ISSUE 68 | June 26, 2020
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA will give health systems $175 million to lead coronavirus response in struggling nursing homes
In July, Pennsylvania will begin giving $175 million of federal stimulus funding to a group of health systems so that those health systems can lead the pandemic response in nursing and personal care homes.

The recipients of this funding consist of collaboratives involving local health systems and state and local government agencies.

Effort to track police use of force in PA would lack racial data, public transparency
The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously passed a bill to improve oversight of police departments.

It would require departments to report (to the State Police) all incidents in which officers use force.

However, there are concerns that the bill does not do enough to ensure transparency. For example:

  • it does not require that the reports be available to the public

  • it does not require police departments to report the race or gender of those against whom force is used 

Bear Creek Village dramatically increases Census 2020 responses
Luzerne County’s Bear Creek Village is an example of how increased effort in collecting responses to the 2020 Census can lead to greatly improved outcomes.

Actions like working with the local government to send email blasts and engaging with community members have helped bring the response rate from 11 percent to over 60 percent.

For every person not counted in the census, Luzerne County could lose $2,100 of funding for public services.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Innovation for equitable SNAP delivery
Millions of low-income households rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in order to purchase food.

With the development of new technologies and growing demand for online purchasing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, current methods of SNAP benefit delivery are becoming outdated.

A new report by the Urban Institute examines how benefit delivery can be modernized and made more equitable.

Officials seek to shift resources away from policing to address Black public health crisis
Communities across the United States are declaring racial disparities in health a public health crisis.

These declarations have come in the wake of widespread protests against systemic racism and evidence that the pandemic has disproportionately harmed people of color.

The issues have prompted conversation about the option of adjusting local budgets to invest in more equitable public health services, rather than increasing funding for police departments. 

U.S. health officials believe 20M Americans have had coronavirus
According to health officials, it is likely that up to 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus – about six percent of the national population and more than 10 times the number of confirmed cases.

The CDC has stated that 25 percent of infected people may not show symptoms; it is therefore possible that millions of people have had the virus without knowledge of it.

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