Gov. Wolf Thanks Lawmakers for Responding to the Needs of Pennsylvanians, Passing Federal Aid Package

Source: US State of Pennsylvania

Gov. Wolf Thanks Lawmakers for Responding to the Needs of Pennsylvanians, Passing Federal Aid Package

COVID UPDATE: We’re rolling out the vaccine, but supplies are extremely limited. Even if you qualify, you may have to wait for an appointment. Learn more.

COVID UPDATE: We’re rolling out the vaccine, but supplies are extremely limited. Even if you qualify, you may have to wait for an appointment. Learn more.

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March 06, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf thanked the United States Senate for passing comprehensive aid for Americans that addresses ongoing challenges Pennsylvanians face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor released the following statement:

“Thank you to our own Senator Bob Casey and to all of the federal lawmakers who advocated so strongly for this relief package. When the House passes this bill, it will provide desperately needed aid for families, businesses and communities in Pennsylvania.
“This legislation will provide direct checks to American workers and families in need and ensure that programs including enhanced unemployment insurance and aid for hard-hit small businesses will continue. It also devotes new dollars to previously unaddressed needs, including a new direct grant program for independent restaurants and bars, assistance for state and local governments and expanded access to affordable child care.
“Additional funding for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing will be provided, which will give states the resources we need to scale up vaccine rollout. Thanks to Senator Casey, this bill also provides needed funds to support and protect older adults in Pennsylvania and across the nation. Senator Casey advocated for funding for COVID-19 response efforts to save lives in nursing homes, and for funding for vaccination outreach, education and transportation to appointments for older adults.
“Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the increase of vaccine production and distribution, the threat of COVID-19 remains high in our communities. This relief package will help those Pennsylvanians hurt the most by this pandemic, while providing the funds we need to continue making progress in our vaccination efforts.”

Copyright © 2021 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All Rights Reserved.

Grant Program for Essential Workers and First Responders

Source: US State of New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $29 million is available to support essential workers and first responders through the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund program coordinated by the Office of Children and Family Services. The program is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging and other qualifying expenses that enabled workers to perform their duties. The funding comes from private donations from individuals, charitable trusts and businesses made during the COVID crisis.
 
“From the early, dark days of this pandemic, our essential workers have been on the front lines risking their health and safety every day to keep this state running,” Governor Cuomo said. “They took care of us and it is now time for us to take care of them. This grant program will provide critical funding to those individuals and families still struggling from the pandemic and help them get back on their feet as we continue our transition to a new normal.”
 
Qualifying applicants include first responders, health care, and many multi-industry workers. Up to $1,000 is available per household. Workers should be referred by employers, unions or social service providers who can verify employment during the COVID emergency. Families who earn up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level – or $125,470 for a family of four – are eligible to apply for the funds to cover expenses.
 
OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, “We at OCFS are proud and honored to assist our first responder and essential worker neighbors by getting relief to those who honorably and tirelessly responded to the COVID-19 crisis. All New Yorkers owe a debt of gratitude to these everyday heroes who bravely served so others could stay safely at home and to the health care workers who courageously saved so many lives.”
 
About the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund
The Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund is a non-competitive application.  Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria set forth below and who submit the required supporting documentation for eligible expenses will be awarded funds to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses they incurred to respond to COVID-19 that have not been reimbursed by another source.  Awards will be made to eligible applicants for eligible expenditures on a first come, first served basis until funding is exhausted as stated below.  The maximum reimbursement amount is $1,000 per household. 

DCCA News Release: TOP INVESTOR THREATS FOR 2021

Source: US State of Hawaii

DCCA News Release: TOP INVESTOR THREATS FOR 2021

Posted on Mar 5, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU — The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Office of the Securities Commissioner (OSC) reminds Hawaii investors to be cautious of investment schemes pitched through the internet and social media, particularly those involving precious metals, cryptocurrencies, promissory notes and foreign exchange markets.

