COVID-19 UPDATE: Resources, information, and helpful tips to protect you and your family!
Senator Boscola Holds a Telephone Town Hall to discuss the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Various Health Resources
A new web portal that will expedite the procurement of critical medical supplies for Pennsylvania’s health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic has been created and developed through a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health, the Department of General Services, and the Department of Community and Economic Development to source the most needed supplies for medical providers, emergency responders, and health care professionals.
The Portal is for manufacturers, distributors and other suppliers to inform the Commonwealth of supplies available for purchase and will allow us to more quickly and efficiently procure these supplies for hospitals and medical facilities across Pennsylvania.
Currently, the most needed personal professional equipment includes: surgical/procedure masks, N95/N99 Form Fitting Respirators, face masks with integrated shields, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), and alcohol-based hand rubs. Needed hospital supplies include: ventilators with PEEP functionality, ventilator circuits, endotracheal tubes, and hospital gowns. Needed lab supplies include: UVT 3 mL with flocked flex minitip and Nasopharyngeal (NP) flocked swabs and viral transport media tubes (1-3 mL). Needed diagnostic supplies include: Roche MagNA Pure 96 DNA and Viral NA small volume kits, Roche MagNA Pure 96 system fluid and tips, Roche MagNA Pure 96 external lysis buffer, and Biomerieux NuciSENS EasyMAG extraction system and supplies.
Questions on the portal can be directed to the Department of General Services at RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
DCNR Requires Out-Of-State Visitors To Have Negative COVID-19 Test Or Quarantine Before Visiting Parks
Harrisburg, PA -- Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced changes to operating procedures for state park and forest facilities that will require out-of-state visitors to comply with orders...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 3,379 Patients Hospitalized And 775 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 23, that there were 4,762 new cases, in addition to 7,075 new cases reported Sunday, November 22 for a two-day total of 11,837 additional positive cases of COVID-19,...
Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update for Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Case Increases Top 36,000; Percent Positivity at 11.1% and 63 Counties with Substantial Transmission
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, highlighting a seven-day case increase of 36,133 cases,...
State Police Bureau Of Liquor Control Enforcement November 20-22: 227 Compliance Checks; 10 Notices Of Violation
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 227 licensed liquor establishments from Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22 to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 3,162 Patients Hospitalized And 661 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit Increase Of 6,778 Additional Positive Cases Of COVID-19
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 21, that there were 6,778 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 302,564. There are 3,162 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. We...
Department Of Health To Distribute New COVID-19 Therapy To Healthcare Systems Across The Commonwealth
Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced the federal government will be distributing monoclonal antibodies to healthcare systems throughout the commonwealth. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins built in a laboratory that mimic the...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 2,952 Patients Hospitalized And 659 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 20, that there were 6,808 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 295,786. There are 2,952 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of...
State Police Bureau Of Liquor Control Enforcement November 16-19: 525 Compliance Checks; 11 Notices Of Violation
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 525 licensed liquor establishments from Monday, November 16 through Thursday, November 19 to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include...
Department Of Health: Educate Yourself About Diabetes, Ways To Reduce Your Risk During COVID-19 Pandemic
Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today encouraged Pennsylvanians to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes and practice a healthy lifestyle that includes regular appointments with your health care provider to reduce the risk of...
Department Of Health Encourages Food Safety, COVID-19 Precautions For Thanksgiving Holiday And Reminds Pennsylvanians Of Travel Mitigation Effort
Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today urged Pennsylvanians to take COVID-19 and food safety precautions as they plan Thanksgiving celebrations during the holiday. “The holidays are a time for togetherness, but this year, we must rethink...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 2,904 Patients Hospitalized And 628 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 19, that there were 7,126 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 288,978. This is the highest daily increase of cases. There are...
Regional Coalition of NE Governors Announce Colleges Will Be Encouraged to Provide Testing for Students Before Leaving for Thanksgiving Break, Recommendations to End Fall Semester Safely
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced they will...
Wolf Administration: More Than Half-a-Million Pennsylvanians have Downloaded the COVID Alert PA Appv
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians have added their phone to the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus by downloading the COVID Alert PA mobile app. “Thank you to the more than half-a-million Pennsylvanians who have united...
Regional Coalition Of Northeast Governors Announce Colleges Will Be Encouraged To Provide Testing For Students Before Leaving For Thanksgiving Break, Recommend Expanded Remote Instruction To End Fall Semester Safely
Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today...
