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Pike County Primary Election COVID-19 Safeguards at Polls

Pike County Primary Election COVID-19 Safeguards at Polls

May 21, 2020

PIKE COUNTY, PA – All Pike County Polling Locations will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm on June 2, 2020 for in-person voting during Pennsylvania’s Primary Election.

Voters heading to the polls are asked to bring their own pens, blue or black ink only, for signing the poll book and marking their ballot. Disposable pens will be available to anyone who does not bring their own.

Voters are asked to wear a mask inside the polling place. No one will be denied their right to vote for refusing to wear a mask, however, many of our poll workers are in the high-risk demographic and will be exposing themselves to the public for more than 14 hours while conducting the election.

We ask you to honor their courage and commitment by wearing a mask to protect them and out of respect for your fellow voters who may have conditions that put them at risk.

The number of voters allowed inside the polls at one time will be limited to no more than 10, but may be less depending on the size of the room and will be left to the discretion of the Judge of Elections.

Voting booths and equipment will be sanitized after each voter so wait times may be longer. Plexiglass shields will be in place at sign-in and ballot-issue stations.

Maintaining a 6-foot distance between voters while waiting in line inside and outside the polling place will be enforced.

Pike County polling places will be fully staffed and operational for the June 2 Primary Election due to the dedication of our poll workers and their willingness to carry out their Election Day duties during this pandemic.

They have stepped up to do their part. We are asking our voters to do theirs.

Wear a mask, be patient, be considerate, be respectful. Working together we are confident Pike County can conduct a safe and secure election on June 2. Thank You Pike County Board of Elections

Governor Wolf Announces Real Estate Industry May Conduct Limited Business Transactions Statewide

Governor Amendment to the Business Closure Order
Secretary of Health Amendment to the Business Closure Order

Governor Tom Wolf today announced that starting today, businesses and employees in the real estate industry may conduct limited business-related activities statewide and provided guidance for this industry to operate in red phase and yellow phase counties.

“We continue to review our policies and the scientific data to determine the safest approach for all activities in the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “While at this point more than two-thirds of the state will be in the yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan by Friday, May 22, we are still evaluating how industries may be able to conduct business appropriately in red phase counties, including the real estate industry.

“This industry impacts numerous types of businesses and Pennsylvania homebuyers who are in the process of, or considering, purchasing a home. It’s critical that these businesses, regardless of whether they are in red phase or yellow phase counties, strictly adhere to all appropriate guidelines and guidance,” Governor Wolf said.

Previously, businesses and employees in the real estate industry were permitted to conduct limited in-person activities in counties in the yellow phase of the commonwealth’s phased reopening plan.

The real estate guidance requires businesses and employees to follow all applicable provisions of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public, which includes provisions requiring that every person present at a work site, business location, or property offered for sale, wear masks/face coverings, and provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All in-person activities should be scheduled and limited to no more than the real estate professional and two people inside a property at any time, exercising appropriate social distancing.

When conducting settlements/closings utilize remote notary, powers of attorney or the exchange of contract documents electronically or by mail wherever possible. Where it is not possible to conduct settlement/ closing via remote notary or POA, attendance in-person must be limited to required signatories and their legal counsel or real estate professional only, and steps to preserve social distancing must be followed to the maximum extent possible.

Businesses and employees are also encouraged to provide sellers with relevant safety information and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing properties; utilize electronic marketing as much as possible; provide all individuals at an in-person activity with a verbal health screening; stagger scheduling of property showings; avoid physical contact with the property by staging in advance to prevent the need for interaction with items like lights, interior doors, drapes and blinds; and minimize time spent in the property by having discussions away from the property via remote means.

The governor today vetoed House Bill 2412, which does not provide enough safety protocols for the COVID-19 public health crisis. Further, the legislation would have placed restrictions on municipalities related to property transfers; specifically, it would have eliminated a municipality’s ability to issue use and occupancy permits and conduct safety inspections, which are conditions of a property transfer.

Gov. Wolf Stresses Roles of PA Emergency Management Agency, National Guard in Pandemic Response

Gov. Wolf Stresses Roles of PA Emergency Management Agency, National Guard in Pandemic Response

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

When it comes to a crisis, preparedness is everything, and today Governor Tom Wolf stressed the critical roles the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and PA National Guard play in coordinating the state’s preparedness and response to COVID-19. He was joined at a press conference by PEMA director Randy Padfield and PA National Guard Colonel Frank Montgomery.

“Pennsylvania has a great team working behind the scenes to coordinate our response to the coronavirus,” Gov. Wolf said. “I want to reassure all Pennsylvanians that we are in good hands with the teams at PEMA and the National Guard. The training and planning that they do year-round is tested during exercises, and all of that experience is being acted upon now.”

Along with the Department of Health (DOH), PEMA has been monitoring the virus since January, establishing the DOH’s operations center at PEMA before the virus was first detected in the United States.

PEMA’s Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC), typically used only during weather emergencies, stood up full operations just a few weeks later, supplementing planning and coordination efforts with staff from dozens of state and federal agencies, and partners.

PEMA works with emergency management agencies in each of the state’s 67 counties to identify and eliminate potential issues by providing the necessary guidance and support to execute their unique, local emergency plans, including coordinating the community-based testing sites in Montgomery County and more recently in Luzerne County in the northeast with the PA National Guard.