Schemes related to these products were identified as the top threats facing investors this year in a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the OSC is a member. The survey includes responses of enforcement officials with state and provincial securities regulators throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The survey found fraudulent internet- or social media-based frauds as the top threat to investors. Ranked second are cryptocurrency-related and precious metals-based investments, especially those purchased through self-directed individual retirement accounts, which lack the services and protection of traditional IRAs and can be fertile soil for scammers. Foreign exchange-related schemes rounded out the top three threats. Enforcement officials expect to see a resurgence of high-yield foreign exchange and cryptocurrency-related schemes targeting investors this year disguised as membership or investment programs.

The NASAA survey also indicated that 82 percent of state and provincial securities regulators anticipate that bad actors will continue to attempt to leverage on investor fear and anxiety related to changes in financial markets and the economy due to COVID-19 to illegally sell securities this year.

“Fraudsters will always try to leverage vulnerabilities wherever they can be found. Investors may be lured by the promise of high returns as a way to supplement income lost as a result of the pandemic,” said Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara.

Investment offers that sound “too good to be true” often share similar characteristics. The most common telltale sign of an investment scam is an offer of guaranteed high returns with no risk. All investments carry the risk that some, or all, of the invested funds could be lost.

Nohara recommends that investors always ask if the salesperson and the investment itself are properly registered. This information can be confirmed by the OSC or online at https://brokercheck.finra.org/.

To check the registration of the investment or the person offering it, contact the OSC’s Securities Compliance Branch at (808) 586-2722 or email [email protected].

To report investment fraud, contact the OSC’s Securities Enforcement Branch at (808) 586-2740, toll free at 1-877-HI SCAMS or email [email protected]. To file a complaint or report a tip through the Securities Online Portal, visit https://dccabreg.force.com/securities/s/.

For more investor protection information and resources, visit the OSC’s Investor Education Program website at https://cca.hawaii.gov/sec/iep/.

# # #

Media Contact:
Jayson Horiuchi
Communications Officer
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 586-7582

HAWAI‘I COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER DAILY NEWS DIGEST March 5, 2021

Source: US State of Hawaii

HAWAI‘I COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER DAILY NEWS DIGEST March 5, 2021

Posted on Mar 5, 2021 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

Office of the Governor:
Governor approves Kaua‘i’s re-entry into Safe Travels for Trans-Pacific travelers
Gov. David Ige has approved Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to rejoin the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program for Trans-Pacific travel, effective April 5, 2021. Existing rules for travel to Kaua‘i remain in place until that date. Gov. Ige said, “This emergency rule will simplify travel to Hawai‘i by including Kaua‘i in the existing Safe Travels program. The increased restrictions over the winter months helped Mayor Kawakami safely balance travel with the health and safety of residents and visitors on the Garden Island.”

Kaua‘i mayor Derek Kawakami said, “I thank Governor Ige for recognizing Kauai’s unique rural community with limited resources, and allowing us to institute stricter testing and quarantine rules over the winter months as cases spiked on the mainland. Since that time, Kaua‘i has built a robust vaccine distribution program. By April, we will have offered vaccines to our hospitality industry and restaurant employees, and our healthcare workers, first responders and kupuna will have been fully vaccinated.”

Gov. Ige and Mayor Kawakami urge residents to install the Aloha Safe app, which will notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. All incoming travelers to the state must be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-arrival test from a trusted partner. For more information on the Safe Travels Program:
www.hawaiicovid19.com/travel

To view the full news release:
https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/office-of-the-governor-news-release-governor-ige-approves-kauais-re-entry-into-safe-travels-for-trans-pacific-travelers-beginning-april-5/

Department of Health:
https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii/

Daily and Weekly Preliminary Vaccine Administration Updates

The charts below will be included in the Daily News Digest, Monday-Friday.

54 New COVID-19 Cases and Two Additional Deaths Reported

DOH reports 54 new cases of coronavirus and two additional deaths today, both on O‘ahu, of women, 60-69 years-old with underlying conditions and who had been hospitalized.

