TIMELINE: Butler County leaders working to take legal action against state for reopening plan

Butler Co. commissioners disappointed, frustrated by state's reopening plan

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 News is committed to keeping you informed about the coronavirus, the impact on our community and your lives. Below you’ll find all of today’s updates, including the latest numbers and information from local and state officials.

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Giant Eagle limiting ground meat purchases amid COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: Giant Eagle is temporarily limiting the purchase of ground beef and on-sale meat items to two of each per transaction, according to Channel 11 News’ exchange partners at TribLIVE.

Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts told TribLIVE the supermarket chain had limited some meat purchases early in the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but now the demand for meat is skyrocketing -- causing this latest announcement.

Meat won’t disappear from supermarket shelves, but added to the mix is the impact of outbreaks of COVID-19 among U.S. slaughterhouse workers.

Consumers could see a smaller selection of meat and higher prices, according to TribLIVE.

Butler County commissioners say there’s a "lack of information and transparency”

UPDATE 2:06 p.m.: Butler County Commissioners said they held a conference call with local legislators to discuss steps moving forward and to discuss a "lack of information and transparency regarding the five areas of measurement” identified by the state. The county commissioners said they were disappointed Butler County was not included in the first wave of reopening.

Commissioners said the state was basing the reopening decision “on case counts per 100,000 of population.” In the conference call, commissioners said they believe they have done everything they have been asked to do by the government and more.

In a news release, the county said they wanted to organize a group of local leaders to pursue possible legal action against the state.

Commissioners sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf explaining their reasoning for wanting to be included in the May 8 partial reopening.

You can read that full letter below:

DCNR releases plan to reopen state park, forest facilities

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: Officials with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced a phased reopening of state park and forest facilities.

The schedule for reopening state park and forest facilities is:

  • The three public golf courses in the system at Caledonia and Evansburg state parks and Michaux State Forest are authorized to be open to the public starting on May 1. They are operated by private concessions.
  • At least one restroom in day use areas and in marinas at state parks and forests statewide will be open to the public on May 8. This is consistent with CDC guidance related to park and recreation area operations. Additional cleaning protocols are in place. Users should practice social distancing.
  • All nine marinas in state parks will be open to the public on May 8, or their typical designated opening date. This is in addition to shoreline mooring sites at all state parks.
  • State park and forest facilities including offices, campgrounds, and the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle in the counties in the yellow phase will be open to the public on May 15.

Cabins in these areas will not open until June 12, to allow returning staff the ability to thoroughly clean them and prepare them for use. Campgrounds and cabins in all other state parks will remain closed.

With the exception of one restroom in each day use area and marina, all state park and forest facilities outside of the counties in the yellow phase will remain closed until changes are made consistent with Governor Wolf’s guidelines for reopening. The public can still access DCNR trails, lakes, rivers, streams, forests, roads, and parking areas statewide for recreation.

All playgrounds, nature play areas, interpretive centers, amphitheaters, and group camping facilities statewide will remain closed indefinitely. Swimming beaches statewide will be closed until June 6.

All programs, events, and large gatherings at state parks and forests in counties that are designated red are cancelled through June 15. Based on availability, organizers will have the option to reschedule later in the year. No new reservations for these activities are being taken.

In counties designated yellow, any events with more than 25 people will be cancelled. If the event is under 25 people and outdoors it will be allowed to occur, however any indoor events will be cancelled. Consistent with Governor Wolf’s guidelines for reopening, facilities such as pavilions will only be available for groups under 25 and will be on a first come first serve basis.

Picnic tables in state parks will be dispersed to allow room to spread out and avoid crowds. Campsites and cabins should only be used by members living in the same household as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

People who live in areas still under stay-at-home orders should not travel long distances for outdoor recreation, and instead should look for opportunities close to home.

Pennsylvania has 6,000 local parks and more than 12,000 miles of trails available (check first to make sure they are open, as some local parks are closed).

Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe by following these practices:

  • Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads
  • Bring a bag and either carry out your trash or dispose of it properly
  • Clean up after pets
  • Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, so you don’t require a trip to the emergency room

Saturday was supposed to be Kennywood’s Opening Day

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: Saturday was supposed to be Opening Day for Kennywood. With Allegheny County still in the red phase of Gov. Wolf’s plan, it’s not clear when stay at home orders will be relaxed and it’s not clear when the park will reopen.

