Please note that our April newsletter was designed and printed prior to Westmoreland County's "non-life sustaining business closure" and "stay at home" orders. At this time, all Chamber events have been cancelled through the end of April. In the event that Governor Wolf's orders are lifted prior to April 30, we will alert you to our calendar changes. Please continue to check our website for details regarding future events.
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Westmoreland County Chamber, IDC and EGC announce joint effort to maintain webpage with COVID-19 business resources
To provide the most complete and clear information while eliminating redundancies, the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce, Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation and Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland are coordinating with Westmoreland County to add business-specific news to the county’s COVID-19 online resources.
In addition to being updated with business-specific COVID-19 news as it breaks, this page features contact information for our three organizations as our staffs work from home. We anticipate that as new information is added, we'll migrate some of the older announcements to a Frequently Asked Questions file.
We ask that you bookmark this website and check it often. Additionally, please consider subscribing to the county’s COVID-19 alerts; doing so will ensure that you will be emailed or texted with all COVID-19 content — not just business-specific updates — that we and other county officials and agencies add to the site. You can subscribe by clicking here.
When the directors of our three organizations feel the news is sufficiently important or time-sensitive, we will send individual e-blasts to keep you informed. Otherwise, any COVID-19 business news that we post will be promoted on our social media channels (see the business resource page for links to all three organizations' social media accounts) and bundled in newsletters, as needed. To ensure that as many in the county see important updates, we ask that you consider sharing our posts with your colleagues.
PA Chamber Statement on Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Order to Close “Non-Life-Sustaining” Businesses
HARRISBURG - Late yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf issued an order for all “non-life-sustaining businesses” in the Commonwealth to close their physical locations. A list of businesses and industries and their classification can be found here. That order was effective at 8 p.m. last evening with enforcement slated to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. At the same time, the governor announced enforcement actions against food and liquor establishments that have failed to comply with a previous order. That enforcement began at 8 p.m. last night (March 19). PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the governor’s order.
“While we understand the need for strong measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many of the industries listed as “non-life-sustaining businesses” in the governor’s order are in fact part of the supply chain for other businesses listed as being a “life-sustaining” business.
“We understand that there may be confusion among the state’s business community regarding whether or not they are considered to be a “life-sustaining” business. The Department of Community and Economic Development has set up two e-mails regarding this issue. We encourage employers with questions about whether
their organization needs to close to contact DCED at email@example.com. The Department has also dedicated the following e-mail, RAfirstname.lastname@example.org, for businesses seeking an exemption to the order.y email marketing for free today!
Westmoreland County COVID-19 Leadership Team urges small businesses and nonprofits to immediately begin application process for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The Westmoreland County COVID-19 Leadership Team strongly recommends that managers of small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing public-health emergency promptly begin the application process for just-approved emergency funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“If your business has suffered during this emergency, don’t delay; you should file as soon as possible,” said Sean Kertes, chairman of the county commissioners. “At this point, it’s unclear how much funding the SBA will earmark for Pennsylvania, so we urge our local businesses not to wait. We want the county economy to be well-positioned to emerge strong once this passes.”
The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance this afternoon approved the statewide disaster declaration application submitted by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office. Small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus now can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan via https://sba.gov/disaster . These low-interest loans can be for up to $2 million.
To prepare applicants, the SBA has provided three documents:
For information concerning SBA’s disaster funding, see https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
Businesses with questions about the funding should contact the SBA Pittsburgh District Office at email@example.com
The health and safety of our patients and visitors is a top priority at Excela Health. We understand how important the support of loved ones and friends is to patients during their hospital stay. At the same time, the new coronavirus requires us to temporarily adjust our visiting policy in order to keep our patients and visitors safe from infection.
• If you have a cough or show other signs of illness, please do not enter the building. If there is an emergent need for you to visit and you are ill, please see a health care worker to obtain a mask.
• Visitors are limited to one adult in Emergency Department patient areas
• In other areas of hospital operation, one visitor is permitted per patient.
• For obstetric patients (new or laboring mothers), one visitor is permitted and must be the only visitor throughout the course of the admission.
• One person is allowed to accompany each patient to an appointment, unless an aide or assistant is required.
Excela Health provides free Wi-Fi service and encourages those visitors to connect with loved ones to do so remotely through digital channels such as Facetime instead of an in-person visit.
For the most up-to-date information, please visit ExcelaHealth.org.
Out of an abundance of caution and in order to protect our patients and staff, we are asking our employees and visitors who are placing food orders meet their vendors in the lobby of our Excela Heath facilities to obtain their orders. For floral shops that deliver gifts to patients, please bring flowers to the front desk at any of our locations and we will ensure that the patient receives them. Thank you for your consideration and cooperation during this time as we work together as a community to care for one another.
Employers have expressed concern about employees who are ill and are seeking testing for COVID-19. It is important that individuals who are ill contact their PCP for guidance. It is ONLY appropriate for individuals to present to the Emergency Department if they believe are having acute life threatening conditions. Presenting to the emergency room with mild symptoms taxes our resources and only serves to expose yourself and others to multiple types of infectious conditions. Please contact your PCP for advice. Cover your cough/sneeze; avoid touching your face; practice great hand washing; practice social distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between yourself and others); and frequently clean high touch surfaces.
To our valued Occupational Medicine Clients:
I am sure that you are aware of the intense media attention to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Excela Health has been focusing efforts on preparedness for the potential of widespread illness related to COVID-19. We recently shared information with the public via the Tribune Review. A copy of that article can be found in a separate blog post here at westmorelandchamber.com.
We would like to take this opportunity to make some suggestions for consideration in advance of any disease in our community:
• Please encourage frequent hand washing. Vigorous use of soap and water for at least 20 seconds is preferred. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are an acceptable alternative if soap and water are not easily accessible.
• You may want to consider limiting or suspending any non-essential business travel outside of the continental United States
• You should strongly encourage employees who are ill to stay home. Individuals with fevers (> 100 F) should be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever medications.
• Take the opportunity now to identify resources that might be needed that would allow employees to work from home in the event that recommendation is made by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) or the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
• Familiarize yourself with the CDC website. Identify an individual within your company that can monitor the site daily as information does change:
Specific questions related to the Department of Health plan should be addressed to the PA Department of Health at 724-832-5315. You can also reach out to Excela WORKS by calling 724-454-6695.
Thank you for placing your trust in us!
Carol J. Fox, MD, Senior Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer, Excela Health
The latest news from the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce