DHS. The focus of the educational session is to provide senior leaders, safety directors, human resource professionals and others responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces with important science-based information. Participants will receive a certification of completion following the training course.
        REGISTER NOW
      • Workplace Considerations & Compliance
        This webinar featured Steve Matzura and Austin Wolfe of McNees Wallace & Nurick as they discussed workplace safety measures, employer mandates related to building safety, cleaning measures and employee requirements, and OSHA guidance and compliance.
        ACCESS NOW
      • Workplace Considerations: Practical Strategies for your Workplace and Workforce
        Learn more about change management, how to create new norms, develop effective communication strategies, tips & tricks for outfitting your space and workforce and how to navigate new realities and challenges of the workplace in alignment with CDC and State guidelines as Pennsylvania prepares to reopen.
        ACCESS NOW
      • Maintaining A Compliant Workplace & Workforce Under COVID-19 Restrictions
        This webinar will cover steps employers are taking to comply with the Governor's orders and the implications to the workplace and workforce. It will specifically address: 1) what do employers need to do to maintain a safe working environment; 2) what are the OSHA, whistleblower, and workers' compensation considerations; and 3) what are the employees rights from a non-union and union perspective (e.g. protected concerted activity)
        ACCESS NOW

 

 

  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:

 

 

 

 

Joining Forces for Children:

 

Business Resource:

  • “Rely on RecoveryLancaster.com to provide you with pathways to emergency funding, free personal protective equipment, pandemic-related educational information, and trusted advice. The goal is to help your business operate safely, and to fuel your resolve to chart a new course forward.”

 

PAVOAD:

  • Robert Wood Johnson health equity principles
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced new health equity principles aimed at guiding the efforts of state and local officials to create an equitable and lasting post-pandemic recovery. The Health Equity Principles for State and Local Leaders in Responding to, Reopening, and Recovering from COVID-19 (5 pages, PDF), addresses health equity issues that have been highlighted by the pandemic, including the disproportionate suffering of certain communities and the inextricable link between personal health and the health of the larger community. The brief recommends efforts to strengthen and broaden data collection so that policy makers and public officials are better able to target resources to those most in need; include local residents in policy and funding decisions; establish teams dedicated to promoting racial equity in response and recovery efforts; proactively address existing policy gaps; and invest in public health and social infrastructure, including paid sick and family leave, broadband, and Medicaid expansion. Download the document here.
Melina Godshall
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