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:
Twelve (12) more Pennsylvania counties move to the yellow phase of reopening today (Friday, May 22nd). Those counties include Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, and Cumberland Counties. [Also Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York Counties]. Twenty-four counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening on May 8th, and another 13 moved to yellow beginning May 15th. Forty-nine (49) of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are now in the yellow phase of reopening. Eighteen (18) counties remain in the red phase. Guidance on Yellow Phase details can be found athttps://www.governor.pa.gov/process-to-reopen-pennsylvania/.
As Pennsylvania begins a phased re-opening plan, businesses are doing all they can to prepare for a safe work environment, ensure the safety of their employees and determine how to operate in this new business landscape. As part of “Bringing PA Back,” the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is committed to helping businesses come back stronger than ever. They are working with top experts to bring essential training to companies across the Commonwealth. The 5-part webinar series, from Tuesday, May 26th thru Friday, May 29th, will assist in navigating important regulations to guide you through a safe re-opening and help answer critical questions. Fore more details, visithttps://www.pachamber.org/events/details/2041/2020_bringing_pa_back_business_readiness_webinar_series/.
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 Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas will now begin holding public hearings via Zoom and YouTube livestream. While the courthouse remains closed to the general public, the court will livestream public proceedings held via Zoom Cloud Meeting on its YouTube page: “Mifflin County Court.” The court’s livestream can also be accessed via the court’s website at www.co.mifflin.pa.us. The Court will continue to utilize polycom and telephone conference technology for other hearings.
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.
The IRS has sent stimulus checks via direct deposit to approximately 80 million Americans. If you are eligible, you could receive up to $1,200, and $500 for each dependent. The stimulus check, or Economic Impact Payment, is part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package intended to help Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS created a new online portal called “Get My Payment,” which allows you to track the status of your payment and update your direct deposit information. But, you may not qualify for a stimulus check. To qualify, you must have filed a 2018 or 2019 federal tax return (if you are required to file a federal income tax return) and earned below a certain adjusted gross income. If you recently filed a tax return, the IRS may have your return, but may not have processed it. It is also possible the IRS has not yet processed your direct deposit information, or could not verify your identity. The IRS says it is updating its “Get My Payment” portal on the IRS website on a daily basis. If you qualify for a stimulus check, the IRS will send you a letter with contact information to correct any issues with your check.
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.
Geisinger continues to monitor and respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of all our patients, members, visitors and employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As part of an evolving response to the pandemic, we are making an adjustment to our visitation policy and keeping elective, non-urgent surgeries on hold through April 30.
Inpatient visitation remains limited
Geisinger has changed the visitation policy for delivering mothers, who can be accompanied by one support person. Currently, all routine, in-person visits to hospitalized patients have been suspended.
However, we know that sometimes it’s crucial to have a visitor of family member present. Visitors will be allowed for:
- Delivering mothers (one support person)
- Patients who are medically unstable (one visitor)
- Patients who are at the end of life (two visitors)
- Patients undergoing surgery or procedures (one single-time visitor immediately after the procedure)
- Patients who are minors and those with limited decisional capacity (up to two parents or guardians)
- Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays and caregiver provides safety (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:
- Visitors will be screened and must not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
- Visitors who have traveled internationally or been exposed to someone with a fever, the flu or a proven COVID-19 case in the past 14 days are not permitted.
- Visitors must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once they leave the patient’s room, they must leave the medical center.
- Visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances, and no animals other than service animals are permitted.
Additional information about Geisinger’s visitation policy can be found here. Visitors are encouraged to call the hospital operator for visitation hours, which may vary by location.
Please call first
Geisinger experts continue to ask that before visiting a doctor’s office, convenient care clinic or emergency department, people call their primary care doctor’s office or Geisinger’s 24/7 novel coronavirus hotline at 570-284-3657 if they may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or if they have:
- Shortness of breath
For general questions and information about COVID-19, people can visit geisinger.org/coronavirus. Using these resources before going to a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic or emergency department can help lessen the possible spread of the virus.