Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
For the daily COVID-19 Report, visit here.
For all press releases regarding coronavirus, please visit here.
Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.
Photos of the state’s lab in Exton are available for download and use here.
Coronavirus and preparedness graphics are available here near the bottom of the page:On.pa.gov/coronavirus
Center for Disease Control & Prevention:
Pennsylvania Department of Health:
As Geisinger resumes operations at their clinics, hospitals and outpatient centers, they are updating the visitation policy. The health and safety of all patients, members, visitors and employees remains the top priority as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. After careful consideration, they are temporarily modifying routine, in-person visits to hospitalized patients. Geisinger continues to encourage everyone to use alternative ways of interacting, including phone calls, Facetime, Skype and other means, if possible.
Inpatient visitation remains limited
Sometimes it is crucial to have a visitor or family member present, including after a surgery or procedure. Visitors will be allowed for:
- Patients undergoing surgery or procedures (one single-time visitor immediately after the procedure)
- Patients who are medically unstable (one visitor)
- Patients who are at the end of life (two visitors)
- Delivering mothers (one support person)
- Patients who are minors and those with limited decisional capacity (up to two parents or guardians)
- Patients who have altered mental status, an intellectual, developmental or cognitive disability or a communication barrier (one visitor)
- Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care (one visitor)
Approved visitors are subject to the following guidelines:
- Be 18 years of age or older and in good health
- Bring a form of identification
- Not have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, recent loss of taste or smell or flu-like illness suggestive of COVID-19
- Not have active COVID-19 infection
- Be symptom-free for at least 14 days if they previously had active COVID-19 infection
- Complete health screening, including a temperature check, at the entrance before entry
- Wear a mask at all times while in the facility
- Respect social distancing guidelines of 6 feet from all others
- Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving a patient’s room
- Use the same entrance for entry into and exit from the hospital.
- Identify themselves and stay in designated areas (not travel throughout the facility)
Patients who have an appointment at a Geisinger clinic, laboratory or radiology, as well as those visiting the Emergency Department, may have one person accompany them, if necessary.
Additional information about Geisinger’s visitation policy, including guidance on visitation hours at each hospital can be found at: https://www.geisinger.org/about-geisinger/news-and-media/news-releases/2020/06/03/21/03/geisinger-updates-visitation-policies.
Members of the Mifflin-Juniata Concert Association who purchased tickets for the 2019-2020 Season and lost out on three Spring shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rewarded for their support. If any three of the six shows planned for the upcoming 2020-2021 Season are cancelled, members who have renewed for the upcoming 2020-21 Season will be rewarded with a free Season membership for the 2021-2022 Season. Members who have not yet renewed for the 2020-21 Season have until June 30th to take advantage of the offer. For more information, call Nora Torquato at 717-667-6551, or Barbara Nielsen at 717-248-5732.
Residents in a seven-county area may qualify to get their heating unit repaired or replaced at no cost now through August, thanks to $159,000 awarded to SEDA-COG through CARES Act funds. The Cold Weather Crisis program normally ends April 10th, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, The LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program is open through August 31st, or until funds are spent. The program is for those who qualify for the LIHEAP Program (Low Income Home Energy Assistance) in Mifflin, Juniata, Snyder, Perry, Columbia, Montour, and Union counties. Individuals whose heat source is malfunctioning, should call their county assistance office. For more information, call SEDA-COG at 570-522-7219.
COUNTY ASSISTANCE OFFICES
For more information on the recovery program, call SEDA-COG’s Christine Bohart at 570-522-7219 or visithttps://bit.ly/2WV26pJ.
Pennsylvania Game Commission 2019-20 shooting-range permits will remain valid for an additional two months after their printed expiration date to make up for lost opportunity due to COVID-19 guidelines. Permits for 2019-20 have a printed expiration date of June 30th, 2020. The Game Commission will continue to consider them valid through Aug. 31st. Pennsylvania 2019-20 hunting and furtaker licenses, which also are set to expire June 30th will be honored for range use through August 31st as well. Hunters and trappers are reminded that beginning July 1st, they will need new licenses before engaging in any hunting or trapping activity through June 2021.
