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Policy Areas

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force announced that effective tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, all Pennsylvania adults will be eligible to schedule an appointment for the COVID -19 vaccine.

“We need to maintain acceleration of the vaccine rollout, especially as case counts and hospitalization rates have increased,” Gov. Wolf said. “Therefore, just as President Biden has brought forward universal adult access to vaccines from May 1 to April 19, we are moving Pennsylvania’s timeline of universal adult access to April 13.”

The Department of Health noted that there is ongoing appointment availability in many parts of the state even as Phase 1A and B continue and 1C begins today. With the change in eligibility, those in Phase 2 will become eligible, opening up vaccines to all. Our ongoing initiative with the Area Agencies on Aging to provide assistance to vulnerable seniors for accessing vaccine will continue, as will our other equity initiatives.

“Everyone needs and should be afforded the opportunity to access the vaccine as soon as possible,” Acting Sec. of Health Alison Beam said. “And, this change provides earlier access for many, including college students increasing the likelihood of completion of two-dose regimens prior to leaving campus for the summer. It also means simpler, streamlined operations for vaccine providers that no longer need to check eligibility of people making appointments.”

To date, Pennsylvania providers have administered more than 6 million vaccines and the state is ranked among the top 20 states for first-dose vaccinations. More than 2.4 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated.

Pennsylvanians can find providers on the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Map here.

“Please get vaccinated,” said Sen. Art Haywood.

“It is precisely the bipartisan cooperation of this Joint Task Force coupled with the tremendous work of our provider network that has allowed our Commonwealth to make rapid progress in our vaccine rollout, now expanding eligibility so that every Pennsylvanian who wants to be vaccinated has the opportunity to do so immediately,” said Sen. Ryan Aument. “Because we have maintained our commitment to residents within phases 1A and 1B, we can now further accelerate the rollout and protect our communities, particularly by ensuring that college students can be vaccinated before returning home to their families for the summer.”

“The administration, our task force, and all of our local providers have collaborated together to achieve the goal put forth by President Biden,” said Rep. Bridget Kosierowski. “With the number of COVID-19 positive cases continuing to rise some areas of our state, it is imperative that everyone who wants to schedule an appointment for a vaccine can  have that opportunity to do so.“

“I’m pleased we are able to speed up eligibility so that all Pennsylvanians who want a vaccine can schedule one,” Rep. Tim O’Neal said. “Western Pennsylvania has hosted a number of vaccine clinics in recent days where supply has outstripped demand. We were able to get approval to expand eligibility at one of these clinics, but it only makes sense to open vaccinations to all. The work of the task force has shown when all parties work in a collaborative fashion, we can accomplish a lot in a short timeframe.”

“This further-accelerated plan will move us much closer to the goal of vaccinating Pennsylvanians as quickly and equitably as possible,” Gov. Wolf said.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Lyndsay Kensinger, Governor’s Office
Barry Ciccocioppo, Health

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) requests that all Private Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) Program Financial personnel hold Thursday, April 22, 2021 10:00 am–1:00 pm on your calendars for an important webinar. At that time our consultant, Mercer, will be presenting the new reporting mechanisms for Fiscal Year 2021–2022. This will include Waiver Requests, Budget Submissions, and Cost Reporting.

An agenda and meeting link will follow. Please make every effort to tune in to this presentation and participate in the Q&A portion of the session.

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Since submitting the final-omitted regulatory package to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) on March 15, 2021, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has continued to hear concerns with the regulations for the licensure of recovery houses.

To thoroughly review these concerns with interested parties, DDAP has withdrawn the regulations. They are no longer on the agenda for the IRRC public hearing on April 15, 2021. DDAP plans to resubmit the regulations in the near future.

More information on drug and alcohol recovery house licensing is available on DDAP’s website.

Connectivity is an essential part of everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic. A connected device with internet access provides a gateway to social engagement with family and friends while practicing physical distancing; healthcare services; remote work and school; and supplies and meals.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.

This webinar will include an overview of the Emergency Broadband Benefit including what it is, who is eligible, how it works, and how to help people enroll. A brief question and answer period will follow the presentation. To submit a question in advance of the webinar, please email: broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov.

Presenters:

  • Lori Gerhard, Director Office of Interagency Innovation, ACL
  • Eduard Bartholme, Associate Bureau Chief-CGB, FCC

You can register for this webinar here.

From ANCOR:

This morning the White House released their skinny budget. We wanted to call your attention to this specific provision on page 13:

Enables Older Americans and People with Disabilities to Live Independently in Their Communities. The discretionary request builds on significant investments provided in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 by providing additional resources for the Administration for Community Living to help older adults and people with disabilities maximize their independence and well-being. The discretionary request provides relief to caregivers and families, including $551 million for home and community-based services, doubles funding for the Lifespan Respite Care program, increases resources for meal programs for older Americans, and expands services for individuals with disabilities.

You can read both the Discretionary Request and the Press Release.

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Shannon McCracken
Vice President of Government Relations
ANCOR

Attached is the Thresholds for Community Spread Report as described in Updated ODP Announcement 20-101.

Providers are responsible to review the report and make any necessary changes according to the status of their county. The publication of the Threshold for Community Spread Report will follow publication of DOH’s updated Dashboard numbers, which is available on Friday of each week.

A provider is expected to implement recommended operational status by the following Monday.