In this Issue:
Senate Accomplishments: Health Care
In its ongoing effort to improve access to quality health care, the Senate rounded out 2021 by passing new laws to preserve and expand prescription drug assistance for Pennsylvania senior citizens.
Passed by the Senate and signed into law last month was legislation that extends the Social Security cost-of-living-adjustment moratorium for individuals enrolled in PACE and PACENET to preserve access to these senior citizen prescription drug programs.
The Senate also passed a new law that expands income eligibility for PACENET, allowing an additional 24,000 Pennsylvania seniors to receive help with prescription drug costs.
Other new healthcare laws passed by the Senate boosted donations to fight breast cancer, created the Living Donor Protection Act, encouraged more physician assistants to stay and practice in the Commonwealth, reduced nursing home labor shortages, continued to confront the opioid crisis, and more.
PA Farm Show Kicks Off Saturday
The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off this Saturday in Harrisburg, and will feature nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000 competitive events and exhibits, 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational and entertaining events.
Visitors to the Farm Show Complex will not be required to wear a mask, but the Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing at the event. Entrance is free, but parking costs $15 per car at all Farm Show complex lots.
The Pennsylvania agricultural sector supports 593,000 Pennsylvania jobs and annually contributes $132.5 billion to the state economy.
Resource Page for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments
There are now multiple COVID-19 prevention and treatment options authorized by the FDA for emergency use in patients at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. While they’re not substitutes for vaccines, they might be right for some people.
The state Department of Health website has information regarding the distribution of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments, covering:
You can find locations for prevention medicines and treatment at Therapeutics Distribution | HHS Protect Public Data Hub and information also can be found on local distributions of the oral antiviral medications Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. The supply of oral antiviral medications is extremely limited until national production increases. Consult with your healthcare provider on the appropriateness and availability of these treatments.
In addition, Pennsylvanians can find testing sites in their area on the locator map here. Some sites are only testing their specific patients, while others are open to the general public, but you may still need to schedule an appointment. Click on the testing site on the map to see more details.
You can also view the AMI public testing sites that are being held in five regions across PA. Counties in need of a COVID-19 testing site should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health to discuss the possibility of setting up a pop-up testing site.
New 511PA Travel Information Features
The 511PA traveler information service has new features and alert customization for passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers.
511PA allows motorists to set up personalized travel alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. Users can now select the type of alerts they would like to receive, rather than receiving all alerts. Categories include incidents, roadwork, general travel information, travel restrictions, and weather-related alerts.
For commercial vehicle drivers, 511PA now includes locations for all bridges under legal height (13’6″) over state roads to improve information that drivers may be receiving from third-party navigation systems. This information can be viewed on the web map and is also available as an alert that can be heard in drive mode on the mobile app.
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