In This Update:
Twelve More Counties Moving to Green Phase of Reopening
Another dozen counties will move to the green phase of Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 restrictions on June 12, joining 34 other counties that have already moved to green in recent weeks. All counties in the state are now in either the green or yellow phase; the governor’s stay-at-home order has been lifted for all counties.
The counties moving to green are: Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York. The green phase of reopening allows all businesses to conduct in-person operations as long as the businesses follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Many businesses in the green phase will operate at a lower capacity with safety requirements in place, with lower occupancy thresholds for businesses such as restaurants, bars, personal care services and entertainment venues.
The Department of Health recently launched a new dashboard that shows each county’s progress toward meeting the Wolf Administration’s criteria to move to the different phases.
With more counties moving to the green phase, our attention needs to turn to what comes after green. A number of the restrictions under the green phase are difficult for many employers and employees to manage. These restrictions need to be lifted as quickly as possible.
Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Restrictions Extended
New guidance for nursing homes, personal care homes and other long-term congregate care facilities will extend restrictions on visitation, group dining activities and other potential health risks for at least 28 days after a facility’s county enters the green phase of reopening. Nursing homes will continue to follow guidance issued last month to help limit the risk of infection.
The restrictions build on the progress the Senate has made toward protecting some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens.
I recently supported a bill that would dedicate $692 million for long-term living programs including: nursing homes ($245 million); heath collaboratives ($175 million); personal assistance services ($140 million); assisted living centers and personal care homes ($50 million); Community HealthChoices managed care organizations ($50 million); adult day services ($13 million); LIFE providers ($10 million); and, residential habilitation ($1 million).
Updated Guidelines Available for Dental Practices During COVID-19
The Department of Health recently provided updated guidance for dental practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guidance provides examples of the kind of services that can be provided based on the prevalence of the virus in local communities. In communities with minimal community transmission, most routine primary and specialty care can resume, while care is still limited in areas with large-scale community transmission.
The guidance encourages dental health care professionals to continue screening patients for symptoms of COVID-19, maintaining the appropriate amount of personal protective equipment and following the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
More PennDOT Driver License and Photo License Centers Opening
As more counties move into the yellow and green phases of reopening, a greater number of PennDOT Driver License and Photo License Centers are opening and providing services to customers, including driver’s skills tests, photo license services, Commercial Driver License (CDL) services, permit testing and more.