In this email edition:
Argall to Auditor General: Employer closings require your immediate review
After several attempts to receive a full list of employers who were granted and denied waivers during the Governor’s COVID-19 shutdown, I join my Senate colleagues to formally request that the Auditor General investigate this manner.
With no input from the public or the legislature, the Governor and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) decided which employers were allowed to stay open and which were forced to close. This was a secretive process from the start and the Governor did not seek any input from employers or the legislature.
No one should lose their job due to an unfair, unilateral, and secretive process. The public deserves to see a full list of employers that were granted or denied waivers.
Yes, Governor, there’s a big difference between Philadelphia and New Philadelphia!
The Governor has changed his stance on reopening the state from a one-size-fits-all approach to a system that allows less affected county employers to open sooner. The key question is this: Which counties will he begin opening up on May 8? I will continue to keep you informed on the latest information regarding the quarantine in Schuylkill and Berks Counties. You can read more about it here:
Berks County PPE Update- Good News!
The need for PPE across our area and state is great due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance announced their Berks PPE Resource Network collected over 18,000 pieces of PPE to give to 182 front-line organizations. 93 volunteers helped in this effort along with the Berks Business Community. Thank you for all your hard work in ensuring our neighbors and community stay safe!
Elective Surgeries Can Resume
Hospitals and ambulatory surgery facilities can resume elective surgeries and admissions under new PA Health Department guidelines. Facilities will be allowed to move forward with elective procedures as long as doing so does not jeopardize the safety of patients and staff or the ability to respond to COVID-19 emergencies.
Fire & EMS Assistance
In addition to the SAFER (hiring) grant, and the Fire Protection and Safety grant that FEMA has open, the AFG Supplemental has opened today. The supplemental is for equipment related to COVID-19 response. $100 Million under the CARES act is being made available to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS and state fire training academies to purchase PPE equipment. The links are below:
Two More PennDOT Projects Reopen
PennDOT announced the reopening of two more road projects in our area:
Essential Court Functions Still Available for Older Pennsylvanians
Although the courts remain closed for most purposes during COVID-19, essential functions are still being provided to protect seniors. This includes temporary protection from abuse actions, guardianship defense, motions related to public health concerns, emergency petitions and other functions determined by a president judge to be essential.
More details on essential court functions that are still available are detailed here.
Chicken Dinner for Western Berks County
On May 2nd, there will be FREE chicken dinners available to emergency workers and the Berks community in Wernersville. Randy Eshleman Insurance Company and Moyer Nissan are sponsoring the event to show appreciation to First Responders, Healthcare Workers, Police, Fireman, and Senior Citizens. The event will be drive through. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines if you decide to attend!
If you need assistance with food, do not hesitate to contact your local food bank. Also, food banks and pantries in both Schuylkill and Berks can use your help in this difficult time. Visit the website for the Schuylkill Food Network or the Greater Berks Food Bank for more information.
Many of you are likely financially stressed or concerned about your own personal finances during these times. Down below are links to websites with information on how to manage your finances during this time including benefit access, stimulus questions, food programs, and many more–
Consumer Finance Agency-https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/
PA Financing Agency-https://www.phfa.org/news/coronavirus.aspx
PA Department of Banking-https://www.dobs.pa.gov/Businesses/COVID-19%20Information%20and%20Guidance/Pages/default.aspx
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