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COVID-19 Latest News

WOLF: Process to Reopen Pennsylvania

The commonwealth has responded aggressively to the spread of COVID-19, first by working to contain the virus through contact tracing and quarantines for residents who came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus to slow sustained community spread. When sustained community spread was established, the commonwealth moved to mitigation efforts early in the response by issuing orders to close schools and non-life-sustaining businesses; and to restrict large gatherings. This decision to respond aggressively has proven to be an essential and effective measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately save an unrealized number of Pennsylvanians’ lives. READ MORE


Coronavirus impact: Philly schools face $1 billion hole over 5 years as Kenney administration asks departments to cut budgets by 20%

The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Philadelphia could include budget cuts of as much as 20% to city departments — including cuts in staffing and services — and a $1 billion budget hole for the School District over the next five years, officials warned Thursday. READ MORE


Letter from PA Sec. of Education Rivera (4/15)

As educators, our top priority has always been to ensure the health and safety of students. As such, the immediate days after the statewide school closure were focused on communicating with families, removing barriers, and providing meals to students. As the situation evolved – and the duration of the closure extended, we placed a strong emphasis on continuity of education, either through enrichment and review or planned instruction. READ MORE


Gov. Wolf Joins Multi-state Coalition to Discuss Strategy for Re-opening After Covid-19

Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, 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 the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states’ ongoing regional approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE


Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Dr. Rachel Levine, under her authority as Secretary of the Department of Health to take any disease control measure appropriate to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency. READ MORE


WHYY – Social distancing outside: Where to walk without crowds

To go outside for a walk, or not? In the age of COVID-19, that is one of the many questions running through the minds of people all over, including Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s current stay-at-home order prohibits gatherings of any size and limits the reasons in which people can go outside. READ MORE


USA Today – How utility, phone and internet companies are giving consumers a break during coronavirus pandemic

Many utilities, telecommunications companies and automakers are easing shutoffs and waiving late fees to accommodate consumers who might be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE


PennLive – Pa. coalition unveils plan aimed at protecting ‘most vulnerable’ during coronavirus crisis

The American Working Family Relief Action plan, outlining what elected officials need to address to assist front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis, was released Tuesday. The most prominent message to lawmakers at all levels of government is that action to reduce the financial burden, and beyond, must begin now. READ MORE


WHYY – Philadelphia halts evictions as coronavirus bears down

The stay on evictions is scheduled to start Monday, March 16, just four days after City Councilmember Helen Gym introduced a resolution calling for a temporary moratorium on evictions. READ MORE


VOX – The Importance of Social Distancing

Taking drastic measures to limit the transmission rate of Covid-19, like closing schools, canceling public events, and sending people home from work, may seem like an overreaction when few people in a city or state are infected. However, early in the outbreak is exactly when such measures are most effective. – READ MORE


VOX – Why soap and water is such a brutally effective coronavirus killer

“The soap takes care of the virus much like it takes care of the oil in the water. ‘It’s almost like a crowbar; it starts to pull all the things apart,’ Thordarson says. One side of the soap molecule (the one that’s attracted to fat and repelled by water) buries its way into the virus’s fat and protein shell. Fortunately, the chemical bonds holding the virus together aren’t very strong, so this intrusion is enough to break the virus’s coat. ‘You pull the virus apart, you make it soluble in water, and it disintegrates,’ he says. Then the harmless shards of virus get flushed down the drain.” – READ MORE


Mother Jones – You Might Be Buying a Hand Sanitizer That Won’t Work for Coronavirus

“At a time when all hand sanitizers are in short supply, the benzalkonium chloride products are better than nothing, said Emily Landon, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine. She said the CDC recommendation for hand sanitizers is based on the fact that 60% alcohol kills ‘all of the coronaviruses we know about.’ A sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient is ‘not as good,’ because we don’t know as much about it, she said. As a physician, mother and infection-control expert, she called alcohol-based products her ‘first choice’ for hand sanitizers.” – READ MORE


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