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 Health:


National News:

Washington Post:

The latest

  • Coronavirus patients are pouring into hospitals in hot spots such as Florida, Arizona, California and Texas, where hospitals are adding new ICU beds and special airflow systems as virus hospitalizations set records almost daily. The surge in patients is creating a major shortage in protective equipment, and forcing health-care workers to reuse the PPE they already have. Nurses say they are using N95 masks for weeks at a time. “A lot people thought once the alarm was sounded back in March, surely the federal government would fix this, but that hasn’t happened,” said Deborah Burger, a California nurse and president of National Nurses United. Read more about the shortage of medical supplies here.
  • With tears in his eyes, the director of the World Health Organization pleaded Thursday for international unity to fight the pandemic, after President Trump announced his intention to quit the organization. “How difficult is it for humans to unite to fight a common enemy that’s killing people indiscriminately?” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asked. “Can’t we understand that the divisions or the cracks between us actually are to the advantage of the virus?
  • State leaders and laboratories say that they have been confused and feel unprepared by the Trump administration's erratic approach to testing. They report that they don't know who is in charge, nor do they know which agencies to contact about supply issues. “It is increasingly unlikely the nation will be prepared with sufficient testing capacity to meet the health and economic needs of the country by late summer or even into the fall,” lawmakers wrote in a report.
  • Email correspondence released through a public records request shows how states that raced to reopen allowed businesses to write their own rules when it happened. The emails also show governors' thinking as they have pledged not to shut back down, even as cases spike in states such as Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Health experts in these states say that concerns from industries overpowered the health advice they were giving to implement more prevention measures.
  • As the Trump administration is pushing for schools to reopen fully this fall, schools themselves are pushing back. Most are planning to not fully reopen, but use a hybrid of in-class learning and instruction from home. Even in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis's administration ordered that schools open five days a week, superintendents responded quickly. Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said that he “will never compromise the health” of students, teachers and staff. Read the latest on the push to reopen schools full-time.
  • Over the past few weeks, more states and cities have implemented mask requirements. But many people have been unwilling to comply, and retail workers have been pulled into the growing culture war between those who wear masks and those who refuse. Mixed messaging and politicization have turned a public health safeguard into a lightning-rod issue, and workers have been berated, even assaulted, by aggressive anti-maskers.

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:
  • Lancaster Chamber:
    • Website updated daily:
    • NEW:
      • Pandemic Contingency Planning [WEBINAR]
        As businesses reopen and adjust to operations in the green phase, what can we expect as we progress and how can we plan for the future in the event of a second wave or future pandemic?
        This webinar will help business owners, managers and HR professionals implement a “Pandemic Contingency Plan.” The webinar will cover key topics your plan should include involving HR policies, operational procedures, contracts, leases, insurance policies and communications strategies.


 Recovery Lancaster:

  • UPDATE: Info
    •, a website stemming from the Economic Recovery Plan for Lancaster County by the Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, and the County of Lancaster, is your hub for information to get your business back on track.
    • Quick notes to keep you updated on this resource:
      • Grant Opportunity Available Starting June 15 - Are You Prepared?
        Are you a business with 20 employees or fewer? If so, you can apply for a grant starting next week. The grant is not first-come, first-serve. Grants are awarded based on a variety of criteria. Get the details and see what you have to do to prepare with our FAQ sheet and our What You Need To Know guide.
        LEARN MORE
      • Get Your FREE PPE KIT NOW!
        Are You A Business With 100 Employees or Fewer? You can now sign up for a free kit that includes a mix of personal protective equipment, as well as some cleaning and disinfecting materials. The sign up is simple, easy, and you will get the kit delivered within days of your order!
        GET YOUR KIT
      • Best Practices Are Now Available
        From restaurants to retail, to accommodations to construction, we are offering a variety of video and powerpoint resources to help walk through what your business needs right now to succeed.



Summer Learning Program: Online Learning - July 9, 2020 - August 7, 2020

  • This summer learning enrichment program is designed to offer virtual academic skill-building in math and literacy to approximately 600 Lancaster County students PreK through Grade 8 using a high-quality curriculum and engaging instructional materials developed by BellXcel. This program, offered through the Lancaster Partnership for Learning Equity, is committed to providing learners with the digital access and support needed to prevent academic slide over the summer and to prepare them to participate fully in virtual learning opportunities in the future


 Eviction Prevention Network

  • Rental assistance and eviction prevention services are available across the county through the Eviction Prevention Network in partnership with the city and county government and county redevelopment authority. There are two pathways for landlords and tenants to get help, detailed at


MidPenn: Economic Impact Payments

  • Quick update on the Economic Impact Payments ($1200  stimulus payments to individuals administered by the IRS).
  • The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities estimates that approximately 449,000 adults and children in Pennsylvania have not yet received the EIP because the IRS does not have information for these individuals. In order to receive the EIP in 2020, they will need to enter information into the IRS “non-filer” form by October 15th. In addition to the people who still need to provide information to the IRS, there continue to be a significant number of individuals for whom the IRS should have information (i.e., people who receive Social Security benefits or have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return) who haven’t yet received their payment
  • Rebecca Stavish and I are available to help clients with EIP issues, including assisting them with the non-filer form and troubleshooting other issues that may be preventing them from receiving the benefit. We want to ensure that the people in our program area receive this benefit, but we need your help to make sure we’re connecting with everyone who needs our assistance. Please check with your clients to make sure that they have received the EIP and please spread the word among your community contacts that MidPenn is available to offer assistance with EIP issues. I’ve attached a flyer that you’re welcome to share. Clients can obtain EIP help by calling our general intake number, 800-326-9177.



  • $10 Million Available to Support Pennsylvania’s Food System

CARES Act Funding Available for Eligible Businesses in Low-to-Moderate Income Areas. The Fresh Food Financing Initiative COVID-19 Relief Fund — funded through the CARES Act — is available to for-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities impacted by COVID-19, including grocery stores, corner stores, convenience stores, neighborhood markets, bodegas, food hubs, mobile markets, farmers markets, on-farm markets, urban farms, and food aggregation centers with a direct connection to direct-to-consumer retail outlets.

To learn more, follow this link.

  • Taking on the "Perfect Storm": Faith-based Organizations and Partnerships Address COVID-19 and Critical Behavioral Health Needs in Communities of Color

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This July, communities are facing the “perfect storm” of crises that are deepening the disparities in mental health and wellbeing. The current COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, behavioral health crisis, and the civil unrest stemming from recent incidents of police brutality has impacted all of America, but disproportionately affects communities of color.

On Thursday, July 16 at 3:00 pm EDT, join this virtual roundtable hosted by the NNED National Facilitation Center and SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity in partnership with SAMHSA’s Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network Coordinating Office to learn how faith-based NNED partner organizations are supporting the mental health concerns of racial/ethnic minorities and providing opportunities to receive support and connection through faith-based practices and partnerships.

To apply for the webinar, follow this link.

  • About The Speaking Grief Initiative

The Speaking Grief initiative aims to create a more grief-aware society by validating the grief experience and providing guidance on how to offer meaningful support to grieving people. This national public media initiative includes a one-hour television documentary, media-rich website, social media community, and numerous engagement events, webinars, all aimed at starting a national conversation about grief.

To learn more, follow this link.