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.

Governor Wolf:


State Government:

General CoVid resources:

Dept of Health:

  • “Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, 1,599 Positives Bring Statewide Total to 38,652” :
  • Link to Statewide map of testing sites:
  • COVID-19 Data: (now available at zip code-level data)
  • Lancaster Stats: 1,452 cases. 6,549 negative tests. 74 deaths. (According to Dept of Health website)
  • Daily Press Briefings:
    • Secretary Levine summary: “Stay Calm. Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
      • As of 12 am this morning, we have 1,599 new cases bringing statewide total to 38,652 in all 67 counties. Approx 2,160 of total cases are in healthcare workers. Approx 6,153 are associated with 418 long-term care living facilities. 1,492 deaths- all have been adults.
      • As of noon today, hospitals are reporting that approx. 2,746 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID. 662 are on a ventilator. Across our healthcare system, approx. 47% of hospital beds, 40% of ICU beds, and nearly 70% of ventilators are still available.
      • If you need 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
    • Gov. Wolf summary:
      • Today we reached the seven week mark since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in PA. Many of us are having negative feelings and they are coming in two main forms: mainly stress, but also coming from anxiety. Many Pennsylvanians are feeling stress from the economy- we had a record surge of more than 1.6 million applicants for unemployment compensation, our system wasn’t built for that, and it has frustrated many people. I have heard the struggles and we have been doing all we can to address the struggles.
      • Let me address the stressors:
        • If you are struggling with food: Feeding PA at and Hunger Free PA at are hubs of info for where people can get assistance locally.
        • If you are struggling with utilities, the PUC offers a list of resources
        • If you are struggling with another stressor or unsure where to go, dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to #898211 to be connected to a local resource specialist through the United Way or visit
      • As I said earlier, you also might be struggling with anxiety. Many of our typical ways of dealing with anxiety have been eliminated and we might be hearing a lot of scary info from the news or social media. All of these things will contribute to feeling more anxious and we need to work to combat them as much as we can. We need to look for new ways to combat anxiety like going for a midday walk or setting up a virtual happy hour with coworkers. Most of all we need to reach out to one another and talk about our negative feelings- it helps to know you are not the only one feeling isolated and exhausted. So let me be the first one to assure you, you are not.
        • If you are having trouble finding ways to cope with stress or anxiety and you are not sure who to reach out to, text “PA” to 741741 or call 1-855-284-2494
      • The Office of Advocacy and Reform will be launching a new Facebook page next Friday that will make other resources available to help reduce toxic stress and anxiety, as well as resources to help prevent elder abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence while we are under Stay at Home orders.
      • We are all in this fight together and we all have a part to play.
    • Reporters’ Questions:
      • Senator Pat Toomey released his own plan for reopening PA, in it he calls for most of PA to resume some level of economic activity immediately since health systems have not been overwhelmed. Does May 8th remain the earliest date some regions of PA could see reduced restrictions and are there ongoing conversations about changes to the timeline?
        • Gov: May 8th is still the time when we start the reopening process. Again, some sectors are already beginning to reopen. Senator Toomey and I talk all the time, and in some areas we don’t agree, but we both trying to do exactly the same thing and that is make sure that PA gets back on its feet as quickly as possible and at the same time, keeping Pennsylvanians as safe as possible.
      • What is your reaction to Senator McConnell’s comments regarding states filing for bankruptcy? What does PA need from the federal govt to avoid bankruptcy?
        • Gov: I disagree with Senator McConnell. And we need the federal govt to do what it’s doing and that is provide funds to help states meet the COVID pandemic.
      • There was some confusion about the benchmark for counties to meet for the region to reopen
        • Levine: Yes, we did put clarification on our website at to see the exact criteria we are using. But I want to make a point- that metric is just one piece of the puzzle. We will be looking at many different factors for the reopening.
      • Several places are offering antibody testing- is this something the state is looking at doing and have you been in contact with those already offering the test, in state, to find out how many people have antibodies?
        • Levine: We do get the info about the antibody tests into our data system, NEDSS, but of course there are a lot of different antibody tests. Some have been approved by the FDA and a lot have not. Our lab director is looking at these tests and when the time is right we will chose one and start to do that testing in our lab. It’s really going to be more of a surveillance tool.
      • How effective is it in letting people know their risk for getting the virus?
        • Levine: It is not clear how effective, it is possible these antibodies are partially effective but we don’t really know and there are lots of new things to learn.
      • How many more people will the state need to hire to do contact-tracing in PA?
        • Levine: So our public health nurses will be taking the lead as they always do. We are also going to involve hospitals and health systems as well as hiring individuals. We are also going to be looking at what specific technology can be helping us. We will also be working with our county and municipal health depts.
      • With the regional approach to reopening is there concern about traveling from region to region? Or to neighboring states?
        • Gov: This is why the objective criteria has to be weighed with the subjective criteria. When people start moving around, the numbers might change and they might change quickly, so we have to be ready to retrace our steps if that happens. We are going to do our best with reopening but as you point out, movement between regions may change things.
      • Can you give a rundown of today’s phone call with the Vice President?
        1. Gov: It was some things the federal govt was doing in terms of testing and how to increase testing capacity for states. Some of the best things, was what we learned from other governors and what they are doing that has been helpful for them so it was a helpful meeting.


National News:

Washington Post:


Recurring Resources:

Join us for a webinar featuring Steve Matzura and Austin Wolfe of McNees Wallace & Nurick as they discuss workplace safety measures, employer mandates related to building safety, cleaning measures and employee requirements, and OSHA guidance and compliance.


      • Beyond PPP: Loan Forgiveness & Cash Flow Strategies
        When: Tuesday, April 28 from 3-4pm

In this session, you’ll hear from Ryan Hurst and Bethany Novis, partners in RKL’s Consulting Services Group, who will provide insights and strategies into putting your company in the best possible position for loan forgiveness amid current ambiguity and making informed business decisions around your workforce, revenue planning and operating expenses to protect your company’s short and long-term success.


  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health:


  • 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. In these times of uncertainty, our community seeks answers, reassurance and trusted sources of information. Creating this new site brings together multiple trusted voices from agencies to individuals providing daily updates of information needed to thrive amidst our daily strife. Below are just a few examples of what you will find.
  • United Way has built out a resource map for county-wide COVID-related services from food to housing to employment opportunities. The map is geographically based so people can quickly see where there is what they need, when it is open, and how to get there.