Tag Archives: Eve Klein

COVID-19: Philadelphia to lift indoor dining (and theatre and movie) ban on September 8th

As of September 8, 2020, Philadelphia will allow indoor dining at restaurants.

Key elements of the dining restrictions include:

1.  Restaurants cannot be filled to more than 25% capacity.

2.  No more than 4 diners per table.

3.  Tables must be arranged so that diners at separate tables are at least 6 feet apart or have an impermeable barrier between them.

The indoor dining ban will lift a day after Labor Day in an attempt to avoid holiday crowds. Indoor dining has been banned since mid-March.

Per the Philadelphia Business Journal, restaurant owners are also being urged to increase ventilation in their establishments to further decrease the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Outdoor dining is permitted to continue under current restrictions, including having no more than 50 people outside.

Other restrictions will include:

1.  Servers must wear both masks and face shields for additional protection.

2.  Continuation of no bar service.

3.  Alcohol can be served only for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.

4.  Last call for all indoor dining orders will be at 11 p.m. and establishments will be required to be closed for service by midnight.

5.  Restaurants must install physical barriers such as sneeze guards or partitions in restaurant kitchens and at cash registers, host stands, and food pick-up areas where maintaining physical distance of at least six feet is difficult.

6.  Restaurants are required to  screen every employee for symptoms before every shift and prevent them from remaining on-site if they have a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.

Indoor theaters and movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen on Sept. 8 with venues not to exceed 50% capacity, with a maximum of 25 people allowed.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jonathan Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: Philadelphia Extends Indoor Dining Ban through 9-1-20

Philadelphia has extended its ban on indoor dining at restaurants to Sept. 1 after the city has seen another week Covid-19 cases on the rise. The previous ban was set to end Aug. 1.

Health officials noted that while they sympathize with restaurant owners, the risk of infection spread is increased with indoor dining.

Mayor Jim Kenney said his administration is working with restaurants to help with permits extending outdoor seating to sidewalks or “streeteries.” According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia is allowed to offer indoor dining while limiting capacity under guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, but city officials have prohibited it as Covid-19 case rates still hover around more than 100 per day.

The Health Commissioner stated that he does NOT believe the city is near a point where it would shut down again, but that officials would regulate or educate in settings where the virus is spreading.For Further Information:

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jon Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA makes $50M available for Hazard Pay Grants to Life Sustaining Occupations

Governor Tom Wolf announced 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.

Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” said Gov. Wolf. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

• Businesses
• Healthcare Non-profits
• Public Transportation Agencies
• Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO)

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:

• Healthcare and Social Assistance
• Ambulatory Health Care Services
• Hospitals
• Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
• Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
• Food Manufacturing
• Food Retail Facilities
• Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
• Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jon Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Announces New Gathering Limitations – Effective July 16th

Earlier this afternoon, around 3:30 pm, on 7-15-20, PA Governor Wolf announced new gathering restrictions that will go into effect at 12:01AM on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

For a copy of the Governor’s order – 

Bars:

1. All bars are prohibited from conducting operations unless they offer sit-down, dine-in meals.

2. Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.

3. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.

4. Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.

For purposes of the order, occupancy requirements are:

1. Limited to 25% of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining.

2. A discrete indoor event or gathering in a business in the retail food services industry is limited to 25 persons.

Restaurants and private catered events:

For purposes of the order, occupancy requirements are:

1. Limited to 25% of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining.

2. A discrete indoor event or gathering in a business in the retail food services industry is limited to 25 persons.

All businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:

1. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.

2. Customers being served must be seated at a table.

3. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

4. Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.

5. Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal. Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.

Nightclubs:

1. All nightclubs, as defined by the Clean Indoor Air Act, 35 P.S. § 637.2, are prohibited from conducting operations.

Other events and gatherings:

Events and gatherings other than those in businesses in the retail food services industry must adhere to these gathering limitations:

2. Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 persons are prohibited.

3. Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 persons are prohibited.

4. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

Teleworking:

1. Unless not possible, all businesses are required to conduct their operations in whole or in part remotely through individual teleworking of their employees in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which they do business.

2. Where telework is not possible, employees may conduct in-person business operations, provided that the businesses fully comply with all substantive aspects of the business safety order, the worker safety order, and the masking order.

