Important Information for our area – Closings and Free Meal locations for students
Take Effect Sunday April 19th at 8:00pm
CLICK HERE FOR LINKS TO LOCAL CHURCHES AND THEIR SERVICES
With the state shutdown of eat-in restaurants taking effect last night, we have a list of our dining partners that will be open for business for take-out, delivery or curbside assistance. We know this is a different time for all of us, so when you are thinking about what to have for lunch or dinner, make a call to one of our fantastic restaurants and get some take-out. You will love it and so will they!
We have linked most of the restaurants to their social media pages, so you can stay up to date with them.
The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding gatherings of 10 or more. This is not a law but a suggestion. Please take a moment to check out the “President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.”
Some local 24-hr food markets and big box stores are limiting their hours to 6am-11pm. The reduced hours allow store cleaning and restocking. Please call ahead. These stores are being restocked at regular intervals and shoppers are urged not to over-buy and hoard.
The Williamsport Community Arts Center has cancelled the remaining shows on its schedule .
The Geisinger Coronavirus Hotline number is 570-284-3657
UPMC urges those with Coronovirus concerns to get guidance and updates at MyUPMC
A lot of local organizations are postponing their weekend dinners, meetings and gatherings. We urge you to call ahead.
Don’t forget your pets. It may be advisable to pick up extra pet food and supplies.
INFORMATION FROM THE WILLIAMSPORT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chamber has Postponed All Events Scheduled Through April 10, 2020
The Following Events are Postponed Until Further Notice:
- Muncy Bank & Trust Company – Ribbon Cutting & Open House
- Lycoming College PM Exchange
- Final 3
- North Central Sight Services PM Exchange
In addition to the above postponements, the Visitors Information Center will be closed through March 30. The Chamber offices will continue to be open and will address any travel and tourism related activity as necessary. We will continue to monitor federal and state mandates and provide updates as warranted on our programming and others affecting our community.
Coronavirus Business Resources
The federal government continues to take aggressive and proactive steps to address the COVID-19 threat as the health and safety of the American people remain a top priority. Please see below for the latest guidance and releases in response to COVID-19.
Secretary Azar Announces Historic Expansion of Telehealth Access to Combat COVID-19:
On Tuesday, the Trump Administration and HHS announced unprecedented steps to expand Americans’ access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded Medicare coverage for telehealth visits, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will waive potential HIPAA penalties for good faith use of telehealth during the emergency, and the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) provided flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive beneficiary cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs. For more information see links to the CMS press release
, OCR Guidance
, and OIG Policy Statement
FDA Expands Testing Capabilities:
On Monday night, FDA Commissioner Hahn announced
that states can set up their own system in which they take responsibility for authorizing such tests and the laboratories will not need to engage with the FDA to conduct COVID-19 testing. The updated guidance also expands the types of labs that can conduct testing and provides recommendations for test developers who are interested in developing a test. The FDA has established 1-888-INFO-FDA, to help labs with any questions they may have about the Emergency Use Authorization process, FDA policies or getting supplies. Similar to approving Roche testing last week, yesterday, the FDA also issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)
to Hologic and LabCorp for their tests.
CMS Guidance for States to Apply for a Section 1135 Emergency Waiver:
CMS has provided guidance for states on how to apply for a Section 1135 waiver through the Medicaid Disaster Response Tool Kit
. A factsheet
was released that outlines the flexibilities for healthcare providers to combat and contain COVID-19. CMS will soon provide checklists and tools to further expedite requests and approvals for waivers and other commonly requested flexibilities. Yesterday, Florida
was the first state to apply for and receive approval for an 1135 waiver.
Restrictions on Gatherings:
On Monday, the White House Task Force released updated guidance
with a 15 day strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 that recommends restricting gathers to 10 people or less.
CMS Nursing Home Guidance:
On Friday, CMS released updated nursing home guidance that further protects nursing home residents by restricting all visitors to nursing homes except in cases of end-of-life care. The memo can be found here
Guidance for Discontinuation of Home Isolation for Persons with COVID-19:
CDC released new guidance with strategies to discontinue home isolation with options including both a time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery (non-test-based) strategy as well as a test-based strategy. This guidance will assist healthcare providers and public health officials managing people with COVID-19 under home isolation. Information can be found here
Considerations in the Investigation of Cases and Clusters of COVID-19:
The World Health Organization released interim guidance
on Friday that includes operational guidance to for the rapid investigation of suspected COVID-19 cases after an alert or signal. It is to be used by local, regional, or national health authorities as considerations for investigating cases of COVID-19.
Regulatory Relief for Commercial Vehicles Delivering COVID-19 Supplies:
On Friday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an Emergency Declaration
that provides regulatory relief for vehicles that are transporting medical supplies and equipment to support emergency relief efforts.
The CDC ON COVID-19:
Business Resources for Coronavirus from the PA Chamber of Business & Industry:
The US Chamber’s Coronavirus Response Toolkit:
The SBA Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
· advising employees to avoid visiting high-traffic events or locations on personal time
· reconfiguring meeting rooms, break rooms and other common areas to promote social distancing
· expanding the time of meal service to avoid congestion, and asking employees to consider alternate meal times to reduce crowds
|Survey Regarding Coronavirus Impact on Area Businesses and Organizations
In collaboration with the Clinton County Economic Partnership, your Chamber is collecting data on the impact of the Coronavirus on our area businesses and organizations. We plan to communicate this information to county, state and federal legislators so they have a better perspective on how local business is being affected. Your input is valuable. Please complete this brief survey by April 3, 2020.