As businesses prepare to reopen across Pennsylvania, Geisinger is providing tools, information and guides to help employers keep their staff and patrons safe and healthy. An online resource center is available, and includes frequently asked questions, guidance for employees, and more. Virtual consultations are also available upon request. Additionally, Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) is offering new virtual and telephonic services to members, including health coaching, population health programs, behavioral health services and online health resources. Wellness specialists are partnering with employers to support their particular needs and offer virtual classes and educational activities. For more information about these programs, call 855-279-1623, or visit go.geisinger.org/businessresources.
The Mifflin County School District has made changes to its student lunch program. Children will now be given two lunches on Monday, for Monday and Tuesday, and three lunches on Wednesday for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Strodes Mills Elementary and Indian Valley Elementary have been added to school lunch locations. For more information, visit https://feeding.mifflincounty.us/meal-locations.
PennDOT says some expiration dates will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards, and learner’s permits set to expire from March 16th through May 31st, 2020, are now extended through June 30th, 2020. The extensions are in addition to those announced on March 27th.
Attorney General William Barr has directed U.S. Attorneys across the nation to deploy all available enforcement tools against anyone who tries to capitalize on the current COVID-19 crisis by sexually harassing people in need of housing. According to U. S. Attorney David J. Freed, as a result of the measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, there are reports of landlords across the country who have attempted to exploit the crisis by demanding inappropriate sexual favors from tenants unable to make rent payments. Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in housing, or knows someone who has, should contact the Civil Rights Division at 1-844-380-6178, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at 717-614-4911.
In a continued effort to create a safer environment, Geisinger will begin COVID-19 testing for all pregnant mothers before delivery. All mothers admitted in labor, or for a scheduled delivery will receive a two-hour rapid COVID-19 test. A delivering mother may have one support person who will be screened for potential COVID-19 exposure. They will be required to wear a mask when in any Geisinger facility. Geisinger is working closely with mothers on their birth plans, and creating the safest childbirth experience for families. Expectant mothers looking for care at Geisinger can visit MyPregnancy Center for more information.
Geisinger is joining Miller-Keystone Blood Center in reaching out to those who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to help current patients who have contracted the coronavirus. If you had COVID-19 and recovered, you can donate your blood plasma, which has unique antibodies that may help fight the illness. The donation process takes about 45 minutes. Call your doctor, or message them throughmyGeisinger,and complete the form to make sure you are eligible to donate. If you are not already enrolled in the Geisinger patient portal, you can do so at https://www.geisinger.org/mygeisinger.
The new SEDA-COG EDA COVID-19 Loan Fund is for businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. For-profit businesses can apply for loans of at least $10,000 starting now until funds are exhausted. No payments are due in the first six months. The total amount of the fund is $400,000. The interest rate is 3.25%. Businesses must be in SEDA-COG’s region, which includes Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Snyder, and Centre counties (along with Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Union and Northumberland and counties). There is a $500 underwriting fee and a $100 filing fee. Find more details at https://seda-cog.org/covid-19/.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is distributing COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments, but beware of scammers trying to get your personal information or your payment! For most Americans, payment will be a direct deposit into your bank account. Scammers may try to get you to sign over your check to them, or may use the opportunity to get you to “verify” your filing information in order to receive your money, using your personal information to file false tax returns through identity theft. Everyone receiving an economic impact payment is at risk. Also, be aware of email phishing scams that appear to be from the IRS, and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS site. More information is available athttps://www.irs.gov/compliance/criminal-investigation/do-not-fall-victim-to-a-covid-19-scam.
A new system is available to provide unemployment assistance to individuals who are self-employed, contractors, gig workers and others who do not traditionally qualify for Unemployment Compensation. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides benefits up to 39 weeks to qualifying individuals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. Claims can be filed online at Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Portal: https://pua.benefits.uc.pa.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx.
Juniata County residents in need of assistance with food are still being helped by a local agency despite the COVID-19 pandemic. For information about the Juniata County Food Pantry, call 717-436-9718.
Penn State Extension is offering a variety of resources to help farms and other agricultural businesses navigate their way through COVID-19 disruptions. Although extension offices in all 67 PA counties are closed until further notice, specialists and county-based extension educators are working remotely to support the state’s farms and food operations. Visit https://extension.psu.edu/coronavirus to access information.
To help area businesses stay afloat during these tough times, and to save yourself some money, head toSaveYourTown.com.