Gyms and fitness facilities:

All gyms and fitness facilities, while permitted to continue indoor operations, are directed to prioritize outdoor physical fitness activities. All activities must follow masking requirements as provided by the July 1 order, and must provide for social distancing requirements of persons being at least 6 feet apart, as well as being limited by any limitations related to.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Jonathan Segal, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: Philadelphia Limits Public Gatherings of 50 or more on public property through February 28, 2021

As of late yesterday, July 14, 2020, Philadelphia issued a public gathering, large event moratorium notice. Per Mayor Kenney’s office, due to the ongoing public health crisis, the City’s Office of Special Events will not accept, review, process, or approve applications, issue permits, or enter into agreements for special events or public gatherings of 50 or more people on public property through February 28, 2021.

The City may further extend this timeline based on feedback from public health experts. Any pending applications will not be further reviewed, processed or approved.

The moratorium will apply to special events and public gatherings including, but not limited to:

•Festivals
•Parades
•Concerts
•Carnivals
•Fairs
•Flea markets

In addition, permit applications for residential block party permits will not be accepted until further notice. Any pending applications will not be further reviewed, processed or approved at this time. Further guidance regarding block party permits, including a timeline for when such activities may resume, will be communicated as soon as possible.

The moratorium does not apply to:

•Demonstrations and First Amendment-protected activities.
•Outdoor gatherings that are not publicly advertised—such as family picnics and outdoor weddings—with less than 50 pre-registered guests.
•Organized, outdoor group recreational and sports activities for youth and adults with less than 25 participants.
•Events and gatherings taking place on private property, including performance venues and stadiums.

Please note this is different than the rules that have been issued for dining that are still applicable in PA and in Philadelphia.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Jonathan Segal, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Insurance Department Warns of Risks, Increased Liability and Lack of Insurance Coverage due to Non-Compliance of Business Closure Orders

Earlier today on May 11th, PA Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman reminded businesses of the importance of complying with Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s orders – for counties in both the red and yellow phases.

In addition to the critical public health objectives, Commissioner Altman warned non-compliant businesses defying the governor and secretary’s business closure orders that many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude coverage for businesses or individuals engaging in illegal acts or conduct. These exclusions may apply to property coverage, liability coverage, advertising injury coverage, and a host of other essential coverages.

“Businesses and residents rely on insurance coverage to protect them from liability, pay for covered losses, and compensate those who may be injured or harmed,” said Altman. “It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency.”

This reminder was offered to all Pennsylvania businesses and residents, regardless of in what county they reside.

Comments were also directed at restaurants and their liquor licenses – reminding PA restaurant owners that restaurants that reopen for dine-in service in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will be at risk of losing their liquor license.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Dominica Anderson, Eve Klein, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA announces Emergency Assistance Program (“EAP”) for lower income families

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced on May 8, 2020, an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help low-income families who lost wages experiencing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families who qualify will be eligible for a one-time payment to assist them in meeting basic needs and help them secure more stable financial footing in the future.

The program will use existing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to provide support to low-income families who qualify. The program will be open to families with a child under the age of 18 or a woman who is currently pregnant.

In order to qualify, families must have at least one person in the household who was employed as of March 11, 2020 and experienced an hour or wage reduction of at least 50 percent for two weeks or more or lost employment entirely due to the public health crisis.

Families must meet income limits of 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and have no more than $1,000 in a savings or checking account.

Household               Monthly Income                Annual Income Limit
1                                           $1,595                                            $19,140
2                                           $2,155                                            $25,860
3                                           $2,715                                            $32,580
4                                           $3,275                                            $39,300
5                                           $3,835                                            $46,020
6                                           $4,395                                            $52,740
7                                           $4,955                                            $59,460
8                                           $5,515                                            $66,180
9                                          $6,075                                             $72,900
10                                        $6,635                                             $79,620
Each + Person                    $560                                               $6,720

Qualifying families will be issued a one-time grant equal to two months of TANF benefits. The average monthly TANF grant for a family of three is $403, so a qualifying family of three would receive a one-time grant of $806 through the program. Information on monthly grants by household size and county is available online here. Funds will be issued through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.

The emergency assistance application is available online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Families should be prepared to submit all necessary documentation with their application to expedite processing and avoid having to apply again. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, May 11 through June 12 or until all funds are expended.

