TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 22ND, 2020

The P-A Department of Health is confirming nearly 13-hundred new cases of COVID-19 across the commonwealth.  The statewide total is now 34-thousand-528 since the start of the pandemic.  Officials announced 360 additional deaths Tuesday among confirmed and probably COVID-19 cases, with the death toll now topping 15-hundred.  There have been more than 132-thousand negative tests for coronavirus across P-A. In Lawrence County there are now 60 cases and 6 deaths.

Yesterday’s announcement of 360 deaths related to coronavirus in P-A is the highest number announced since the start of the pandemic.  Health Secretary Doctor Rachel Levine says they are now counting probable COVID-19 related deaths into that total.  Levine says probably deaths are those Pennsylvanians who have died with COVID-19 listed as a cause or a contributing factor even though they didn’t have a positive test result.

Officials with U-P-M-C say they will begin to test all patients for coronavirus.  The announcement came during a news conference Tuesday saying they will test anyone who comes to their facilities for elective or critical procedures, even if they aren’t showing symptoms of the virus.  Of U-P-M-C’s system, coronavirus patients only make up about two-percent of their capacity overall.  Breaking that down further, COVID-19 patients are just eight-percent of their I-C-U beds and seven-percent of their available ventilators.

Legislation approved by a state Senate committee would benefit volunteer first responders in Pennsylvania facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The bill would use 30 million dollars in federal stimulus funds to establish a one-time ran program for volunteer fire, ambulance, and EMS companies in Pennsylvania. The grants would match the ones previously approved by PEMA and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year. The bill was approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

Western Pennsylvania’s relatively low percentage of coronavirus cases may help get the region’s economy moving sooner.  Governor Tom Wolf told KDKA-TV that a lower prevalence of COVID-19 cases will be factored into his region-by-region relaunch next month.  The governor has reportedly been under pressure to get western Pennsylvania working again because of its low contagion rate compared to other parts of the state.

A man from Aliquippa is accused of strangling his infant daughter to death in West Virginia.  Investigators say 26-year-old Jeffrey Hoskins admitted to strangling his daughter, Riana, in Arnoldsburg in October 2018 and smothering her on at least four other occasions.  The girl had been on life support at U-P-M-C Children’s Hospital until she passed away in January of this year.

State police are investigating a broken windshield in Enon Valley last week.  Someone threw rocks at a windshield of a car parked along the 71-hundred-block of Vine Street between late Friday night and early Saturday morning.  Troopers say the suspect or suspects also tossed eggs at the vehicle, causing around 400-dollars in damages.  Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact state police.

Police are asking residents not to call 9-1-1 if they see someone not following the Governor’s social distancing or mask orders.  Center Township Police Chief Barry Kramer tells the Beaver County Times that residents should absolutely call if a crime is being committed by someone not wearing a mask, but beyond that it is up to the manager of the store whether they want to allow the person inside.  The paper reports that police are unable to ask a person to justify a medical reason not to wear a mask.

Organizers of Beaver’s Arbor Day celebration are canceling this year’s event.  The celebration planned for April 25th was supposed to promote tree planting and care.  Officials say they are making the move with the community’s health and wellbeing in mind.