TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 1ST, 2020

Two New Castle firefighters are in quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus patient.  City officials say the firefighters treated a fall victim last week before that person died of COVID-19 complications.  The firefighters have not yet had any symptoms themselves.  Meantime, a Westmoreland County nursing home is dealing with a coronavirus cluster.  Officials say six residents and an employee of the Ligonier Gardens personal care home tested positive yesterday.

More western Pennsylvania counties are being added to Governor Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order.  The governor expanded his order yesterday to include Lawrence and Somerset counties.  Residents can only leave home for essential activities, including grocery shopping and taking care of loved ones.  Beaver, and Butler, counties are also under the stay-at-home order through April 30th.

Pennsylvania Health Department officials say 63 people have died so far across the Commonwealth due to complications stemming from coronavirus.  Tuesday, the department announced 756 new positive tests, bringing the statewide number of COVID-19 cases to 48-hundred-43.  They add that 41-percent of the positive tests have come from people between the ages of 25-and-49.

A Western P-A brewery is encouraging residents to raise a glass for hospitality workers struggling during the spread of coronavirus.  North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock is creating a beer called For The People that will benefit workers in the hospitality industry.  The brewery’s owners say 50-percent of the proceeds will go to benefit hospitality workers in the area.  The cream ale is set to be released April 8th and will be available wherever North Country Brewing beers are sold.

Allegheny County Jail officials say they have released 622 inmates since the spread of COVID-19.  It’s reported the jail officials haven’t identified the released inmates or specified how they were selected.  Other jails and prisons across P-A have been releasing inmates with non-violent charges and low bails as part of the effort to keep the spread of coronavirus from entering their facilities.

The Beaver County Sheriff’s office is processing initial and renewal License to Carry permits again.  The county had suspended processing permits on March 23rd, but will now resume the practice by mail only.  Those permits received by the sheriff’s office will be run through the state’s Instant Check System, with applicants notified of the background check’s results.  Those approved will get a certified copy.

There are at least 26 residents at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center with a positive COVID-19 test.  Nursing home officials tell the Beaver County Times as many as 44 residents are under quarantine, with 14 improving.  The facility reported Beaver County’s first two deaths connected to complications from coronavirus on Monday, with two hospice care residents dying after contracting the illness.

There are 15 people being treated for COVID-19 at Butler Memorial Hospital, with six in the intensive care unit.  Countywide, Butler County added eleven new confirmed cases Tuesday, which makes their overall total 60. Lawrence County now has 13 confirmed cases while Mercer County has four.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price report the average price of gas in Western Pennsylvania is now down to 2.22 a gallon. That’s 13 cents less than a week ago. The cheapest gas in the area can be found in New Castle at $1.90 per gallon. The average national gas price declined to $2.01 which is 68 cents less than this date last year. AAA expects prices to continue to drop below an average of $2 per gallon for the first time in four years as demand remains low due to public health, financial, and economic concerns.