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Policy Areas

The Department of Health (DOH) today shared its weekly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data and encouraged Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app, as more than 790,000 have already done to aid in contact tracing efforts. There are 40 counties in the substantial level of COVID-19 transmission rate.

While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable, and efficient.

Frequently asked questions can be found here.

By Governor Tom Wolf from Harrisburg, PA - First Lady Frances Wolf, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52622610

Pennsylvania’s First Lady, Frances Wolf, has announced an initiative; One Lens: Sharing our Common Views, a virtual photo and storytelling exhibition that gives all Pennsylvanians the opportunity to share their COVID-19 experiences throughout the past year. This is an invitation to send photos and/or audio submissions to be shared in this virtual exhibition.

This is an opportunity for visibility and to share the important stories of people with intellectual disabilities/autism, their families, direct support professionals, nurses, respiratory therapists, and our providers, in this larger story about the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.

Photo submissions will be accepted through March 8 and audio submissions (stories) will be accepted through March 15. The final product will be shared virtually on March 19, 2021. For more information about the exhibition, how to make submissions, and participate, visit this web page.

Deputy Secretary Kristin Ahrens has asked that we share this and encourage individuals and families, providers, and all of our stakeholders to share photos and stories that reflect the unique challenges and experiences we’ve all navigated over the past year. For additional information, see this press release.

The Commonwealth recently announced (access the press release here) the selection of a vendor for the Resource Information and Services Enterprise – or RISE PA – the upcoming statewide resource and referral tool. When fully implemented, anyone in Pennsylvania will be able to access this tool from their personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices to find information about services and resources and self-refer to participating social services agencies.

RISE PA will also allow service providers to assess the needs of individuals during a physician’s office or emergency department visit, when receiving case management services, or seeking assistance from a community organization, among others. Providers may refer their clients to agencies and be notified of the outcome of their referrals through the system.

RISE PA Stakeholder Webinars:

Lehigh/Capital Zone – Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, and York counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 12, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Southeast Zone – Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 16, 2021 – 1:00 PM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Southwest Zone – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Green, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 19, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

New West Zone – Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 23, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

New East Zone – Bradford, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 30, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Managed Long-Term Services and Support (MLTSS) Subcommittee meeting scheduled for April 8, 2021 will be a listening session focused on the experiences of participants during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Representatives from the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) and Community HealthChoices Managed Care Organizations (CHC MCOs) will be present to listen to participant experiences and answer any questions. OLTL is requesting that any participants who would like to share positive or negative experiences related to receiving services, accessing community resources, or other COVID-19-related experiences please register for the webinar using the registration link below. Individuals may also register and attend as a listener.

Register for this webinar using this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Dial-In Number: 1 (213) 929-4212 / Access Code: 918-173-528

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed another renewal of the state’s disaster declaration tied to the coronavirus pandemic, even as state lawmakers hope to curtail some of his broad powers in emergencies. On Friday, Wolf signed a 90-day extension of the disaster emergency, his fourth renewal of the proclamation. He signed the first order on March 6, the day the first COVID-19 cases were reported in Pennsylvania. View full article from PennLive.

Empty vintage congress hall with seats and microphones.

The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee recently announced that they will be holding public hearings on COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution for older adults and long-term care in Pennsylvania. There will be two hearings in March:

  • Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:30 am in Room 205 in the Ryan Office
  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 9:30 am in Room G50 in the Irvis Office

There is a possibility that these hearings will be streamed live. Members are encouraged to check the Committee website next week for updates to determine if the hearing will be streamed.