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TIMELINE: Pennsylvania coronavirus updates March 13

PITTSBURGH — Now in Pennsylvania, the spread of the novel coronavirus has state leaders urging people to take extra precautions and has led to the cancellation of events and the closure of some schools. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: Rivers Casino is shutting down for the next two weeks effective Sunday at midnight. Casino officials said they are doing so out of an abundance of caution and to promote the social distancing recommended by health officials. Normal payroll will continue for team members during the shut down.

UPDATE 8:04 p.m.: Officials with Pittsburgh Public Schools announced that meals will be available for students that need them during the two week closure. For breakfast and lunch, Grab and Go meals will be available at all 54 school locations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are to go to the school closest to their home.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m.: The Home and Garden Show will end Friday night, according to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: Officials with Pittsburgh Public Schools are working on food distribution sites around the city to make sure students have access to meals during the closures for coronavirus.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: Officials with the Pittsburgh Penguins announced they are also going to continue paying full and part-time arena and service employees at PPG Paints Arena. Funding will come from the players, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

Additionally, the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center will be closing and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will close at the end of business on Saturday.

UPDATE 6:16 p.m.: The Frick Pittsburgh will be closed starting Saturday March 14 and will remain shut down through the end of March. Agency officials said they are launching a virtual museum in the meantime.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is also closing this weekend and will stay closed for the next 2 weeks.

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: WWE’s Monday Night Raw scheduled for PPG Paints Arena has been canceled. The event will be aired live from the WWE training facility in Orlando, Florida with no audience present. Refunds for people who bought tickets for the Pittsburgh event are available at all points of purchase.

UPDATE 5:52 p.m.: The National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s Northside is temporarily closing due to the coronavirus. Officials said they facility will be closed starting Saturday, March 14 through at least the end of March. Essential staff will continue working and the building will continue to undergo deep cleaning.

UPDATE 5:29 p.m.: Fayette County officials have declared a State of Emergency. County leaders said they are preparing for potential cases to begin popping up in their region.

UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: There is now a presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Washington County. The person presumed to have the coronavirus is an adult, according to state health officials.

Click here to read more.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: Gov. Wolf spoke about what’s been done so far and thanked Pennsylvanians for doing their part to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto declared a State of Emergency for the City and issued an Executive Order for all public gatherings of more than 250 people, starting 9 a.m. Monday. The State of Emergency will be for an initial term of 7 days. After that, the city council will discuss any needed extensions.

This gives the Mayor’s Office the ability to limit or cancel gatherings, gatherings that require city permits, limit City services and cancel or limit public and private activities that could increase the spread of the virus. Mayor Peduto has also talked about ending the Home and Garden show early.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said emergency responders will be now working to prioritize calls for help. If there are calls involving people with hemorrhaging, breathing issues or cardiac arrest, those will get priority.

Watch Channel 11 News at 5 & 6 for more.

UPDATE 4:56 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is canceling or postponing all performances, films, exhibitions and events through April 6. If you had tickets to an upcoming event you should contact the Cultural Trust for specific details.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: The Children’s Museum announced they are closing down due to the coronavirus. This includes the MuseumLab as well. There’s no word yet from museum officials when the facility will reopen.

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Also, the SAT test scheduled for tomorrow morning at Ringgold is still happening, according to the district’s website.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m.: All Pittsburgh City Council offices will be closed to the public for the next weeks.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: President Trump is speaking LIVE about the coronavirus.

During his speech, Trump announced a National Emergency which opens up funding and allows states to open emergency facility. He’s also asking every community to engage it’s emergency action plan.

UPDATE 3:13 p.m.: All park facilities and restrooms operated by the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy will be closed through at least March 30. At this time Schenley Plaza eating establishments remain open, but customers are being asked to get their food to go.

“The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is committed to providing our community with a safe park environment,” says Jayne Miller, president and chief executive officer, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “It is with concern and utmost caution for the safety of our community that we’ve made the decision to close our facilities and cancel upcoming programming and special events."

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Gov. Wolf has announced that all schools in the state of Pennsylvania will be CLOSED for the next 10 days. Some local districts have announced that they will be closed beyond that point. Click here for the full list of local coronavirus school closures.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: WPXI News Anchor David Johnson sat down with UPMC-Magee’s Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Joe Suyama to get your questions answered. Click here to watch the full video.

UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: Many local school districts have announced that they will be closed for the next several weeks for in-person classes. Most districts will be closed through March 27, but some will be closed for longer. Click here for the full list of coronavirus school closures.

UPDATE 1:37 p.m.: Pittsburgh Westinghouse will be closed on Monday so the school can be fully cleaned.

According to Pittsburgh Public Schools, this is out of an abundance of caution because a staff member may have been exposed to coronavirus from a relative while traveling out of state.

The school district’s public information officer said the school is planning to reopen on Tuesday.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: The Western Pennsylvania School for the blind will be closed until further notice.

“This decision comes out of an abundance of caution to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases of the virus affecting any individual affiliated with WPSBC,” Director of Communications and Development Sue Wiedder said.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: Gov. Wolf and the Pa. Department of Health are holding their daily update on coronavirus in the state.

