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 most of eastern Pennsylvania, including Bucks County, through June 4th, 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.
As of last Friday, May 15th, 37 counties in the northwest, southwest, and north-central regions of Pennsylvania had been moved from the red phase of reopening to the yellow phase. The decision was made for these counties, in part, due to low per-capita case counts and the ability to conduct contact tracing and testing.
On Friday, May 22nd, an additional 12 counties in south-central Pennsylvania will be moved from the red phase to the yellow phase of reopening.
This week the Governor also announced that real estate may conduct limited business transactions statewide. Guidance has been provided on how to operate in both red and yellow phase counties.
I will continue to update you as we learn more about the phased re-opening of the Commonwealth.
Letter to Governor Wolf on Curbside Pick-Up for All Retail
This week I wrote a letter to Governor Wolf asking him to issue an executive order allowing all retail stores to offer curbside pickup. Nearly 80 of my colleagues in the House and Senate signed the letter with me.
Over the last 10 weeks we have seen restaurants, liquor stores, and essential services successfully operate curbside pick-up options for customers. This existing framework can easily be expanded to all retail across the Commonwealth, giving counties still in the red phase access to goods from local small businesses. As Bucks County and others remain in the red phase, our neighbors across the river in New Jersey are allowing curbside pick-up for all retail. Making curbside pick-up an option here will help support our local small businesses and keep money here in the state.
The full text of the letter to Governor Wolf can be found here.
Join Our Facebook Live Town Hall on 5/15
My next live Facebook Town Hall will be Friday, May 21st at 4:30 PM. 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.
Telephone Town Hall Recording
On Tuesday, May 19th I hosted a telephone town hall on issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic and the primary election on June 2nd. I was joined on the call by Secretary of the Commonwealth, Kathy Boockvar, who answered many constituent questions on vote-by-mail and the steps being taken to ensure the health and safety of those who vote at the polls on June 2nd. If you missed the call, you can listen to the recording here.
As a reminder, the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the primary is Tuesday, May 26th. More than 1.5 million Pennsylvanians have already requested mail-in ballots, with over 90,000 in Bucks County. You can request a mail-in ballot at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot. Already requested your ballot? Track the status of your ballot by clicking here.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 13 Week Extension
Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which will provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC), has officially launched. PEUC provides 13 weeks of additional UC benefits to qualified individuals whose regular unemployment benefits were exhausted after July 6, 2019 or later.
Individuals who are still within their unemployment benefit year do NOT need to apply. Once you receive the balance of your regular unemployment benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in PEUC for the additional 13 weeks of benefits and should begin filing biweekly claims, but check our webpage for details if you’re seeing an Inactive Claim notice.
Apply now: https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PEUC.aspx
As we celebrate National Emergency Medical Services Week, we should not overlook the sacrifices and dedication we see from our EMS workers, especially during a public health crisis. Please join me in thanking our local EMS units, who keep our communities safe every day.
Here’s a pre-COVID, pre-mask #ThrowBackThursday picture of myself and Chief Chuck Pressler, touring the Central Bucks Emergency Medical Services facility in Doylestown.
Round of Applause
This week, our round of applause goes to Philly Love Co., an organization that has recently formed with the sole purpose of providing quality meals to frontline workers while supporting local businesses. Last Friday, I joined the Philly Love Co. team to help deliver lunch for the staff at St. Mary Medical Center. Thank you to Brothers Pizza in Langhorne for providing a great meal to fuel our frontline workers!
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