Extension of interest-free grace period for property owners with delinquent 2019 property taxes
How to virtually attend Dauphin County Commissioner meetings
Registering to vote, voting by mail and info about our new voting system
Dauphin County Prison’s free virtual video visitation for inmates and families
Drug and alcohol addiction services
Mental health resources
Help for senior citizens and how to report abuse
Help for children and families
Help for northern Dauphin County residents
Help for those needing food, rental assistance and other needs
Help for active military members, veterans and their families
Help with utilities
Assistance for businesses
Directory of Human Service Agencies
How to virtually access and record deeds and assistance for notaries
How to virtually obtain a marriage license or probate a will
Closures, cancellations and updates
About COVID-19, how to protect yourself and your family and informational resources
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
Dauphin County conducts regular exercises and prepares for emergencies, including an infectious disease outbreak. The county’s Department of Public Safety is taking steps to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and working with local, state and federal partners in public health preparedness.
Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III declared a disaster emergency and have activated the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate resource requests and monitor the response.
As of June 19, Dauphin County is in the Green Phase of the state's reopening plan.
According to the plan, the Green Phase guidelines are as follows:
WORK AND CONGREGATE SETTING RESTRICTIONS:
• Continued Telework Strongly Encouraged
• Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements
• All Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% Occupancy
• Child Care May Open Complying with Guidance
• Congregate Care Restrictions in Place
• Prison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual Facilities
• Schools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance
• Large Gatherings of More Than 250 Prohibited
• Masks are Required When Entering a Business
• Restaurants and Bars Open at 50% Occupancy
• Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment Only
• Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly Encouraged
• All Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% Occupancy
• Construction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of Protocols
All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning and monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary.
Realizing the financial burden the crisis has placed on many residents, the Commissioners have extending an interest-free grace period to all property owners with 2019 delinquent property taxes to Friday, May 29, 2020.
For more information about the interest-free grace period or delinquent property taxes, please contact the county’s Tax Claim Bureau at 717-780-6125 or visit www.DauphinCounty.org and enter “tax claim” in the search feature.
While social distancing policies are in place, the Commissioners are holding meetings every other week that the public can attend virtually by phone and still have the opportunity to address the board.
- To see the schedule of upcoming meetings and how to participate, go to www.DauphinCounty.org/publicmeeting
Due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Commissioners are urging residents – especially those with conditions that may make them more susceptible to the virus -- to apply for a mail-in ballot. Anyone can vote using a mail-in ballot instead of going to the polls – no excuse or reason is needed.
Because of social distancing policies implemented to combat COVID-19 spread, Gov. Wolf rescheduled the General Primary to June 2, resulting in the following deadline changes:
- May 18: Last day to REGISTER before the primary.
- May 26: Deadline to APPLY FOR A MAIL-IN or absentee ballot.
- June 2: Deadline for County Boards of Elections to receive MAIL-IN or absentee ballot (must be received by 8:00 p.m.
To vote by mail:
- Visit www.DauphinCounty.org/vote for a link to download a mail-in ballot application or go to www.VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot to apply online.
- To apply online, you must enter a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number.
- Voters without proper ID need to download the application and use the last four digits of their Social Security number.
- Mail applications to: Dauphin County Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration, P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1295.
- Applications can also be dropped off in a locked box outside the entrance of the Dauphin County Administration Building, 2 South 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101.
Learn about Dauphin County’s new voting system
Starting with the 2020 Presidential Primary Election, Dauphin County voters will see a new state-mandated voter-marked paper ballot system made by Clear Ballot that has a verifiable paper trail.
To learn about our new system and view instructional videos, please visit www.dauphincounty.org/vote
Because of the danger posed by the spread of COVID-19 to inmates and staff, Dauphin County Prison as well as other state and county correctional facilities are restricting public access until the need for public distancing lifts.
Additionally, the prison has provided cloth masks for inmates and has increased cleaning and sanitizing measures throughout the facility. Staff received a COVID-19 preparedness kit that includes an OV/N95 reusable respirator, clear eye protection and gloves. As an added precaution, the prison has suspended transfers through April 25 – an action that can be extended if needed.
We realize the importance of family and friend’s visitation and have set up a program with technology firm GTL that provides 15 minutes of free video visitation per week for each inmate.
The 15 minutes renews every Sunday at midnight for four weeks. The 15 minutes can be used at the inmate’s discretion (e.g., one 15-minute video visit, or three visits of 5 minutes.)
- To access the program, go to: https://us10.campaign-archive.com/?e5bUNIQID%5d&u=2a52194c0bcad1bf982734f74&id=1158f0c78d
Only properly identified staff, vendors, attorneys, members of the PA Prison Society and contractors will be allowed to enter the Dauphin County Prison- pending the result of a non-invasive screening.
