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COVID-19 Announcements and Resources

This page is intended to serve as a resource for individuals with disabilities seeking information on the status of various services, offices and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information is changing and being updated frequently.  Disability Rights Pennsylvania will endeavor to keep this page updated as information is available or provided to us, but DRP urges the individuals with questions to obtain the most current information directly from the municipality, agency or business. If you have a disability-related problem or question, DRP’s live intake line remains open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call us at (800) 692-7443.


Disability Rights Pennsylvania Advocacy

DRP letter, with The Arc Pennsylvania, to Governor Wolf, Secretary of Health, and Secretary of Human Services, identifying concerns regarding implementation of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccination plan (January 19, 2021)

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DRP letter to Governor Wolf, Secretary of Health, and Secretary of Human Services, identifying concerns regarding Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan Version 2.0 (December 11, 2020)

DRP – 19

DRP letter to Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner, identifying concerns regarding Philadelphia’s COVID-19 vaccination plan (March 29, 2021)

DRP – 17

DRP signed onto a letter from Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) to the Pennsylvania Secretaries of Health, Human Services, and Aging, making recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccinations at long-term care facilities (March 8, 2021)

DRP – 15

DRP signed onto a letter from the Intellectual Disability and Autism Services Coalition of Pennsylvania to Governor Wolf and other state officials, advocating for prioritization of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) in Phase 1A of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccination plan (March 12, 2021)

DRP – 16

DRP, together with other disability advocacy organizations from across the state, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights challenging Pennsylvania’s guidelines for rationing of health care in the event that the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a shortage of health care resources. Pennsylvania’s rationing scheme, which was developed without any input from the disability community, discriminates against and jeopardizes the lives of people with disabilities. (April 3, 2020)

DRP – 9

DRP Joint Position Statement on the Right to Equal Access to Medical Treatment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

DRP – 7

DRP signed on to letter to PA Department of Human Services (DHS) from Community Legal Services (CLS) and other advocacy organizations urging a moratorium on all benefit terminations (March 16, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to PA Department of Human Services (DHS) from Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) and other advocacy organizations urging a moratorium on all service denials and all Medicaid benefit terminations (March 17, 2020)

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DRP letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation regarding the needs of the disability community related to COVID-19 (March 23, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to Governor Wolf and the Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Education from Education Law Center (ELC) and other advocacy organizations urging that appropriate educational supports and services be provided to children with disabilities and others (March 23, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to PA Department of Human Services (DHS) from Imagine Different Coalition and other advocacy organizations urging strategies for promoting well-supported and safe family life for children with medical complexity (March 24, 2020)

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DRP letter joined by 36 organizations to Governor Wolf and Secretaries Levine (Department of Health), Miller (Department of Human Services) and Torres (Department of Aging) urging a policy to ensure that rationing of medical treatment and supplies does not discriminate against people with disabilities (March 27, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to Philadelphia judges, Mayor Kenney, and Philadelphia City Council from Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project (YASP) and other advocacy organizations urging immediate action to protect Philadelphia's youth in confinement from COVID-19 (April 2, 2020)

DRP – 8

DRP signed on to letter to the Secretary of PA Department of Health from Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) and other advocacy organizations urging a moratorium on involuntary discharges of nursing facility residents (April 13, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to Governor Wolf from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Foster Care Alumni of America urging action to meet the health and safety needs of older youth in the foster care system and youth who are aging out (April 16, 2020)

DRP – 11

DRP, together with other disability advocacy organizations, wrote to Governor Wolf requesting a release of names, numbers of COVID-19 infections of residents and staff, and the number of deaths from COVID-19 in long term care facilities in Pennsylvania (April 21, 2020)

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DRP signed on to letter to Governor Wolf from the Center for Interests and Rights of the Elderly (CARIE) and Community Legal Services (CLS) urging targeted response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities (April 24, 2020)

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DRP signed onto letter to PA Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) from advocates and providers requesting that brain injury services providers be designated as Life Sustaning (April 29, 2020)

DRP – 14

Disability Services

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR): COVID-19 Resources

DS LINK – 36

PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP): Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

DS LINK – 35

PA Department of Human Services (DHS): COVID-19 Guidance Resources (includes link to FAQs on various topics, including ODP waiver services, government benefits and representative payee services, guidance for Personal Care Homes, Assisted Living Residences, and Private Intermediate Care Facilities, child care, and Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCO), Fee-for-Service Providers, and County Mental Health Authorities)

DS LINK – 34

PA Department of Health (DOH): Guidance on Hospitals' Responses to COVID-19, including guidance on visitor/supporter policies for patients with disabilities

HC LINK – 1

Video guide for people in Group Homes, Nursing Homes, and other Residential Facilities to help answer questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

DS LINK – 31

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB): COVID-19 Resources

DS LINK – 23

COVID-19 Resources Webpage (National Health Law Program)

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COVID-19 resources for victims and survivors of domestic violence (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

DS LINK – 22

List of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in Philadelphia, clinics which provide free or low-cost medical care to residents of Philadelphia regardless of insurance status (Jefferson Center for Urban Health) (English and Chinese)

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U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities approved by CMS to temporarily modify or waive certain Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or HIPAA requirements

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Disability Services: Mental Health

PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

DS LINK – 39

U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Virtual recovery resources

DS LINK – 28

U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Includes contact information for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and for Spanish speakers.

