The Pennsylvania Capitol Building will reopen to the public with enhanced security protocols on Monday, March 22, the Department of General Services announced today.
The public will be able to enter the building at the Main Capitol, East Wing and North Office Building entrances. Visitors must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing. The entrances will have hand sanitizer stations and masks for visitors without them.
In response to events at the US Capitol on January 6, DGS is working in a bipartisan manner with the House and Senate to identify steps to strengthen security at the Capitol.
To enter the building, all visitors, lobbyists, and commonwealth employees who do not work in the Capitol or the connected buildings must pass through the metal detectors at the public entrances. Additionally, media not assigned to the Capitol Newsroom or those who do not have DGS-issued press badges must go through the metal detectors.
Pennsylvania Capitol Police will continue to maintain a high-visibility presence with increased patrols by officers and members of the Special Response Team (SRT).
No events will be scheduled inside the Capitol, and the DGS Special Events Office will provide an update when they can resume. Outdoor events on the front Capitol Steps, Soldiers Grove and other locations may occur and must follow mitigation orders.
To the Customers of the Bureau of Supplies and Surplus:
We are resuming normal operations as of June 15, 2020. Please be advised that all building occupants must wear a mask, and must practice social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Thank you for your understanding, your patience, your business, and most of all, your support, as we work through this unprecedented time to ensure that the safety of our employees and customers remains our top priority.
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) is implementing the following operational changes in response to Governor Tom Wolf's mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19.
Effective immediately, all design contracts, design work orders, design amendments, design/build contracts, construction contracts, change order work and JOC purchase orders are suspended STATEWIDE effective close of business on Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. Contractors may access the project site tomorrow (March 17, 2020) to remove tools and equipment and to stabilize the site. Agencies may not authorize or direct any contractor to continue to work. DGS will discuss extending design submission deadlines and construction contract completion dates at a future date. No new projects will be released to bid for two weeks. Contracts in the signature cycle will be held for two weeks.
JOC contractors are available to perform emergency work as needed.
All questions should be directed to either the Design Project Manager, Design Portfolio Manager, Construction Assistant Project Coordinator or Construction Project Coordinator for your project.
As you are aware, On March 6, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency related to the emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. As a result of this Proclamation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been taking numerous steps to mitigate and prevent the spread of the virus while maintaining the programs and services provided by the Commonwealth to its citizens.
As a contractor to the Commonwealth, it is critical that we work together to achieve the goal of preventing the spread of the virus. Many basic precautions have been set forth by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health and should be followed by all your staff, not just those working with the Commonwealth.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your face when possible and wash your hands if you do touch your face.
• Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remote controls, and other frequently touched items.
For additional information about COVID-19, please refer to the Department of Health's website, health.pa.gov, Facebook page and Twitter account.
In addition to these common-sense precautions, Contractors are also reminded that any staff resources should not report to their Commonwealth work locations if they are sick. The symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If staff resources are showing symptoms of COVID-19, the Prime Contractor should ensure, through proactive communications with its staff or subcontractors, that those individuals remain at home. If contracted resources exhibit symptoms in Commonwealth work locations, the agency will contact the onsite contractor supervisor, Commonwealth Contracting Officer, and/or the Prime Contractor directly to determine an appropriate and safe course of action for the individuals. Prime Contractors and their subcontractors must comply with all directives and requirements related to COVID-19 that come from the Centers for Disease Control, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, or any other state or federal authority, including any required reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases. Finally, the Commonwealth also encourages contractors to be as flexible as possible with respect to their leave policies for Commonwealth contracted resources directly impacted by COVID-19.
The Commonwealth agencies, in accordance with Governor Wolf's direction, may temporarily suspend all out-of-state and international travel work for its Contractors. Additionally, Commonwealth agencies may expand telework opportunities and virtual (SKYPE) meetings in place of in-person meetings when possible and practical. In situations where the Contract does not allow
for telework or requires in-person meetings, the Contracting Agency will have the authority to temporarily authorize an appropriate adjustment of these prohibitions or requirements to allow for telework and/or virtual meeting participation by the Contractor and its staff.
For Contractors providing services to the Capitol Complex and Dauphin County, as well as to Commonwealth locations in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Delaware counties, subject to the operational needs of the individual agencies and program areas, the Commonwealth is strongly encouraging telework and virtual (SKYPE) meetings. Unless specifically required by the individual agencies and programs areas, Contractors and contracted resources are not to report to Commonwealth locations in the Capitol Complex or Dauphin County and to work with the Contracting Agency to establish telework and virtual meeting opportunities. For delivery of supplies and materials to Commonwealth locations in the Capitol Complex and Dauphin County, Contractors should call prior to attempting to deliver to ensure that the location is able to accept the delivery. Contracts for materials and supplies or services may need to be suspended for the next two weeks. Such a determination will be made by the Contracting Officer and Contractors are encouraged to continue communications. If Commonwealth locations in other counties are closed or access is restricted, the above-guidance will be applied.
Contractors should monitor eMarketplace, as well as SRM or Jaggaer, for any changes in solicitation due dates for active solicitations (Invitations for Bids, Requests for Proposals, and Requests for Quotes). Commonwealth Agencies may adjust due dates as they deem appropriate based upon agency needs and closures of Commonwealth locations.
There may be other adjustments that may need to be made to maintain contract operations. Such authorization shall be in writing from the Contractor Officer. Once the Governor's Proclamation of Disaster Emergency has been rescinded, operations will return to the requirements of the contracts.
Communication and cooperation between the Commonwealth and its Contractors are critical to ensure that the Commonwealth is able to maintain its operations while taking all possible actions to keep its citizens safe and heathy as we fight COVID-19 on a state and national level.
The Department of General Services cannot accept in-person service of legal documents, civil complaints, writ of summons, service of process and/or claims while our offices are closed due to COVID-19. Pursuant to Pa.R.Civ.P. 402(b), DGS agrees to waive the in-person service requirement and accept service via email.
For email service of process please contact David L. Narkiewicz, Assistant Chief Counsel in Charge of Litigation, DGS, Office of Chief Counsel, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act, commonly known as Act 101 among emergency and law enforcement organizations, does apply to people who perish from COVID-19 contracted from exposure to the virus in the performance of their official duties.
The Department will process all line of duty death (LODD) benefit applications as promptly as possible. As with all LODD benefit applications, we will require proof that death was a result of the performance of the individual’s official duties. In this situation, we would require proof that the deceased individual was exposed to the COVID-19 virus in some manner during the performance of his or her duties. The Act is designed to pay survivors of those who died in the line-of-duty, and as such, we must ensure that a death was, in fact, actually duty related.
Please note that most delays arise when incomplete documentation is submitted with the original application. It should be emphasized that evaluation of these claims is much more efficient when all necessary documentation is submitted with the application. Ultimately, payment cannot be approved unless comprehensive documentation has been provided.
A complete list of documentation required for the department to evaluate a LODD claim may be found here. All paperwork may be submitted electronically to RA-GSACT101AND51@pa.gov.