ISSUE 62 | MAY 22, 2020
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Extra unemployment assistance available in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has launched the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation to people who have lost work during the pandemic.

The program was created under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

PEMA, National Guard to help slow spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard are working to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The organizations will assist long-term care staff with testing and training on the use of personal protective equipment.

More than two thirds of COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania have been among residents of nursing homes and similar facilities.

Pandemic hitting clean energy jobs
The current economic downturn has facilitated the loss of more than 21,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania.

These occupations have been among the fastest growing jobs in the national labor market, employing nearly three times the number of people working in the fossil fuel industry.

Leaders in the clean energy sector are advocating for support from Congress in the next stimulus bill.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Medicaid providers at the end of the line for COVID-19 funding
Many healthcare providers are currently facing an uncertain future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Congress authorized $100 billion to compensate them for losses in revenue and for the additional costs of treating patients with COVID-19, not much of this funding has been distributed to Medicaid providers serving low-income populations.

According to state Medicaid directors, many of these providers could close permanently if they do not receive sufficient support.

Coronavirus exposes the inextricable connection between housing and health  
The ongoing public health crisis has illuminated the relationship between housing and health outcomes, and has revealed evidence that certain actions can effectively reduce homelessness.

Cities and states have been taking extra steps to address the housing and health needs of people who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness; for example, some cities have:

  • kept winter shelters open
  • expanded housing navigation services
  • established hygiene stations in encampments

U.N. warns of pandemic's mental health costs
The United Nations has released a policy brief warning of the global pandemic’s impact on mental health.

According to Secretary-General António Guterres, the crisis is likely to exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression, which are “some of the greatest causes of misery in the world.”

The brief explains that higher-than-usual levels of anxiety and depression symptoms have already been recorded in multiple countries. 

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