The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture wanted to share an update of information related to coronavirus (COVID 19), and the Wolf Administration’s efforts to mitigate its effects in the commonwealth.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21. Please note that this does include vaccine administration through the CVS as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.
Through Feb. 6:
- 2,121,100 doses of the vaccine will have been allocated/received by providers.
- 1,096,525 first doses will have been allocated.
- 880,861 of the first doses will have been administered.
- 1,024,575 second doses will have been allocated.
- 229,922 of the second doses will have been administered.
- 1,096,525 first doses will have been allocated.
Through Feb. 3:
- 1,110,783 doses of the vaccine have been administered.
- There are 650,939 people who have received one dose (partially covered).
- There are 229,922 people who have received two doses (fully covered).
- The math results in 1,110,783 doses administered to 880,861 people.
A spreadsheet of facilities that have received vaccine can be found here.(Link is not compatible with Internet Explorer)
Links to updated guidance and Frequently Asked Questions can be found below:
Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses Operating During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency: https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/business-faq/
Guidance for Businesses in the Construction Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency: https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/construction-industry-guidance/
Guidance for Businesses in the Restaurant Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public: https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/restaurant-industry-guidance/
COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses: https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/business-guidance/
Governor Wolf Delivers 2021 Budget Address
Governor Tom Wolf outlined his budget plan to remove barriers and cut taxes for working class families in Pennsylvania while investing billions of dollars into Pennsylvania schools and workforce development initiatives. The governor’s plan would make Pennsylvania’s tax structure more fair and equitable, cutting taxes for working class families while still making historic investments in public education through the fair funding formula.
“We will defeat COVID, but we can’t yet say when it will be safe for life to return to normal – and it’s hard to know what ‘normal’ will even look like. But I refuse to tell any young family in Pennsylvania that they just happen to be starting out at the wrong time – that, with everything going on, 2021 just isn’t going to be the year we get around to lifting the barriers that stand between them and the future they hope to provide for their children,” Gov. Wolf said. “I think it’s more important than ever that we act boldly and courageously to remove those barriers once and for all. So, today, I’m proposing a budget designed to do exactly that.”
The governor, who will deliver his annual budget address via video on Wednesday, is asking Pennsylvanians to join him in urging the General Assembly to focus on these priorities as the 2021-22 state budget negotiations begin.
“We can have a great public school for every child in every neighborhood in Pennsylvania, good job opportunities for everyone who wants them, and an economy strong enough to provide for everyone. It is possible to pursue a legislative agenda for this commonwealth that is good for families, good for businesses, and good for the economy,” Gov. Wolf said. “Most of all, I think your family’s future is important enough that we ought to just have this argument right now instead of putting it off until next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. Let’s make Pennsylvania an even better place to live, work, and dream big dreams for your kids.”
Governor Wolf’s budget plan builds on his recently unveiled 2021 agenda.
- Cutting Taxes for Pennsylvania Working Class Families and Making the Tax System More Fair and Equitable
- Reaffirm Our Commitment to Build the Strongest Education System in the Country
- Put all Basic Education Funding through the Fair Funding Formula
- Stabilizing Child Care and Ensuring Equal Access for Families
- Increase Special Education, Head Start and PreK Funding
- Introduce Accountability into the EITC and OSTC
- Nellie Bly College Tuition Program
- Attract and Retain the Best Teachers for Our Children
- Comprehensive Charter School Law Reform
- Applying the Special Education Formula to All Charter Schools: Establishing a Statewide Cyber Charter Tuition Rate
- Improving the Redirection Process
- Get Pennsylvania Back on Track After the Pandemic
- Inject Billions into a Reformed Workforce Development System
- Invest in Public Infrastructure, Including School Buildings
- Increase the Minimum Wage to $12/hour, with a path to $15/hour
- Build on Bipartisan Progress
- Reform the Criminal Justice System
- Reduce the Corporate Net Income Tax and Close the Delaware Loophole
- Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis
- Change Harrisburg by Demanding Accountability
- Reintroduce the Governor’s Government Reform Plan
- Curb Special Interest Influence
- Build on Election Reform
For more information:
Agriculture Secretary Seeks Proposals for $300,000 in Matching Grants to Boost Sales, Exports
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding called for proposals from nonprofit marketing and promotion organizations for projects aimed at increasing sales, exports or consumer awareness of Pennsylvania agricultural products. The department will award $300,000 in matching funds to reimburse up to half of costs for projects with priority given to those that increase food security in Pennsylvania or boost COVID-19 recovery.
“Pennsylvania produces the finest agricultural products in the world,” said Sec. Redding. “Despite tremendous challenges brought on by COVID-19, our producers have kept food on our tables and in stores throughout the pandemic. Our goal for these competitive grants is to spur innovative ideas to promote PA agriculture at home and around the world.”
The department will give special consideration to project that leverage other funding and public-private partnerships. Projects that increase access to nutritious food access or address food waste will also be prioritized. Eligible projects may include regional or national promotion.
Projects must have started on or after July 1, 2020 and must be completed on or before June 30, 2021.
The minimum matching grant is $1,000. Applications will be selected in a competitive process.
Qualified nonprofits may apply for grants through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development online application system. The application period closes on Friday, February 19, 2021.
Full grant guidelines can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
First Lady Frances Wolf: “Documenting the COVID-19 pandemic is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania.”
Today, First Lady Frances Wolf encouraged Pennsylvanians to document their COVID-19 pandemic experience during a virtual conversation with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and State Library. This was the first conversation in a series titled, The Bigger Picture, an extension of One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views that hones in on the various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting this extraordinary moment to the broader community.
