Science, Health & Tech

We cover these essential linchpins of the Pittsburgh regional economy, and how they impact residents' personal health and employment. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh and the rest of Allegheny County reported a near-record number of new coronavirus infections Wednesday as state health officials expressed concern about the situation in southwestern Pennsylvania, but made no move to reimpose pandemic restrictions in border counties that are also seeing increased spread.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is reporting its highest single-day caseload of new coronavirus infections since early May, although the state Department of Health said Tuesday that a significant portion are backlogged or delayed test results.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

An additional 450 people in Pennsylvania have tested positive for the new coronavirus, with nearly half the new cases coming from the Pittsburgh area, state health officials reported Monday.

Daylon Burt / International Dark-Sky Association, Pittsburgh

Streetlights emitting artificial beams through neighborhoods every night could be to blame for decreasing firefly populations and a generation of young people with no concept of what the Milky Way looks like in a starry night sky. A Carnegie Mellon University professor and self-proclaimed dark-sky defender, Diane Turnshek, is working with a small team to study the problem of night time light pollution in the Pittsburgh area.

First Penn State Student Dies From COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020
Min Xian / WPSU

A Penn State student has died from respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Allegheny County reported 233 additional cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


Pittsburgh is home to dozens of hospitals and medical facilities, from Level I trauma centers to neighborhood health clinics. Nearly one out of every five workers in the city is employed in health care. 

Wolf Expands Mask Order, Wants New Restrictions To Be Local

Jul 1, 2020
Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration moved Wednesday to expand its indoor mask order to public places outdoors where social-distancing is impossible, while he also said that he prefers to let Pennsylvania's local governments handle further coronavirus restrictions, as opposed to the broad shutdown orders he imposed this spring.

Wayne Parry / AP

UPMC is telling its employees that they do not need to quarantine for 14 days after out-of-state travel. 

 

This guidance differs from the quarantine recommendation that the Allegheny County Health Department made on Sunday, after a week of particularly high case counts. But on Wednesday, the county itself has taken steps to clarify some of its recommendations – and health department director Dr. Debra Bogen called UPMC’s guidance a “clear and thoughtful” interpretation of county policy.

 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

With 109* new coronavirus infections, Tuesday marks the first time that Allegheny County's daily case count has exceeded 100. Like Monday, Tuesday’s cases account for roughly 17 percent of Pennsylvania’s daily total.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Today, Allegheny County will begin enforcing a ban on consumption of alcohol inside bars and restaurants; local nonprofit Ujamaa Collective is switching its focus during the pandemic and protests against police brutality; and thousands of Pennsylvanians are being called back to work, but not all are prepared to return. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Allegheny County reported Monday that another 83 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. These new cases comprise nearly 17 percent of all cases reported in Pennsylvania on Monday.

Argo AI

When a human drives a car, they know that what they see at any given moment may not completely represent potential obstacles in their path. For example, a truck could block a human driver’s vision of a pedestrian crossing the street, but a reasonable driver would consider that someone could be in the crosswalk before proceeding when a traffic light turns green.

Autonomous vehicles struggle with that concept.

Courtesy of Allegheny Health Network

Surgery suites at Allegheny Health Network have a new piece of equipment to protect against the novel coronavirus.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases that Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald called “alarming,” the county is prohibiting on-site consumption of alcohol at bars and restaurants. The order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Allegheny County health officials today reported 96 new COVID-19 cases, the second straight day that it has posted a record number of infections.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Allegheny County Health Department on Saturday announced 90 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since reporting on the pandemic began in mid-March.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The number of COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County continues to spiral upward. The county’s Department of Health reported 61 new cases of the disease Friday, the highest one-day total since April 23.

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

Allegheny County continued its upswing of novel coronavirus infections, with another 45 cases reported on Wednesday. This follows Monday's count of 45 cases, which was the highest daily total in more than a month.

But UPMC, the state’s largest medical system, says it’s important to take a broader look at how the pandemic is progressing.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 83,000, while there are 54 new reports of coronavirus-related deaths, many if not all of them who were residents of nursing homes or personal care homes, the state Department of Health said Wednesday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Ther were 38 more deaths in Pennsylvania have been attributed to COVID-19, the state Health Department said Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,464 since the pandemic began.

Courtesy of RoadRunner

A Pittsburgh-based startup is using technology to revolutionize the recycling industry. RoadRunner Recycling uses software designed to help businesses recycle more and save money.

WAYNE PARRY / AP

COVID-19 infections are again increasing in Allegheny County.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 82,000, while new reports of coronavirus-related deaths have slowed significantly in the past couple days, according to Department of Health data.

Wolf Loosens Restrictions In Last Of Counties Except Lebanon

Jun 19, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Parts of Pennsylvania that were among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic will move next week into the less restrictive “green” zone for reopening businesses and restarting group activities, the Wolf administration announced Friday.

Utility Regulators Keep Moratorium On Service Terminations

Jun 18, 2020
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission on Thursday rejected an attempt by one of its members to end its three-month-old moratorium preventing utilities from terminating service to non-paying customers while the state fights the spread of the coronavirus.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still contracting the coronavirus.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Katie Clark sits in a lawn chair in the backyard of the Highland Park home of her friend Nia Baton-Soffietti. The women drink coffee while their two-year-old sons, Oscar and Desmond, explore the hatch of the Baton-Soffietti family car.

'Nursing Homes As We Know Them Are Over': COVID-19 Fuels Push To Home-Based Care

Jun 16, 2020
Provided by John Stagliano

John Stagliano never was much of a hospital guy.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Marlo Engels describes herself as an "innate hugger."

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