HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf on Friday signed the fourth renewal of his 90-day proclamation of disaster emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first was signed back on March 6, 2020, after the announcement of the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth.
The emergency disaster declaration provides for increased support to state agencies involved in the continued response to the coronavirus and recovery for the state during reopening.. The declaration includes expediting supply procurement and lifting certain regulations to allow for efficient and effective mitigation.
It has allowed for waivers and extensions to continue to provide for Pennsylvanians and businesses under the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, including the ability to waive the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment compensation, work search requirements, and the registration with PA CareerLink for applicants and to provide relief from charges for employers.
The declaration also allows the commonwealth to suspend numerous training requirements and certification and licensure renewals for health care professionals, child care workers, direct care workers, direct support professionals, among other professional groups who provide life-sustaining services to our children, seniors, and vulnerable residents. It allows the commonwealth to increase the number of vaccine providers and improve vaccine distribution.
“COVID-19 vaccinations have begun, but we are still in the early stages of vaccine administration,” said Governor Wolf. “We will continue to prioritize a safe, efficient and equitable distribution process, and expect vaccinations to increase as the federal government makes more vaccine available to states. This renewal will allow the commonwealth to maintain its response and support efforts as we continue testing, contact tracing and vaccination efforts to keep Pennsylvanians safe.”
The renewed disaster declaration will continue to support all of these efforts, as well as allow the commonwealth to rapidly scale response efforts and employ new intervention tactics.
The proclamation is effective for a 90-day period unless sooner extended or rescinded by the governor.