HELP FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS IS AVAILABLE – YOU ARE NOT ALONE
We realize the changes that have occurred during the coronavirus pandemic can be scary and stressful. The Commissioners are ensuring help is available for individuals and families, from access to drug and mental health counseling to partnering with organizations that provide food and other essential services.
Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Services continues to take calls for information, referral and treatment at 717-635-2254. Calls are answered 24/7 and transferred to an employee who is trained to help.
Caseworkers continue to contact those who are taken emergency rooms after suffering an overdose to immediately get them into treatment. Because of social distancing guidelines, these contacts are made via phone while the overdose victim is still in the hospital.
Additional online resources:
- Narcotics Anonymous PA has a Facebook page for those that have social media. Each group updates the page if their home group is open or closed. The help number for NA is 717-233-3733.
- If a client does not feel comfortable leaving their house or is unable too for whatever reason, then they have the option to search the Virtual Meetings.
- Online NA meetings: Go tohttps://virtual-na.org These meetings are also available via telephone.
- Online AA meetings: Go to http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php Attendees need to become a member after going to the link.
- Online SMART meetings can be accessed at: https://www.smartrecovery.org/community/
- Online Refuge Recovery Meetings can be accessed at: https://refugerecovery.org/meetings?tsml-day=any&tsml-region=online-english
Note: Some online meetings may use Zoom. If that is the case, individuals will need to download zoom by either their smart phone or computer. To keep individual anonymity, individuals can put their last initial when they sign up for a zoom account. If you have questions, please call Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol at 717 635-2254.
- Crisis Intervention Services are available 24-hours a day. Call 717-232-7511 or 1-888-596-4447. http://www.dauphincounty.org/government/departments/mental_health_and_intellectual_disabilities/crisis_intervention_services.php
- Those needing assistance who don’t have a family doctor or insurance, or aren’t sure about their coverage, can also contact Dauphin County’s Case Management Unit at 717-232-8761 or 1-866-820-3516. https://www.cmu.cc/
- In Northern Dauphin County, the number of the satellite office is 717-905-2700 or 1-877-893-3344. http://www.dauphincounty.org/government/departments/northern_dauphin_human_services_center/index.php
- Many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
While the county’s senior centers are closed due to the pandemic, Meals on Wheels continues to provide senior citizens who live alone or cannot leave their homes without assistance with hot, nutritious meals. Lunch meals are delivered five days a week, Monday through Friday, by volunteers who observe the wellbeing of the individual receiving the meal. All meals are prepared by the Central Pennsylvania-based Nutrition Group.
- Seniors wanting to receive meals can call the Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging at 717-780-6130.
Protecting our seniors
If you believe an older person is suffering from abuse, neglect or exploitation, Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging caseworkers are available to investigate and ensure their safety. Please call the office at 717-780-6130 or the Elder Abuse and Neglect hotline at 866-SAFE (7233)-111
Please read this special edition of the Mental Health TidBIT and browse the additional resources listed below.
Emotional Health Resources:
- Supporting Children's Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Additional Tips for Supporting Children During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Self-Care for Adults
Physical Health Resources:
Help Children Understand Coronavirus:
- Talking with Children About Coronavirus -CDC
- Talking with Children About Coronavirus
- Story to Help Children Understand Coronavirus
Websites with Learning Activities:
Contact the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center at 717-905-2700.
Additionally, the following non-county agencies in located in the center remain available to provide assistance:
- Northern Dauphin Food Pantry, coordinated by the Central PA Food Bank: 717-905-2512
- Naaman Center, providing drug and alcohol services: 717-905-2516
- Case Management Unit: 717-362-1212
- Merakey Behavioral Health Services: 717-905-2600
- 211: Connect with programs and services: The United Way’s 211 service offers a way to access assistance ranging from help with rent and financial assistance to locating nearby food pantries. Access the service by calling 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898-211 for a live, two-way conversation, or going online to www.uwp.org/211gethelp for statewide, regional and local resources. Due to the volume of calls, texting and using the website will give faster access.
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank: Find soup kitchens, food pantries and social programs near you by going to www.centralpafoodbank.org/find-help/find-a-food-pantry or calling the organization’s helpline at 877-999-5964
- Unemployment and Workers Compensation: Assistance is available for full-time workers as well as the self-employed and “gig” workers. For more information and to fill out an application, visit the state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation at www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
- If you were exposed to the coronavirus through your workplace, information about making a workers’ compensation claim is also available on the website.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Eligible low-income households can apply for food assistance through SNAP, which provides an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used at grocery stores. Families may also qualify for other services, such as Medical Assistance, childcare assistance and cash assistance.
