GOVERNOR’S NEW CIVILIAN CORPS WILL HELP CREATE JOBS
The Governor of Pennsylvania announced a plan Wednesday to help revive the economy by forming a Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, which will involve increased testing and contact tracing as we continue fighting COVID-19 this fall. According to Governor Wolf, the Corps will provide job opportunities in an environment where one in 6 Pennsylvanians are out of work. There is no approval needed in the Pennyslvania legislature, Wolf Hopes to obtain special funding for the initiative.
MOVING TO YELLOW PHASE GUARANTEED, STAYING YELLOW IS NOT
As 27 counties plan to move into the yellow phase as of May 8th, Health officials continue to follow the COVID-19 case numbers in the individual counties to make sure the levels of the virus stay within certain guidelines. According a press release made last Wednesday by Governor Wolf, the metrics the state is following is an average of less than 50 cases per 100,000 people over the course of 14 days. Counties that move into the yellow phase must maintain the determined average or the county will be demoted back to red. According to Johns Hopkins University, as of last Wednesday Lycoming county had 37.83 cases per capita, qualifying us to stay in the yellow.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID-19 UPDATE
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 888 new positive coronavirus cases as of Wednesday. That brings the state’s overall total to 51,845 positive cases. 94 new deaths were reported with a total of 3,106 fatalities from the coronavirus. Lycoming County added only one case yesterday and has four deaths reported.
SEVEN LYCOMING COUNTY LIQUOR STORES WILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC TOMORROW
Seven Lycoming County Fine Wine and GOod Spirit Stores will open tomorrow according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for counties designated in the yellow phase of COVID-19 mitigation efforts will resume limited in-store public access beginning tomorrow. Stores will, allow no more than 25 people (employees and customers) in any location, and the first hour will be reserved for customers at high risk for COVID-19, including those 65 years of age and older. Customers are asked to wear maskes – the list of area stores opening tomorrow is here.
FUND STARTED FOR AREA MUSICIANS
The Billtown Blues Association (BBA) has created a funding program as is accepting donations from those who wish to support local musicians in need of help after many performances were cancelled this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. BBACARES launched last Friday, May 1st, musicians who reside within a 50-mile radius of Williamsport, PA, may submit an application for review. According to a BBA press release, there will be a 30 day submission period until May 31st after which qualifying applicants can receive funds. Donor contribution forms and musician applications are both located on the BBA website at www.billtownblues.org/bbacares
PAYROLL PROTECTION STILL AVAILABLE
Billions of dollars in potentially forgivable Payroll Protection Program capital remains available to small businesses and nonprofits to help provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed. According to the Small business association, the second round of the PPP, kicked off April 27th. The SBA forgives the portion of Paycheck Protection loan proceeds used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. Loan payments may be deferred for one year, and is retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
MASK DECONTAMINATION IS AVAILABLE IN PENNSYLVANIA FOR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES
Governor Tom wolf announced the free use of a free N95 respirator decontamination system to healthcare facilities, first responders, and other eligible organizations that may be experiencing a shortage of the respirators. According to to press release by the state, the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the decontamination and reuse of N95 respirators using a vaporous hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate the units. A single site can decontaminate tens of thousands of N95s in a single day which can each be decontaminated up to 20 times before throwing it out. The service is provided at no cost by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the only cost to facilities is shipping to and from the site in Delaware County.
Hall of fame quarterback Brett Favre is repaying $1.1 million in money he received that came from a Mississippi nonprofit group who’s former leader has now been indicted and welfare embezzlement scheme for speeches he reportedly never made. Favre who lives in Mississippi said he was unaware of the money’s origin and will repay the department of human services the full amount in the next few months.
NASCAR says those who don’t comply with COVID-19 protocol guidelines could be fined $50,000 as they plan for the first live race May 17th at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The officials at NASCAR have set specific guidelines for the upcoming event including everyone wearing a mask in the infield and social distancing mandates,.
Only three teams plan to attend practice facilities in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trailblazers and Denver Nuggets will be in their facilities Friday, but the Houston Rockets will not go until May 18th following Texas governor Greg Abbott’s new push back. Players are allowed to use practice facilities but cannot hold organized practices , and no more than four players at a time can use the facility for workouts.
Major league soccer players have returned to their outdoor facilities for individual workouts. Players were spotted wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and getting their temperatures taken as they arrived at the facility. According to the major league soccer officials all workouts are strictly voluntary and they are waiting until May 15 to resume any formal practices