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COVID-19 Update: Friday, June 19

Coronavirus update for Friday, June 19 as of 3:00 p.m.

A Note About SNAP’s COVID-19 Updates

Beginning the week of June 15, SNAP will prepare COVID-19 updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with additional updates as needed on subjects that are especially timely or important.  SNAP members and update subscribers will continue to receive their updates near the close of the business day and those updates will continue to be posted in this space the morning of the following business day.

Pennsylvania Update

The Wolf Administration

  • On Thursday Governor Wolf issued a news release reminding Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is required when entering any business in all counties in the state in both the yellow and green phases of reopening.  The mask requirement is part of Secretary of Health Levine’s order “Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations.”  See the governor’s new release here and Secretary Levine’s order here.
  • On Thursday Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Levine signed orders for eight counties to move to the green phase at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 19.  The affected counties are Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill.  With these orders, on Friday there will be 54 counties in green and 13 counties in yellow.  See the governor’s news release here, the governor’s amended order here, and Secretary Levine’s amended order here.
  • On Friday Governor Wolf announced that 12 more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 26.  The affected counties are Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna.  See the governor’s news release about this announcement here.

Department of Health

  • The Department of Health distributed 4788 doses of remdesivir to hospitals to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19.  Go here to see the department’s announcement about this shipment and here to see a list of the 82 hospitals.
  • The department announced that more than 4000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases have been identified and monitored to date through the contact tracing efforts of 500 trained contact tracers throughout the state, including 130 state health nurses.  These efforts include support from six county health departments and four municipal health departments that have primary responsibility for all efforts inside their jurisdiction.  Go here for a news release about the contact tracing effort.
  • The department’s message board on Friday, June 19 included the following notice:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are pleased to announce a partnership with CVS Health to offer COVID-19 testing services to skilled nursing facilities to assist with compliance to the Secretary’s Order related to universal testing issued June 9, 2020. Using a number of data sources including current outbreak status, historic outbreak status, geography, and facility-reported testing data, the Department is providing a three-tiered priority list to CVS Health to begin making contacts to offer testing services free of charge to the facility (residents and employees).

The CVS Health Onsite Swab & Send solution includes:

  • All necessary logistic services, including scheduling, records administration, test orders, and communication of results
  • All specimen collection and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for CVS Health clinician testers
  • Transmission to an FDA-approved reference laboratory for testing
  • Responsibility for communication of test results back to skilled nursing administration

CVS Health is currently onboard to conduct 50,000 individual tests for skilled nursing residents and staff members. Testing is anticipated to begin the week of June 29 with CVS Health beginning outreach calls as early as June 22.  Please anticipate an email outreach and phone call from CVS Health, and they will confirm the necessary steps to schedule your onsite testing clinic.

If you have questions regarding this initiative, universal testing in general, or to request assistance, please contact RA-DHCOVIDTESTING@pa.gov.     

Department of Health – by the numbers

  • Case counts and death totals remain generally down but the new case count for Thursday was the highest in the past week.  On Thursday the total number of Pennsylvanians who have contracted COVID-19 rose above the 80,000 mark.  Ninety-seven percent of those cases were confirmed by tests and the rest are considered “probable.”
  • 728 Pennsylvanians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 162 of them on ventilators.  Both of these figures have been declining in recent weeks.
  • 40 percent of Pennsylvania hospitals’ acute-care beds are currently unoccupied, as are 39 percent of their ICU beds, 30 percent of their pediatric ICU beds, and 17 percent of their isolation rooms.  These figures have remained virtually unchanged in recent weeks.

Department of Human Services

  • DHS’s COVID-19 update, published on Wednesday, includes the following notice about its Regional Response Health Collaboration Program.
  • In last week’s written update, we mentioned that a Request for Applications was posted for the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP). The RRHCP will assume the Education Support and Clinical Coaching Program’s role in providing operational, managerial, administrative, and clinical support for long-term care facilities as they protect their residents and staff from COVID-19. Responses to this RFA are due by June 25, and the RFA is posted on eMarketplace.

Resources to Consult

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Main COVID-19 Page

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Press Releases

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Main COVID-19 Page

PA Health Alert Network

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Main COVID-19 Page

FAQ

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Filed in Coronavirus, COVID-19.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania