Update on COVID-19
3/20/2020
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
 
 
Wolf Seeks to Close Most Businesses

Last evening the governor took the steps to close all businesses that aren’t considered “life sustaining.” If you have questions about the order, I ask you to contact the governor’s office. Any business that would like to seek a waiver, should email RA-dcexemption@pa.gov. Businesses that are unsure if they are to close should contact the administration at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.

These actions will shut down many small, family-owned shops and businesses, not only for the duration of this event, but possibly, and probably, forever. The sprawling and confusing list provided by the governor is provided with no explanation, and House Republican leadership will explore all avenues available to determine whether the action he’s taken is allowed within our state Constitution. It is incumbent upon all state leaders to recognize that long after we have defeated this public health threat, we must have the ability to create economic opportunities for all Pennsylvanians.

Previously, he ordered bars and restaurants to discontinue dine-in services, but they may offer pick-up, take-out or drive through service. Even before businesses were urged to close temporarily, many had seen a significant drop in traffic, affecting both their bottom line and in many cases, that of their employees. For more information concerning unemployment compensation for EMPLOYEES, click here.  For more information concerning EMPLOYER unemployment relief, click here. 

 
Update on Coronavirus Impact in PA

Information about the presence and spread of coronavirus here in the Commonwealth is quickly and constantly changing. To help you keep up-to-date on the information that matters most to you, I put together a page of online resources that includes links to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as news about school closures, PennDOT information and more. I encourage you to visit my website, www.RepKeefer.com frequently for updates.

The virus has been found in York and Cumberland counties.

Coronavirus 101 – What is it and how do I protect myself?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

The CDC and PA Department of Health (DOH) suggest some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and others:

  •   Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
  •   Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  •   Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  •   If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
                                   
What’s Next?

As suggested by the CDC, it is important we all stay calm, limit unnecessary travel and interactions with others, wash our hands, pay attention to how we are feeling and be patient. The House was in session earlier this week to vote on a rules change that will allow us to cast votes on COVID-19-related legislation remotely if necessary. We will be looking at legislation to address unemployment needs, business assistance and more.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact my office online at RepKeefer.com, or by phone at 717-432-0792.

PennDOT Closed

All PennDOT Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Pennsylvania will be closed for two weeks effective close of business on Monday, March 16.

Expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections will also be extended:                                  

  •   Driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.
  •   Vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.
  •   Persons with Disabilities Parking Placards scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.

All PennDOT district and county maintenance offices are closed. Construction projects have been suspended until further notice, however PennDOT crews are available to perform critical functions and emergency maintenance as needed.

All PennDOT rest areas and welcome centers statewide are closed to the public.

Office Closed

To help prevent the spread of the virus, I closed my office to walk-in visitors. My staff is available by phone at 717-432-0792 to assist constituents. If you have a state-related issue, please do not hesitate to call.

My staff will continue to assist with property tax/rent rebate forms by appointment only. If tax forms are needed, staff can mail the forms or can have them printed and arrange for them to be picked up at the office.

Information for Impacted Workers

Workers in Pennsylvania who are impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for Unemployment and Workers' Compensation benefits. Unemployment compensation claims should be submitted online for faster processing.

You may be eligible if:

  •   Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19;
  •   Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19;
  •   You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19; or
  •   You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts.
                                   
Applying online is the fastest and easiest way to get started. You can find call center hours and other vital info at www.uc.pa.gov; learn all UC benefit requirements by visiting the self-service guide; or use UC LiveChat.
     
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repkeefer.com
Office Locations
12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com