There are now a total of 33 presumptive positive cases and six cases that have been confirmed positive by the CDC.

The new cases since the health department’s 11:30 a.m. update are two cases in Delaware County, two cases in Philadelphia County and one pediatric case in Monroe County.

Also announced was that there are at least two commercial providers that have tests that can be done to check for coronavirus.

Hospitals and healthcare providers are being told that they do not need to consult with the Department of Health, but they are welcome to if they have questions or concerns.

Additionally, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said there have been more than 300 people who have been tested from Pennsylvania; 140 of those tests were negative, 33 are presumptive positive and six are confirmed by the CDC. The additional 130 tests are on their way to the lab or at the lab being tested.

UPDATE 11:44 a.m.: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has postponed or canceled all shows between now and March 29.

The concerts that will be postponed are:

  • BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts on March 13 and 15, and March 27 and 29
  • PNC Pops “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” concerts on March 20, 21 and 22

The Symphony has canceled the following:

  • EQT Student Side-by-Side concert on March 18
  • March 24 new subscriber/new donor evening reception

In an emailed letter, PSO said it is working to reschedule the postponed shows, but does not have dates at this point.,

"We are committed to the health and well-being of our staff, musicians, volunteers and patrons. In the best interests of all and using guidance from government and public health authorities, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is postponing or cancelling concerts and events through March 29,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

UPDATE 11:28 a.m.: Six more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Pennsylvania, bringing the total to 28, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced.

The cases were confirmed in four people from Montgomery County and two people from Delaware County. All of the people are adults and are either in isolation at home or are being treated at a hospital.

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UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced all athletic competition for the remainder of the spring semester has been suspended.

“Any non-conference competitions already travelled to are left to institutional discretion through March 15, at which time all athletic competition must cease,” PSAC’s announcement said. “In addition, all countable related athletic activities (CARA) are suspended until March 30 at which time the Board of Directors will review a proposal from the Athletics Administrators to permit or suspend CARA for the remainder of the semester.”

UPDATE 11 a.m.: Teachers in the Penn Hills School District have prepared lessons in the event school is disrupted because of the coronavirus, Superintendent Nancy Hines said.

Lessons for K-12 students have been prepared and will be handed out at dismissal Friday to be kept at home for the time being. The supplemental assignments will only need to be completed if school is canceled.

“PHHS students will be following a mostly online learning format, while Linton and PHE students will be working according to a more traditional format that includes pen and paper lessons,” Hines said.

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All district buildings will be cleaned starting after dismissal Friday and continuing through Monday morning, according to Hines.

“Enhanced cleaning efforts have been in place and will continue beyond this weekend's large-scale initiative,” Hines said.

The district said there are no after school or weekend activities until further notice, but no other changes have been made to daily operations.

Update from PHSD Superintendent - 03/13/2020 10:30 AM - I just finished the webinar that was hosted by various State-level officials regarding the current status of Coronavirus in PA...

Posted by Penn Hills School District on Friday, March 13, 2020

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: Stage AE is closing through May 1 because of recommendations for people to avoid large gatherings due to the coronavirus.

The venue said it hopes to reschedule as many of the affected events as possible.

When new dates are announced, tickets will remain valid, Stage AE said. If a show cannot be rescheduled, a refund will automatically be issued to the credit card used to make the purchase.

You can customize your WPXI News App to receive breaking news alerts. CLICK HERE to find out how.

UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: SAT testing scheduled for Saturday at Hampton High School has been postponed. The Hampton Township School District said it is working with the College Board to reschedule the exam date.

UPDATE 6:55 a.m.: Holy Cross Academy in Ross Township is closed Friday because a student might have been exposed to the coronavirus from a relative outside the school, according to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.


“To be clear, no Holy Cross Academy community member has any known symptoms or contact with anyone who has tested positive for the virus. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) most recent recommendations the school will be sanitized,” a news release said.

Holy Cross and all other K-12 schools in the diocese will be closed Monday, when an in-service day has been scheduled to allow teachers to plan for potential additional closures because of the coronavirus.

UPDATE 6:45 a.m.: The Port Authority of Allegheny County is ramping up cleaning because of the coronavirus.

Officials said surfaces on buses and light rail vehicles are being disinfected every 72 hours. Normally, disinfecting was done every 30 days.

In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed at several stations and there are plans to add more.

UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: Pennsylvania has 22 cases of the coronavirus, though there are no confirmed cases in western Pennsylvania.

Counties that currently have cases of the virus are: Bucks, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike and Wayne.

There is no vaccine for the virus, but the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research is one of a couple dozen labs working on one.

“There is pressure to deliver, but one of the things which is really important when thinking about speed is we can never, ever compromise safety,” Dr. Paul Duprex, Pitt’s director of vaccine research, said.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it could take a year or more to develop a vaccine.

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KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: Here's how to distinguish symptoms of the flu or allergies from the coronavirus:

Posted by WPXI-TV Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 11, 2020