TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR DECEMBER 22ND, 2020

Twenty-two hospitals around Pennsylvania are receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Department of Health announced that over 30-thousand doses were sent to hospitals in the state yesterday.  Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccination is expected to be delivered to over 50 locations in the state starting this week.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Pennsylvania. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of nearly 79-hundred new cases, pushing it over 563-thousand. About 57 new deaths related to the virus were added to the death toll, which is shy of breaking 14-thousand. Lawrence County has 3,741 cases and 107 deaths. Mercer County has 5,241 cases and 105 fatalities.

While the state Department of Health is reporting more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania over the last two days, the statewide percent positivity is now below 16 percent which is a slight decrease from last week. Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, says the state is seeing a plateau or even a slight decrease in its numbers. However, she adds that time will tell if that continues.

No injuries were reported following a one vehicle accident in Hickory Township. State Police report 60 year old Philip Fava of New Castle was westbound on route 108 when he lost control of his vehicle, struck a traffic sign and traveled down an incline into a ditch. Fava was not hurt.

Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman says he will introduce a resolution to review the 2020 general election.  In a news release yesterday, Corman said every Senator heard from constituents about the 2020 election and far too many are questioning the validity of their votes.  A spokesperson for Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar tells Pennlive the general election went off freely, fairly, and securely.

The COVID-19 testing site at the Pittsburgh International Airport is now open.  Once ticketed travelers get through security, they can choose to head to a concourse to the testing site.  The site offers rapid antigen testing for 95-dollars, P-C-R testing for 125-dollars or both tests for 175-dollars.  Insurance is not accepted.  The site is operated by Georgia-based Tackle Health and will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are continuing their search today for 22-year-old Koby Lee Francis.  At a press conference on Monday, authorities showed surveillance video of Francis being brought to the McKeesport police station.  On the video, when an officer attempts to remove Francis from the back of the patrol car, Francis appears to shoot the officer, exit the vehicle, follow the officer to the front of the car and shoot him again.  The officer suffered a total of three gunshot wounds.  Authorities say the patrolman’s injuries are no longer life-threatening.  Investigators say that somehow, the suspect must have continued to have a weapon on him while he was being transported to the police station.  Authorities are asking anyone with information on Francis’ whereabouts to call police.

Heritage Valley Health System is going to distribute its second round of the COVID-19 vaccine soon.  The health system received about two-thousand Moderna vaccines yesterday.  It is the second batch to come to Beaver County in the past two weeks.  Health officials say over 600 frontline workers have already received the vaccination, and the system is planning to give doses to about 500 more workers before Christmas.

Slippery Rock University will be going all virtual to start the spring semester. The school announced the decision over the weekend to suspend all in-person classes for the month of January. Administrators say they need time to expand Covid-19 testing when students return to campus.