This report includes cases up until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Full data is posted on the State COVID-19 dashboard and on the DOH Disease Outbreak & Control Division website daily: hawaiicovid19.com/dashboard.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 11:59 p.m. March 3, 2021

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

O‘ahu 29 22,055
Hawai‘i 4 2,256
Maui 18 2,273
Kaua‘i 0 184
Moloka‘i 0 27
Lānaʻi 0 108
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 3 850
Total Cases 54 27,753
Deaths    2 443

Hospitalizations as of 8:30 a.m. on 3/4/21 – Hawai‘i-1, Maui 9, O‘ahu-18, Kauaʻi-0

First Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Administered
DOH administered hundreds of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 to Dept. of Education employees at a clinic today in Kāneʻohe. DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char said, “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is similar to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in that they are all highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, but different because Johnson & Johnson is a single-shot regimen.”

Soon after Hawai‘i’s first shipment of Johnson and Johnson vaccines arrived Wednesday, DOH sent emails to DOE employees who had expressed an interest in being vaccinated. Dr. Amy Curtis, DOH Adult Mental Health Division Administrator said, “The invitation had links allowing people to sign up for this clinic today or for a Moderna clinic here next week. We had almost 500 people sign up for Johnson & Johnson in a day and a half. We are glad there is so much interest.” To view more: https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/doh-news-release-first-johnson-johnson-vaccines-administered/

DOH Expands Mental Health Assistance in Response to the Ongoing Pandemic
In collaboration with CARE Hawai‘i, DOH has launched a new crisis counseling assistance program to provide support to both children and adults experiencing challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new program, called “Kū Makani – The Hawai’i Resiliency Project,” offers counseling, education, information, and resource navigation while promoting healthy coping, empowerment, and resilience. Amy Curtis, Adult Mental Health Division Administrator said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone in the islands, from keiki to kūpuna. We are pleased to be able to provide yet another resource to help those of us who need some extra support right now.”

Residents can access “Kū Makani” by calling Hawai‘i CARES 1-800-753-6879 and selecting option #1 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and state holidays, and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Services are available for children, teenagers, and adults. Trained crisis counselors are located on each major island, including staff bilingual in Ilokano, Spanish, Hawaiian, Tongan, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Palauan, and Samoan.

This expansion was made possible by a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. To view more: https://hawaiicovid19.com/department-of-health-expands-mental-health-assistance-in-response-to-the-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic/

Department of Public Safety:
Statewide Inmate Testing Continues
COVID-19 testing is continuously being conducted statewide at all facilities. The Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) reports 33 inmate results. Of that number, 20 were positive and 13 were negative. MCCC also reported six (6) inmate recoveries which brings the total active positive inmate count to 43. There were 22 negative MCCC staff test results reported through DOH testing. One (1) MCCC employee reported a positive result from independent testing. All other facility inmate populations are clear of the virus. For more information on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19:
http://dps.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-resources/.

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:
15,546 Passengers Arrive on Thursday
Yesterday, a total of 15,546 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. A total 10,061 people indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 1,159 returning residents. The trans-Pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

To view more: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/covid-19-updates/trans-pacific-passenger-arrivals/

Helpful Resources

Trusted Testing and Travel Partners:
The state of Hawai‘i only accepts Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. For the full list of domestic trans-Pacific, inter-county, international and airline partners or information on how to become a Trusted Testing Partner, go to:
https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/

Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program:
Program overview: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/
FAQs: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/
Email: [email protected]
Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII

COVID-19 Vaccine Status in Hawai‘i and FAQs:
https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine/
Vaccine Call Center: 808-586-8332

COVID-19 Expanded Dashboard (Tables, Charts, and Visualizations):
https://hawaiicovid19.com/data-dashboard/

Safe Travels Digital Platform:
https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/data/

Kaua‘i County:
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
To report violators: https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting
Vaccine Information: https://www.kauai.gov/vaccine

Maui County:
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:
https://www.mauicounty.gov
To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]

Hawai‘i County:
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:
https://coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/travel
Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c 
To report violators: 808-935-3311

City & County of Honolulu:
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:  http://www.oneoahu.org/vaccine
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]  

Media Contact:
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
(808) 636-8194 
[email protected]

Krystal Kawabata
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
(808) 354-4263
[email protected]

DOH News Release: First Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered

Source: US State of Hawaii

DOH News Release: First Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered

Posted on Mar 5, 2021 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) administered hundreds of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines to Department of Education (DOE) employees at clinic in Kaneohe today.

