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Hot Summer Tidbits

"##Here are some of the ways that LeadingAge PA has been assisting our member communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LeadingAge PA and ECRI offer biweekly updates on coronavirus, available resources, and related state agency coordination. On April 24, 2020, LeadingAge PA, the leading association of nonprofit senior services providers in Pennsylvania, and ECRI, an independent nonprofit organization improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care in all health care settings, announced a new alignment aimed at protecting Pennsylvania's older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these educational sessions on the LeadingAge PA website are offered at no charge to members.

LeadingAge PA is providing information to members on the availability of **$50 million in grant funding** to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in **life-sustaining occupations** during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will offer $1,200 per full-time employee earning less than $20 per hour and employed for the 10-week period from Aug. 16 - Oct. 24, up to 500 employees.

On July 24, 2020, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services announced a commitment of $5 billion in CARES Act funding to assist nursing facilities with COVID-19 specific training, enhanced testing, and technical support.

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) posted the Point of Care Testing document to the message board. DOH is accepting these tests for the POC test systems that CMS is sending, as long as facilities follow the guidance. It will require nursing facilities to report results through NEDSS, Pennsylvania's version of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, have appropriately trained people do the testing, and have the PA CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) certificate or waiver.

LeadingAge PA is providing a dedicated COVID-19 page which provides updated information and resources.

LeadingAge PA, along with the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and the Pennsylvania Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, sent a letter to Governor Wolf on July 31, 2020 urging Governor Wolf to provide additional funds to long-term care providers for testing.

##The following information can be found on the website under the Department of State##

##Pennsylvania Will Provide Postage-Paid Return Envelopes with Mail and Absentee Ballots##

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar announced that the Pennsylvania Department of State will provide funding for postage so all eligible voters can return their mail-in and absentee ballots at no cost to the voter for the 2020 general election.

""Our goal is to make voting as accessible, safe, and easy for eligible voters as possible,"" Secretary Boockvar said. ""Mail-in or absentee voting with prepaid postage means Pennsylvanians can vote from the comfort of their own home, without having to make a trip to the post office to buy a stamp, during the COVID-19 pandemic.""

Eligible voters may apply for their mail-in or absentee ballot online, in person at their county election offices, or by paper forms submitted by mail. Once the county determines the voter is eligible, the Department's funding will allow the counties to send a postage-paid ballot-return envelope with the ballot to the voter for their easy return.



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