Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Below is information from various sources compiled by Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network regarding the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Preventions
- PA Department of Health
- Responding to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania
- Coronavirus in Pennsylvania
- COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard
Most program offices in the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) have stopped accepting walk-in clients pending the current COVID-19 crisis.
You can apply for legal aid by telephone or online through the program serving your county. You can locate your local legal aid office using the PLAN Program Provider list at https://palegalaid.net/legal-aid-providers-in-pa. Online applications, where available, can be made through the individual program websites.
- 11/25/20 - Governor Wolf Signs Renewal to COVID-19 Disaster Declaration - Governor Tom Wolf has signed a third renewal of his 90-day Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency disaster declaration provides for increased support to state agencies involved in the continued response to the virus and recovery for the state during reopening. The new emergency disaster declaration will now go through the end of February, unless Gov. Wolf decides to end it sooner.
- 11/23/20 - As COVID-19 Cases Reach Critical Levels, Wolf Admin Announces New Mitigation Efforts - With new modeling projecting 22,000 new COVID-19 cases per day in Pennsylvania in December, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced new targeted mitigation measures to help stop the spread during this critical time. These include a robust enforcement plan targeted at chronic violators along with an effort to ensure schools are safe and in compliance with COVID safety plans. The administration is also encouraging Pennsylvanians to limit unnecessary travel and stay at home.
- 11/18/20 - Allegheny County COVID-19 Related Stay-at-Home to Stop Social Gatherings Advisory - Beginning immediately, Allegheny County residents are asked to stay at home to stop social gatherings to stem the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, getting food, or the like.
- 11/17/20 - Wolf Administration COVID-19 Announcements: Protecting The Health Care System, New Traveler Testing Order, Strengthened Masking Order, Recommendations For Colleges And Universities - As Pennsylvania experiences a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with significantly higher daily case counts than in the spring and hospitalizations on the rise, the Wolf Administration has identified four new mitigation efforts, which Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced today.
Secretary's Order-Masks Secretary's Order-Travel
- 11/16/20 - Philadelphia announces new “Safer at Home” restrictions to fight rising COVID-19 cases - In response to rising COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia, new “Safer at Home” restrictions are effective November 20, 2020 through January 1, 2021.
- Reopening Pennsylvania - As of July 3, all counties are in the green phase of reopening. Follow the link to find out what that means.
- Mask Up, PA! - In Pennsylvania, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. Follow the link for details on mask usage and what masks do and don't do. Also to Mask FAQs for Businesses.
- Information and Resources for Individuals - Follow the link on Travel information, Unemployment Compensation and other types of financial and personal help available.
- Information and Resources for Businesses - Follow the link for COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and other resources that are available for businesses.
COVID Alert PA App - COVID Alert PA is the official mobile app by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) that uses the Exposure Notification System (ENS) provided by Apple and Google. Information and download instructions at the link.
- PA.gov News
- PA Governor Tom Wolf - News
- PA Department of Human Services - News
- Translated COVID-19 Materials and Resources
By Order issued May 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania directed that the general, statewide judicial emergency declared and maintained via this Court's prior Orders SHALL CEASE as of June 1, 2020. The previous Orders SHALL EXPIRE according to their own terms.
Administrative orders issued by intermediate appellate courts and local courts to declare local emergencies and any emergency orders or directives issued REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT until they expire or are rescinded, and President Judges in those judicial districts may continue to exercise emergency powers. Full details are in the Supreme Court Order.
Landlord-Tenant - Center for Disease Control Order
On September 4, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This Order is effective from the date it was published through December 31, 2020.
Under this Order, a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.
Tenants, lessees, or residents of residential properties who are covered by the CDC’s order temporarily halting residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, as well as each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement or housing contract, must provide a signed Declaration Form to their landlord, owner of the residential property where they live, or other person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live. For legal assistance in an eviction action contact your Local Legal Aid Office.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, 2020. The law will go into effect 15 days after it was signed.
Many people will be eligible for two weeks of sick leave at their regular pay rate to either quarantine, or to seek a COVID-19 diagnosis or preventive care for themself.
Additionally, you may also be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at no less than two-thirds your regular pay rate if you are caring for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis, or to care for a child whose school or daycare has closed as a result of coronavirus concerns.
An expanded Family and Medical Leave Act will also provide government employees and those who have worked for companies with fewer than 500 employees for at least 30 days with 10 weeks of emergency paid leave to care for children whose schools or daycare facilities were closed.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted on March 27, 2020. The law provides roughly $2 Trillion in relief and economic stimulus funds to provide relief for individuals and businesses facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The law provides relief in a variety of forms including direct payments to taxpayers; increased access to greater amounts of unemployment compensation benefits; increased funding for food security programs; increased funding to health systems; financial assistance through loans and grants to business enterprises and funding to support education including loan relief.
Employees - Unemployment Compensation/Workers Compensation:
- Information for Pennsylvania Employees Impacted by COVID-19 (PA Department of Labor & Industry)
- Unemployment Compensation and COVID-19 (Philadelphia Legal Assistance)
- COVID-19 - OSHA Safety Standards and Directives
Food Insecurity and Help/Meals:
- How to Access Emergency Food Assistance During COVID-19 Mitigation (PA Dept. of Agriculture)
- Wolf Administration Directs Families to Emergency Food Assistance During COVID-19 Mitigation. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding issued guidance for accessing emergency food assistance for Pennsylvanians at risk of hunger due to measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- School Meals: Pennsylvania sought and received approval from the Federal government to allow schools the option to distribute meals at no cost while schools are closed. More information on Meals for Children.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’ online applications and resources at http://www.compass.state.pa.us/ to apply for benefits.
Medical Insurance, Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Information:
- Insurance Coverage and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (PA Department of Health)
- Community Legal Services flyer
- PACE Pharmacy Program Offers Prescription Extensions during COVID-19 Mitigation Effort
- Governor Tom Wolf has announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Guidance and Resources for School Communities
- School Guidance - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PA Department of Education)
Social Security Administration:
- Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed
- Pennsylvania Extends Personal Income Tax Return Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020
- Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to End of Year
- PUC Enhances Utility Protections for Families & Businesses Struggling with Financial Impact of COVID-19 - Although the utility termination moratorium was lifted, utilities shall not terminate service for residential customers with incomes within 300% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG), unless otherwise authorized by the Commission. These “protected customers” must apply for all available assistance programs and must request a payment arrangement from the utility, if appropriate.
- PUC Ratifies Recent Emergency Orders Taken to Prevent Utility Service Interruptions, Enhance Public Health & Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Public Utility Commission Press Release: PUC Prohibits Utility Terminations, Consistent with Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency
- Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association Guidance to Municipal Authorities During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coronavirus Scams (Federal Trade Commission)
- PA Attorney General: AG Shapiro Creates Consumer Tool to Combat Coronavirus Price Gouging
- U.S. Department of Justice - COVID-19 Fraud
- Community Preparedness and Procedures Materials - a library of free outreach materials for businesses, organizations and anyone interested in displaying important messaging on COVID-19.