DS LINK – 27

U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Tips for taking care of your behavioral health while practicing social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak

DS LINK – 26

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

DS LINK – 12

COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide (National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI))

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Statewide Addiction & Recovery Resources: Contact numbers for treatment facilities and online resources for support during COVID-19 outbreak (ABC27 News) (March 19, 2020)

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PA Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS): A new statewide Support & Referral Helpline available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources (April 2, 2020)

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PA Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS): COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Memorandum (May 5, 2020)

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PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Bulletin: Telehealth Guidelines Related to COVID-19 (Updated May 5, 2020)

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Employment

WORKING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS, AND COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY

Employee Rights in COVID-19 (Disability Rights Pennsylvania)

EMPLOYMENT – 10

COVID 19: Are You Caring for a Loved One at Home? New Paid Leave, Unemployment Benefits, and Waiver Payments Available to Families Taking Care of Loved Ones with Disabilities at Home (Disability Rights Pennsylvania)

EMPLOYMENT – 9

PA Department of Health (DOH): COVID-19 Complaint Form (for reporting violations of DOH Orders / COVID-19 safety protocols)

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 12

U.S. Department of Labor: Coronavirus Resources (includes information on workplace safety, leave, and unemployment insurance flexibilities)

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 13

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Coronavirus and COVID-19 (includes information about the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, and pandemic preparedness in the workplace)

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 14

Job Accommodation Network (JAN): COVID-19 Resources (includes information on requesting reasonable accommodations, masks, and accommodation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic)

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 15

Disability Rights Pennsylvania: Additional Employment Resources

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 16

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

PA Office of Unemployment Compensation: COVID-19 Guidance and Resources (includes FAQs and information on eligibility and filing for unemployment benefits)

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 17

PA Attorney General: Unemployment Rights and Resources – COVID-19

EMPLOYMENT LINK – 18

Frequently Asked Questions: Unemployment Compensation and COVID-19 (Philadelphia Legal Assistance)

EMPLOYMENT – 5

When you apply for Unemployment Compensation you have to state a "reason for separation." Here are common scenarios during the COVID-19 crisis to help you figure out what to select under "reason for separation" (Philadelphia Legal Assistance) (English and Spanish)

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If you are out of work or are losing hours because of the current public health crisis, you should qualify for PA Unemployment Compensation (Philadelphia Legal Assistance) (English and Spanish)

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Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicaid (MA), Cash Assistance (TANF), and Heating Bill Assistance (LIHEAP) benefits information (Community Legal Services)

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Federal, State, and Local Government

PA Department of Health (DOH): Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings (Nov. 17, 2020)

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U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (full text)

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U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Economic impact payments: What you need to know

GOV LINK – 24

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Information about COVID-19 from the nation’s health protection agency

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PA Governor's Office: FAQs for Businesses Operating During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency (including Common Questions About Masks)

GOV LINK – 26

PA Department of Health: Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings (July 1, 2020)

GOV LINK – 25

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) guidance on controlled substance prescribing (March 20, 2020)

GOV LINK – 18

PA Department of Health: Order Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations, Including Mask-Wearing Directives (April 15, 2020)

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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Information from the PA Department of Health on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

GOV LINK – 10

PA Governor’s Office: How to contact online, by phone, fax or mail

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City of Harrisburg: Information on COVID-19

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City of Pittsburgh: COVID-19 Response

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City of Philadelphia: Providing information and updates about COVID-19 in Philadelphia

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City of Philadelphia: Where to find free, nutritious food in Philadelphia during COVID-19 (March 28, 2020)

GOV LINK – 23

Mask Requirements

U.S. Department of Transportation: FAQs – Wearing Masks While Traveling

MASK LINK – 7

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs (applies to airplanes and airports, trains and train stations, subways and subway stations, buses and bus terminals, taxis and pick-up locations, ride-shares and pick-up locations, and other modes of transportation other than private vehicles)

MASK LINK – 6

PA Department of Health (DOH): Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings (Nov. 17, 2020)

MASK LINK – 5

No Mask, No Service: What are my rights to enter a business during the COVID-19 pandemic if I can’t wear a mask due to disability? (Disability Rights Pennsylvania)

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PA Department of Health (DOH): Universal Face Coverings Order FAQ

MASK LINK – 1

PA Department of Health (DOH): COVID-19 Complaint Form (for reporting violations of DOH Orders / COVID-19 safety protocols)

MASK LINK – 2

PA Governor's Office: FAQs for Businesses Operating During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency (including Common Questions About Masks)

GOV LINK – 26

Answers to FAQs: Universal Face Coverings Order and Schools

EDUCATION LINK – 15

PA Department of Health: Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings (July 1, 2020)

GOV LINK – 25

PA Department of Health: Order Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations, Including Mask-Wearing Directives (April 15, 2020)

GOV – 6

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Use of Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

MASK LINK – 3

Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training (ASERT) Collaborative: Wearing a Mask and Communication (a guide for on how to work with loved ones on getting comfortable wearing a mask)

MASK LINK – 4