Secretary Miller also provided an update on the number of public assistance applications received by DHS. Applications are generally down from where they were before County Assistance Offices began to close in Pennsylvania. Applications did begin to increase to pre-closure levels towards the second half of April but are declining again.

Pennsylvanians can apply for Medicaid, the EAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public assistance programs at any time through DHS’ online COMPASS application at www.compass.state.pa.us.

Those who prefer to submit paper applications can mail documents to their local County Assistance Office (CAO) or leave documents in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. CAOs are still closed to the public, but mail and drop boxes are being monitored so applications can be processed.

Visit pa.gov for a “Responding to COVID-19” guide or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Eve Klein, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Outlines Plans to Create a Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps (“CCCC”)

As Pennsylvania plans to safely reopen the economy and recover from COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps (“CCCC”), a public service initiative that will support efforts this fall to increase testing and contact tracing and provide critical new job opportunities in the public health sector.

Per Governor Wolf, “the CCCC will serve as a public service program that will expand our ability to conduct contact tracing and testing and mobilize Pennsylvanians to contain COVID-19.”

The Wolf Administration’s continued efforts to reopen Pennsylvania will, in its own words, depend on its ability to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing and develop a robust infrastructure to conduct surveillance and contact tracing. This work will allow Pennsylvanians to effectively monitor and respond to new cases and quantify mitigation efforts.

As PA plans to ramp up these efforts in the coming months, the CCCC would help bring these efforts to fruition by:

• Partnering with local public health agencies, community organizations, and the nonprofit community to expand Pennsylvania’s existing testing and contract tracing initiatives;

• Leveraging additional resources to fund testing and contact tracing initiatives;

• Exploring creative ways to recruit experienced Pennsylvanians with health care and public health experience to support this initiative; and

• Coordinating existing resources deployed by the commonwealth, including community health nurses and county health departments who are currently conducting testing and contact tracing throughout the state.

The CCCC is also hoped to provide for a unique opportunity for PA to recruit and train COVID-19-impacted dislocated and unemployed workers into public service for contact tracing roles, which would address Pennsylvania’s health and economic needs.

To foster this new workforce, the CCCC would:

• Engage partners in the workforce development system, existing allied health training programs, and AmeriCorps programs to build and strengthen a public health workforce across the commonwealth;

• Leverage existing workforce development resources to recruit, train, and connect the public health workforce with employment opportunities; and

• Engage public health and health care employers to connect trained workers with long-term career opportunities.

According to Governor Wolf said. “Through this public service initiative, Pennsylvanians will have opportunities in the months ahead to join a collective effort to ensure that we emerge from this pandemic a stronger Commonwealth.”

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Sharon Caffrey, Sandra Stoneman or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Announces Methodology for Phased Re-Opening Approach (50 new cases per 100,000 of population for 14 days)

Governor Wolf elaborated on the PA Department of Health metrics for Re-Opening and included an example to aid in calculation.

A target goal for reopening has been set at having fewer than 50 new confirmed cases per 100,000 population reported to the department in the previous 14 days. So, for example, an area with a population of 800,000 people would need to have fewer than 400 new confirmed cases reported in the past 14 days to meet the target. An assessment will determine if the target goal has been met. The administration will work closely with county and local governments to enable the communities to reopen and transition back to work.

The target data goal is not the only metric to be met before reopening a region. Additionally, the Commonwealth is also focusing on ensuring that there is:

• Testing – Enough testing available for individuals with symptoms and target populations such as those at high risk, health care personnel and first responders.

• Case Investigation – Robust case investigation and contact tracing infrastructure in place to facilitate early identification of cluster outbreaks and to issue proper isolation and quarantine orders.

• Safeguards – Identification of an area’s high-risk settings including correctional institutions, personal care homes, skilled nursing facilities and other congregate care settings, and assurance that facilities have adequate safeguards in place such as staff training, employee screening, visitor procedures and screening and adequate supplies of PPE to support continued operations.

PA will be relying on a modeling dashboard under development and evaluation by Carnegie Mellon University to take a regional and sector-based approach to re-openings, the easing of restrictions and public health response.

The full PA plan is available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/process-to-reopen-pennsylvania

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Elizabeth Mincer, Matt LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!