Daily Update: April 2, 2020 1 PM


  • 7,016 confirmed cases, 47,698 tested negative, Deaths 90

Cases by county in the 10-county region per Pennsylvania Department of Health
* case count last updated at 12:00 p.m. on 4/2/2020

Cases Deaths
Allegheny: 419 2
Armstrong: 7 0
Beaver: 55 2
Butler: 69 2
Fayette: 15 1
Greene: 11 0
Indiana: 6 0
Lawrence: 16 2
Washington: 38 0
Westmoreland: 84 0

State Updates

  • The Wolf Administration announced late yesterday that the application process for a business seeking a waiver to continue operating in the state during the COVID-19 crisis would close on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm. At the end of the day March 31, 2020, DCED had received 32,474 requests for exemptions from state businesses. DCED’s most up-to-date life-sustaining business list is attached, and businesses can apply for a waiver until the deadline here.
  • The PA Department of Revenue announced today it is extending the due date for corporations with tax returns due in May to August 14, 2020. More information can be found here.

Regional Coronavirus Updates:

Highmark Health Insurance:

  • Highmark will waive deductibles and co-payments for members hospitalized by COVID-19. Information on eligibility can be located through the health care provider’s website below. Highmark will also repurpose space downtown to assemble COVID-19 test-kits, hoping to create 6,000 kits by the end of the week. https://www.highmark.com/hmk2/newsroom/2020/pr04022020COVID19.shtml

Allegheny County:

  • Port Authority of Allegheny County will temporarily suspend its regular lost and found procedures until further notice. Beginning Thursday, April 2, customers will only be permitted to pick up wallets, government IDs or passports, credit cards and checkbooks, personal electronic devices and items valued at more than $300. Customers are asked to arrange for pick up by calling Customer Service so physical distancing can be practiced.

Lawrence County

  • The Ellwood City Medical Center, which has been closed since December, is one of the sites being considered during the covid-19 pandemic. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspected the site and will send its finding to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to determine if the facility will be designated as treatment center for coronavirus patients.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey:

Federal Coronavirus Updates:

Phase IV Proposals:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) held a press conference to discuss policy options for a fourth coronavirus relief package (“Phase IV”).
  • Speaker Pelosi has noted her hope to act on Phase IV by the end of April, Senator Schumer supports the timeline while Senate Republicans have not noted support.
  • Speaker Pelosi noted that House Democrats’ Phase IV proposal is heavily modeled after the Moving Forward framework House D’s released earlier this year. Pelosi noted the package could include $760 billion for an infrastructure package modeled after the Moving Forward framework released earlier this year, $10 billion for community health centers, and funding for education, housing, and other priorities. Moving Forward Framework: https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/2020%20Moving%20Forward%20Framework%20Press%20Release.pdf

Department of Labor (DOL)

  • DOL announced a temporary rule implementing the paid sick leave and family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). DOL will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, to provide stakeholders with an in-depth description of the temporary rule and help them learn more about the requirements under FFCRA. Prior to issuing the temporary rule, DOL released fact sheets for employers and employees, FAQs, and other resources. DOL noted that the rule is pending placement on public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register and publication in the Federal Register.
  • DOL announcement: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200401

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

  • HHS issued an open letter to the health care community on optimizing ventilator use during the pandemic. HHS noted that “a possible crisis standard-of-care strategy, currently contemplated by several centers, is using one ventilator for two patients,” stressing that “co-venting should only be considered as an absolute last resort and for a limited amount of time.” Other recommendations included adherence to social distancing, following guidelines to optimize the use of ventilators, and data driven requests and usage of the Strategic National Stockpile.

Department of Defense

  • Pentagon officials have ordered military bases and combatant commands to withhold coronavirus case numbers, citing operational security concerns. Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated that he wants the Pentagon to withhold mission-specific information to protect operational security and only give aggregated numbers, further stating that the Pentagon will not disaggregate numbers because it could reveal information about where the locations may be affected at a higher rate than other places.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

  • Fourteen House Committee Chairs sent a letter today to OMB Acting Director Russell Vought requesting an immediate extension of public comment periods, hearings, and meetings due to the pandemic. Committee leaders asked OMB to direct agencies to extend public comment periods by at least 45 days beyond the end of the declared national emergency.

White House:

  • Ambassador-at-Large Deborah Birx, Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, predicted over 200,000 U.S. deaths could be attributable to the coronavirus even with the current mitigation measures in place. President Trump cautioned that “This is going to be a painful two weeks.”

National Coronavirus Update

  • 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment compensation last week.
  • Eleven states still don’t have a stay-at-home order: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
  • COVID-19 Death Toll: 5,148.