TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR APRIL 13, 2021

All adults in Pennsylvania are going to be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment starting today.  The Wolf Administration and the COVID-19 Task Force announced yesterday that the state is opening vaccinations to everyone beginning today.  The original date for vaccinations to open was set for next week, but Governor Wolf says President Biden’s decision to move universal adult access to vaccines to April 19th influenced Pennsylvania’s changed timeline.  Those who are interested in receiving a vaccination are being encouraged to view the P-A Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Map online.

The Pennsylvania Treasury and Department of Labor & Industry is reporting that they recaptured nearly 800-million-dollars in unemployment fraud. Officials say between April of 2020 and the end of last month, they halted almost 740-million-dollars in improper unemployment payments and prevented over 55-million-dollars in fraudulent payments. They added that most of these cases involved stolen personal information from data breaches. Officials urge anyone who received unemployment benefits, but didn’t file for them, to make a report and check whether their identity has been compromised.

For the 11th time this year, TSA agents at Pittsburgh International Airport stopped a traveler trying to get through security with a firearm in their carry-on.  Agents stopped a Butler County woman at around 5 a.m. yesterday when they spotted a three-eighty handgun in her bag.  They later learned that the weapon was loaded.  The traveler advised TSA and Allegheny County police officers that she inadvertently left the gun in her carry-on.   The weapon was confiscated, and the woman was allowed to continue her travels.  She still could face a federal financial civil penalty of up to five-thousand dollars.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout the state. Health officials say yesterday, the state total saw an increase of more than three-thousand new cases, pushing it over one-million-75-thousand. One new death related to the virus was added to the death toll, which is at 25-thousand-406. Lawrence County has 6,886 cases and 198 deaths.

The state is sending mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics to minority communities. To get this done, the state is partnering with the Latino Connection and Highmark Blue Shield. Officials say in order to solve health care inequality and reach our vulnerable and underserved communities; we need to meet people where they are. Pennsylvanians can start registering for an upcoming mobile vaccine clinic next week online at C-A-T-E-mobileunit-dot-com.

Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler is in quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure. Cutler made the announcement yesterday, saying he is following CDC guidelines and timelines before returning to in-person work. He also emphasized that quarantine, social distancing, mask wearing and the vaccine are all important to stopping the spread of the virus. Cutler’s office will remain open, but he will be working and participating in meetings remotely.

The Senior Olympics are coming back to Pittsburgh in 2023.  A formal announcement is expected to be made tomorrow morning by representatives of the National Senior Games Association and officials with SportsPittsburgh at the Senator John Heinz History Center.  It will be the second time the Steel City will host the National Senior Games as the first competition was held in 2005.  The competition is open to men and women over the age of 50, and it will run for about 13 days.

The P-A State Game Commission is approving concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer for the 2021-2022 hunting season.  L-N-P had reported that initial feedback about the change was negative, quoting executive director Bryan Burhans as saying they mainly hear from people who oppose things.  An initial study showed 52-percent of hunters were in favor of the plan.