The COVID-19 coronavirus is once again the main topic of today’s news. On Friday Governor Tom Wolf ordered all public schools in the state of Pennsylvania be closed beginning today until Monday March 30th, many school districts will still have lunches available for students in need and you will need to go to your district’s website and social media pages for more information on that. One Federal Credit Union is offering one month COVID-19 loan deferments for its members whose income or ability to pay bills is affected by the outbreak or emergency declaration, applications are on an online form and run through May 15th – One FCU has also ended face to face banking services for the time being. Butler Health Systems has implemented network wide restrictions on visitors to their hospital patients, Meadville Medical Center has also issued restrictions. Wal-Mart stores in Meadville and other locations will be changing their business hours and no longer remain open 24/7 so that employees can stock shelves and fill gaps made by people buying items in bulk. Please check with your local community organizations, banks, churches, and schools for information on delays and closings pertinent to you and your situation.
Across the state the Pennsylvania Department of Health is now tracking 63 confirmed COVID-19 Coronavirus infections; only two so far in Western Pennsylvania which are near the city of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. Protect yourself and others from infections by influenza and COVID-19 coronavirus by avoiding large gatherings of people, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water at least once an hour or make frequent use of at least 72% alcohol solution hand sanitizers, wipe down hard surfaces with cleaning solutions that have anti-viral properties, and try to avoid touching your eyes and face as much as possible. If you cough or sneeze it is best to do so into your elbow or a tissue and it is highly recommended not to stop a sneeze or cough with your hands.