Preparation for Lancaster County Opening Up

On May 10, 2020, Lancaster County, State, and Federal officials sent a letter to Governor Wolf stating that we are opening Lancaster County via our own local, data-driven plan on May 15, 2020.  The goal of the stay-at-home effort was to ensure that our hospitals were not overwhelmed by COVID-19.   The goal of “Flattening the Curve” has been met and our hospitals have the capacity to handle the needs of our communities.  In addition, businesses are ready to open following the same safety protocols afforded to the Governor’s “life-sustaining” guidance and the over 6,100 plus businesses that he selected for a “waiver”.  Please read the letter we sent to the Governor.

The Lancaster County District Attorney announced that she will not prosecute citations issued in Lancaster County pursuant to Stay at Home orders and business closures.  District Attorney Adams stated that, “Our interpretation of existing law in balance with the constantly shifting definitions of what is and is not allowed, per these orders, brought us to this informed decisions: we will not prosecute.”  You can read the District Attorney’s press release here.

The Lancaster County Commissioners  have created a COVID-19 Relief Plan in order to prepare for a safe re-opening of our County’s economy.  The plan explains the framework on how the county will expend the Federal CARES act funding to help ensure that Lancaster County opens up in a safe manner.

There are two important aspects of the re-opening plan: safety for everyone, especial vulnerable populations and economic assistance.  Lancaster County is partnering with Penn Medicine’s Lancaster General Hospital (LGH), to conduct COVID-19 testing in all of the county’s nursing homes.  In addition, LGH will introduce contact tracing in the county and will also provide instructions for self-monitoring and infection control to those who catch COVID-19.

In terms of economic assistance, Lancaster County has joined forces with the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation to spend $6 million of Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) money to purchase masks, thermometers, face shields, gloves, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Lancaster County small businesses.  In addition, they plan to spend an addition $25 million of Federal CARES Act money for a Small Business Recovery and Sustainability Fund to provide working capital for local businesses.  This money can be used for small businesses to make capital improvements such as sanitation stations, physical barriers and even pay rent.

The Lancaster County Economic Development Company and Lancaster Chamber of Commerce created an Economic Recovery plan.  The plan contains three phases and includes structured activation teams for implementation.

May 15, 2020 – Questions and Answers:  Senators, Representatives, and County Commissioners answer Questions posed by Lancaster Online – LNP Editorial Board 

COVID-19 Resources for People and Businesses

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released guidance for people and businesses related to COVID-19.  Browse through the links below to find out how to protect yourself and how you can prepare your business for re-opening up.

CDC General Information on COVID-19 on how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick

CDC –  COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults

CDC – Preparing small businesses and employees for the Effects of COVID-19

CDC – Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

CDC – Guidance for Business and Employers