TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MARCH 31ST, 2020

The statewide public school closure is continuing indefinitely in P-A.  Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday that all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed amid the spread of coronavirus.  Officials with the Department of Education are giving guidance on how to continue education remotely for students over the next few days.

A recently-closed Lawrence County hospital could provide some relief during the coronavirus pandemic.  State and local leaders want to get inside the shuttered Ellwood City Medical Center in hopes of finding supplies of gloves, masks and ventilators.  They’re also proposing the facility as a temporary hospital for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases or drive-through testing site.  The Ellwood City hospital closed abruptly last year amid its owner’s financial struggles.

Western Pennsylvania residents are being asked to stay home through April to help contain the coronavirus outbreak.  Governor Tom Wolf extended his stay-at-home order yesterday through April 30th that includes Beaver, and Butler counties.  The governor also ordered an indefinite shutdown of all schools and non-life-sustaining businesses yesterday after nearly 700 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.  Nearly 41-hundred people have tested positive with 49 deaths.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania says it is processing a record number of unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic.  The site to file claims crashed Monday for the second straight day, according to state officials.  There have been more than 834-thousand new claims since March 15th.  State officials say the best way to file is still online rather than over the phone.

State troopers say someone stole an A-T-V from a North Beaver Township home last week.  It’s believed the person took the Yamaha Raptor 660 along with loading ramps from the bed of the victim’s truck between Friday evening and Saturday morning.  So far, troopers don’t have a description of the suspect.

Police in Union Township report charges are pending against a Mahoningtown man following an accident on Friday. According to the New Castle News 38 year old Raymond Farone was  driving north on South Liberty Street near Elmwood Avenue around 7 o’clock, when his car crossed the center line and hit a utility pole, severing it. Farone’s car then rolled multiple times. Farone and his four year old daughter were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Police charges against Farone are pending hospital lab results.

Allegheny County Health Department officials are confirming 25 more cases of coronavirus as of midday yesterday.  The 290 total includes 38 patients in the hospital.  There have been two deaths related to COVID-19 so far in the county.  Health officials say 44-percent of the positive cases are people between the ages of 25-and-49.

All Catholic churches in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are closed and suspended from dispensing baptisms, weddings, and funerals after a priest tested positive for coronavirus.  The announcement came from Bishop David Zubik Monday.  Masses will continue to be livestreamed over the internet until the threat of the virus passes.

The coronavirus is leaving its mark on western Pennsylvania.  Officials at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Sewickley Township say two people died yesterday of COVID-19 complications.  Nearly 20 people living on the nursing home’s dementia floor have tested positive for the virus.  Meantime, a part-time employee of Concordia on the Orchard in Butler County was diagnosed with coronavirus after their most recent shift.