Michael Huff, Director of Testing and Contact Tracing for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, presented an update on the commonwealth’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts, including Pennsylvania’s plans to distribute more than 3.8 million Abbott BinaxNOW...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 2,737 Patients Hospitalized And 579 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 18, that there were 6,339 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 281,852. This is the highest daily increase of cases. There are...
Department Of Health Adds Testing Site In Lackawanna County To Help Contain Local Spread Of COVID-19
Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced beginning Saturday, November 21, a drive-thru and outdoor testing clinic will be held in the parking lot at the former Dickson City K-Mart in Lackawanna County to help contain the recent rapid...
Department Of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, November 9 – November 15
Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from November 9 through November 15, 2020. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants including social...
Wolf Administration COVID-19 Announcements: Protecting The Health Care System, New Traveler Testing Order, Strengthened Masking Order, Recommendations For Colleges And Universities
Harrisburg, PA– As Pennsylvania experiences a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with significantly higher daily case counts than in the spring and hospitalizations on the rise, the Wolf Administration has identified four new mitigation efforts, which Secretary of...
Department Of Health Announces Week-Six Rapid Antigen Test Card Distributions Across The Commonwealth
Harrisburg, PA - The Wolf Administration today began distribution of the sixth allotment of COVID-19 antigen test kits provided by the federal government to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified institutions in Bedford, Cambria, Franklin,...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 2,575 Patients Hospitalized And 558 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 17, that there were 5,900 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 275,513. This is the highest daily increase of cases. There are...
Governor Tom Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the state’s existing mitigation efforts remain in place and are more important than ever to understand and follow. “The fall surge in cases is something we expected and were prepared...
Department Of Health Nov. 1-7 Update On COVID-19 Investigations, Contact Tracing, Monitoring Efforts: Pennsylvanians Urged To “Answer The Call” And Download The COVID App
Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health today shared its weekly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data and encouraged Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app to aid in contact tracing efforts. “As we are...
Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update For Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Case Increases Top 26,000; Percent Positivity At 9.6% And 59 Counties With Substantial Transmission
Harrisburg, PA - Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, highlighting a seven-day case...
Wolf Administration Discusses Work Of COVID-19 Regional Response Health Collaboratives To Strengthen Support For Long-Term Care Facilities
Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today discussed support the Wolf Administration is providing for long-term care facilities through the Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) program, a statewide program providing...
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 2,440 Patients Hospitalized And 531 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., November 16, that there were 4,476 new cases, in addition to 5,199 new cases reported Sunday, November 15 for a two-day total of 9,675 additional positive cases of COVID-19,...
Department Of Health Highlights October 2020 Nursing Home Inspection, Sanction Information Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
Harrisburg, PA - In the October 2020 report, Pennsylvania Department of Health nursing home surveyors conducted 396 inspections of 287 unique nursing homes, including 314 complaint investigations. Of these, 175 were COVID-19-specific compliant...
What You Need to Know About COVID-19
The Coronavirus was first discovered during an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms often do not appear in a person until 2 to 14 days after exposure.
Prepare Yourself and Your Family
The best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is by practicing vital social distancing procedures. It is recommended to work remotely and severely limit contact with others.
If you think you have come into contact with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or are exhibiting them yourself, please follow the instructions on the graphic below:
PennDOT/Real ID Updtes
Federal REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Postponed to October 2021
The Department of Homeland Security has postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration.
PennDOT closed all driver and photo license centers on March 16 and paused REAL ID issuance in the state out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health. Centers will reopen no sooner than April 3. PennDOT also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requesting that the agency consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.
REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after October 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.
REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once issuance has resumed.
More information about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.
Small Business Assistance
Small businesses are the backbone of our Commonwealth and this nation!
Do you have a business in the Lehigh Valley? The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation(LVEDC) wants to hear from YOU! LVEDC is conducting a survey to assess the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on local business to determine how they can best assist – to participate, CLICK HERE. Furthermore, if you have any questions and do not know who to reach out to regarding your business send an email to: email@example.com
Small Business Loan: The Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) are working to provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Small Business Disaster Loan Assistance (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses with funding opportunities up to $2 million. Learn more on how to apply here.
The Small Business Administration has just opened their applications for Disaster Loan Assistance. Small businesses can apply at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
SBA disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. As a small business, small agricultural cooperative, small business engaged in aquaculture, or private non-profit organization you may borrow up to $2 million for Economic Injury. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
For questions, please call SBA Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com (link sends e-mail).
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PACKAGE
As a small business, are you eligible for the COVID-19 loan under the “Paycheck Protection Package”?
