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Daily local coronavirus briefing - April 21, 2020

PA Department of Health provides update on COVID-19, 1,296 positives bring statewide total to 34,528
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon April 21, that there are 1,296 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 34,528. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. The department is continuing to work to increase the types of cases that are being added to the death case counts. Today, 360 new deaths are reported among positive and probable cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,564.
Bucks County reports 1,197 cases and 116 deaths; Chester County reports 919 cases and 65 deaths; Delaware County has 2,654 cases and 118 deaths; Lehigh County has 2,295 cases and 49 deaths; Montgomery County has 3,154 cases and 223 deaths; Northampton County has 1,544 cases and 43 deaths; Philadelphia has 9,391 cases and 363 deaths.

New Jersey reports 88,806 positive COVID-19 cases and 4,377 deaths
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of April 21, The State of New Jersey had 88,806 cases and 4,377 deaths. There are 2,753 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 133 people have died. Hunterdon County had 419 cases and 18 deaths. To view statistics by municipality, visit the Mercer County COVID-19 dashboard at


Pennsylvania extends Statewide Stay-at-Home Order until May 8
Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the statewide stay-at-home orders issued on April 1 to protect Pennsylvanians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be extended until 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 8. The initial order was set to expire on April 30.

Bucks GOP supports process for COVID-19 mitigation
The Bucks County Republican Committee has announced its support for state legislation that would empower county governments to develop and implement policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with federal health guidelines.

Senator Santarsiero calls for insurance protections for businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) joined his colleagues in calling for the passage of Senate Bill 1114 (SB 1114), which would protect small businesses that are currently experiencing business losses due to the novel coronavirus. While ordinarily a business may have insurance to account for loses that it sustains related to business interruptions, due to a provision that was added into insurance policies in 2006, following the SARS outbreak, there is an exception for claims due to viruses or bacteria.

Human Services announces study to assess impact of COVID-19 on Pennsylvania child care providers
Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced a partnership between the department’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) to study the impacts of COVID-19 on child care providers across Pennsylvania.
“COVID-19 has disrupted daily life in Pennsylvania and around the world, and while these mitigation efforts will save lives, we must also prepare for a long-term recovery period,” said Miller.

Department of Agriculture updates farm labor requirements
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provided farmers who provide housing to their workforce – be it domestic, migrant, or guest H-2A workers – with enhanced requirements for seasonal farm labor to maintain a healthy agriculture workforce to ensure necessary farm labor can continue during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania.


Solstice reopening for curbside pick and delivery with new menu
Solstice, a seasonally-driven restaurant concept that first opened in Newtown in early March, will reopen on Wednesday, April 22, nightly from to 7:30 p.m., with a modified dinner menu available for curbside pickup and delivery. 

Secretary of Agriculture: Pennsylvania's milk supply is strong, choose PA dairy
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today encouraged Pennsylvanians to continue supporting the commonwealth's dairy farmers by purchasing milk and other dairy products produced locally. While the Department of Agriculture continues to advocate for Pennsylvania's dairy farm families, farmers rely on direct support from consumers purchasing their products after the loss of two critical markets for fluid dairy and dairy products with the necessary closure of schools and restaurants statewide.

Wolf Administration encourages residents to support local restaurants with
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Tourism Office encouraged Pennsylvanians to support local restaurants by visiting the CarryoutPA website, which offers a comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside, or delivery services during the state’s stay-at-home order.

Today is Takeout Tuesday
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office has launched some new statewide initiatives: CarryoutPA – in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association encourages Pennsylvanians to support their local restaurants through takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery orders. Local restaurants to register. Additional initiatives are: Pursue Your Hominess and 143 Day.

Community Support

Bucks County Opportunity Council hosts food drive
Bucks County Opportunity Council is having its third COVID-19 Food Drive on Wednesday, April 22 to replenish Bucks County food pantries as they are seeing unprecedented numbers of families coming for food. Items needed (no glass containers and no expired food) include: canned meats/tuna, cases of bottled water, canned pasta sauce, vegetables, soups, rice, 100% fruit juice, cereal/oatmeal, chewy granola bars, beans- dry or canned, jelly/jam and applesauce.

Bucks nonprofits launch coordinated Help Center to distribute food, other necessities
St. Mary Medical Center, Bucks County Opportunity Council and United Way of Bucks County, with the support of Penn Community Bank, announce the launch of a new 8,000-square-foot space for a heathy eating and living partnership named the Help Center. The new site, located in Bristol Borough, will provide food and other necessities to residents county-wide. Items will be distributed through food pantries, Fresh Connect free mobile farm markets and existing distribution points. The site is not open to the public.

ALICE Recovery Fund: Responding to COVID-19 crisis in New Jersey
United Way of Hunterdon County has teamed up with United Way of Northern New Jersey in the COVID-19 ALICE Recovery Fund to provide relief to as many Hunterdon County, N.J., households as possible. The state of emergency created by the coronavirus COVID-19 is exposing critical shortcomings in the economy, health care system and public education. The top prescription for combatting the spread of the virus — social distancing — demands working from home, keeping children out of school and limiting person-to-person contact. These actions, while necessary for fighting the virus, put a substantial segment of the working population at serious financial risk. These are workers who don’t have health insurance, are afraid to call out sick for fear of losing their job, and whose children receive daily meals at school.

VIA celebrates 125th anniversary
The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown (VIA) celebrates its 125th anniversary at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26, when group members will take to the streets of Doylestown in a mobile a caravan of vehicles, led by a vintage fire truck. The caravan will travel from the VIA headquarters at the James-Lorah Memorial Home, to Doylestown Hospital, which the VIA founded and governs, to recognize health heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.
Education, Courses & Online Learning

Bucks County Community College offers new way to ‘visit’
Bucks County Community College, which has adapted to remote instruction and operations during the current global health crisis, has developed an innovative way to introduce prospective students to all Bucks has to offer as they make choices for the future. “Looking with optimism to the fall, we are now conducting daily virtual presentations about a variety of topics, including new student onboarding, financial aid sessions, athletics, admissions, and every academic area,” said Marlene Barlow, director of admissions at the public, two-year college. “The presentations take place Monday through Saturday throughout April and May.”

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