January 26, 2021
Governor Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam provided an update today on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania and the many challenges that are ahead because of limited supply of doses from the federal government. They were joined at a press conference by Interim Acting Physician General Dr. Wendy Braund and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield.
“Pennsylvania has not received enough doses to vaccinate the number of Pennsylvanians who need it, and that’s frustrating to all of us,” said Gov. Wolf. “The Trump Administration asked states to give more doses to more people, but the national stockpile was depleted.
“It is incredibly disappointing that the national vaccine supply is extremely limited, because states rely on the federal government to get the vaccine. My administration is fighting to make sure Pennsylvania gets our fair share of doses. Our goal remains to ensure every Pennsylvanian who wants a vaccine can get one.”
Following the poorly planned and executed rollout of the vaccine by the Trump Administration, the Wolf Administration is hopeful the new Biden Administration will provide a fair and effective national vaccine distribution strategy. The commonwealth remains focused on working with the federal government to receive more doses and get them into arms as soon as possible.
“We know that Pennsylvanians are ready for the vaccine,” said Acting Secretary Beam. “We ask for patience as the amount of the vaccine in Pennsylvania and the nation is limited. We want to ensure that the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient, which is why we are taking a phased approach. This way we can make sure the most vulnerable residents can get vaccinated now.”
Vaccine providers have administered vaccine to a total of 605,633 people, including 473,449 people who have received their first dose and 132,184 who have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated. Pennsylvania will receive 143,275 first doses of vaccine and 137,625 second doses of vaccine this week, bringing the total doses the commonwealth has received to more than 1.5 million total doses of vaccine.
Federal institutions and Philadelphia are receiving and administrating their own doses, which are not included in the state’s totals.
Information on the vaccine, including the state’s vaccine plan, COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, a vaccine provider map and vaccine distribution data can be found here.
“I have been impressed to see so many Pennsylvanians willing to make the sacrifices necessary to help each other get through the pandemic,” said Acting Interim Physician General Dr. Wendy Braund. “With the vaccine rollout happening across the state we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to specifically thank all of the local vaccine providers who are working hard to get the vaccine into arms as quickly as it is available.”
PEMA is working with the Department of Health and county emergency management partners to ensure that county plans will be ready to execute as vaccines become more readily available. With a state as diverse as Pennsylvania, needs for planning or vaccine event support vary widely across the state.
“Like many people, we look forward to the day that we have sufficient COVID vaccine doses for everyone who wants one,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “When that day comes, PEMA and our federal and county partners will be ready to open vaccination clinics that meet the needs of the diverse communities across the state.”
Please don't be disappointed if you can't get information you need from the Pa. Department of Health website at this time. It is a time of overload and the information you need may take a while to catch up.
We will be working on publishing which pharmacies have vaccine in stock and which are waiting for a supply. If you prefer a pharmacy call and ask them if they can put you on their waiting list and please do not put yourself on multiple lists because the pharmacies may be able to order just enough vaccines for those on the list and if they over-order they may see waste. These vaccines need special handling. We have waited almost a year for relief from this plague, being patient a little while longer may save many lives. Maybe even yours's or a loved one's.
Many Americans breathed a huge sigh of relief on the day of the Biden/Harris Inaugurations. "Help is finally on the way" seemed to run through the minds of many. Well, it is on the way but it must be understood by a frightened, exhausted America that miracles won't be happening here. It will be a bit longer before each of us can receive the life-saving vaccine and here is why.
With no cooperation from the outgoing administration the extent of the lacks were unknowable.
There had been hopes that there was a fairly large supply of vaccine stashed in warehouses waiting for a plan of distribution and that, at least, the beginnings of such a plan would be handed off to Biden. But when Joe got there the cupboard was bare.
There is a positive side to this however in that there is no need to re-structure a plan that may, or may not have been well thought out but there will be inevitable delays. This is where you come into the effort.
Pennsylvania's Democratic governor and his administration are already linking arms with Biden's efforts to make one of his most important campaign promises, and now his most important executive imperative, become a reality; the creation of vaccines and getting them from their place of creation into the American people.
We do not know how long it will be or if only Pharmacies will be distributing the life saving vaccine but we will post what we know as the information becomes available. Using Bloomsburg as a logical center we will include all sites within a circle that will include Columbia and Montour Counties.
01/22/2021Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced that payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in the new federal CARES Act extension are resuming. "Since the federal legislation for the new CARES Act extension was unveiled, L&I's dedicated team has been working tirelessly to update our processing systems," said Berrier. "We know that more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians and their families are relying on these PUA benefits to get through this terrible pandemic and have worked as quickly as possible to complete the implementation and resume payments." (to continue reading click)
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced that payments for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program in the new federal CARES Act extension will resume the week of January 24.
"Since receiving the information we needed from the federal Department of Labor two weeks ago, L&I has worked as quickly as possible to update our processing system so PEUC claimants can resume filing for benefits," said Berrier. "We know that more than 100,000 Pennsylvanians were actively receiving PEUC when the program ended in December. Our team has worked tirelessly so we can begin issuing payments to the out-of-work claimants and their families who need them during this global pandemic." (to continue click here)
Governor Tom Wolf releases a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard .This website is up to date since the beginning of the pandemic.
The dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts. The data available on the dashboard includes week-over-week case differences, incidence rates, test percent-positivity, and rates of hospitalizations, ventilations and emergency room visits tied to COVID-19.
One thing we know for certain is that:
“We need to recommit to the simple measures of mask-wearing and social distancing to stop the spread and go back to more freedoms.”
Each of these counties bear watching as the state continues to monitor all available data.
The Department of Health updates its travel recommendations, on a regular basis, to relate safety information regarding the states recommended for domestic travelers returning from; to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania.
It is important that people understand that this recommendation is in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. A significant number of recent cases have been linked to travel, and if people are going to travel, we need them to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, and that involves quarantining.
Gov. Wolf continues to prioritize the health and safety of Pennsylvanians through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians should continue to take actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of the status of their county. This includes wearing a mask or face covering anytime they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily in the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic.
Peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine corroborate the need for masks and the U.S. Surgeon General said that wearing a mask doesn’t impinge on our freedom – it gives us more freedom from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.
The state’s business guidance outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers.
Read more on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA here.
It appears that many Columbia County citizens are not wearing masks in public places. It is important to know that the number of infected people in our county has begun to rise again after weeks of being stable. Do not believe the mythical reason for this up-tick is because of more testing. It is a lie promulgated by inept and scared politicians.
Governor Wolf unveiled a plan for Pennsylvania's COVID-19 recovery. It includes the following issues:
Student Loan Debt
Individuals Who Have Been Furloughed, Laid Off, or Have Reduced Hours
Students and Families
Relief for Businesses
Department of Revenue
Department of Community and Economic Development
Banks and Mortgage Servicers
Federal CARES Act
Relief for Health Care Systems and Providers
Recovery for Pennsylvanians
Recovery for Businesses
Recovery for Health Care Systems and Providers
The Wolf administration has created one of the most sensible, comprehensive and economically feasible plans in the United States. The Columbia County Democratic Committee wishes all citizens a safe and successful future as we dig our way out of this unprecedented time.
Update on Coronavirus Impact in PA
Information about the presence and spread of coronavirus here in the Commonwealth is quickly and constantly changing. To help you keep up-to-date on the information that matters most to you, I put together a page of online resources that includes links to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as news about school closures, PennDOT information and more.
Coronavirus 101 - What is it and how do I protect myself?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
The CDC and PA Department of Health (DOH) suggest some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and others:
" Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
" Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
" Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
" If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
Why did the governor close our schools and businesses?
Information from the World Health Organization, the CDC, DOH and others, clearly show that coronavirus has been taking a toll on countries around the globe and is now having wide impact across the United States. Cases have been reported throughout the state, with our first coronavirus-related death occurring this past week. More than 100 have died across the nation, and more than 8,000 worldwide according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The vast majority of people afflicted with COVID-19 recover; however, it is especially dangerous for senior citizens and others with compromised immune systems. The closures outlined by the governor are designed to help prevent the spread of the virus to protect those vulnerable populations using the concept of "social distancing" - simply keeping people apart so as not to pass the virus from one person to another. Since a person may be a carrier of the virus for as long as two weeks without displaying any symptoms, simply telling people to stay home if they are not feeling well is not enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Currently, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are among the businesses that may remain open, as well as bars and restaurants offering take-out or delivery services (no dine-in service is permitted). Businesses that must be closed, based on the governor’s guidance, include things like hair and nail salons, gyms, theaters and sports venues. With regard to businesses, the governor has urged nonessential businesses (which he defines as things like hair and nail salons, gyms, theaters and sports venues) to close to help create social distancing, but as yet has not issued an emergency order. He has ordered bars and restaurants to discontinue dine-in services, but they may offer pick-up, take-out or drive through service. Even before businesses were urged to close temporarily, many had seen a significant drop in traffic, affecting both their bottom line and in many cases, that of their employees. For more information concerning unemployment compensation for EMPLOYEES, click here. For more information concerning EMPLOYER unemployment relief, click here.
As suggested by the CDC, it is important we all stay calm, limit unnecessary travel and interactions with others, wash our hands, pay attention to how we are feeling and be patient. The House was in session earlier this week to vote on a rules change that will allow us to cast votes on legislation remotely if necessary. We will be looking at legislation to address unemployment needs, business assistance and more.
We will try to stay current on updates to how Federal, State and local governments are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
these sites are the best starting places:
Information for Businesses Affected by the State Closure Order:
Updated FAQs about "Life sustaining" business://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/business-faq
Unemployment Compensation Updates for Workers Impacted by COVID-19
Other Information by Departments:
FEDERAL AND OTHER RELATED RESOURCES
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
It is a wise move to contact (by phone,text, email etc.) any stores you intend to visit to discover if they are open, will take orders by phoned in credit card information and if they will deliver to your vehicle.