TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 18TH, 2020

Lawrence County officials are declaring a state of emergency amid the spread of coronavirus.  The move by county commissioners yesterday allows for emergency meetings without public notice and allows the county to be eligible for state and federal disaster relief funds, if needed.  Chairman Morgan Boyd tells the Beaver County Times they intend to make every effort to keep the public informed of upcoming meetings or at least brief them on what happened.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato , has announced that he has temporarily closed his New Castle district office to the public as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response effort. Sainato said he’s taking this step for the safety of our community, based on recommendations by public health authorities who are urging Pennsylvanians to avoid non-essential travel and close contact.  Sainato said he urges all residents to visit www.health.pa.gov for updates and the latest information.

Beaver County officials are restricting access to the county courthouse through the end of the month.  County Commissioners and President Judge Richard Mancini announced yesterday the public will have to make appointments for most row offices or services.  Anyone who has scheduled time with the Court of Common Pleas is asked to contact their attorney first.  Members of the public will be screed before being allowed to enter the building, with those who haven’t set an appointment likely turned away.

The superintendent of Aliquippa School District says a school employee who had contact at both school buildings is Beaver County’s positive coronavirus test.  It’s reported that individual had contact with the buildings up to March 12th and the P-A Department of Health is investigating the patient and who they may have had contact with.  Heritage Valley Health System officials say that person is being treated at Heritage Valley Beaver.

Officials with the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh say they are canceling all parish activities for the time being.  That includes fish fry events as well as Stations of the Cross.  The cancellations are effective immediately, with further guidance coming in a few weeks as the situation is reevaluated.

A fire broke out early yesterday morning in Hickory Township. Fire crews were called to Gaslight Mobile Home Park on Continental Lane off of Route 108 just before 1 a.m. When firemen arrived the trailer was fully involved. While everyone was able to escape, there were injuries to the man and woman that lived there. WFMJ-TV reports The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time. A State Fire Marshal and the Red Cross were also at the scene. Officials believe that the fire started in the middle of the trailer, possibly in the living room area.

A basketball referee who worked a game recently at the U-P-M-C Events Center in Moon Township is testing positive for coronavirus.  In a release, officials with Robert Morris University say the official refereed the Northeast Conference championship game between R-M-U and Saint Francis March 10th.  Robert Morris officials say they are notifying those who had been in close contact with the official, but they are likely to be at low risk of infection.

Investigators are identifying the man killed in a motorcycle wreck in Mercer County last weekend.  State police say 58-year-old Phillip Leise of Hadley was riding his motorcycle near Steck Road and Perry Highway Sunday evening when a truck failed to stop at a stop sign and entered the Sandy Creek Township intersection.  The truck struck Leise, who was killed.  The driver of the truck, 50-year-old Jonathan Johnson of Meadville, was allegedly D-U-I at the time.

As of today, all state-owned liquor stores across Pennsylvania are closed.  The Liquor Control Board made the decision following Governor Wolf’s declaration that all non-essential businesses be closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Before the 9 p.m. deadline last night, long lines of people were seen entering and exiting most of the stores.  Grocery stores that sell wine and beer are not being made to stop.  The board says the closure will be revisited at the end of the month.

Allegheny County Health Department officials say they are expecting nearly half of the community to get the coronavirus over the next few months.  During a town hall conference call Tuesday, Doctor Debora Bogen estimated that number at between 40-and-60-percent of the county population, with most of those infected being fine.  Bogen’s concern is for those who have a compromised immune system, with this effort focusing on decreasing the rate of the spread to that demographic.

State Supreme Court Justice David Wecht says he is self-quarantining after one of his children tested positive for coronavirus.  Wecht’s father, Doctor Cyril Wecht, says the diagnosis came Monday after Justice Wecht’s son was studying abroad in Spain and returned home to Fox Chapel last week.  It’s reported that Wecht’s son was exhibiting mild symptoms and was tested.