TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 17TH, 2020

The Lawrence County courthouse is being fumigated today. According to the New Castle News, Chairman Morgan Boyd said the commissioners have arranged through a local company to decontaminate the building as an additional measure against any potential exposure to the coronavirus. The MAD Unit of Long Avenue, which previously decontaminated buses for the New Castle Area Transit Authority, is doing the disinfecting.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says there are now more than 27-thousand positive coronavirus cases across P-A.  Yesterday, they announced 12-hundred-45 new cases and 60 additional deaths, raising the statewide death toll to 707.  More than 113-thousand people have tested negative for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

State leaders are doing more to protect critical workers during the coronavirus pandemic.  Governor Wolf has signed a new order proctored by Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.  The order establishes more protocols for essential workers such as six-feet distancing, provisions of masks by businesses, staggered work shifts, and virtual trainings and meetings.  The governor has also said he does not plan to extend his stay-at-home order.

All face-to-face credit courses at Butler County Community College are going to be held remotely for the summer semester through at least June 30th.  B-C-Three is also cancelling all noncredit summer courses through that same date.  The school’s board of trustees announced Wednesday the moves as a precaution to protect students and educators.

Stores are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is working to keep up with the demands.  Residents have been able to make purchases online, but the surge in orders requires the board to open three fulfillment centers.  The website is also being upgraded to handle online traffic without crashing.

A Pulaski man is facing charges in connection with a three-vehicle accident a Tuesday afternoon in Hermitage. The Sharon Herald reports 66 year old Larry Gearhart was charged with driving under the influence along with two traffic violatons. Police said Gearhart was eastbound on East State Street and crossed into the westbound lane and struck a vehicle operated by 24 year old Deja Malloy of Sharon. Gearhart’s vehicle overturned and struck another vehicle driven by 24 year old Danielle Babcock of Greenvile. Malloy was taken to the hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Beaver County officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario as COVID-19 cases, and deaths, rise.  The county commissioners say the ice rink at Bradys Run Park was recently refrozen to serve as an emergency morgue.  That’s part of the county’s decades-old mass-casualty plan, but officials say the rink is a last resort and the outbreak is under control.

Governor Tom Wolf is announcing that the Department of Human Services will begin an emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit.  The move comes in line with the federal government’s interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  Payments include a supplemental increase for both March and April and will continue to be issued for current SNAP households through April 29th.

Butler County Health officials are pointing to what may be a slowing of the spread of coronavirus across the county.  Yesterday, they announced four confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing Butler County’s to 154 since the start of the pandemic.  Butler Memorial Hospital says they are treating eight patients for coronavirus currently with two people in the I-C-U.