Coronavirus resources for area employers
Across the web, business associations and governmental organizations are offering vital information for employers as they keep employees and clients safe, manage remote working strategies and maintain their businesses during a nationwide closure. Continue reading.
Treasury Department asks Congress for $250B more for paycheck protection funds
In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said members of Congress are working to draft a bill purposing “emergency liquidity” for businesses that are struggling to retain workers amid the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
WellSpan Health to double ICU capacity at hospitals
WellSpan Health expects to add about 160 additional intensive care unit beds to its hospitals in the coming weeks. Read more.
Pandemic creates staffing, supply challenges for Pa.’s senior care homes
Seeing the potential threat to Pennsylvania’s seniors living in long-term care homes, associations working with providers had to quickly respond and prepare their members for the worst. Read more.
PA Care Package program now includes banks from all over U.S.
The list of financial institutions affiliated with PA CARE Package, a program slated to facilitate the rollout of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in Pennsylvania, is growing and now includes banks from across the country with branch locations in the commonwealth, as well as some based in the midstate. Read more.
PLCB: Web liquor sales are happening, but slowly
Nearly a week after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced that it was going to resume online sales at www.finewineandspirits.com, many consumers are wondering why they still can’t buy liquor on the website. Read more.
Pa. Realtors Association seeks life-sustaining business designation
The suit challenging Gov. Tom Wolf’s closure order, claims most states have grant realtors that status and that Pennsylvania’s closure rules are arbitrary and unclear. Read more.
Rite Aid to hire 5,000 associates in response to COVID-19
The Camp Hill-based pharmacy chain announced on Monday that it will be hiring more cashiers, pharmacy technician and distribution center associates across the country as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
INOVIO Pharmaceuticals testing COVID-19 vaccine today
INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Plymouth Meeting-based pharmaceutical company, will test the first dose of its COVID-19 vaccine today on a healthy volunteer. Read more.
State launches new resource for manufacturers producing supplies for COVID-19 relief
A new online portal to identify the needs of Pennsylvania manufacturers that are, or could, provide products for the COVID-19 pandemic was launched over the weekend by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Read more.
Pennsylvania issues new orders for cleaning life-sustaining businesses
Pennsylvania businesses with in-person operations permitted under the governor’s life-sustaining business orders, now have a new set of guidelines for maintaining and cleaning their buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more.
Wellspan Health expands care locations for patients with coronavirus
WellSpan Health has converted nine of its facilities to non-emergency care locations for patients who are either positive with COVID-19 or are suspected of having it. Read more.
COVID-19 death rate 10 times that of seasonal flu
The seasonal flu comparatively, has a death rate of around 0.1%, according to the New York Times, making the coronavirus 10 times as deadly as the seasonal flu. Read more.
Who in the Central PA region is hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic?
While many businesses have been forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some industries that are in need of extra staff. Read more.
What is an employer’s duty to report confirmed coronavirus cases?
As the U.S. continues to respond to the growing number of coronavirus cases, what is the obligation of employers to report confirmed cases? Until now, only health care facilities were mandated to report infectious diseases. If you are an employer, please consider your limited duty under OSHA and ADA guidelines to ensure a safe workplace environment and help contain the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more.
Five midstate businesses announce layoffs due to COVID-19
Five businesses in the midstate have filed WARN notices announcing layoffs or closures since Gov. Wolf on March 19, ordered non-life sustaining businesses to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Applications for business closure exemptions to cease Friday
DCED Secretary Dennis Davin suggested businesses who think they may be applicable for the waiver to review the department’s life-sustaining business FAQ and file a form before the end of the day Friday. Read more.
Study: COVID-19 lifts public support for government health care
In early March, just as the coronavirus started to rattle households and workplaces statewide, Muhlenberg College conducted its annual public health survey, which showed that Pennsylvanians increasingly support government’s involvement in health care. Read more.
Highmark waves deductibles, copays for COVID-19 hospital treatment
Highmark members who require in-network, inpatient hospital care for COVID-19 will not have to pay deductibles, coinsurance and copays, effective immediately. Read more.
CARES Act loans for small businesses available Friday
This $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, a partnership between private lenders and the Treasury Department, is meant to cover eight weeks of small business costs and keep workers employed while the COVID-19 pandemic can be contained and the economy can recover, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Read more.
