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Please do not reply to this e-mail, as I am unable to respond to messages sent to this address. You can contact me directly at vgaydos@pahousegop.com or via RepGaydos.com.
We all know that distancing ourselves from others in the community is not all that easy. It has great impact on many, not only socially but also financially. Despite these hardships, I ask that residents think about how they will best use their time over the next 14 days.

I encourage all of you to be kind but set goals: learn a new trade, do home repair, catch up on reading, visit virtual concerts and tours of museums, theatre or zoos, spend time with your children, get out in nature, take a hike or just have some long-overdue quiet time. Or make a plan to eliminate unnecessary expenses should this be a prolonged event.

This is a time for reflection, not panic. We are strong and this too will pass. Many of our ancestors faced greater challenges than we will ever see and they had fewer lifelines than we have today. So now is the time to live up to the expectations they had for us. In the meantime, we in the Legislature will continue working virtually to examine where those hardships will be felt the greatest and will look at ways that we can help

Many of you are doing your part to keep your fellow neighbors safe and only going to public events when necessary – thank you for taking the public health crisis seriously. My staff and I will continue to be available via phone and email. If you have any questions, please call our office at 412-262-3780.

Finally, I invite you to stay tuned to coronavirus updates on my website  and keep up with me on Facebook for the latest news on resources and information available to those affected by the virus.

Valerie Gaydos

In this edition:
  •   Statewide Efforts to Combat COVID-19
  •   Changes to Unemployment Compensation  
  •   Office Closed to In-Person Visits
  •   PennDOT Closures
  •   School Lunch Information
  •   Wash Your Hands  
Statewide Efforts to Combat COVID-19

On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf imposed statewide mitigation efforts. The efforts include the recommended closure of nonessential stores and no dining or drinking in establishments. However, carry-out, delivery and drive-through can continue. Stores, such as grocery stores and gas stations, will remain open.

I do want to make two things clear about the governor’s actions. He has not mandated the immediate closure of any businesses in Pennsylvania. He has “strongly urged” that “nonessential” businesses shut down as part of social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Secondly, the governor has mandated bars and restaurants to end dine-in service. Food establishments can still operate take-out and delivery services. This is an enforceable action, as restaurants and bars fall under the purview of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the Department of Health.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced the indefinite closure of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers, effective at 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

During these unprecedented times, I want to reassure you that I, along with all members of Pennsylvania government, are doing all we can to help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic and assist residents. It is my hope everyone stays calm but continues to follow essential guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To stay up-to-date on this very fluid situation, please go to health.pa.gov.

Information From the White House 

In January, President Donald Trump formed a Coronavirus Task Force, led by the vice president and comprised of subject-matter experts, to organize a whole-of-government response. The Coronavirus Task Force and the broader administration have and will continue to work with state, local and tribal officials, as well as private sector and nonprofit partners, in preparing for and responding to the coronavirus.

All agencies are working aggressively to monitor this continuously evolving situation and to keep our partners and the public informed.

Up-To-Date Information

  •   The most up-to-date information and guidance can be found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 website (here).  
  •   Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/CDC Community Framework for Mitigation (here).
  •   Guidance for families, businesses, schools and others (here).
  •   The Coronavirus Task Force holds frequent national briefings which can be viewed live (here).
  •   You are also encouraged to follow HHS, CDC and other agency social media channels for up-to-date information.

What You Need To Know

  •   What you should know - How COVID-19 spreads, symptoms, etc. (here)
  •   Situation summary (here).
  •   Travel information (here).
  •   Preventing COVID-19 spread in communities (here).
  •   Higher risk and special populations (here).
  •   Healthcare professionals (here).
  •   Resources for health care facilities (here).
  •   Resources for health departments (here).
  •   Laboratories (here).
  •   Communication resources (here).

Agency Resources and Contact Information

Below, please find agency-by-agency information, guidance and contact information.

  •   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (here).  
  •   Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (here) .
  •   U.S. Food & Drug Administration (here) .
  •   U.S. Department of Education (here).
  •   U.S. Department of Agriculture (here).
  •   U.S. Small Business Administration (here).
  •   U.S. Department of Labor (here).
  •   U.S. Department of Homeland Security (here).
  •   U.S. Department of State (here).
  •   U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (here).
  •   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (here).
  •   U.S. Department of the Interior (here).
  •   Office of the Director of National Intelligence (here).
  •   U.S. Election Assistance Commission (here).

Changes to Unemployment Compensation

At this time, work search and work registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with www.PACareerLink.gov. At this time, benefits are not being extended beyond 26 weeks.

For more information concerning unemployment compensation for EMPLOYEES, visit https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx

For more information concerning EMPLOYER unemployment relief, visit https://www.uc.pa.gov/employers-uc-services-uc-tax/uc-benefit-information/Pages/Relief-from-Charges.aspx 

Office Closed to In-Person Visits
In supporting the recommendations of the governor and county executive for social distancing, my district office in Moon Township is closed to walk-in visitsuntil further notice. Members of my staff remain available to assist with matters via telephone. My office can be reached at 412-262-3780.

PennDOT Closures

All PennDOT Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Pennsylvania will be closed for two weeks effective close of business on Monday, March 16.

Expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections will also be extended:

  •   For driver’s licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.
  •   For vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.
  •   For persons with disabilities parking placards scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30.
All PennDOT district and county maintenance offices are closed. Construction projects have been suspended until further notice; however, PennDOT crews are available to perform critical functions and emergency maintenance as needed.
All PennDOT rest areas and welcome centers statewide are closed to the public.

Should you need assistance from PennDOT, my office can address issues on your behalf. Call us at 412-262-3780.

School Lunch Information

With the school closings, there have been many questions about whether students will receive lunches. Here is what we received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE):

  •   Pennsylvania sought and received approval from the federal government to allow schools the option to distribute meals at no cost while schools are closed. Districts/schools that want to act on this federal approval must apply to PDE.
  •   PDE has begun and continues to expedite approvals.
  •   Districts/schools may utilize essential staff to ensure students have access to meals.
  •   PDE is partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, other state agencies, the American Red Cross, and public and private partners to expand these efforts.

Wash Your Hands

I want to remind everyone that there are simple steps that you can take to help prevent this virus from spreading. Please adhere to these measures outlined by the CDC and state Department of Health.

  •   Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  •   Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  •   Clean surfaces frequently.
  •   Remain in your home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you feel sick.
We will get through this trying time. It will take effort and sacrifices from all of us. Please remain vigilant and courteous to others.
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Office Locations
District Office:
1009 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 220, Moon Township, PA 15108 | Phone: (412) 262-3780, Fax: (412) 262-3783
Capitol Office:
Room 428, Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202044, Harrisburg PA 17120-2044 | Phone: (717) 787-6651 |
Email: vgaydos@pahousegop.com