“It is gratifying to see that so many people recognize the benefits this new vaccine offers,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is similar to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in that they are all highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, but different because Johnson & Johnson is a single-shot regimen.”

Today’s vaccination clinic was run by the DOH Behavioral Health Administration at the Windward Comprehensive Health Center.

Soon after Hawai‘i’s first shipment of Johnson and Johnson vaccines arrived Wednesday, DOH sent emails to DOE employees who had expressed an interest in being vaccinated.

“The invitation had links allowing people to sign up for this clinic today or for a Moderna clinic here next week,” said Dr. Amy Curtis, DOH Adult Mental Health Division Administrator. “We had almost 500 people sign up for Johnson & Johnson in a day and a half. We are glad there is so much interest.”

Angel Ramos, Vice Principal at Kalakaua Middle School was the first in Hawai‘i to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“I watched (Dr. Anthony) Fauci on TV.  He said that all three are good,” Ramos said. “So, I did not hesitate to take it.”

Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been shipped to O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kaua‘i. Shots will be administered at points of dispensing run by the state’s District Health Offices and by various hospitals.  DOH will announce additional information in the coming days about where and when Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available.

Click here for pictures, video, and interviews with people who received Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

# # #

Media Contact:

Brooks Baehr

Communications Office

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 586-4417

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR -News Release – Governor Ige approves Kaua‘i’s re-entry into Safe Travels for Trans-Pacific travelers beginning April 5

Source: US State of Hawaii

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR -News Release – Governor Ige approves Kaua‘i’s re-entry into Safe Travels for Trans-Pacific travelers beginning April 5

Posted on Mar 5, 2021 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has approved Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to rejoin the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program for Trans-Pacific travel, effective April 5, 2021. Existing rules for travel to Kaua‘i remain in place until that date.

“This emergency rule will simplify travel to Hawai‘i by including Kaua‘i in the existing Safe Travels program. The increased restrictions over the winter months helped Mayor Kawakami safely balance travel with the health and safety of residents and visitors on the Garden Island,” said Gov. David Ige.

“I thank Governor Ige for recognizing Kauai’s unique rural community with limited resources, and allowing us to institute stricter testing and quarantine rules over the winter months as cases spiked on the mainland,” said Mayor Kawakami. “Since that time, Kaua‘i has built a robust vaccine distribution program. By April, we will have offered vaccines to our hospitality industry and restaurant employees, and our healthcare workers, first responders and kupuna will have been fully vaccinated.”

Gov. Ige and Mayor Kawakami urge residents to install the Aloha Safe app, which will notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19.

All incoming travelers to the state must be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 pre-arrival test from a trusted partner.

For more information on the State of Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels program, please visit www.hawaiicovid19.com/travel.

To download Aloha Safe, please visit alohasafealert.org.

For more information on travel to Kaua‘i before or after April 5, please visit www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.

###

Media Contacts:
Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

[email protected]

Sarah Blane

Chief of Staff

Office of the Mayor, County of Kaua‘i

Phone: 808-241-4900

[email protected]

Gov. Ricketts’ Statement on Dr. Joe Stothert’s Passing

Source: US State of Nebraska

Media Contacts:

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967

Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts’ Statement on Dr. Joe Stothert’s Passing

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that Dr. Joe Stothert, husband of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, had passed away.

“Susanne and I are shocked and saddened by Joe’s tragic passing.  From his service on the State Trauma Board to his work with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he devoted his life to serving others in the field of healthcare.  We are praying for Joe, Jean, Elizabeth, Andrew, and the entire Stothert family during this difficult time.”