Local distillery to make hand sanitizer for COVID-19 effort
Midstate Distillery in Harrisburg will be one of first three distilleries in the state to prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizer in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Read more.
Your remote workers need data protection, too
Most offices have been closed for weeks and employees are settling into the new normal of working from home. But while that transition may seem complete, the move from office to home can open vulnerabilities hackers can take advantage of. Read more.
Foreclosures, evictions halted under Pa. Supreme Court order
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a ruling Wednesday halting the enforcement of dispossession of property due to non-payment until April 30. Read more.
Gov. Tom Wolf announces stay-at-home orders for entire state
Gov. Tom Wolf expanded his stay-at-home orders to the rest of the state on Wednesday afternoon. Read more.
State AG urges landlords to hold off on evictions
In a March 30 letter to the state’s leading residential trade association, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro urged them to suspend evictions and give Pennsylvanians the chance to recover economically. Read more.
Business leaders praise $2 trillion CARE Act stimulus package
The largest stimulus package in American history was signed into law last week and while it may take time to feel its effects, businesses are beginning to look at what it could mean for their employees and communities. Read more.
Banks, Consumer Protection Bureau offer help with stimulus funds
PNC Bank and First Commonwealth Bank have joined the state’s “PA CARE Package,” an initiative to facilitate the transfer of funds from the federal government’s stimulus package to consumers and businesses. Read more.
PA confirms 4,843 cases of COVID-19, most sufferers under age 50
Of the patients who have tested positive, the largest percentage, at 41%, are in the 25 to 49 year old age bracket, followed by those aged 50-64, with 29% of positive cases. Less than one 1% of positive cases are in the 0 to 12 age range. Read more.
Lebanon added to Pennsylvania ‘stay-at-home’ orders
Lebanon County was one of seven counties to receive stay-at-home orders from Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine on Tuesday. Read more.
Hospital regulations lighten for COVID-19 treatment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have temporarily pulled back on a series of regulations for hospital systems to allow for more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Wolf’s ‘major disaster’ declaration request granted by Trump
President Trump declared that a major disaster exists in Pennsylvania, a status which mobilizes many of the nationwide disaster response measures under the president’s March 13 state-of-emergency declaration to accommodate the commonwealth’s specific requests during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.
Pa. Senators seek support for bill to allow construction to continue
Several senators led by Sen. David J. Arnold Jr., (R-Lebanon) are seeking relief for construction firms throughout the state who have largely shuttered their companies and most projects after Gov. Wolf’s business closure order on March 19. Read more.
Lancaster Chamber CEO addresses business concerns in latest letter
“The pressures on employers –large and small—are overwhelming right now. Some of you are in crisis mode; some of you are fast-tracking opportunities; and all of you are likely feeling bombarded and confused by the full and growing menu of new programs and government help.” Read more.
Cumberland, Dauphin added to Pennsylvania ‘stay-at-home’ orders
Four more counties, including Cumberland and Dauphin have been given stay at home orders until April 30, and Pennsylvania’s schools and non-life-sustaining businesses are to stay closed until further notice, Gov. Tom Wolf said during a press conference on Monday. Read more.
You can compete against coronavirus with creativity
Coronavirus has halted the nation, leaving brands scrambling to redefine their roles in consumers’ lives right now. Marketing and communications experts agree that it’s best to be present but not pushy, branded but not brand-forward, and to be ready to transform strategies on a dime. Read more.
How a York County entrepreneur turned his bus company to a cleaning service
Diversifying his businesses has allowed him to pay the bills and preserve his business for a post-COVID-19 economy, Bailey said. The bus company isn’t just a bus company; it also performs inspections, it’s a warranty center for a bus company based in Basque, Spain, and most recently it just got its dealers license for businesses in Pennsylvania. Read more.
Penn State Health announces its first coronavirus death
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center confirmed its first fatality from COVID-19 at the Hershey-based hospital Friday night. Read more.
Trump signs COVID-19 stimulus package
President Donald Trump signed a record $2.2 trillion aid package Friday at 5 p.m., providing cross-industry support to keep the economy afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.
Gov. Wolf announces ‘Stay-at-home’ order for Lancaster, York counties
Nine more Pennsylvania counties, including York and Lancaster, have received stay at home orders—bringing the total number of counties to 19. Read more.
$2T COVID-19 aid package passes House, headed to White House
The record $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at flooding consumers and industries with capital is en route to President Trump’s desk after the House of Representatives passed it on Friday. Read more.
Hershey startup sells self-cleaning surfaces to local businesses
A Hershey-based startup developing continuously cleaning surfaces for hospitals is growing its outreach to the area’s life-sustaining businesses. Read more.
Public school teachers will be paid during statewide school shutdown
Pennsylvania state lawmakers this week authorized legislation to ensure public school employees will be paid during the mandated closure of education facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.
At Redner’s Markets, ‘It is all hands on deck.’
To stop the hoarding, Redner’s Markets, a Pennsylvania based supermarket chain, is allowing store managers to set limits on the number of items customers can buy of certain foods, like toilet paper or meat. Read more
COVID-19 and the economy: changes coming to commercial real estate
Though the world has not seen a virus causing a global shut down like we are seeing with COVID-19, we can anticipate the significant changes we may expect to see take right here in Pennsylvania. Here’s how commercial real estate is getting pulled into the fold. Read more.
Pa. House and Senate approve $50M boost in funding to health care providers
Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to sign a bill on Friday that would deposit $50 million in transferred state funding to be used for medical equipment and supplies by the state’s health care providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
Elizabethtown College pledges $5,000 in local community support
Elizabethtown College launched a campaign to provide $5,000 in donations to local nonprofits that support the physical and emotional health of the Elizabethtown-area community, one of the many ways that community partners are joining forces to boost economic morale during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more
Lancaster private school pivots online
Veritas Academy in Upper Leacock Township, Lancaster County has not only managed to get its classes up and running online for its 300 students, but is looking to offer a selection of video classes to students outside of the academy. Read more
Pennsylvania unemployment claims jump to nearly 650K
As expected, unemployment claims in Pennsylvania have skyrocketed since the governor began implementing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more
Senate passes $2 trillion aid package, House expected to vote Friday
The Senate passed a record $2 trillion stimulus package late Wednesday aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. economy, which has seen mass layoffs, business closures, imperiled industries and volatile financial markets since the beginning of March due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Read more
Here’s what the COVID-19 stimulus bill includes
The Senate plans to vote this afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus bill that would inundate American households and businesses with cash with the intention of reviving the economy, which has endured mass layoffs and business suspensions due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Read more
Stimulus bill could bring much needed help to midstate businesses
Midstate businesses could have a lot to gain from the Senate’s proposed $2 trillion stimulus bill if it becomes a law in the coming weeks. Read more
Dr. Rachel Levine: COVID-19 cases doubling every 2 days
In an interview with Lehigh Valley Business and the Central Penn Business Journal, Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, warned that the number of coronavirus cases is doubling every two days, underscoring the importance of self-isolation and social distancing. Read more
bizcares.org offers place to share COVID-19 survival tips
John Dame, a CEO coach and business consultant based in Harrisburg, realized that top managers would struggle with what to do about the unprecedented crisis, so he and his son, Ed Dame, set up a forum for leaders to chat about their experiences and to share their stories. Read more
Statewide, 27 warnings issued to non-life-sustaining businesses
State police have issued 27 warnings against businesses considered “non-life-sustaining” who failed to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf’s order directing them to close operations at their physical locations beginning March 23. Read more
With COVID-19 keeping people home, gas prices at record low levels
As most people in Pennsylvania shelter in place, not going out to restaurants or stores and commuting only to the most essential jobs, gas prices are hitting record lows. Read more
Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center offering virtual programming
With plans to stay closed through April 30 because of the coronavirus, the Carlisle Regional Performing Arts Center said it will be offering virtual programs to the community to build artistic engagement and education. Read more
For restaurants forced to close, carry-out and delivery is their best hope
Cash flow for local restaurants has hit a grinding halt following the Wolf administration’s statewide closure of business operations to discourage people from meeting in groups where they could potentially spread the coronavirus. Read more
Rite Aid outlines COVID-19 response plans
Rite Aid is offering expanded services at its pharmacies and providing COVID-19 testing for first responders and health care workers in Philadelphia. Read more
There is hope, helpers, and humanity to focus upon
Take solace and hope in the good already occurring. We’ve seen manufacturers and businesses rush to supply healthcare, customers purchasing gift cards, or taking ten minutes to complete their census or leave a positive review of a favorite business in Yelp, Google, or Facebook. Read more
