In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put together a resource list to assist you in finding resources that you may need. We will update this as often as possible. Please keep checking social media and agency websites to get the latest updates and we will try to keep up on our WCA Facebook page as well. Be safe and be well!
As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.
- PA 2-1-1- Southwest is part of the national 2-1-1 Call Centers initiative. For everyday needs and in crisis situations and for a full list, you can search your topic at www.pa211sw.org or call 2-1-1
COVID-19 specific information – – – http://pa211sw.org/covid-19/
- United Way of Pennsylvania and PA 211 are making it easier for Pennsylvanians to connect to resources to help households struggling with a loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak.
📱 In addition to calling PA 211, Pennsylvanians can now text PACOVID to 898-211 to opt into a text message campaign with links to vetted sources of factual information.
👉 For more information, visit www.uwp.org/211gethelp
Apply and Manage Services in Pennsylvania
- COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. www.compass.state.pa.us
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL WORKERS AND THERAPISTS
COVID-19 SPECIFIC UPDATES
- Westmoreland County Updates
- PA State Updates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Free Home Internet
- Comcast – offering Internet Essentials for free for 2 months to low-income earners (if you are on public assistance of any kind, you are likely to qualify) No contract, no credit check, no installation fee https://www.internetessentials.com/*cannot currently have a subscription
- Charter Communications is offering 60 days of free Spectrum internet to new customers with college or K-12 students in the home: https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more *cannot currently have a subscription
- Free Internet Hotspots (public access points for free internet without needing a subscription) Please note – avoid checking any sites with sensitive information (like banking) on public hotspots: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0014-tips-using-public-wi-fi-networks
- All Comcast Xfinity internet hotspots are free to users and nonusers: https://wifi.xfinity.com/
- Verizon will be opening its hotspots to all Americans as well
- Charter Communications is also opening up its hotspots https://mobile.spectrum.com/support/article/360040980371/coronavirus-covid19-update
Extended Data Caps
- AT&T is providing unlimited data to all current users for home internet and mobile
- T-Mobile is providing unlimited data on all mobile plans
- Sprint is offering unlimited data and 20 GB of mobile hotspot data to current customers (check for timing of implementation of hotspots)
- The Westmoreland County Transit Authority is taking actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help keep our most vulnerable populations and our citizens safe.
- In addition to enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, GO Westmoreland can provide transportation for senior citizens and disabled individuals. Under normal circumstances, this is a shared-ride service, but they are now allowing senior citizens to request ‘solo’ rides as long as we can accommodate them. We are also allowing all GO Westmoreland riders to schedule trips, just to pick up items (15 minutes or less at a location) and return home.
- For updates visit: www.westmorelandtransit.com as well as their Facebook Page.
MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
- If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call our Crisis Hotline: 1-800-836-6010. Crisis Mobile referrals are still being accepted; however, requests are being prioritized at this time. Please continue to call and discuss your concerns with the Crisis Hotline staff.
- From SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – – The Disaster Distress Hotline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by the #CoronaVirusPandemic
- Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
- Crisis Text Line (https://www.crisistextline.org/) Service is free, available 24/7, and connects texters to trained crisis counselors
- United States: Text HOME to 741741
- PA: Text PA to 741-741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Trevor Project LifeLine for LGBQT+ youth
- Call 1-866-488-7386
- Text START to 678678 for TrevorText
- TrevorChat available on the website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/
- Blackburn Center Hotline – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1888-832-2272 or 724-836-1122. Their hotline is always free of charge, confidential, and can be anonymous. www.blackburncenter.org
- Abuse can come in many forms — from emotional to physical to sexual — and it can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion, race or income level. Remember that each type of abuse is serious, and that no one deserves to experience it in any form.
- Westmoreland County Food Bank (WCFB) Pantries are operating on their normal monthly schedule and any cancellations or changes will be posted on the WCFB site and social media.
- School Districts offering food
- Pennsylvania’s Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) plan was approved by USDA on May 6. P-EBT is a new benefit made possible by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that will provide additional, temporary resources to households with students who are eligible but are missing out on free or reduced-price meals now that schools are closed. For details, see this P-EBT fact sheet.
USDA – FOOD & NUTRITION SERVICES
- USDA FNS has created a new coronavirus website: www.fns.usda.gov/coronavirus, which houses information pertaining to their coronavirus response and various stakeholder resources, including a list of national waivers to nutrition programs.
- The status of Pennsylvania-specific waivers can be found here: www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/pennsylvania.
- USDA has also created an email address where stakeholders can voice ideas, questions, and concerns as they relate to nutrition programs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Further, a list of contacts for FNS’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office can be found here: www.fns.usda.gov/fns-regional-offices.
- Westmoreland County Housing Authority – 724-832-7248
- Applications are still being accepted and phone calls are being answered/returned as quickly as possible.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION – for loss of employment
- https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx (COVID-19 specific)
- https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/default.asp (main page)
- As of Tuesday, March 25, PA CareerLink lists more than 2,600 job openings for Westmoreland County. While it’s likely that several of those postings were placed before the full economic impact of COVID-19 was upon us, a local rep from PA CareerLink noted that many listings had been added recently. Health care, transportation and warehouse workers are particularly in demand.
Workplace Tips, Guidance for Employers
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides up-to-date information and resources to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.
MEDICAID – Medical Assistance
CHIP – Children’s Health Insurance Program (for kids and teens)
SNAP BENEFITS –
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Pennsylvanians buy food
VETERAN’S CRISIS HOTLINE –
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- TTY: 1-800-799-4889
- Website: www.veteranscrisisline.net
Veteran’s resources can be found by just typing in your zip code: https://maketheconnection.net/resources
- If you need assistance in finding a treatment provider or funding for addiction treatment, please call
1-800-662-HELP (4357) or contact your local county drug and alcohol office.
- Westmoreland County’s Drug Overdose Task Force
- FREE App to help people in recovery
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- The Recovery Village is offering Teletherapy
2019 INCOME TAXES
- Deadline to File Taxes Has Been Pushed to July 15
- The deadline for filing (and paying) federal and state 2019 taxes has been pushed back to July 15. So far, the state has made only very focused changes or delays related to taxes. Click here for info on the IRS response to COVID-19. For the latest tax developments at the state-level, see the state Department of Revenue webpage.
SBA Is Taking Applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- On March 19, the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance 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.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has provided three documents to help with the process:
- A three-step overview of the SBA Disaster Loan process,
- A summary of terms of the disaster assistance, and
- A notice to lenders, CDCs and microaloan intermediaries regarding deferments on SBA 7(a) and 504 business loans and microloans.
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.
FILING FOR STATE LOANS
- The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) offers low-interest loans and lines of credit. For details, click here.
FORBEARANCE ON STUDENT LOANS
- Student-loan borrowers may be eligible to temporarily stop making payments on their loans. For details, see the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office.
PA List of essential, life-sustaining services and businesses
- What services are considered essential and life-sustaining during this period? The list of essential, life-sustaining services and businesses is available here: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-5-45pm-March-21-2020-Industry-OperationGuidance.
If this link is updated and no longer works, visit www.dced.pa.gov for updated guidance.
Educating and Entertaining Kids at Home
- Khan Academy daily schedules for kids 4-18 here https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSZhOdEPAWjUQpqDkVAlJrFwxxZ9Sa6zGOq0CNRms6Z7DZNq-tQWS3OhuVCUbh_-P-WmksHAzbsrk9d/pub
- Skype a Scientist: Personal connection: https://www.skypeascientist.com/for-families.html and live events: https://www.skypeascientist.com/skype-a-scientist-live.html
- Libby app – free library audiobooks (https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/)
- Scholastic giving free access – website – https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Adventure Academy app (ABC Mouse but for 8-13) – https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools
(SCHOOL7771 for free access)
- Reading IQ (same company as ABC Mouse)
- Epic app – https://www.getepic.com/ - 30 day free trial
- Quizziz – search for quizzes by grade – free (https://quizizz.com/join)
- SplashLearn – https://www.splashlearn.com/ – Math learning
- Prodigy https://www.prodigygame.com/ – Math learning
- Xtramath https://xtramath.org/#/home/index – Math learning
- Online school with Science Mom and Math Dad for kids 7-12, live streamed on YouTube from 11 AM – 1 PM EST M-F: https://www.youtube.com/sciencemom (archived lessons on site too)
- https://www.storylineonline.net/– famous actors read stories
- Skype has free Skype-to-Skype calling throughout the world, and can include up to 50 people in a single call: https://www.skype.com/en/features/calling-and-instant-messaging/
- WhatsApp, Signal, and other apps also allow for free calls, texts, etc. between members
- Monterey Bay Aquarium live feeds: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams
- Georgia Aquarium live feeds: https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/
- Explore.org, the world’s largest live nature camera network, shares free live webcam streams of various zoos, nature reserves, aquariums and more: https://explore.org/livecams
- Virtual Field Trips: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135714/virtual-field-trips/
- A list of over 1,200 virtual museum and gallery tours as well as tours of various historical sites: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
- Five hour video tour of the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49YeFsx1rIw&feature=youtu.be
- Instagram #letsread brings people together to read and comment on books together: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/letsread/?hl=en
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle from the American Heart Association: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/resources-to-maintain-healthy-lifestyle-amidst-covid-19-outbreak
- Recommendations from the Society of Health and Physical Educators https://www.shapeamerica.org/covid19-resources.aspx
- Towel Fitness: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614597216
- Paper Plate Tabata: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1614233931
- Follow Along Dances: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTfstHhuPAlPaWHPTvleGPq99zPqCKPjQ
- Down Dog App – yoga, HIIT, Barre, and 7-minute workout apps free for students and teachers through July 1: https://www.downdogapp.com/
Tips for managing anxiety and stress
- From the Center for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fcoping.html
- From the World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_8
- From the American Psychological Association (APA) https://www.apa.org/practice/programs/dmhi/research-information/social-distancing?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=apa-pandemics&utm_content=social-distancing
- From the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Press-Media/Press-Releases/2020/COVID-19-and-Mental-Illness-NAMI-Releases-Importan/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf?lang=en-US
- From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/tips-social-distancing-quarantine-isolation-031620.pdf