Community News Coronavirus Opinion Politics

Delaware County Council is putting in that work on coronavirus

The Delaware County Council people are kicking ass on this coronavirus issue. Not a day goes by where they haven’t made a significant contribution to addressing this pandemic head on. They’ve been issuing warnings, produce daily updates, populated extensive virus related content on their website, and made themselves available to the press.

As if all that isn’t enough, their biggest and most impressive success is getting the governor to approve a cooperative agreement that allows our neighbors over in Chester County to provide COVID-19 health services to us Delaware County residents.

As the Beatles were fond of saying…

You can feel his disease.
Come together, right now
Over me

Under the agreement, Chester County will provide us such services as

  • COVID-19 expanded testing,
  • COVID-19 case investigation and surveillance,
  • COVID-19 quarantine designations,
  • COVID-19 public health communication,
  • Daily monitoring of emergency room volume and hospitals in Delaware County
  • A public call center.

This is government at its best. You just don’t come up with these type of solutions in a vacuum. There is no policy manual or playbook to call on that gets you these type of results in this short amount of time. This partnership purely demonstrates what dedicated, concerned, smart, committed public servants do when the right team is in place.
Someone brought to my attention yesterday how they understood the need for our county to have its own health department but was tiring of hearing and reading what appears to be ‘politicking’ over the issue from our county council people in particular. Sure, the former administration avoided creating a county health department, but I don’t this these current council people are harping on that issue as much as the press is reporting about it, editorializing about it, and printing guest views about it. Hopefully we will read less about it because it’s definitely not important anymore now that our county council people delivered on a health department for Delaware County, albeit a temporary one that we’ll rent to get us through this crisis.

“Once we are through this, I will encourage all the residents of Delaware County to give a hug, a high five or a fist bump to the residents of Chester County,” Zidek said, in addition to thanking the county employees in Media.

Yo, Brian. Before we head down Rt. 1 to hug on Chester County folks, I encourage all the residents of Delaware County to at least send you guys a note of thanks, add y’all to our Christmas Cards lists, or spot you a brew down at Larimer Brewery before a Philadelphia Union soccer game.
Great Work!

At another juncture, expect to hear me rail on how these same type of agreements need to be made between failing school districts and good school districts within the county – but that’s not for another day.

Coronavirus Politics Submission

Pennsylvania has to think about raising taxes on the wealthy who are not being hurt by coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. — An independent policy research project has released a brief outlining steps to guard against the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic falling disproportionately on the poor.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center says the Keystone State should embrace the moral equivalent of wartime equality in its response to the pandemic.
State spending on public health is at the top of the list.
According to Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, at about $13 per person, Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the nation in spending on public health.
“State spending on public health has remained unchanged since 2008,” he points out. “I want to make sure the state has enough money to do the testing and the reporting that we need.”
The brief also calls for safeguarding against economic impacts by strengthening the state’s unemployment system and securing access to public benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Stier points out that helping low-income people secure and retain cash benefits during the pandemic not only helps those who have the least, it also helps sustain the state’s economy.
“The economy is declining in the state as everywhere else in the country and the world, and we need people to have money to keep buying things as they can to keep the economy going,” he states.
Stier adds that an economic recession will increase the demand for state spending such as unemployment insurance and Medicaid while simultaneously reducing revenues.
But Stier cautions against balancing the state budget by repeating the massive cuts to education, Medicaid and other programs that were cut 10 years ago.
“The state has to think about raising taxes on the wealthiest Pennsylvanians who are not being hurt by this crisis in the same way that everyone else is, and who pay far less than middle class people and working people now in taxes to the state as a share of their income,” Stier states.
He says a rapid federal response to the economic impact of the pandemic will be critical to ensuring that the burden is shared equally.
Andrea Sears

Community News Coronavirus Health & Fitness Politics

I bet we’re going to get a Health Department now

There has been a lot of noise in the paper about the issue of not having a health department in Delaware County which would come in handy right about now. In yesterday’s Delaware County Daily Times, they state…

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced action by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide Pennsylvania with $16.9 million in funding to support coronavirus response. Pennsylvania Department of Health said … Delaware County will not receive any of this funding.