WellSpan Health hospital worker tests positive for COVID-19
The employee has been placed on leave and hospital leadership has notified employees who may have had contact with them, the York-based system said in a press release. Read more
How manufacturers can help in the fight against COVID-19
As we manage this current crisis and begin to understand the impact on the US and global economy, manufacturing can again play a critical role in our recovery. Read more
Gov. Wolf issues stay-at-home order for 6 counties, extends school closures
Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order for six counties and extended the closure of schools in the state for another two weeks to help fight the spread of COVID-19. He did not mention any timetable for the closure of non-life sustaining businesses. Those closures were ordered “until further notice.” Read more
Revenue department extends personal income tax return deadline
Taxpayers in the commonwealth have an extra 90 days to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns, as the deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15. Read more
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has temporarily suspended a number of provisions in the state’s medical marijuana program to allow patients to have more access to medications. Read more
Pennsylvania business shutdown enforcement begins this morning
The governor originally said enforcement would begin at 8 p.m., Thursday, but the number of waiver requests coming in for businesses that wanted to be considered life-sustaining led the administration to delay the order. Read more
Business resources: Southcentral Pennsylvania
Looking for a comprehensive list of business resources in the midstate? Here they are: Read more
Trade groups request, receive sales tax waiver from Pa. Revenue Department
Businesses will not be penalized for failing to meet the March 20 Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) deadline, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue confirmed to the Central Penn Business Journal. Read more
Pennsylvania confirms another 83 COVID-19 cases
Pennsylvania now has 268 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s a jump of 83 cases from yesterday. The state has had one death so far and 2,574 people who have tested negative. Read more
Pennsylvania Chamber seeks clarity, modification of Wolf’s closure orders
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is seeking modification and clarification of Gov. Tom Wolf’s order closing all “non-life sustaining businesses” in the state. Read more
Here are the businesses affected by state-wide mandatory closure
To slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations late yesterday, and offered a comprehensive list of those types of businesses affected. Read more
Community banks are showing their strength amid COVID-19 crisis
Community banks have been working around the clock for weeks to implement pandemic protocols, which address not only hygiene and cleanliness, testing procedures and sick leave compensation, but also ensure customers maintain access to vital banking services. Read more
Gov. Wolf orders closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses
“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And, we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.” Read more
Trump expands paid sick leave in response to pandemic
Under the recently passed “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” both part-time and full-time workers at private companies with fewer than 500 employees are entitled to paid sick leave if they are subject to an order of isolation by the government or a health care provider, or if the worker shows symptoms of the coronavirus. Read more
COVID-19 crisis: Tough decisions now for a strong return later
As the owner of three businesses in diverse industries, including The Left Bank Restaurant and Bar in York, I have firsthand experience with how the global pandemic will challenge every leader in our community in ways we cannot even comprehend. Read more
Gov. Tom Wolf asks SBA to approve disaster declaration for loans
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to implement an SBA disaster declaration so businesses and nonprofits in the state can access SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans in all 67 counties Read more
Pennsylvania tells hospitals to implement COVID-19 emergency plans today
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has given the state’s hospitals until midnight Thursday to implement their COVID-19 emergency plans, including limits on elective surgeries. Read more
UPMC begins COVID-19 testing, plans to expand to Harrisburg
UPMC began testing patients for COVID-19 this week at a private specimen collection site in Pittsburgh and plans to open a similar site in Harrisburg at a later date. Read more
Dr. Rachel Levine, health secretary, to business leaders: ‘We need your help’ to fight COVID-19
“Now is the time for you to act in your roll as business leaders,” she said during a webinar on how businesses should respond to the coronvavirus organized by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. Read more
Phone, broadband providers pledge to keep customers connected
“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Read more
Barley Snyder’s response team answers COVID-19 business-related questions
This week businesses have be inundated with information regarding their operations the effects of the COVID-19. Read more
COVID-19 related death reported at Northampton County Hospital
Pennsylvania has had its first COVID-19 related death and it was in Northampton County. The individual was being treated in a hospital. No further details were given in a release from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Read more
