TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 28TH, 2020

Some western Pennsylvania businesses are ramping up to reopen as coronavirus cases slow down.  Governor Tom Wolf announced yesterday that restrictions on outdoor businesses, including golf courses, will be lifted on Friday.  Marinas and privately-owned campgrounds will also be allowed to reopen as long as they maintain social distancing guidelines.  Pennsylvania has more than 42-thousand COVID-19 cases and nearly 16-hundred deaths.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 885 new coronavirus cases in the state Monday.That increase moves the state’s total cases to 42,050.The death toll of COVID-19 continues to grow with Pennsylvania reporting an additional 47 deaths.The 47 new deaths makes the state total 1,597. Lawrence County is reporting 63 cases and five deaths, Mercer County has 65 cases and one death.

More than 700 families received a free, 40-pound box of food Saturday in a distribution at Cascade Park. The New Castle News reports All 28,000 pounds were given out in two hours through a coordinated effort by Jubilee Ministries, the Christian Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, T&M Hardware and Marburger Dairy Farms. New Castle City Police and the Public Works department assisted in the giveaway. Plans are in the works to organize another distribution on Saturday.

There are two more positive COVID-19 cases reported in Butler County.  That brings the total since the start of the pandemic to 170.  Officials with Butler Memorial Hospital say they’ve seen an increase in the number of patients being treated there, with ten people being treated for the virus.  One of those ten is in the I-C-U.

A man is hurt after a two-vehicle crash in Summit Township Sunday afternoon.  It happened near the intersection of Herman and Osche roads with two cars colliding.  The driver of one of the vehicles was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital following the wreck.  There’s no word on the extent of his injuries.

Local school districts would be barred from raising property taxes this year under a measure moving in the state House. The measure passed in the State Government Committee by a 15-10 vote. Republicans who support the measure say that most school tax is tied to property tax and last year’s earned income, plus with school buildings closed, local schools shouldn’t have a shortfall this year. Democrats opposed to the plan said that local school board directors are elected and the state shouldn’t be dictating what they can’t do.

Officials with U-P-M-C say they are offering COVID-19 testing to patients undergoing a scheduled, hospital-based procedure.  In a statement Monday, representatives say they didn’t see the surge in coronavirus cases that they were prepared to handle, with COVID-19 patients only taking up two-percent of their beds across their system during the week of April 14th through April 20th.  They also say that within the coming month, they plan to offer patients and health care workers COVID-19 antibody testing.

Liquor stores across Pennsylvania will be extra busy today after the Liquor Control Board expanded curbside service for state-run liquor stores.  Nearly six-hundred stores will now offer the service.  Pickups can be scheduled Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

According to this week’s Triple-A East Central Gas Price Report the average price of gasoline in Western Pennsylvania is four cents cheaper this week at 2.08 a gallon. In New Castle the price is at 1.76 a gallon while in Sharon drivers are paying 1.87. The national average is at 1.77 per gallon. Gasoline stocks in the region have been steadily increasing for a month now. The Energy Information Administration’s  latest report shows a weekly build of 2 million barrels, pushing regional stock levels to a very healthy 73.8 million barrels.