Record High Vaccine Doses Administered

Source: US State of New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 183,984 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the last 24 hours, a record high for the state. Additionally, the Governor announced 5,143,219 first and second doses have been administered to date, 801,993 of which were administered by state-run mass vaccination sites. As of 11AM today, New York providers have administered 95 percent of first doses so far delivered. The Week 12 allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers for administration.  
“We’re working tirelessly to vaccinate New Yorkers as quickly and fairly as possible, with special attention to historically underserved communities that have suffered the most during this pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our vast network of distribution sites, including 24/7 operations in certain communities, are getting more and more shots in arms every day. With a true partner in the White House, I’m confident that we’ll continue to see increases to our weekly allocations and we stand ready to ramp up our distribution efforts as soon as we get more doses.”
Approximately 10 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment. 
The ‘Am I Eligible’ screening tool has been updated for individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions with new appointments released on a rolling basis over the next weeks. New Yorkers can use the following to show they are eligible: 
Doctor’s letter, or
Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or
Signed certification 
Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state’s vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government’s Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 11AM today is as follows. Beginning week 9, allocation totals are inclusive of some excess vaccine doses that have been reallocated from the federal Long Term Care Facility program. The allocation totals below include 60 percent of the week 12 allocation which will finish being distributed to New York provider sites on Sunday.  
STATEWIDE BREAKDOWN
First Doses Received – 3,558,980
First Doses Administered – 3,371,537; 95%
Total Doses Received – 5,756,800
Total Doses Administered – 5,143,219
 

Region

Total Doses Received
(1st and 2nd)

Total Doses Administered
(1st and 2nd)

% of Total Doses Administered/Received
(1st and 2nd)

Capital Region

352,715

320,679

90.9%

Central New York

313,095

276,966

88.5%

Finger Lakes

350,410

324,168

92.5%

Long Island

734,325

623,231

84.9%

Mid-Hudson

553,645

468,129

84.6%

Mohawk Valley

171,000

143,296

83.8%

New York City

2,522,165

2,281,199

90.4%

North Country

189,025

174,599

92.4%

Southern Tier

190,745

178,221

93.4%

Western New York

379,675

352,731

92.9%

Statewide

5,756,800

5,143,219

89.3%

 

 
 

1st doses fully delivered to New York Providers
 

2nd doses fully delivered to New York Providers
 

TOTAL

CUMULATIVE

Week 1
Doses arriving 12/14 – 12/20

163,650

0

163,650

163,650
 

Week 2
Doses arriving 12/21 – 12/27

452,125
 

0

452,125
 
 
 
 
 

615,775
 
 
 

Week 3
Doses arriving 12/28 – 01/03

227,395
 
 
 
 
 

0

227,395
 

843,170
 

Week 4
Doses arriving 01/04 – 01/10

239,025
 

165,150
 

404,175
 

1,247,345
 

Week 5
Doses arriving 01/11 – 01/17

221,315
 

119,925
 

341,240
 

1,588,585
 

Week 6
Doses arriving
01/18- 01/24

250,400
 

462,395

712,795
 

2,301,380
 

Week 7
Doses arriving
01/25 – 01/31

260,150
 

239,525
 

499,675
 

2,801,055
 

Week 8
Doses arriving
02/01 – 02/07

321,850
 

220,720
 

542,570
 

3,343,625
 

Week 9
Doses arriving
02/8 – 02/14

320,000
 

244,500
 
 
 
 

564,500
 

3,908,125
 

Week 10
Doses arriving
2/15 – 2/21

356,990
 
 
 
 

265,525
 
 
 

622,515
 
 
 
 

4,530,640
 
 
 
 

Week 11
Doses arriving
2/22 – 2/28
 

393,530
 

305,780
 

699,310
 

5,229,950
 

Week 12
Doses arriving
03/01 – 03/07*
 

352,550
 
 

174,295
 

526,850
 

5,756,800

*These numbers represent 60 percent of the Week 12 Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The full Week 12 allocation is expected to arrive by the end of day Sunday, March 7.
 
To date, New York providers have administered 95 percent of first doses received from the federal government but due to the federal government’s limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. New Yorkers seeking to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, can visit the ‘Am I Eligible’ website. New Yorkers may also call their local health department, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments where vaccines are available.
 
The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state’s vaccination effort.
 
