TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 10TH, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf is confirming he tested positive for COVID-19. Wolf says he was notified of his positive results after taking a routine test on Tuesday. He is currently not feeling any symptoms, and his wife is waiting on her results. The governor and his wife are in quarantine, and Wolf says he will continue to serve the commonwealth and perform all of his duties remotely.

A man is in custody after holding a woman and two children hostage in Beaver County.  Thirty-six-year-old Raphel Johnson is facing several charges including aggravated assault and unlawful restraint.  The incident started Tuesday afternoon after Johnson barricaded himself and the victims inside a Major Street home.  After a four-hour standoff with a SWAT team he was arrested and brought into custody. No injuries were reported.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of eight-thousand new cases, pushing it over 445-thousand. About 219 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is at eleven-thousand-761. Ninety new cases were reported in Lawrence County bringing the total to 2,862 Covid-19 cases. Five more county residents have died from Covid-10. Lawrence County now has 86 fatalities. Mercer County has 3,910 cases and 62 deaths.

Positive COVID-19 cases are rising in Beaver County.  The state reported 187 new positive cases in Beaver County yesterday.  This is the third highest number of cases in the county during the pandemic.  The county has now had over 53-hundred positive cases since March.

Despite being asked by the Pennsylvania Principals Association to postpone, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is moving forward with high school winter sports. However, they did pass new measures to allow for more flexibility this season for schools, meaning they can continue holding regular season games during the postseason. Also, teams that have to cut their seasons short due to the pandemic will still have the opportunity to make the postseason as the PIAA is rescinding the minimum number of games needed to make it. High school winter sports starts this Friday.

Ninth District State Representative Chris Sainato announced Lawrence County programs and services supporting victims of domestic violence and child abuse are receiving state funding of 401 thousand dollars to enhance resources.  The five grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will improve both the investigation and prosecution of these crimes and support for the victims, who are often among the community’s most vulnerable.

Senator Pat Toomey says it is completely unacceptable for President Trump to put pressure on P-A lawmakers to overturn election results in the Commonwealth.  The Republican added that the effort will not work, and Trump should give up because it is undermining confidence in government and the U-S’s electoral system.  Toomey also said that many Republicans are going along with the President because of the way he has been treated by the left and the media since taking office.

Officials with U-P-M-C say they will not require their health care workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Their medical director of infection prevention says they are holding on making it mandatory because of uncertainty about the vaccine.  U-P-M-C does require its health care workers to get the flu vaccine.

The state’s 45th senate seat race is going to come down to a pending federal lawsuit.  Incumbent Jim Brewster holds a lead over challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by over 70 votes.  Ziccarelli’s campaign filed a lawsuit late last month to overturn a decision to count about 23-hundred ballots out of Allegheny County that were filled out incorrectly or missing dates.  If the judge decides the ballots are invalid, the race could go in Ziccarelli’s favor.