The “Paycheck Protection Program” was created to help small businesses weather the economic uncertainty resulting from the pandemic. This $349 billion lending program provides loans that are 100 percent guaranteed by the U.S. government for small businesses. The loans must be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage or lease payments or pay utilities.
The borrower will have a portion of their loan forgiven in the amount equal to payroll costs (not including costs for compensation above $100,000 annually), interest payments on mortgages, rent payments and utility payments between Feb. 15 and June 30, 2020.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has developed a FAQ document to help small businesses learn more about the program. That document can be found here.
To apply for a loan: Paycheck Protection Package
VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT FUNDING
A new federal stimulus program passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing volunteer fire companies to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP). At this time, I am strongly urging all volunteer fire departments to check out these programs and seek federal help during this very difficult time, if need be.
VFD assistance from the federal stimulus will allow qualifying volunteer fire companies to apply for EIDL and PPP loans with funds that will be made available very quickly. Qualifying volunteer organizations that pay firefighters can also access federal funds through the PPP. Under this program, loans will be forgiven if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
EIDL loans can provide up to $2 million in working capital with emergency grants immediately available. An advance of $10,000 for volunteer fire companies organized as IRC 501 (c) (3) of IRC 501 (c) 4 can be accessed within three days of application. Organizations applying for funding will not be required to repay the funds, even if a loan application is ultimately rejected.
Additional information can be found at https://www.iafc.org/blogs/blog/iafc/2020/04/02/volunteer-departments-eligible-for-cares-act-loan-programs
As of March 9, the Governor announced that all major health insurers in Pennsylvania have agreed to cover “medically appropriate” COVID-19 testing and treatment.
The 10 major insurers are:
- Capital Blue Cross
- Independence BlueCross
- Pennsylvania Health & Wellness
- UPMC Health Plan
For anyone with questions about their insurance policy, please contact your insurer or the Pennsylvania State Insurance Department with questions. They can also be reached at (877) 881-6388.
Remote Medical Attention and Care
Health officials are urging people who have symptoms to stay home and contact their doctor remotely rather than opting for an in-person visit. Nearly all major health systems offer some form of virtual visits and assistance. Some insurers do, too. People interested in a specific virtual visit should check to see what illnesses it can be used for. Be sure to reach out to your insurance provider to verify this service is covered with your plan.
Here’s an brief overview of virtual visit services offered to local residents:
Capital BlueCross – is offering free medical Virtual Care visits for members who currently have the Virtual Care benefit. The waiving of fees will be effective March 13 through April 15, 2020.
Highmark – is providing many of their members with a virtual clinic visit service. Any fees related to COVID-19 will be waived.
UPMC Pinnacle – is welcoming Online Video Visits for those experience flu like symptoms or just in need of a follow-up appointment. Video visits are available through the MyPinnacleHealth portal for $49.
WellSpan Health – WellSpan Online Urgent Care offers a video visits with Teladoc physicians for patients 3 months and older for their standard fee of $49.
CALLING ALL PSYCHOLOGIST! Things may be picking up for you at this time, so we want to make sure you are covered too. Here are some COVID-19 resources on how to best protect yourself and serve your patients from the Pennsylvania Psychologist Association.
Feeding Kids During COVID-19: Emergency Grants and Updated Resources
No Kid Hungry is offering real-time emergency grant funding to schools and community organizations that are making sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to coronavirus. The need is devastating; we received thousands of requests for grants in the first few days, and heard heart-breaking stories. To date, they have awarded more than $3.9 million in grants to 147 organizations across 40 states and DC.
No Kid Hungry is providing millions of dollars in additional grants in the coming weeks for schools and local non-profits in our communities that could benefit from this program to continue providing critical nutrition assistance. For additional information on the program and application process, please CLICK HERE.
How to Stay Informed
Below is an extensive list of information, statistics, and resources to ensure you stay up-to-date with any changes happening due to COVID-19.
- Make sure you are signed up to receive the Boscola Bulletin (you can sign up HERE)
- To view all past issues of the Boscola Bulletin eNews, CLICK HERE
Pennsylvania Department of Health
- The PA DoH Daily COVID-19 report. Updated regularly throughout the day.
- Follow the PA Health Department on Twitter.
- Follow them on Facebook.
A complete list of information and resources available to you by county:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Track confirmed cases in the US. (This site is updated weekdays at noon and shows numbers that were current as of 4 p.m. the previous day.)
- CDC provided information regarding “What you should know about COVID-19”
- Follow the CDC on Twitter.
- Follow the CDC on Facebook.
- Learn how best to prevent “community transition” with specific details on what to do before, during, and after outbreaks.
World Health Organization