June 8 Pennsylvania COVID-19 Update
- DoH Launches COVID-19 Reopening County Dashboard
- Sunday’s COVID-19 numbers and links
- Saturday’s COVID-19 numbers and links
- ACP to Congress: Support Primary Care Practices and Physicians
- Help #SavePrimaryCare
Department of Health Launches COVID-19 Phased Reopening County Dashboard
On Friday, the Department of Health launched an online dashboard to show county progress as Pennsylvania moves through the COVID-19 phased reopening plan. The dashboard breaks down four main categories that are used to determine if a county can move into the next phase of reopening.
“As the dashboard shows, there are several metrics used to determine if it is safe for a county to reopen to the next phase,” Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We too, want to get back to a normal life. However, we need the help of all Pennsylvanians to make that happen. By taking simple steps, like continuing to wear a mask, staying home when sick, and implementing social distancing, we can help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 and help Pennsylvania fully reopen in a safe and efficient manner.”
The dashboard shows metrics used to help identify if a county can reopen to the next phase, including:
- Stable, decreasing, or low confirmed case counts, past two weeks compared to previous two weeks;
- Contacts of case are being monitored;
- PCR positivity rate <10% in past 14 days; and,
- Hospital bed use is 90% or lower per district population.
The state also continues to use risk-based metrics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Sunday Data Report from the Department Of Health
On Sunday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed that as of 12:00 a.m. June 7 there were 506 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 75,592.
There are 5,943 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 12 new deaths. County specific information and a statewide map are available here.
There are 620 patients with a positive serology test, and 2,113 probable cases by definition and high-risk exposure. There are 444,173 patients who have tested negative to date. The Department estimates that 71% of all positive cases are now recovered.
Of the patients who have been hospitalized to date the age breakdown is as follows:
- Less than 1% are ages 0-4;
- Less than 1% are ages 5-12;
- Less than 2% are ages 13-18;
- % 1are ages 19-24;
- 16% are ages 25-49;
- 26% are ages 50-64; and
- 56% are ages 65 or older.
Saturday Data Report from Department of Health
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., June 6 that there were 701 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 75,086. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19.
There are 5,931 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 45 new deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here.
There are 620 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 435,122 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows:
- Nearly 1% are ages 0-4;
- Nearly 1% are ages 5-12;
- Nearly 2% are ages 13-18;
- 6% are ages 19-24;
- Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
- 25% are ages 50-64; and
- 28% are ages 65 or older.
Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,056 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,793 cases among employees, for a total of 18,849 at 613 distinct facilities in 45 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,092 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. Approximately 5,703 of our total cases are in health care workers.
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov. Currently, all 67 counties are in the yellow or green phase of reopening.
Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, June 5:
- Signed domestic violence bill, other legislation.
- Announced 12 more counties will go to green on June 12.
- Issued a statement from LGBTQ commission supporting Dr. Levine, denouncing transphobia.
- Launched an online dashboard to show county progress as Pennsylvania moves through the COVID-19 phased reopening plan.
ACP to Congress: Support Primary Care Practices and Physicians
The American College of Physicians is sending a powerful and urgent message to the nation's leaders: More needs to be done.
On May 15, the House of Representatives passed its version of the phase 4 coronavirus relief legislation, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.
“ACP is pleased that the HEROES Act does so much to help physicians in caring for patients during this crisis,” said Dr. Jacqueline W. Fincher, president of ACP, in a statement prior to the passage of the legislation. “While we have recommendations for what more can be done, the provisions in the bill will go a long way in helping to better equip our physicians and our health care system to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The HEROES Act would provide additional relief to physician practices and incorporate many of ACP's priorities. It would add $100 billion in emergency funding to physicians and their practices and hospitals for lost revenue and increased expenses, restore and make improvements to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program including lowering the interest rate and providing more time for repayment, make it easier for IMGs to get visas to help in the efforts to fight COVID-19 and attend residency programs, and fund testing and contact tracing.
ACP has called for targeted funding from the Provider Relief Fund – similar to that allocated for rural hospitals – to help primary care physicians. They requested this targeted funding to offset lost revenue and increased expenses; to be distributed immediately, effectively and in time to prevent practices from closing; and to be continued through the rest of the 2020 calendar year.
This targeted allocation for primary care is among the policies ACP is asking the Senate to include in its phase 4 version of coronavirus legislation. In a June 2 letter to Senate leaders, ACP called for the funding from the Provider Relief Fund among its priorities for inclusion in its legislation.
Other priorities are to include the provisions of the HEROES Act that ACP supported. ACP also outlined policies it would like to see that would support physicians and practices; support the physician workforce; provide patients coverage and protections from out-of-pocket costs; and make improvements to COVID-19 testing infrastructure and establish a national system for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation.
ACP also supports the Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act (HR 6720), which would eliminate graduate school debt for physicians and medical students who are providing patient care related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a May 20 letter to U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, who introduced the bill, Fincher writes, “The College wishes to specifically underscore the importance of easing the financial strain of debt for medical students, residents, and physicians who are playing such a critical role in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and providing care to patients under circumstances that are extremely challenging.”
As part of ACP’s advocacy we are asking Secretary of Heath and Human Services ("HHS"), Alex Azar to make a targeted allocation out of the Provider Relief Fund to help primary care physicians. The social media campaign is part of a larger initiative that combines our efforts with other physician and health care groups, and also includes communications directly to Sec. Azar with our request.
Please help us get the word out about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted primary care practices and why they are especially in need of funding to help them survive this time. We’re encouraging ACP members to engage as well and hoping they will do so by using the hashtag, and for those in primary care practices, letting us know how this is impacting their practice.
Guidelines for tweets:
- All tweets should include the hashtag #SavePrimaryCare.
- All tweets should tag Secretary of HHS, Alex Azar (@SecAzar) and HHS (@HHSgov).
- Tweets should include information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the practice of primary care medicine.
- Tweets should call attention to ACP’s request for a targeted funding allocation from the provider relief fund for primary care practices.
Sample tweets (feel free to customize):
- Communities with a strong #primarycare presence have better care and lower costs. @SecAzar and @HHSgov we need to #SavePrimaryCare from #COVID19. Allocate funds from the Provider Relief Fund for primary care today.
- Without additional support many #primarycare practices will be forced to close their doors forever. @SecAzar and @HHSgov help #SavePrimaryCare from #COVID19 by targeting allocated funds from the Provider Relief Fund to primary care ASAP.
- Now more than ever, patients need access to health care and physicians. I stand with @ACPInternists by asking @SecAzar and @HHSgov to allocate the necessary funding from the Provider Relief Fund to #SavePrimaryCare from #COVID19.
- Internal medicine and other #primarycare physicians are on the frontlines caring for patients with #COVID19. @SecAzar and @HHSgov we need to #SavePrimaryCare by targeting allocated funds from the Provider Relief Fund to #primarycare.
- Primary care practices are struggling to make ends meet during this public health emergency. @SecAzar and @HHSgov targeted funding is needed to #SavePrimaryCare from #COVID19 today!