Share your favorite Kennywood memories with Channel 11. CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR PICS!

48,305 COVID-19 cases in PA

UPDATE 12:00 p.m.: There are now 48,305 coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health.

There have also been 2,418 deaths and 187,071 people have tested negative so far.

You've heard about COVID-19 cases and contacts, but do you know what a contact of a contact is? We put together an infographic to help explain what each term means and what action to take for each situation ⤵️

Posted by Pennsylvania Department of Health on Saturday, May 2, 2020

Here is a county breakdown in our area:

  • Allegheny Co.: 1,333 positive cases, 102 deaths, 16,646 negative tests
  • Armstrong Co.: 52 positive cases, 2 deaths, 710 negative tests
  • Beaver Co.: 435 positive cases, 68 deaths, 2,142 negative tests
  • Butler Co.: 180 positive cases, 6 deaths, 2,304 negative tests
  • Clarion Co.: 23 positive cases, 1 death, 493 negative tests
  • Fayette Co.: 82 positive cases, 4 deaths, 1,878 negative tests
  • Forest Co.: 7 positive cases, 0 deaths, 30 negative tests
  • Greene Co.: 27 positive cases, 0 deaths, 429 negative tests
  • Indiana Co.: 63 positive cases, 4 deaths, 755 negative tests
  • Lawrence Co.: 65 positive cases, 6 deaths, 758 negative tests
  • Mercer Co.: 66 positive cases, 1 death, 772 negative tests
  • Venango Co.: 7 positive cases, 0 deaths, 256 negative tests
  • Washington Co.: 118 positive cases, 2 deaths, 2,195 negative tests
  • Westmoreland Co.: 396 positive cases, 26 deaths, 4,749 negative tests

As of 10 a.m., 2,674 people are hospitalized across the state. 550 people have needed a ventilator. Across the hospital system, 46% of hospital beds, 40% of ICU beds and 75% of ventilators are still available.

Allegheny County surpasses 100 coronavirus deaths

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.: Officials with the Allegheny County Department of Health report there are 14 more coronavirus cases and three more deaths.

102 people have now died in the county from coronavirus. 92 of those were confirmed with 10 probable. The age range of those who have died is from 42 to 103 years old. The average age of those who died is 84.

There are now 1,333 coronavirus cases in the county.

State Rep. among those not happy with first wave of reopening counties

UPDATE 9:00 a.m.: State Rep. Pam Snyder, who represents parts of Washington, Fayette and Greene counties took to Facebook to share her frustration that her area was not included in the first wave of counties allowed to move from red to yellow under Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan.

SWPA is Not Pittsburgh

Keeping our rural counties under the same lockdown as Philadelphia & Pittsburgh is ridiculous. I fought hard to get coal mining on the essential job list, and I'm continuing my fight for the safe easing of restrictions on our communities. More: https://www.pahouse.com/Snyder/InTheNews/NewsRelease/?id=113765

Posted by Rep. Pam Snyder on Friday, May 1, 2020

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone campgrounds open for business

UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone campgrounds across Pennsylvania are open for business.

The locations include:

  • Harrisville: 449 Campground Rd., Harrisville, PA 16038, (724) 735-2417
  • Mill Run: 839 Mill Run Rd., Mill Run, PA 15464, (724) 455-2929
  • Milton: 670 Hidden Paradise Rd., Milton, PA 17847, (570) 524-4561
  • Quarryville: 340 Blackburn Rd., Quarryville, PA 17566, (717) 610-4505

Caste Village 2020 Fireworks cancelled

UPDATE 6:40 a.m.: Officials announced that the annual fireworks display at Caste Village is cancelled.

Scheduled for Friday, June 26, a press release said the event was not happening because of the impact of coronavirus on business and social activity. The fireworks distributor and Whitehall Borough jointly made the decision.

The fireworks display around the July 4th holiday attracts over 15,000 people and had been going on for 60 years.

Caste Village Cancels 2020 Fireworks Display There will be no July 4th Community Fireworks at Caste Village this year....

Posted by The Shoppes at Caste Village on Friday, May 1, 2020

Gov. Wolf's announcement leaves many businesses hopeful, others disappointed