- For more information and to apply for benefits, go to the PA Department of Human Services, www.dhs.pa.gov
- Active military and their families and find information about financial help and other assistance at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/
- Information for veterans, including a telehealth option to talk to someone about their symptoms, is available at https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/
In mid-March, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued an order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations for the duration of Gov. Tom Wolf’s disaster declaration related to the coronavirus is in effect. Wolf signed the declaration on March 6. For more information on assistance offered by specific utilities, visit:
- Capital Region Water: https://capitalregionwater.com/news/
ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES
Dauphin County Business Strong: A hub of accurate, up-to-date information from verified sources on all levels with resources and tools you need to support your business. Created in partnership with the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC. Visit www.dauphincountybusinessstrong.com.
Centers for Disease Control Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: From information on keeping employee safe to updated cleaning and disinfecting guidance, learn how to keep your workplace safe. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Loans available to businesses: The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Pennsylvania small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
Governor's order to close non-life-sustaining businesses: Questions on the Governor's order on whether or not a business needs to close should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
VISIT HERSHEY & HARRISBURG RESOURCE CENTER FOR HOTEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg will keep you informed through its COVID-19 resource center: www.visithersheyharrisburg.org
Sign up for VHH's monthly enewsletter and follow us on our social channels for updated information, resources, and ways to engage with many of our valuable partners.
- Dauphin County Crisis Intervention, providing 24-hour emergency mental health services referrals during emotional crisis: 717-232-7511
- Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging, services for those age 60 and up: 717-780-6130
- Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Services, which provides treatment, prevention and intervention services: 717-635-2254
- Dauphin County Children and Youth Services, for child safety, permanency and well-being: 717-780-7200
- Dauphin County Veterans Affairs: 717-780-6357
- Case Management Unit, for mental health, intellectual disabilities and early intervention: 717-232-8761
- Contact HELPLINE, a 24-hour confidential listening and referral service: 211
While the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds offices are closed during the pandemic, the office is still processing E-recordings, as well as documents sent by U.S. Mail, Fed Ex and UPS packages.
Nearly all documents are searchable free of charge on our website, www.dauphinc.org/deeds where documents can be viewed, printed or downloaded. If you are unable to access records on-line, because of technical considerations or otherwise, please call our office at (717) 780-6560 or email James Zugay, the Recorder of Deeds, at email@example.com
- E-recording: The Recorder of Deeds office partners with Simplifilerecording systems to record documents electronically. If you are interested in setting up that service, please contact Simplifile at 800.460.5657.
What if I am a notary and need my commission filed?
Any notary public who needs to be sworn in should call our office at 717-780-6560 to set up an appointment.
It is our understanding from a message we received from the PA Department of State that all notary deadlines will be extended by operation of law to the next business day for Recorder’s offices that are closed as ordered by the Governor, Secretary of Health, and/or county officials. Long-term closures will mean long-term extensions of time.
Jean Marfizo King, Dauphin County Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans’ Court, has instituted processes for marriage the office is utilizing the Avaya Spaces cloud-based videoconferencing service. This service comes at no cost to taxpayers and can also be downloaded as an application on any smartphone.
- Marriage licenses: During the video conference meeting, the couple must appear together to be sworn in that the facts they presented on the marriage license application are true. They are then required to sign their applications during the video conference.
- Will probates: Wills can also be probated using the video conference technology.
Please visit www.dauphincounty.org/wills for more information and to learn about the virtual probate and marriage licenses processes.
Attorneys and residents interested in scheduling virtual appointments are encouraged to call the office at 717-780-6500.
- Effective 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Dauphin County government offices were closed to the public until further notice.
- Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III have canceled all public events and activities at the county’s various facilities and buildings until further notice.
- Although Parks and Recreation programs are canceled until further notice and park restrooms and buildings are closed, all county parks/green space are open to the public. Park visitors are asked to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for social distancing (at least 6 feet apart).
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include:
• Shortness of breath
The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
HOW CAN IT SPREAD?
Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:
- Through the air by coughing or sneezing.
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it; and
- Occasionally, fecal contamination.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
The CDC always recommends everyday prevention actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Do not use your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay informed – visit CDC’s website for current information – cdc.gov/COVID19
For more information on COVID-19:
- Up-to-date case information can be found at https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
- Information on the state response to COVID-19 with resources and guides for individuals, families, businesses and schools can be found at https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/
- The latest information on the coronavirus in the U.S. and worldwide can be found on the CDC website www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html