I am writing with an update on issues relating to the pandemic.
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf has extended the stay at home order for all residents through May 8th, except for those who work in life-sustaining businesses or to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, or for other essential needs. When going out, it’s important to wear a cloth mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash hands and thoroughly clean all surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Principles and Phases for Reopening Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf has announced six reopening principles for Pennsylvania in order to ensure this is done in the safest way possible when the time comes.
Yesterday, the governor announced reopening will occur on a regional basis, guided by these principles, in three phases - red, yellow and green - evaluating the incidence rate of COVID-19 cases per capita. To move from Red Phase to Yellow Phase, the target goal is for the region to have an average of fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 individuals over the course of 14 days. This is not an easy threshold to meet, but one that ensures the safety of our citizens and limits the chance of a resurgence of the virus in our communities. Currently, Bucks County has 320 cases per 100,000 individuals.
Penn State has compiled a dashboard to help track the number of cases per county. To view the number of cases per 100,000 individuals in our county, click the tab at the bottom of the map labeled “Cases Per 100,000 People” and then click on Bucks County. Through continued social distancing, stay at home orders and aggressive mitigation, that number will decrease over time and our region will move from Red Phase to Yellow Phase. Full details of the plan can be found on the Governor’s website.
Telephone Town Hall on 4/28 at 6:50 PM with Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak
Join Our Facebook Live Town Hall on 4/24
My next live Facebook Town Hall will be Friday, April 24th at 4:30 PM. During the event, I’ll be fielding your questions with a special emphasis on vote by mail and specific concerns about the upcoming primary election on June 2nd. To join the conversation, visit my Facebook page on Friday at that time. To receive a notification of when the event starts, and any other time I go live, you can “like” my Facebook page.
Unemployment Compensation Update
We are aware that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) website application was not working well during the first few hours of operation. However, on the first day, about 35,000 claims were accepted. With issues relating to eligibility, please see below for the updates that have been added to the website.
- Small Business Owners, Nonprofits or Self-Employed Individuals with Wages in L&I's Records:
The new PUA system is currently detecting wages in your work history and directing you to file a regular unemployment claim. Functionality is being added to allow Corporate Officers to proceed with the PUA claim. When the system is corrected, it will not impact your eligibility. The application will be effective the week you were first unemployed, and is not based on the day you submit your PUA application.
- Individuals Receiving PUA Ineligibility
The new PUA system is also currently detecting wages in your work history and directing you to file a regular unemployment claim. L&I is working to correct the eligibility issues so that you can continue your PUA Claim. When the system is corrected, it will not impact your eligibility. The application will be effective the week you were first unemployed and is not based on the day you submit your PUA application.
For additional questions about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or to file a claim, please visit the PUA website.
Online Vehicle Sales
This week, Governor Wolf signed SB 841, which makes it possible for car dealerships to conduct online car sales and leasing operations, using remote online notarizations. Auto dealerships may continue to remain open for certain activities, such as repairs to passenger and commercial vehicles and sales of auto parts, but in-person car sales or leases are still considered non-life sustaining and remain prohibited at this time.
Construction to Resume on May 1st
Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting Friday, May 1st, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the Governor shortly. Construction projects already deemed life-sustaining may continue while adhering to social distancing, personnel limits, and other guidance as announced by the administration.
PLCB Begins Limited Curbside Pickup
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has begun accepting orders by phone for curbside pickup. Phone orders can be placed between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM, or until reaching a store’s maximum order capacity each day. Curbside pickups will be scheduled from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM within a few days of order placement. There is a limit of six bottles per order, and credit cards are the only accepted form of payment. For a current list of stores offering curbside pickup, visit the PLCB website.
Round of Applause
This week, IBEW Local 269 members donated 2,000 masks and 400 safety goggles to Jefferson Bucks Hospital in Falls Township and other area hospitals. They also brought the nurses and staff snacks from Fritz's Bakery. Thank you, IBEW Local 269 and business manager Steve Aldrich, for your generous donation to our healthcare heroes!
Do you know of a business or individual who is going above and beyond during these unprecedented times to help others? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in our District Update or on our social media pages.
Please visit the district newsroom to view additional stories, videos, and photos from across the district and the commonwealth.
You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more regular updates.
Offices of State Senator Steve Santarsiero
All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
2003 Lower State Road
Building 100, Suite 121
Doylestown, PA 18901
3 Terry Drive
Newtown, PA 18940
184 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203010
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3010
|TULLYTOWN SATELLITE OFFICE
500 Main Street
Tullytown, PA 19007
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM