TIMELINE: Pennsylvania coronavirus updates April 1

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania update (4/1/20)

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania has more than 5,800 cases of the novel coronavirus and 74 people have died. 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 PM: Healthcare workers in Beaver County say given the statistics at their workplace, they don't feel safe and fear for their families.

Union leaders met with management today demanding several criteria. Those talks went well and management is ready to support their employees and sign on the dotted line.

Here's what the staff is demanding:

  • Personal protective equipment like N-95 masks for all workers
  • Pay for employees forced to self-quarantine after exposure
  • Hazard pay for all workers
  • Residents who tested positive or have symptoms kept in separate area
  • Transparency
Employees at Beaver Co. nursing home worried about their safety after 2 patients died from COVID-19

UPDATE 4:45 PM: A Pittsburgh firefighter has tested positive for coronavirus, the city confirmed Wednesday.

According to a release, the firefighter began experiencing flu-like symptoms on March 27 and has not worked since the day before. The firefighter is self-isolating at home.

Below is the rest of the statement from city officials:

"Officials have identified seven firefighters who came into contact with the firefighter on March 26. All seven firefighters have been instructed to self-quarantine at home. None are showing symptoms.

Fire officials are checking in daily with the firefighter who tested positive and the seven firefighters on self-quarantine.

Equipment and gear the firefighter used is being thoroughly cleaned.

For privacy reasons, Public Safety is not releasing the name or work location of the firefighter."

UPDATE 2:30 PM: The start of Kennywood’s 2020 season will be delayed because of the coronavirus, the park announced on Wednesday.

Click the link below to read more.

UPDATE 2:16 PM: A priest in the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg has tested positive for coronavirus, the diocese announced on Wednesday.

Rev. Daniel Mahoney, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Latrobe, is in quarantine with symptoms including loss of appetite and nausea but is expected to make a full recovery.

The diocese said Mahoney has not come in contact with parishioners at Mass since March 17 when the diocese suspended public masses. His symptoms began two days later.

Staff was immediately notified and each has been asked to self-quarantine.

UPDATE 1:43 PM: The City of Pittsburgh announced several upgrades to its COVID-19 website.

The site lists all City operations changes and press releases related to the pandemic, and has translations of important announcements in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, Nepali and Swahili.

It also lists community resources needed by the public, from business and mental health resources, to a link to the Pittsburgh Public Schools. These links are continually being updated as more information and resources are gathered.

UPDATE 1:40 PM: Workers at the Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center will be meeting with management at 2 p.m. to demand additional protection for caregivers after two residents died from complications with the coronavirus.

As cases increase among both residents and workers increase, caregivers are asking for the following:

  • PPE for every single worker in the building.
  • Any worker who is out for COVID-19 related issues (awaiting test results, is out because they have tested positive) should be paid fully and not be required to use their own PTO.
  • Hazard pay for every single worker in the building immediately.
  • Residents who are testing positive or awaiting results must be kept on separate units to contain the spread.
  • Absolutely no retaliation against workers who have spoken out publicly.
  • Complete transparency to both workers and the public regarding the situation, and a commitment to work together on this crisis.
Workers at Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center demand additional protection

UPDATE 1:23 PM: Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Pennsylvania, which adds eight local counties that weren’t previously included.

Click the link below to read more.

UPDATE 1 PM: Giant Eagle is adding hours to its Curbside pick-up at the Shadyside Market District specifically for critical healthcare workers.

Those essential personnel will be able to order their groceries online to be picked up the next day by using a link from their employer.

UPDATE 12:45 PM: The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities is warning investors of an anticipated surge in fraudulent investment schemes.

UPDATE 12:31 PM: Another patient at St. Barnabas Nursing Home in Gibsonia has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined.

The other two patients that tested positive are still quarantined and their health has steadily improved, according to the facility. Neither of the patients were hospitalized.

The facility said there was also one employee who has tested positive. The employee is not in any of their facilities and is under a doctor’s care.

It said there are currently no cases of COVID-19 at any its other locations in Allegheny, Beaver or Butler counties.

UPDATE 12:00 PM: There are 962 additional positive cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, bringing the total to 5,805, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Of the total number of cases, 643 are in western Pennsylvania.

In addition to the new cases, 11 more deaths have been reported. The statewide death total is now at 74.

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Here is a breakdown of cases in western Pennsylvania counties:

  • Allegheny County: 356
  • Fayette County: 14
  • Washington County: 35
  • Beaver County: 54
  • Butler County: 64
  • Lawrence County: 13
  • Westmoreland County: 72
  • Mercer County: 8
  • Greene County: 9
  • Armstrong County: 5
  • Indiana County: 6
  • Venango County: 3
  • Clarion: 4

There are 42,427 patients who have tested negative, the Department of Health said.

Of the people who have tested positive, here is a percentage breakdown by age group:

  • Nearly 1% are aged 0-4
  • Nearly 1% are aged 5-12
  • 1% are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 9% are aged 19-24;
  • 40% are aged 25-49
  • Nearly 29% are aged 50-64
  • 19% are aged 65 or older

UPDATE 11:19 a.m.: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections gave an updated regarding how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic.

All staff that are direct providers and in the intake area started wearing masks around two weeks ago.

Staff that are in areas where a COVID-18 case has been confirmed wear N95 masks.

They are continuing phone calls and virtual visits for inmates.

The department said regarding the release of inmates, they are prioritizing people who are there past there minimum sentence and are trying to get them a hearing before the parole board.

It said they are also looking at people who are incarcerated for a parole violation. If there violation isn’t violent, they are being sent to the parole board. They are also sending a group who received positive parole action.

So far, 88 people have been released or are in the process of being released.

Woman speaks out after jails release some non-violent offenders

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: Sixteen more businesses have been given warnings by Pennsylvania State Police for failing to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf’s order for non-life-sustaining businesses to close.

Since last Monday, a total of 123 businesses have been given warnings.

UPDATE 11:03 a.m.: There are 31 new positive cases of the coronavirus in Allegheny County, bringing the total to 356, the Allegheny County Health Department announced. Sixty-one people have been or are currently being hospitalized, and the number of deaths has remained at two.

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Here is a breakdown of cases by age group:

  • 0-4 years: 1
  • 5-12 years: 2
  • 13-18 years: 5
  • 19-24 years: 33
  • 25-49 years: 146
  • 50-64 years: 105
  • 65+ years: 64

Of the cases, 182 are female and 174 are male.

UPDATE 9:35 a.m.: Two more Giant Eagle locations in Pennsylvania have been made aware of employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The stores are the Pine Creek Giant Eagle on McKnight Road in McCandless Township and the Robinson Market District on Settlers Ridge Center Drive.

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Both cases were confirmed on March 28. The person at the Pine Creek Giant Eagle was last known to be in the store on March 14. The person at the Robinson Market District was last known to be in the store on March 20.

Both store have been sanitized and are open.

UPDATE 9:20 a.m.: Pennsylvania State Police are making a temporary change to how troopers respond to some non-emergency incidents.

The change is to help limit in-person contact as the coronavirus spreads in Pennsylvania and will remain in effect until further notice.

Officials said the department has identified certain types of calls that may be resolved with limited or no on-scene response. Those calls include:

  • Lost and found items
  • Littering
  • Identity theft
  • General requests to speak to a trooper

“While limiting in-person contact and collecting as much information via telephone is the goal, the actual response will be based on the totality of the circumstances of each unique situation in consultation with a supervisor on duty. State police response protocol to emergencies and crimes in progress remains unchanged,” a news release said.

UPDATE 6:45 a.m.: Communities in western Pennsylvania are coming together to help one another during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cranberry Township’s Community Response Team is giving back by gathering workers and volunteers to shop for people in need.

On Wednesday, volunteers will go to the Cranberry Township Public Safety Training Center, where they will be given paperwork and a shopping list, along with gift cards to purchase the items. Once they’re done, workers will unload their vehicles to maintain safe social distancing.

Another act of kindness on Wednesday will take place in Duquesne.

The Duquesne City School District will deliver lunches to students at their bus stops. The delivery is a partnership with Eat’n Park, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, PA Coach, Allies for Children and 412 Rescue.

Lunches will be loaded at Duquesne Elementary School, where lunches will still be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the deliveries will start at 11 a.m. at the following bus stops:

  • Mifflin & Kennedy Ave.
  • Crawford & Wool St.
  • Crawford & 5th St.
  • Commonwealth & Overland Ave.
  • Commonwealth & Duquesne Place
Cranberry Township, Duquesne among communities helping others Wednesday

UPDATE 5:40 a.m.: Six residents of a nursing home in Westmoreland County, as well as three employees of the organization that runs the facility, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Bethlen Communities confirmed the cases in residents at Ligonier Gardens Personal Care Home on Route 30 in Ligonier. Of the employees who tested positive, one works at the nursing home, while another works in corporate transportation and the third works in home health.

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Officials at the nursing home said they’re doing everything they can to protect residents and staff, including putting quarantine measures in place by trying to keep residents in their rooms, eliminating communal dining and suspending visitation.

Bethlen Communities is also taking action at its other properties by closing its non-residential locations and suspending its transportation program. It is also closing its corporate office and is having those employees work from home.

6 residents, worker test positive for COVID-19 at Westmoreland Co. nursing home

UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: There were 4,843 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania as of Tuesday, with 63 deaths across the state and 325 cases in Allegheny County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Health officials said they expect to see more cases across the state despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders. That’s because there is more screening being done and the Allegheny County Health Department is testing about 500 people each day, as well as practicing “smart testing.”

“Smart testing” means only people who meet specific criteria for COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, underlying health issues, age) are getting tested right now.

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Allegheny County officials said they have begun to secure the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as an “alternate care site” for non-coronavirus patients, if needed.

Statewide, 37,645 people tested negative as of Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said.

2 first responders exposed to COVID-19 during unrelated 911 call