New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at [email protected]. Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the State works to vaccinate the entire eligible population. 

Attorney General James Defends Age and Background Check Requirements for Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Sales

Source: US State of New York

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James, as part of a multistate coalition of 19 attorneys general from around the nation, today continued the fight to ensure that states have the right to enact reasonable firearm regulations that protect public safety and reduce the prevalence of gun violence. In an amicus brief filed in support of a Washington state initiative regulating the sale of semiautomatic assault rifles, in the case Mitchell v. Atkins, the coalition argues that states can pass regulations to ensure that only individuals who are likely to use firearms responsibly in their states are able to access them.
“Americans have seen too many deaths as a result of gun violence, whether they live in New York, Washington, or any other state,” said Attorney General James. “While some seek to remove every safety check we have on protecting our states’ residents from gun violence, states have the clear authority to pass the necessary laws to protect residents, as well as authority to ensure compliance with those laws. The last thing we need to do is to make dangerous weapons more accessible to young people, which is why we are taking this action to protect against further gun violence.”
In 2018, the people of Washington passed Initiative Measure No. 1639, which imposed new rules on sales of semiautomatic assault rifles, including an age requirement on semiautomatic assault rifle sales, a requirement that local law enforcement agencies conduct enhanced background checks on prospective purchasers, and a prohibition on the in-person sales of semiautomatic assault rifles to nonresidents. In 2019, a group of firearms dealers and prospective purchasers who did not meet the age requirement filed a lawsuit, alleging that Washington’s measure infringed on their Second Amendment rights and violated the dormant Commerce Clause. The district court ruled against the plaintiffs, after which they appealed to the circuit court.
In today’s amicus brief — filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — the coalition argues that states have the responsibility and power to protect their residents by promoting safety, preventing crime, and minimizing gun violence. Additionally, states can enact specific regulations that are best tailored to their residents’ needs. These regulations include restrictions that prohibit the sale of firearms based on the purchaser’s age, which are found in all 50 states. For example, New York prohibits the sale of handguns to those under the age of 21. Restrictions of this kind have repeatedly been upheld by courts throughout the country as a way to deter crime and promote public safety.
The coalition also argues, today, that states can permissibly promote public safety by restricting in-person sales of firearms to state residents, as Washington has. Restricting the in-person sales of semiautomatic assault rifles to state residents allows states to conduct more robust background checks on those who purchase weapons, and better ensure that only individuals who are likely to use firearms responsibly can use them. Congress has already enacted an identical measure with respect to handguns, limiting the in-person sales of all handguns to the residents of a dealer’s home state. The attorneys general point out that Washington’s initiative merely extends that rule to the sale of semiautomatic assault rifles — arguably a more dangerous weapon.
Joining Attorneys General James in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

New Positive Cases Begin to Level Off; DPH Confirms First COVID-19 Case with South African Variant

