I hope this message finds you well. I know how difficult these last few weeks have been for our community – for families, for students, for those who work on the front lines and for those who are desperate to get back to work. Know that your efforts in staying home, social distancing, and wearing masks when you go out are saving lives and flattening the curve. We’re in this together.
As I’m sure you are aware, there was much debate in Pennsylvania and across the country this week about the proper time to reopen businesses. I regret that this conversation has become politicized, and I commit to you that my decisions and votes remain guided strictly by the data from our district and the input of medical, public health, and economic experts, as well as you, my constituents. I want nothing more than a return to normal, but I don’t want the heavy price we’ve all been paying by distancing and staying at home to be for naught if a premature reopening leads to a second mass wave of deaths and economic decline. I will continue to push for widespread testing, increased production and availability of PPE and other measures that will ready us to reopen businesses as soon as safely possible.
This newsletter includes information on unemployment, SATs and AP Tests, resources for older adults, and more. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to my office. We are here to help in any way we can.
Please visit our website’s COVID resource page at www.senatorcollett.com/coronavirus for the latest information on unemployment claims, business resources, how and where to get tested, and more. We are also providing daily updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
As always, wash your hands, stay home, and stay well.
Senator Maria Collett
12th Senatorial District
Governor Wolf Announces Plan for Relief, Reopening, and Recovery in PA
Today, Governor Wolf outlined a plan for Pennsylvania to get through and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic together. The plan includes relief measures; standards for reopening the Commonwealth; and a framework for recovery for all Pennsylvanians. For now, we must stay the course and stay home so we can continue to control the spread of this virus and save lives. Read the Governor's plan here.
Updated Mask & Safety Guidance
This week, Secretary Levine signed an order establishing new safety measures for workers and customers across the Commonwealth. The order requires all employees and customers to wear face masks inside businesses. It also includes protocols for social distancing, cleaning, and mitigation at life-sustaining businesses that remain open.
For more on the latest guidelines, take a look at the Governor’s press release.
I know how frustrating the unemployment process has been for so many in our district. Pennsylvania, like all states, is seeing record numbers of unemployment applications. Know that every effort is being made to get your applications processed in a timely manner. To learn more about delays and timelines, click here. To file for UC, click here.
The federal CARES Act will provide additional benefits for Pennsylvanians who are out of work and expand benefits to workers who aren't traditionally covered, including gig workers, the self-employed, independent contractors, and those who may not have worked enough hours over the past year to qualify for standard unemployment. Here’s what you need to know:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will open up benefits to individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits. Though the application is not yet live, information is available to make sure you are prepared to apply here.
- The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program has started to roll out, temporarily providing an additional $600/week to individuals receiving unemployment compensation. If you are already receiving UC, there are no extra steps you need to take to receive the extra $600. For more info on this program, see Labor & Industry’s FAQ.
- We will post on our social media channels and send an email alert as soon as the PUA application portal is live.
If you are concerned about your benefits or need assistance with the application process, you can reach out to my office at email@example.com or leave us a detailed message at 215-368-1429.
If you are looking for a job, there are a number of places hiring. Take a look at the CareerLink portal for the latest listings. There are openings locally at ALDI, Lowes, Amazon, Bayada Home Health, Walmart and more. Click on “apply now” button under each CareerLink listing to see which positions are open.
College Board Updates for High School Students
SATs: May testing dates have been canceled. If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, the College Board will provide weekend SAT tests every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5. Students can begin registration in May. For more information and updates, click here.
AP Tests: AP testing will be administered virtually this year. AP students now have access to free live AP review sessions presented by AP teachers across the country, with a focus on course content that has been previously covered in the classroom. For the 2020 exams, College Board is developing secure 45-minute online exams for each course. There will be two exam periods: May 11-22 and June 1-5. Additional information and regular updates will be posted here.
New Montco Drive-Thru Testing Site is Open
Montgomery County’s drive-thru coronavirus testing site opened at its new Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell location on Thursday, April 16. The site provides same-day testing by appointment only from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on the days of operation as testing supplies allow. Online registration opens at 8:00 AM each day that the test site is open. For more info on who is eligible to get tested and to make an appointment, visit Montco’s website.
To find additional testing sites near you, take a look at the Department of Health’s Testing Site Map.
COVID Resource Guide for Older Adults
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has launched an online COVID-19 Resource Guide to help older adults and those who care for them. The guide provides information on food assistance, scams, prescriptions, staying active, and more here.
If you need help navigating these resources, please reach out to my office.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
Looking for assistance? Want to share your thoughts on legislation or community issues? You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 215-368-1429 if we can be of service.
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Offices of State Senator Maria Collett
All offices are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
|North Wales Office
Gwynedd Corporate Center
1180 Welsh Road |
North Wales, PA 19454
1410 W. Street Road
Warminster, PA 18974
183 Capitol Building
Senate Box 203012
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3012