Mar. 17, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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COVID-19: What You Need to Know
 
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease that can create life-threatening health problems in some patients. This email update includes information and resources to help keep you and your family up to date on the latest news regarding this new virus.

To date, the state Department of Health has reported that 96 Pennsylvanians in 15 counties have tested presumptively positive for the disease, and hundreds of others have undergone testing and are awaiting results. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health have created webpages to keep the public informed about how to contain the spread of the disease. I encourage you to visit these sites for additional information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx  

Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Health officials are also providing live updates to the public. The updates are available here.

Check my Facebook page for additional information as the situation continues to develop.

My District Offices Are Temporarily Closed to Walk-Ins

In order to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and protect the health and safety of local residents and office staff, my offices will be temporarily closed to walk-in appointments until further notice. My staff will still be available to respond to emails and phone messages during this time.

Please do not contact us through Facebook or Messenger, as we are currently being inundated with questions. The number of my office in Weissport is 610-377-6363. Our number in Albrightsville is 570-722-8700.

Signs and Symptoms, Preventative Measures, and Testing

According to the Department of Health, symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  •   Fever.
  •   Coughing.
  •   Shortness of breath.

The CDC recommends taking the following steps to help minimize the risk of infection:

  •   Wash your hands frequently.
  •   Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  •   Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •   Stay home if you are sick.
  •   Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
  •   Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
                                   
The Department of Health has shared this outline explaining these preventative measures, including social distancing practices.                                    

The department advises people who have mild symptoms to stay home to avoid contact with others. State residents who have severe symptoms, including a fever over 100 degrees or shortness of breath, are encouraged to call their health care provider. Individuals without a health care provider can contact their local health department or call 1-877-724-3258.

More guidance for state residents and health care providers is available in the graphic below.

 

Governor Orders Closure of Bars, Restaurants, Other Venues for Two Weeks

To limit in-person contact that could spread the coronavirus, Gov. Wolf has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, including bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and other entertainment venues for two weeks. Essential businesses like health care providers, grocery stores and gas stations will remain open.                    

Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so.

Information for employees who may be affected by the shutdown is available from the Department of Labor and Industry here. 

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) offered guidance on which businesses are essential or nonessential here. 

Any questions pertaining to whether the governor’s order affects a particular business should be directed to DCED.

Pennsylvania Schools Remain Closed Through March 27

Gov. Wolf has ordered all K-12 schools to remain closed through at least Friday, March 27. The Administration will reevaluate when it is safe for schools to reopen. No school will be penalized for failing to meet the mandated 180 days of instructional time for the 2019-20 school year.

A number of school districts are developing alternative education plans and continuing to offer lunches for students. Parents and guardians of students are encouraged to learn more about how their school district is responding to the school shutdown by visiting their school district’s website or calling the school.

PennDOT has closed all of the following:

  •   Driver and Photo License Centers                                    
  •   District and Maintenance Offices
  •   Rest Areas and Welcome Centers
                                   
Expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections will be extended (according to the dates in the press release below).

Additionally, construction projects have been suspended in all counties until further notice; however, PennDOT crews are available to perform critical functions and emergency maintenance, as needed.                                    
 
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RepHeffley.com
Office Locations
204B Bridge St., Weissport, PA 18235 | (610) 377-6363
2681 State Route 903, Unit 3, Albrightsville, PA 18210 | (570) 722-8700
Room 420 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202122, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2122 | (717) 260-6139
Email: dheffley@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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