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COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, September 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government (as of 3:30 on Tuesday, September 22) and the federal government (as of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, September 21). Pennsylvania Update Governor Wolf Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine introduced “COVID-19 Alert PA,” a new cell phone app that the state hopes will facilitate contact tracing.  The app, which works on Android and Apple cell phones, uses bluetooth technology to identify people who were recently near someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  The app notifies individuals who may have been exposed and directs them to resources but does not provide the name of the person who was diagnosed and does not provide the state with the names of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 18

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18. The Courts A federal court has ruled that parts of Governor Wolf’s orders closing down aspects of life and commerce in the state in response to the COVID-19 emergency were unconstitutional.  Find the entire court decision in this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article that also summarizes the decision, its implications, and reactions to it. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf called on the General Assembly to provide an additional $225 million in CARES Act funding for the state’s COVID-19 hazard pay program to support front-line workers risking their health to continue working in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Department of Health The Department of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

Medicaid Enrollment on the Rise

More people are enrolling in Medicaid, and much of the increase is driven by the COVID-19 emergency. Or so reports the organization Families USA in a new study. According to the study, Over half of the 38 states reporting monthly enrollment through May or later have seen greater than 7% growth in enrollment since February. For the eight states reporting August enrollment, their average enrollment growth since February is approximately 11%. But the implications are even greater, according to the analysis, which found that in large part because of COVID-19 job loss, Medicaid enrollment among the 38 states reporting has already increased by 4.3 million people and is poised to increase much more in the near future. Analysis by Health … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 11

The following is the latest coronavirus information from the state and federal governments as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 11. Pennsylvania State Government Department of State The Department of State has suspended the initial medical history and physical examination required for prescribing buprenorphine via telemedicine to treat opioid use disorder for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster declaration. Department of Health The Department of Health has revised its health alert Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting to add information on extended-use eye protection and to update language regarding the use of respirators. The Department of Health has clarified that it does not … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: Friday, September 4

The following is the latest coronavirus information from the state and federal governments as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 4. Pennsylvania Update Independent Fiscal Office The Independent Fiscal Office reports that Pennsylvania collected $2.55 billion in General Fund revenue for August, an increase of $355.5 million (16.2 percent) over August 2019 collections.  The IFO estimates that roughly $235 million of the $355.5 million increase was associated with extended tax due dates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Personal income tax revenue, sales, use, and hotel occupancy revenue, and corporate net income tax revenue all exceeded estimates.  See the IFO’s full August report here. Department of Health The Department of Health has revised its guidance for skilled nursing facilities with a … Read More

Posted in COVID-19, DSH hospitals

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, September 1

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic.  This declaration provides for increased support for state agencies involved in the continued response to the virus and recovery during reopening, including expediting supply procurement and lifting certain regulations to allow for efficient and effective mitigation.  The disaster declaration also has facilitated waivers and extensions to support Pennsylvanians, Pennsylvania businesses, and Pennsylvania caregivers during the pandemic.  Learn more from the governor’s news release announcing the signing and see the emergency declaration itself. Governor Wolf asked the General Assembly to pass legislation for paid … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Friday, August 28

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf announced that the state is awarding $10 million in grants to 23 recipients to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find a list of grant recipients here. Governor Wolf announced that the state will distribute more than $117 million in CARES Act funding to child care providers across Pennsylvania. Department of Health – by the numbers The number of new COVID-19 cases has remained generally steady for the past two weeks, although today’s figure is the highest in nearly two weeks. COVID-19 death totals continue to fluctuate from … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, August 25

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf has presented his fall legislative agenda.  Among his proposals, he called for $225 million for hazard pay for frontline workers; $10 million for a personal protective equipment reimbursement program for small businesses; and $250 million for child care for families with school-age children in need of care because of blended or remote in-person instruction models.  Learn more about these and other aspects of the governor’s proposal here. Senate and House Republican leaders responded to the governor’s accusation that they have ignored the public health crisis and thwarted Democratic legislators’ efforts to fight for progress to protect families … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Friday, August 21

The following is the latest information from the state and federal governments as of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21. Pennsylvania Update Department of Health  Earlier this week, the Department of Health announced a pilot program for a new COVID-19 exposure mobile app.  In an effort to support the commonwealth’s contact tracing efforts, COVID Alert PA will be available for smartphone downloads beginning in September.  The department is partnering with a number of institutions to develop the mobile app, which will alert users when they have come in close contact with a COVID-19-positive person. Department of Health – by the numbers The number of new COVID-19 cases has remained relatively steady for the past three weeks. The department continues to … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, August 18

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18. Wolf Administration The Wolf Administration has awarded $50 million in hazard pay grants for front-line workers in life-sustaining industries.  The program, funded through CARES Act money appropriated to the Department of Community and Economic Development, was announced in mid-July in an effort to keep front-line workers working across the commonwealth.  Click here to read the full press release and here to view a list of grant recipients.  Department of Health  The Secretary of the Department of Health has ordered all skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate care facilities to develop, implement, and adhere to policies … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19
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