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08/13/2020 02:30 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=32128
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: July 16, 2020 12:57 PM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Increasing Health Inspectors to Help Mitigate COVID-19
 
In the near future I will be introducing legislation to utilize federal CARES Act funds to hire COVID-19 health inspectors in order to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus while helping restaurants and bars stay open. 
 

Throughout Pennsylvania and especially in Allegheny County, an overwhelming number of Coronavirus cases have been traced back to bars and restaurants. As a result, Allegheny County has taken proactive measures to limit in-person dining, and now all of Pennsylvania is following suit. I know that many bars and restaurants in my district are making the necessary investments to keep their patrons and workers safe. They’re purchasing plastic shields, setting up tents and tables outside, and purchasing PPE for their staff to wear. However, there are bars and restaurants that have decided not to take the right precautions to keep their staff and patrons safe, which has, unfortunately, resulted in a spike in cases and strict adjustments further limiting the industry’s ability to generate revenue.  


As a result, I feel that an increased number of health inspectors could help weed out these “bad apples” and allow the businesses taking necessary precautions to remain open.  
 
In order to address this issue, my legislation will provide $50 million in CARES Act funds to oversee, support, hire, and train health inspectors specifically dispatched to bars and restaurants not following CDC and/or Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines.  
 
Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is crucial to ensuring the state’s citizens remain healthy into the future. However, restaurants and bars playing by the rules should not be punished over those who are not. This legislation will allow more bars and restaurants to open and remain open, while still keeping customers safe.  

 
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.