TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 7TH, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading across western Pennsylvania while health officials are bracing for the worst.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported more than 525 cases in the region yesterday, led by Westmoreland County’s 157 cases.  Beaver County has had the most COVID-19 deaths with six. Lawrence County has 24 cases with two deaths, and Mercer County has 18 cases with no deaths.  There are nearly 13-thousand coronavirus cases statewide.

Officials with the Butler Health System say they are treating five more patients at Butler Memorial Hospital over the past 24 hours.  They add that four of the 16 total patients under their care for COVID-19 are in the I-C-U.  The system says they have performed about 15-hundred tests at Butler Memorial, with 86 coming back positive.  There are around 300-tests with which hospital officials are awaiting results.

More than 1 million Pennsylvania residents have filed unemployment compensation claims since the coronavirus began taking a severe toll on the economy in mid-March. The numbers were released yesterday.  The state has forced businesses to close to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A Beaver County nursing home is presuming everyone in the building has the coronavirus after more than three-dozen residents tested positive.  Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center officials say they’ve stopped counting test results after talking to state health officials.  They’ll isolate and aggressively treat anyone who shows symptoms to protect other residents and staff.  Meantime, officials at the Ligonier Gardens nursing home say eight residents and five employees have tested positive for COVID-19

A police officer is among the injured after a crash last week along Interstate 376 West in Findlay Township.  Friday evening, police were reportedly trying to stop a vehicle driven by 43-year-old Michael Morelli when the Ohio man’s vehicle struck a township police cruiser that was trying to divert traffic off of the parkway.  Morelli was taken to Allegheny General Hospital while the officer was transported to U-P-M-C Mercy with unknown injuries.  Charges are pending against Morelli.

Giant Eagle stores in western Pennsylvania will take steps to protect shoppers and employees from COVID-19.  The supermarket chain announced yesterday that the number of people inside its stores will be limited to 50-percent of capacity.  Shoppers are being encouraged to use curbside pickup and delivery options when possible.

Police are investigating a stabbing in Greenville Sunday night. Officers were called to a home on Plum Street at around 10 pm Sunday after a male was stabbed in the lower abdomen. WFMJ-TV reports The victim was taken by ambulance to UPMC Greenville and then transported by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.Police have not yet released the name or condition of the victim, but say no arrests have been made.

Youngstown’s downtown arena could be used as a field hospital to handle a possible surge in coronavirus cases.  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine named the Covelli Center as one of six sites statewide to boost hospital capacity if needed yesterday.  Ohio’s coronavirus death toll is up to 142 out of more than 44-hundred confirmed cases.