TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 1ST, 2020

Mercer County remains under a Winter Storm warning until 7am Wednesday morning. Total snow accumulations range from 4 to 7 inches. Lawrence County is under a Winter Storm Advisory until 7am tomorrow morning. Four to six inches of snow is expected. Travel could become difficult today in the region.

The Department of Health is asking teens to download the COVID Alert PA app with parental permission as the state has been seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases among children. Eight-thousand out of nearly 28-thousand total COVID-19 cases from children were reported in the last two weeks. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says anyone 13 and older can now use the alert app, and by expanding the age range, middle and high school students can add their phones to the fight and help in contact tracing that occurs in their schools.

The state Department of Health is adding a total of 97-hundred-97 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 to the Commonwealth’s total.  The two-day total, covering any new cases reported since Saturday’s announcement, brings P-A to 361-thousand-464 confirmed or probable cases since the start of the pandemic.  State health officials report there are 44-hundred-five people hospitalized in P-A with COVID-19.. Two more county residents have died due to complications of Covid-19, bringing the counties death toll to 68.

Butler Health Systems officials say they’ve seen an increase in hospitalizations as well as deaths due to COVID-19.  Butler hospital currently has 40 patients being treated for COVID-19, marking the highest number since the pandemic began.  There are also seven patients in its intensive care unit.  There have been 21 fatalities from the coronavirus in November, which is also a record number for the health system.

Two Steelers’ games are being rescheduled.  Today’s game against the Ravens is being moved to tomorrow.  The game will air on NBC and kickoff time is scheduled for 3:40 p.m.  Due to the shift, the Steelers’ Sunday game against Washington is getting bumped to Monday afternoon at five.  The Steelers-Ravens game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, but it has now been postponed three times due to COVID-19 issues.

State Police in Beaver County report a vehicle chase then ended in Lawrence County. Police said they attempted to pull over a SUV around 9:30 yesterday morning on route 18 in Big Beaver when the driver fled the scene. The pursuit lasted until the vehicle crashed on Route 422 in Mahoning Township. The driver was taken into custody. No other details were released.

The executive director of the Beaver County United Way says the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt the agency a body blow in its fundraising efforts this year.  Mike Rubino says the seventeen partner agencies and nonprofits the United Way supports locally could see between a drop in donations of between 20-and-30-percent.  The need for services provided by United Way agencies is especially great because thirteen-percent of residents of Pennsylvania live in poverty.

Governor Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill sponsored by a Fayette County lawmaker that would have repealed a law controlling the carrying of guns during an emergency.  The measure from Republican State Representative Matthew Dowling from Fayette would have repealed a state law that bans residents from carrying a gun on public streets or public property during an emergency.  Governor Wolf, a Democrat, says the legislation would limit emergency powers related to firearms during a crisis.

Another annual tradition in Pennsylvania has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of General Services has announced that the state Capitol Christmas Tree will not be placed in the rotunda, as it had been in previous years. The annual event usually involves dozens of people moving the tree into the building, sitting it upright, and decorating it with more than a thousand ornaments and lights. DGS officials say the decision was necessary in order to avoid large numbers of people gathering indoors, a major factor in spreading COVID-19. A lighted tree is on display this year, set up last week on the grounds outside the capitol.