Save a Life! Please Stay at Home!
Our Solutions: Educators, Share Your Stories!
Since schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year, parents need resources to keep students engaged. I am calling on current and former teachers to record short videos of themselves reading children's books or providing home school tips. These videos will be shared on my social media pages and future e-news announcements. We can work together to keep our children on track for the next school year. Please send your videos to me at email@example.com. Thank you.
Workers’ Protection Order & a Bill of Rights
Today, Governor Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine announced a new order protecting essential workers from the spread of COVID-19. The order requires the use of masks by employees during work hours, staggered start and stop times, and other measures to minimize direct contact between workers. The order also contains cleaning procedures if exposure to COVID-19 occurs. Failure to comply may result in citations, fines, and license suspensions for businesses. The order goes into effect Sunday, 19 April at 8 p.m.
When the time is right to reopen the economy, I am proposing a Pennsylvania Workers' Bill of Rights to further protect our workers. This Bill of Rights follows recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These rights would include but are not limited to:
- Paid sick leave for employees with COIVID-19
- Telework or work from home for employees at a high-risk for COVID-19 exposure
- Office and operations cleanings under CDC standards
- The appointment of a COVID-19 coordinator for every business
Please follow me on social media for more updates on the Workers' Bill of Rights.
How to Get Your Stimulus Payment
The IRS announced on Saturday, 11 April, Americans started receiving their COVID-19 stimulus checks. Payment will be based on your 2018 or 2019 federal income tax returns. The IRS has an online portal for those who did not file in the past two years to submit payment information.
The IRS has launched a "Get My Payment" portal. This tool will allow people who filed returns in 2018 or 2019 to choose which payment type they want to receive, enter updated direct deposit information, and check the status of their payment. Please note that paper checks might arrive as late as August.
Small Business: More Relief Available
The City of Philadelphia's website has a list of COVID-19 small business assistance programs available. Resources include zero-percent interest loans, low-interest loans, emergency loans with no closing fees, and more. Here are a couple of examples:
The deadline to apply to the Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund is midnight, 15 April. Applications from businesses with revenue less than $500,000 annually will be reviewed.
COVID-19 Projection Tools & Medical Supply Donations
There are online projection tools available to track COVID-19 trends and help with preparing community response plans. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation COVID-19 projection tool estimates Pennsylvania will reach capacity to care for those with COVID-19 on 17 April.
Penn Medicine Predictive Healthcare has launched CHIME, a projection tool to assist hospitals with capacity planning, predict new COVID-19 patients, and help determine best practices for emergency preparedness in healthcare.
Abington-Jefferson Health is accepting medical supply and plasma donations to aid in the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on how you can help, please visit their website.
Unemployment Compensation Help & Legal Aid
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Office of Unemployment Compensation said that 2 million unemployment compensation payments have been made for a total of $784 million.
Three legal aid organizations in our area are offering assistance during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Philadelphia Legal Assistance has a hotline for assistance with unemployment compensation. Services are targeted for residents who lack access to a home computer, those who cannot file over the phone, and those who require translation. The number is (215) 999-6910.
Community Legal Services is providing legal assistance for Philadelphia residents on the phone at (215) 981-3700. For landlord/tenant issues, the Housing Hotline can be reached Monday – Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. at (267) 443-2500. Parents dealing with DHS-involved cases can call the Family Advocacy Hotline at (215) 981-3765.
For Montgomery County residents, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania continues to serve current clients and accept new ones. To apply for help with a civil legal problem, call (877) 429-5994 Monday – Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Musical Mood Boost
A musical break to carry you through the rest of your day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWnAnLUJHTs
Be the Light,
Stay in Touch on Social Media
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