“These sites serve a critical role in testing of symptomatic individuals to get a better understanding of the virus spread, especially in the hardest hit areas of the state,” PEMA director Randy Padfield said. “This is just one example of the coordination efforts PEMA manages. We remain committed to assisting the Department of Health, other state agencies, and counties with responding to the COVID-19 crisis and to mitigating the secondary and tertiary effects of such a long term and complex crisis.”

The governor emphasized PEMA’s role in obtaining the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System in Delaware County from the federal government. The free service to decontaminate certain N95 masks is helping health care providers and first responders stretch PPE by being able to safely reuse these masks. The governor encouraged more facilities to take advantage of this service.

The PA National Guard, present in the CRCC every day, has been working to provide support to mass testing sites and the state’s nursing homes that require more help than can be provided with facility staff. To date, the Guard has assisted 10 nursing facilities in the state, including Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County.

Col. Frank Montgomery provided details on the Guard’s role at Brighton and other facilities.

“Teams were built to include physician assistants, nurses, medics and general purpose forces to provide staffing assistance as well as any training on use of PPE, don and doff procedures, and decontamination measures as needed,” said Colonel Frank Montgomery, director of Military Support for the Pennsylvania National Guard. “It’s an honor for us to work side by side with other long-term care staff to serve this vulnerable population. To date, we have provided over 3,500 days of staffing support to 10 long-term care facilities, and are currently still supporting five facilities.”

PEMA works hand-in-hand with the Pennsylvania National Guard on its missions, which in addition to nursing home aid, vary from food distribution to establishing mass testing sites.

“Pennsylvanians haven’t had to worry that we’ll miss out on federal disaster aid, they haven’t had to worry about 9-1-1 centers becoming overwhelmed, and they haven’t had to worry that other emergencies won’t be taken care of during the pandemic,” Gov. Wolf said. “That’s all because PEMA efficiently and effectively does its job.”

Gov. Wolf: 12 More Counties to Move to Yellow Phase on May 22

Gov. Wolf: 12 More Counties to Move to Yellow Phase on May 22

May 15, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf announced 12 additional Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22. Those counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York. Twenty-four counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening on May 8 and another 13 moved to yellow beginning today.

With these additional 12 counties, there will be a total of 49 counties in the yellow phase. The remaining 18 counties are in the red phase.

“Through our social distancing efforts, we have not only reversed a trajectory of exponential new case growth – we have cut it in half,” Gov. Wolf said. “And some of the counties that will be shifting into the yellow phase next week eliminated concerns that we had just two weeks ago. So please, keep up your efforts in the fight so we can continue to add counties to the list of those in the yellow phase. Thank you again for your patience and your hard work.”

Yesterday, Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine amended their yellow phase orders to include 13 counties that moved to the yellow phase today. Those counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Red phase stay-at-home orders remain in effect until June 4 but that does not mean that other counties will not move to the yellow phase in advance of that date.

The reopening plan prioritizes the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians by using a combination of factors to gauge how much movement a location can tolerate before the 2019 novel coronavirus becomes a threat, including metrics developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh that will be released twice each week.

Wolf stressed that this plan is not a one-way route. The state is closely monitoring the counties in the yellow phase and will re-impose restrictions if danger arises. If the new case count begins to climb in one area, restrictions will need to be imposed to prevent local medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed. So, Pennsylvanians should continue to make good choices.

Read Gov. Wolf’s Plan for PA here.

Read business guidance here.

Read CDC guidance for child care centers here.

Read FAQs here.

Gov. Wolf to Pennsylvania: We Must Stay the Course, We Must Follow the Law

Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that the state’s actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 are working and that we must stay the course and follow the law or there will be negative consequences.

“Pennsylvanians are fighting for our lives,” Gov. Wolf said. “We have fought this deadly virus in the best way we can, and sacrificed in ways we could never have imagined. It has been a new kind of heroism – in many ways a quiet heroism. These heroic acts deserve to be met not by surrendering, but by staying the course.”

The governor reiterated that reopening too soon can cause COVID-19 to spread, for cases and deaths to spike and for closures to be reinstated perhaps for much longer.

Reopening decisions are based on the advice of scientists, medical professionals, and the state’s epidemiologists. Factors that inform decisions include case counts, modeling, geographic location, contact tracing and testing capabilities for individual counties, regions, and the state. Each county is considered individually before deciding on placement into the red, yellow or green phases. Yellow counties have a lower risk of virus spread. Red counties have a higher risk of virus spread.

“I cannot allow residents in a red county to get sick because their local officials can’t see the invisible risk of the virus in their community,” Wolf said. “So, I must, and I will impose consequences if a county locally lifts restrictions when it has not yet been given the go-ahead by the state.”

The governor outlined the following consequences to counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed:

  • Counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds the state receives and intends to provide to counties with populations of fewer than 500,000.
  • Businesses in counties that do not abide by the law will no longer be eligible for business liability insurance and the protections it provides. The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance released details of this earlier today.
  • Restaurants that reopen for dine-in service in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will be at risk of losing their liquor license.
  • County residents receiving unemployment compensation will be able to continue to receive benefits even if their employer reopens. Employees may choose not to return out of concern for personal safety and safety of co-workers.

“This is not a time to give up,” Wolf said. “This is a time to rededicate ourselves to the task of beating this virus. I intend to keep fighting, and I believe that the overwhelming majority of my fellow Pennsylvanians intend to keep fighting it too. With that unity, I know we can win.”

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