York County announces first two positive cases of coronavirus
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced 37 new positive cases on Wednesday, bringing up the state’s total to 133. Read more
Penn State Health suspends non-essential surgies during COVID-19 threat
The Hershey-based health system asked its surgeons to review their operating room schedules and cancel all non-essential, elective procedures. Read more
Members 1st limiting branch access because of coronavirus
It is requesting that credit union members use drive-thru services or online resources for the majority of their banking needs to help with social distancing. Read more
38 Pa. residents aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship return home this week
Thirty-eight Pennsylvanians returned to the commonwealth on Tuesday after undergoing strict quarantining and health screening due to their time on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said had 28 cases of the coronavirus confirmed. Read more
First positive COVID-19 test reported in Lancaster County (Source: Lancaster Online)
A written statement from Lancaster General Hospital, which is part of Penn Medicine, said it “is caring for a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more
Latest in closings and delays in Lancaster County (Source: Lancaster Online)
Stay up-to-date with the latest closings and delays in Lancaster County and surrounding areas. Read more
From flower shops to comic book stores, some ‘non-essential’ businesses stay open during coronavirus scare (Source: PennLive)
Linda Diener, the owner of the Hummelstown flower shop said she had to stay open. “I’m a single business owner and this my only money I make,” she said. Almost all of her business is delivery with very little foot traffic and a lot of the business is over the internet from national companies. Read more
What COVID-19 means for the 2020 election in Pennsylvania
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders said they will not have traditional campaign rallies in Pennsylvania or any other upcoming primary state during the outbreak. Read more
Updated list of central Pa. resturants closed to switching to takeout/delivery over coronavirus (Source: PennLive)
Gov. Tom Wolf announced the changes Monday as part of an order to close non-essential businesses including gyms, salons, shopping malls and theaters. Essential businesses including grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations remain open. Read more
$19 for a bottle of hand sanitizer? Pa. Attorney General going after price gougers
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said today that his office has now received more than 1,000 tips reporting price gouging. Read more
PLCB relaxes liquor license ‘safekeeping’ rule during COVID-19 event
Board officials sent a letter to licensees on Monday indicating that the requirements for preserving a license when it’s not operational — as well as the deadlines and penalties that come with safekeeping — have been temporarily but indefinitely lifted. Read more
Gov. Tom Wolf clarifies business closure order, Pa’s COVID-19 cases hit 96
Gov. Tom Wolf also clarified Monday’s order that all non-essential businesses close temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many people expressed confusion over which businesses were included in the designation of non-essential. Read more
Coronavirus updates: Pa. confirms 20 more cases, bringing state total to 96 (Source: Lebanon Daily News)
The additional cases are as follows: two in Allegheny County; one in Beaver County; three in Bucks County; two in Chester County; five in Cumberland County; two in Delaware County; two in Montgomery County; two in Philadelphia County; and one in Washington County. Read more
City of Lancaster declares state of emergency due to coronavirus (Source: WGAL)
The declaration of a state of emergency calls on the City of Lancaster’s Office of Emergency Management to coordinate an emergency response and take all appropriate action to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more
DCNR closing state park and forest facilities statewide, open spaces will remain accessible as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that all facilities at state park and forests in Pennsylvania will be closed for 14 days effective March 17 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as hiking. Read more.
SBA offers $2M in loans to help businesses, nonprofits cover COVID-19 losses
The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is working with state officials to support small businesses impacted by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with up to $2 million targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans. Read more
Penn National Gaming suspends gaming at 12 centers
Penn National Gaming, a locally based owner and operator of gaming and racing properties, has heeded executive orders of state governments by announcing the temporary suspension of 12 gaming facilities across the country. Read more
Citing coronavirus concerns, Camelback Mountain Resort announces closure
Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville is among the first of the region’s resorts that announced a closure today because of the coronavirus. Read more
Lancaster Chamber calls for ‘calm’ and ‘commerce’ amidst coronavirus threat
Lancaster Chamber officials announced a series of postponements of chamber gatherings as business leaders wade in “uncharted waters” caused by the coronavirus. Read more
Midstate hospitals detail plans for coronavirus
The midstate has yet to see its first positive case of coronavirus but with the state’s total number of cases rising to 21 and over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 nationwide as of Thursday morning, area hospitals are looking at which of their employees can work remotely and how many employees their departments need to still operate. Read more