Source: US State of Delaware

DOVER (March 5, 2021) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing an update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4, 2021.A total of 87,874 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents have been reported to DPH since March 11, 2020. The seven-day average of new positive cases decreased to 256.7 as of Thursday, March 4.
The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday, March 4, was 19.2%, a decrease from 20.9% as of Thursday, Feb. 25. DPH publishes both positivity rates – persons tested and total tests conducted – on its COVID-19 data portal. As of Tuesday, March 2, the seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 4.6%, a decrease from 5.1% as of Tuesday, Feb. 23. There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.
In addition, 127 individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, which is a decrease of 29 as of this time last week. Fifteen of the hospitalized persons are critically ill, down 11 from last week.
A total of 1,453 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. The state reported 35 additional deaths since last week’s update. The total number of individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranges in age from younger than 5 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 718 were female and 735 were male. A total of 715 individuals were from New Castle County, 302 were from Kent County, and 436 were from Sussex County.
Update on Variant Cases in Delaware:The Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351, in Delaware. This variant is the same one that was first discovered in South Africa in October and is also commonly referred to as the South African Variant. Delaware now joins a list of 17 other states and jurisdictions reporting cases of the SA variant.
The case involved a New Castle County adult in their 50s who traveled outside of the country prior to testing positive for COVID-19. The case was identified through routine surveillance of test specimens performed by the Division of Public Health Laboratory.
In addition to the newly identified South African variant case, DPH has identified 12 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. This variant is the same one that was first discovered in England in December and is also commonly referred to as the UK Variant. The cases include 11 adults ranging in age from 18-65, as well as a child under the age of 10. Eight individuals were from New Castle County and four were from Kent County.
Virus mutation is common. Preliminary data suggests the UK variant, as well as Brazilian and South African variants, may spread more easily and quickly, which could lead to increased cases. Public health approach and treatments are not any different, but as these new variants may be more contagious, it is even more important that individuals remain vigilant and continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings.
COVID-19 Vaccinations:As of 12 a.m. March 5, a total of 253,535 administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system, DelVAX. A total of 278,390 doses have been delivered to the state, and 52,115 doses have been delivered as part of the federal pharmacy programs. Delaware’s latest COVID-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.
Long-term Care Statistics:As of 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4, there have been a total of 2,434 positive COVID-19 cases involving long-term care residents, and 700 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.
The locations and number of deaths involving residents of long-term care facilities are:
Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (23)Brackenville Center, Genesis Healthcare, Hockessin (23)Brandywine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmington (36)Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (5)Brookdale Dover, Dover (15)Cadia Healthcare Broadmeadow, Middletown (17)Cadia Healthcare Capitol, Dover (21)Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (11)Cadia Healthcare North Wilmington/Silverside, Wilmington (33)Cadia Healthcare Pike Creek, Pike Creek (2)Churchman Village, Newark (21)Country Rest Home, Greenwood (16)Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill, Smyrna (15)Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Delmar (2)Dover Place, Dover (6)Foulk Manor South, Wilmington (14)Forwood Manor, Wilmington (6)Governor Bacon Health Center, Delaware City (1)HarborChase of Wilmington, Wilmington (4)Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Lewes (45)Harrison House Senior Living, Georgetown (47)Hillside Center, Wilmington (8)Ingleside Assisted Living, Wilmington (2)Kentmere Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Wilmington (9)Kutz Senior Living, Wilmington (9)Little Sisters of the Poor, Newark (11)Lofland Park Center, Genesis Healthcare, Seaford (6)ManorCare Health Services, Wilmington (20)ManorCare Health Services, Pike Creek (27)Methodist Country House, Wilmington (4)Millcroft, Newark (3)Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Milford (48)New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center, New Castle (12)Newark Manor Nursing Home, Newark (11)Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation, Wilmington (26)Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center, Smyrna (37)Regal Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Hockessin (14)Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmington (9)Seaford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Seaford (3)Shipley Manor, Wilmington (12)Silver Lake Center, Genesis Healthcare, Dover (2)Somerford House and Place, Newark (5)Summit Assisted Living, Hockessin (3)Sunrise Assisted Living, Wilmington (2)The Center at Eden Hill, Dover (7)The Moorings at Lewes, Lewes (4)Westminster Village, Dover (23)WillowBrooke Court Skilled Center at Manor House, Seaford (12)WillowBrooke Court at Cokesbury Village, Hockessin (4)Three other New Castle County long-term care facilities (1 death at each facility)One other Kent County long-term care facility (1 death at this facility)
If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or headache or congestion or runny nose without a known cause such as allergies. Other symptoms such as abdominal pain or lack of appetite have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation by a primary care provider. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.
DPH reminds Delawareans that if you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, make sure to distance yourself from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions – including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment – may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Information about testing events, including community testing sites, permanent fixed testing sites, and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website at de.gov/gettested.
Delawareans 18 or older are encouraged to download COVID Alert DE, Delaware’s free exposure notification app to help protect your neighbors while ensuring your privacy. Download on the App Store or Google Play.
Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.
Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.
As a reminder, DPH recently announced it has created a pathway for the public to submit complaints if they believe a COVID-19 vaccination provider is violating vaccination requirements. Those complaints can be directed to HSPContact@delaware.gov.
DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.
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