Adminstration updates on COVID

Plus, Allegheny Summer Reading Program, VA reopens national cemeteries

Wolf administration selects health care emergency preparedness vendor to assist in preparations for fall resurgence of COVID-19

The Wolf Administration today announced it has selected Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) of Philadelphia as its health care emergency preparedness vendor, effective July 8, 2020.

PHMC will help move the commonwealth forward in its preparation efforts for future emergencies, including preparations in the case that coronavirus resurges in the fall or winter.

Enhanced dashboard launched that highlights demographic, testing and reopening data

The administration has launched an enhanced dashboard to pull Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 data and information together in one place. The dashboard further enhances data on demographics of cases, demographics of deaths and the reopening status of counties.

The dashboard includes eight different tabs:

  • Pennsylvania case data;
  • County data – with a dropdown menu for specific counties;
  • Case data by ZIP code;
  • Hospital preparedness information;
  • Case demographic information, including cases by gender, ethnicity, age and race;
  • Death demographic information, including deaths by gender, ethnicity, race, age and deaths by place;
  • Testing information; and
  • Reopening status information.

New $225 million grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

A new $225 million statewide grant program has been announced to support small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent business closure order.

The funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the recently enacted state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funding in the form of grants.

Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.

The funds will be available through three programs:

  • $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19, 2020 order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19;
  • $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations.
  • $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses that are struggling due to the impact of COVID, as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs.

Department of Aging asking for public input on survey

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today released a survey for the general public and community stakeholders to provide input on the department’s strategies and priorities as part of the process of completing a State Plan on Aging for 2020-24.

The brief survey asks respondents to prioritize services and quality-of-life issues that are most meaningful to them in ensuring age-friendly communities across the commonwealth over the next four years. Adults 60 or older are strongly encouraged to take the survey between now and June 21.

https://www.aging.pa.gov/publications/state-plan-on-aging/Pages/default.aspx

VA National Cemeteries Resume Committal and Memorial Services Halted by COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries will resume committal services starting today in all but two VA national cemeteries.

VA national cemeteries will contact families who were unable to hold a committal service due to the COVID-19 pandemic to arrange memorial services for their loved ones beginning in July.

To schedule committal services, please contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117.

VA national cemeteries continue to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. For more details and information on the safety measures required, visit https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5463.

Allegheny County libraries announce virtual summer program

The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) will host a virtual summer program beginning June 15. Due to closures and guidelines imposed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for remote programming to entertain families through the summer is more important than ever.

Summer programming includes special programming from county parks, the ballet, botanical garden and the land trust. Fitness activities, nature exploration and storytimes for children of all ages also are part of the program.

More information on the program that runs through Aug. 9 can be found at www.aclasummerreading.org. No registration needed!