TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR MAY 13TH, 2020

A nursing home at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in Beaver County will soon test every resident and employee.  Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is one of many long-term care facilities that will have weekly testing because of the coronavirus’ toll on residents.  Meantime, Attorney General Josh Shapiro has launched a criminal neglect investigation against several nursing homes yesterday, but would not say whether the Brighton Township facility is among them.

The New Castle News is reporting a Scott Township man faces DUI charges following a head-on crash on April 3rd.  Hickory Township police have charged 25 year old Ryan Daniel Soom, in connection with the accident in which a woman was injured. Police said Soom was westbound on Harlensburg road when he crossed the center line and struck a vehicle head-on operated by Maria Stone. Both drivers were taken to UPMC Jameson for treatment. Soom was charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, three other counts of DUI, along with several other charges. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The leaders of Grove City College say they want to reopen campus for the fall semester August 24th.  Their president, Paul McNulty, says they have put together a Fall Return Planning Committee which will identify and work on concerns and protocols that will need to be in place to protect students and staff.  The campus was closed in March, and the spring semester was completed online as the coronavirus pandemic took form.

A state Senate bill is calling for 500-million-dollars to support nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  Senate Bill 11-22 would spread those funds across the state and would come from funds inbound thanks to the federal CARES Act.  The measure passed the Senate and is now off to the state house for consideration.

Pennsylvania reported 837 new COVID-19 cases and 75 more deaths Tuesday. The statewide case total now stands at 57,991 with 3,806 deaths .In Mercer County, there at 77 cases and two deaths. In Lawrence County, there are 71 cases and seven deaths. Statewide, most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

The state Department of Health is distributing an antiviral medication across P-A to help combat COVID-19.  They say 12-hundred doses of remdesivir were received from the federal government and will be sent to 51 hospitals across the Commonwealth.  Trials suggest the drug helps some COVID-19 patients recover faster.  Health Department representatives say they hope to acquire additional doses for more patients statewide.

Another protest is planned for this Friday at the state Capitol Building.  The group ReOpen P-A says they will hold the rally on the Capitol steps to demand a change in direction in Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.  The last anti-shutdown protest in April drew several thousand people who expressed their frustration with the non-essential business closure plan as well as the stay-at-home order.

A doctor with U-P-M-C says he’s anticipating several more waves of COVID-19.  Doctor Amesh Adalja, who also is a Johns Hopkins senior scholar says, while he believes southwestern P-A is headed in the right direction, a second or even a third wave of the virus could hit the region this fall.  That could stress the hospital system again when it comes to hospital beds, P-P-E, testing, and ventilators.

Members of the state House of Representatives are again asking for a chief nursing officer position to be created for the Commonwealth.  The C-N-O would help with nurse-related policy decisions and assist in pandemic response planning.  The bill was initially introduced four-years-ago as the Ebola virus spread globally.

Beaver County’s first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open next week.  Officials with Liberty on the 23-hundred-block of Sheffield Road in Aliquippa say they will officially open their doors Monday.  They’re owned by Holistic Industries, who is already operating under an Essential Service Designation during the pandemic according to the Beaver County Times.  The facility will maintain social distancing requirements in their facility and are requiring patients and staff to wear masks.