All K-12 Schools in Pa. Officially Closed for Remainder of Academic Year
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday morning that all K-12 schools in the Commonwealth will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year . State officials had previously ordered all Pennsylvania schools to be closed indefinitely after an initial two-week closure announced by the governor on March 13.

The governor's decision to close schools for the remainder of the academic year, which will affect more than 1.7 million students attending both public and private schools, was made in consultation with the state's Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and Secretary of Heath Dr. Rachel Levine. Students will still have opportunities to learn remotely, thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly last month in preparation for extended school building closures. The Department of Education provided resources for schools to help with continuity of education plans, which Wolf highly recommended schools take advantage of during the school closures.The resources include both online and offline learning opportunities.

Sec. Rivera told The Associated Press that graduation ceremonies and other important school events will be handled at the local level and will depend on the extent of social distancing and other stay-at-home guidelines in place as the dates of these events near.

Summer programming may still be an option, Sec. Rivera noted, after the academic year ends. But reopening physical school buildings will depend on mitigation efforts in place at the time and further direction from the governor's administration. The order issued on Thursday also waived additional legal and statutory provisions, including required teacher evaluations.

Click the link below to to watch a video message from Gov. Wolf to students, parents, and educators regarding the school closures:
Daily COVID-19 update for Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, the state Department of Health reported nearly 2,000 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the state total to 18,228. In addition, 338 Pennsylvanians have died directly from complications from the virus. To date, there have been more than 87,000 negative cases across the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf is still asking all Pennsylvanians who must leave their homes for life-essential reasons to wear a mask to help stop the spread of the virus . The state Department of Health has provided guidance on how individuals can create homemade masks for their use in order to preserve high quality personal protection equipment for health care workers. The Centers for Disease Control also announced recommendations for people to wear face masks in public .
Other News...
Capitol Area Coalition on Homelessness providing showers for unsheltered citizens. Showers provided by the Daily Bread and the East Shore YMCA in Harrisburg were closed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Capitol Area Coalition on Homelessness announced that the East Shore YMCA will be reopening their showers and have instituted safe operating procedures for specific times beginning Thursday.

Data pointing to racial disparities in COVID-19 cases, deaths. The state Department of Health will start to release racial data relating to novel coronavirus cases as reports indicate a higher prevalence of positive cases among racial minorities.

Cumberland County Historical Society seeking your COVID-19 stories for digital archive. To chronicle this unprecedented time in human history, the Cumberland County Historical Society is asking the public to submit stories, photos and other documentation to add to its novel coronavirus archive.The digital archive will be titled Cumberland County during COVID-19: Archiving History as it Happens.

Federal government loosens guidelines regarding essential workers exposed to novel coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidelines on Wednesday to make it easier for essential workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 to get back to work if they do not have symptoms of the coronavirus.
Unprecedented times, but McNees is here to help
The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing by the hour. Capitol Buzz will do its best to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible as to local, state and federal actions relating to the virus.

As we have stated in previous editions, for those businesses seeking guidance or assistance on how to proceed during this unprecedented time, please contact the McNees Labor and Employment Practice Group , or for government relations assistance please contact the McNees Strategic Solutions Group (MSSG) .

For more information on what you can do to protect yourself and others, check out the CDC's coronavirus information page or visit .

Unless there is breaking news or other critical developments, Capitol Buzz will return on Monday, April 13, 2020.

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