The full conversation can be found on the One Lens Facebook page.
“Often, the history of a people, an event, or a period, is written by observers who stand apart from what they see, research, or analyze,” said First Lady Wolf. “But One Lens will be a photographic document captured by us, at the very moment of impact. Those who come after us and look back at this time for guidance, or out of simple curiosity, will be able to see what we saw, and feel what we felt during this time. Because of this, documenting the COVID-19 pandemic is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania.”
Conversation panelists included PHMC Executive Director Andrea Lowery, State Library Director Sarah Greene, Pennsylvania State Archivist Tyler Stump and Rare Collections Librarian Mike Lear.
“Everyone in the commonwealth is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but often in unique ways,” said Lowery. “This exhibit is particularly exciting, as it provides an opportunity to capture the voices of all Pennsylvanians in what we know will be an historic moment. Although this project is firmly rooted in the present, it will also help ground the way future Pennsylvanians remember this time. This truly will be the history of a community — the story told by these photos will be shaped by the diverse voices of today’s Pennsylvanians and reflect a narrative that is meaningful to them.”
Stump and Lear, who’ve both conducted extensive research on the 1918 pandemic, shared their findings on the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and its impact in Pennsylvania.
The two historians also identified similarities and differences between the two historical events, emphasizing what we can learn from our past when we have the information. Additionally, the two discussed the kind of information that was missing, and the role Pennsylvanians play in ensuring this information is available for future generations.
Since the start of the
COVID-19 pandemic, the PHMC has focused on making its programs and
collections accessible through virtual programs and by expanding the holdings
in its digital archives and museum collections databases. The State Library also offers digital collections strong in the fields of public administration, economics, political
science, statistics, education, public services, as well as North American,
United States and Pennsylvania history.
“Everyone’s story is important in this historic time,” said Greene. “The State Library of Pennsylvania is excited to be a part of this project and preserve these stories for future generations.”
One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views is a statewide virtual photo exhibit organized by the First Lady’s Office in partnership with PHMC, the PA Council on the Arts, and the PA Tourism Office. It celebrates the hard work and commitment of all Pennsylvanians as we continue our fight against COVID-19. The submission period opens to the public Monday, February 8 and will remain open through Monday, March 8, 2021. The full exhibit will be released on Friday, March 19, 2021. More information about One Lens can be found on the website.
Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, January 25 – January 31
The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from January 25 – 31, 2021. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants, including social distancing, masking and occupancy limits.
These numbers include actions taken during routine food safety inspections and inspections prompted by consumer complaints.
From January 25 – 31, 2021, the department’s Bureau of Food Safety performed 669 inspections, 25 of which were complaint-driven. Nineteen complaints were related to COVID-19 mitigation measures. The department received 170 food facility COVID-19 related complaints, 32 of which were referred to local and county health jurisdictions.
Inspectors closed three restaurants by order after each was confirmed to be violating the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation and Enforcement and Order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Mitigation, Enforcement and Immunity Protections issued November 27, 2020 and refused to make corrections while the inspector was present.
A county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website. Data will be updated weekly with data from the previous week.
Consumers with general food safety complaints or concerns about non-compliance for COVID-19 mitigation can file a complaint online. COVID-19 mitigation restaurant enforcement actions will be released on a weekly basis.
Current mitigation measures in restaurants include:
- Self-certified restaurants may open at 50 percent capacity for indoor dining. Restaurants that have not self-certified are at 25 percent capacity for indoor dining,
- On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed, and
- Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11:00 PM., and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight.
The Bureau of Food Safety operates with an education-first model, and always works to educate and correct issues on-site before taking official action. Businesses will receive a closure order if they are confirmed to be operating in violation of COVID-19 mitigation orders and are unwilling to comply while the inspector is present. If the restaurant continues to operate in any manner following a closure order, the restaurant will be referred to the Department of Health for further legal action, including an action in Commonwealth Court to enjoin the continued operation of the restaurant in violation of the order.
The Wolf Administration offers opportunities for Pennsylvanians to explore restaurants that are operating safely and encourages Pennsylvanians to continue to support local eateries through the dining options now available to them.
If choosing to dine out, consumers can explore the online listing of Open & Certified restaurants and add to their sense of safety and confidence for in-person dining by using the COVID Inspection Dashboard for restaurants’ current status on both food and safety inspection reports.
Consumers can also support restaurants from the comfort of their homes by ordering take-out or delivery. Visit the CarryoutPA website, which offers a comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside or delivery services.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture’s COVID-19 response, visit agriculture.pa.gov/covid.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
- Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
- Daily COVID-19 Report
- Press releases regarding coronavirus
- Latest information on the coronavirus
- Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)
- Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)
- Community preparedness and procedures materials
Vaccine Eligibility Updates
Pennsylvania is still in Phase 1a of our vaccine distribution plan. This week, the Department of Health announced some updates to who can get a vaccine in this first phase.
These updates add two new eligible audiences:
- NEW in Phase 1a: 16 to 64 years-old with underlying medical conditions that put you at risk for serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19 (check the CDC’s site for more info)
- NEW in Phase 1a: Anyone 65 or older.
Scheduling Your Appointment
If you are in one of the above new Phase 1a eligible audiences, go to the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Map to find a location near you and schedule an appointment.
For full details on eligibility during the different phases of Pennsylvania’s rollout plan, please visit the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage.