President Biden is asking states and cities to use federal rescue funds to provide $100 payments as an incentive for individuals to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Biden announced the incentive payments Thursday along with other measures, including requiring federal employees to show they have been vaccinated or undergo regular testing, to boost plateauing vaccination rates amid a rise in COVID-19 cases triggered by the highly infectious delta variant. Before the President’s remarks, the Treasury Department released rules allowing state and local governments to use their share of $350 billion in direct aid from Biden’s American Rescue Plan to help pay. Directly addressing the issue of coronavirus misinformation, the President stressed the vaccines have been thoroughly tested and are safe and effective.
The Department of Health’s focus has been on getting more Pennsylvanians vaccinated, but all that work doesn’t amount to much unless people get both doses. The department says it’s planning to remind those people by text message. Acting Secretary Alison Beam said they will be reaching out to individuals for whatever reason got their first dose but missed their second. The reminder text messages will be sent out to 250,000 people in the Commonwealth. It’s recommended a second shot should be given within about 40 days of the first dose. Beam said it’s never too late to get your second dose and it doesn’t matter where you get the vaccine. You don’t need to get your second dose at the same location where you got your first.
If you’re waiting on a fourth stimulus check from the federal government, don’t hold your breath. While federal officials have given no indication that another check is on the way, less than a handful of states have elected to use stimulus money to offer bonuses of as much as $1,000 to teachers and school staff for their work throughout the pandemic. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education informed such states using stimulus money to offer these bonus checks would conflict with federal aid guidelines but Governors still expect the money to be sent out in the coming months.
When you need care right away but it’s not an emergency, you can now see a Geisinger urgent care provider without leaving home. On-demand virtual visits are available for conditions typically seen at Geisinger’s ConvenientCare urgent care centers. These include cold and flu symptoms, allergies, rashes, headaches, insect bites, sinus infections and urinary tract infections. Providers can assess your symptoms virtually and provide care, referrals and/or prescriptions without having to see you in the clinic. If you’re a Geisinger patient, you can access on-demand virtual care at Geisinger.org/virtualcare. On-demand visits are available Monday-Friday 9AM to 7PM and 8AM to 5PM on weekends.