United Way of PA is offering the following resources to local United Ways and all community partners who have a role in serving health and human service needs related to the pandemic. This hub is updated several times per day everyday with new information including policy direction from the state and federal government which impacts community response.

Be Alert! Scammers Preying on Misinformation about Stimulus Package.

  • Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200.
  • Married couples would each receive a check ($2,400 total) if their income is less than $150,000 combined
  • Families will get $500 per child
  • Distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.
  • Social Security recipients will not have to file a tax return to receive a stimulus check, prior to originally reported information. Some seniors may still need to do so if they do not receive social security benefits.

Check the IRS page for the most up-to-date information.

The Federal Trade Commission has already issued guidance to spot potential scams/fraud related to this:

  • The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
  • The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate.
  • Attorney General Josh Shapiro warned Pennsylvanians that scammers are trying to take advantage of the historic rise in unemployment across the Commonwealth by using fake unemployment filing websites in order to steal personal information or to harvest the data to sell to others for uses not properly disclosed to the user.
  • The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the formation of a joint federal and state Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute coronavirus-related fraud.
  • If you suspect fraud please report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at: 1-866-720-5721 or email disaster@leo.gov.

General Updates

As of April 5th, 2020 there are 11,510 presumed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) in Pennsylvania affecting 65 counties. There have been 150 deaths.

  • COVID-19 cases have been found in all of PA’s 67 counties except for: Elk and Jefferson.
  • Department of Health’s Interactive Map
  • As of April 5th, 51% of cases are in people 49 years of age and younger. 79% of those who have been hospitalized are 50 years old or older.
  • There have been 1,072 hospitalizations since March 6th, 2020

Shelter in Place

The governor announced shelter in place order for the entire state through April 30th.

  • Individuals may leave their residence ONLY to perform allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel such as:
    • Obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
    • Getting food and household consumer products, pet food, and supplies necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences. This includes volunteer efforts to distribute meals and other life-sustaining services to those in need.
    • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
    • To care for a family member or pet in another household.
  • If you must leave your home, the Governor and the Department of Health ask that you wear a face mask. Masks can be made at home or bandannas and scarves worn over the mouth can be used instead. Please see the guidance on masks at the Department of Health’s website.

Statewide Mitigation

On March 20th, Governor Wolf has ordered all businesses in Pennsylvania to close that are not life-sustaining. As of 12:01am on March 21st, the order will be enforced by both state and local police departments.

  • There is a detailed list of what is or is not considered life-sustaining. It was amended on March 24th, 2020. Businesses may appeal this decision up to Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
  • This guidance applies to all businesses whether or not they’re open to the public.
  • This prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations as long as social distancing protocols are followed.
  • Life-sustaining operations may remain open but must follow social distancing protocols. “Life-Sustaining” it is not business as usual. For those employers that are life sustaining or have received a waiver; the administration states they must operate business in a way that minimizes exposure and spread.
    • Secretary Levine has signed an order providing direction for maintaining and cleaning buildings for businesses authorized to maintain in-person operations under her and the governor’s life-sustaining business orders
  • Many non-profits will have operations that fall under life-sustaining. If you are uncertain whether or not this guidance applies to you, your organization, or your business, please seek legal counsel.
    • Non-profits may specifically fall under these categories of “life-sustaining” operations: religious or social advocacy organizations, most healthcare services, most nursing and residential care facilities, and most social assistance agencies (except child day care services)

Emergency Declarations

Governor Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency Friday, March 6 in order to authorize Commonwealth agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of the situation. President Trump declared a Major Disaster in Pennsylvania on March 30th after Wolf’s request on the 28th. Trump’s order allows for federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 Action Areas

Nonprofit Resources

Resources for Local United Ways Only

UWP Resources

Pennsylvania State Resources

PA Department of Health Resources

CDC Resources

Other Resources

What is PA211 doing?

Get updates and resources to help you stay informed during the COVID-19 crisis: Text PACOVID to 898-211 and this will sign you up to receive text alerts from PA 211, to include:

  • Breaking news
  • Guidance on federal and state relief legislation
  • Access to resources that can help you meet your basic needs

PA211 is prepared to assist individuals who are impacted by loss of work and are struggling to provide basic needs for their families. PA 211 has procedures in place to track and triage coronavirus calls. 211 centers are currently referring to CDC and PA Department of Health for clinical questions.

We are asking that you promote people text their zipcode to 898-211 instead of calling, text messages are more efficient for remote workers to answer and will help decrease call volume during this time.

It is essential that community partners who continue to provide services during the pandemic communicate with 211 about available services as they expand or contract due to public health response. You can update us at any time using this simple form:

PA211 Counts

PA211 Counts is a program that allows you to track needs in your community. To see how many people are calling 211 about COVID-19, take the following steps:

  1. Go to https://pa.211counts.org/
  2. Click on “healthcare”
  3. On the right, you will see a category called “COVID-19”

What is Coronavirus (COVID 19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are similar to the cold or flu. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • 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. 

How does it spread?

It spreads similarly to the cold or flu:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.

How can we prevent it?

  • 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.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.