Live Blog: Coronavirus In Pittsburgh

The latest: Allegheny County reports 219 positive cases of COVID-19, Pennsylvania reports total of 2,751

Matt Rourke / AP

'Stay At Home' Order Expanded To Beaver, Washington Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf is expanding his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania's counties amid an increase in cases and a dozen more deaths that brought the total to 34.

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Politics & Government

Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf is expanding his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania's counties amid an increase in cases and a dozen more deaths that brought the total to 34.

Stay-At-Home Order Expands As Overflow Facilities Get Ready

5 hours ago
Matt Slocum / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf put another 2.5 million Pennsylvania residents under an order that restricts people from leaving home Friday, as his administration confirmed more coronavirus cases and deaths and major facilities were enlisted to help with hospital overflows.

90.5 WESA

To avoid going out in public, many are turning to online ordering and delivery for basic necessities like groceries. But the coronavirus has created obstacles for many who rely on food stamps. In many states  people who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are not allowed to use their benefits to order groceries online and have them delivered.

Science, Health & Tech

TENGRRL / FLICKR

UPMC said Friday it’s ramping up telehealth efforts to meet the demands of patients seeking care amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, reporting that last week it provided more remote visits than it did during the entirety of 2019.

To avoid exposure to the virus, more patients are accessing health care through video conferencing, which UPMC said is appropriate in many instances.

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Two residents at an Allegheny County-run nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19.

Identity & Justice

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Members of Allegheny County Council have abandoned legislation that would have mandated the release of jail inmates charged with low-level crimes. 

Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld laws Thursday that require offenders deemed “sexually violent predators” to undergo lifetime counseling and registration and be the subject of community notices.

Courtesy of Northside Common Ministries

On today's program: How one homeless shelter is coping during the pandemic; why UPMC says elective procedures should proceed, even as resources remain tight; and farmers are declared life-sustaining, but it’s unclear where they can sell their food.

Education

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

More than 700 child care providers across Pennsylvania have been issued waivers to remain open if they care for children of essential workers. The state Department of Human Services launched a new tool Friday to help connect parents with those providers.

Courtesy Homeless Children's Education Fund

Prolonged school closures are expected to disproportionately impact children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro Rivera is “strongly encouraging” school districts to find ways to teach students while schools across the state are shut down.

Good Question!

Charles "Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art/Teenie Harris Photographs

Pittsburgh Has A Long History Of Talented Piano Players

Many of the country’s most prolific piano players got their start in Pittsburgh. The city has long cultivated a deep bench of musical talent from jazz greats to classical performers.

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Development & Transportation

Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects / Allegheny County Airport Authority

 


On today's program: Protecting people from the outbreak could have dire consequences for those sheltering in place with an abuser; and PIT will wait for a less volatile stock market to break ground on its $1.1 billion terminal project.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority and its board on Thursday passed measures to support people and businesses suffering financially because of the coronavirus. A new program that aims to keep people in their homes was among the approvals.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Efforts to reign in coronavirus have made home the one place most people are supposed to be. Home has also become the office, school, a place of worship, and, for an increasing number people, the gym.  

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

The furnaces at Pittsburgh Glass Center have gone cold. It’s a small but poignant metaphor for an arts scene in almost complete shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated March 25, 3:11 p.m. ET.

The National Recording Registry was founded in 2000 by the Library of Congress to showcase the breadth and depth of American sound. Every year, 25 recordings are picked to be preserved for posterity.

Environment & Energy

Wolf Vetoes Natural Gas Tax-Break Bill

22 hours ago
Keith Srakocic / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would offer tax breaks to companies that use Pennsylvania natural gas to produce fertilizers and other chemicals.

State Officials To PA Farmers: 'We Need Local Agriculture Now More Than Ever'

Mar 24, 2020
Courtesy of PASA

On March 16th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf first ordered restaurants and bars, and all non-essential businesses throughout the state to close, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. It caused a wave of concern in the food industry: which businesses were considered non-essential? 

Economy & Business

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvanians filed about 650,000 unemployment compensation claims over the past 11 days as the coronavirus has spread and thousands of businesses closed or laid off employees, according to new information released by the state Thursday.

Local Headlines

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

It's week two of extreme social distancing in Pittsburgh, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Allegheny County and a number of other Pennsylvania counties are under a "stay-at-home" order from Gov. Tom Wolf. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Firehouses throughout the city have run out commercial hand sanitizer, but they've gotten help from an unusual source: Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery.

The distillery is one of several in the state that have shifted production to sanitizer. Maggie's Farm Rum donated 70 gallons of it this week. 

Food & Drink

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Area grocery stores have increased health and safety measures for employees to help slow the spread of COVID-19. From markers on the floor that signify appropriate social distancing to store hours designated for vulnerable populations, here’s how local stores are adjusting their operations:

National & International

The hospital ship USNS Comfort got underway from its pier in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday after a pomp-filled benediction by President Trump complete with a coterie of American flags and a military band.

The ship is scheduled to arrive in New York City on Monday to offer its roughly 1,000 hospital beds as surge capacity for the region hardest hit by the coronavirus disaster.

Patients without the disease can get treatment aboard the ship, the president said, freeing up treatment centers ashore for sufferers in the pandemic.

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