Updated: 9/24/2020


> More news & resources from Washington County’s Website, here.

> Information on COVID-19 from the PA Department of Health, here.

> From CNN Health: Tracking Covid 19

Event Cancellations due to COVID 19: 
** The Hickory Apple Festival
** The Washington/Greene County Covered Bridge Festival
** Oktoberfest in Canonsburg
** The Houston Pumpkin Festival
** Pittsburgh’s Halloween Parade
** The Pennsylvania Farm Show, January in Harrisburg
(WJPA News) – County Sees Double-Digit Increase In Virus Cases
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Wednesday that there were 898 additional positive cases of COVID-19 added, bringing the statewide total to 152,544.  County-specific information and a statewide map are available here.  There are 8,062 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, reflecting an increase of 39 new deaths.  In nursing and personal care homes, there are 22,331 resident cases of COVID-19, and 4,893 cases among employees, for a total of 27,224 at 962 distinct facilities in 61 counties. Out of our total deaths, 5,360 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.  A county breakdown can be found here.     Approximately 10,419 of our total cases are among health care workers.  Washington County added 18 new infections for a total of 1,310  cases of COVID-19.  The county death toll remains at 29.  Allegheny County added 46 new cases for a total of 11,867 and three new deaths for a total of 354 fatalities.  Greene County added two new cases for a total of 179.  Deaths remain at one.  Across the United States, COVID-19 cases have surpassed six-point-eight-million and more than two-hundred-thousand people have died.  Mask wearing is MANDATORY in all businesses until further notice and residents are REQUIRED to wear a facial covering in public places.  Employees of those businesses are REQUIRED to wear a mask as well.
(CNN) – A second surge of cases hasn’t been matched by mortality in Europe. Experts warn that will change.
At first glance, the outlook doesn’t seem too grim. While reported coronavirus cases are reaching record highs as Europe endures a “second wave,” deaths are still well below their peak in April.

But experts warn the signs point to more tragedy ahead this winter.

Europe’s hospitals are now better equipped for treating Covid-19. Measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing have become the norm and the latest spread of infection has been primarily among younger people, who are less likely to die if they contract the virus.
Yet colder weather is beginning to set in and the flu season is approaching. The infection is spreading to older populations, and there are signs that people are growing tired of adhering to the restrictions.

“Obviously we don’t really have any ways of preventing Covid from going around, other than the lockdowns or social distancing measures and so on; we don’t yet have a vaccine,” Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the UK’s University of Southampton, told CNN.

While he does not expect deaths to reach the levels seen in the first wave, Head added: “We’ll see a lot of spread of cases, we will see a lot of hospitalizations, and a lot of burden on our health service.

Europe is at a “decisive” point in dealing with its second wave of Covid-19 infections, the European Union’s Health Commissioner warned, adding the actions that people take now will determine the severity of restrictions needed in the coming months.

“Today we’re here to call on everyone to act decisively. It might be our last chance to prevent a repeat of last spring,” Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said at a news conference Thursday. “Moreover, autumn and winter are the time of the year for more respiratory illnesses including seasonal influenza.”

Prevent severe lockdowns: Kyriakides said people should not lower their guard because “the crisis is not behind us,” and cautioned against a situation where governments are forced to impose more severe lockdowns.

“(Such lockdowns) will be detrimental — detrimental to our mental health, detrimental to our economies, detrimental to the well-being and education of our children, detrimental to our working and daily lives.”

Mental health riskThis comes as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said it’s concerned by the increase in cases across the continent, but also warns that re-imposing lockdown rules is likely to affect people’s mental health.

Changing quarantine rulesThe ECDC also indicated there is scope for changing the quarantine rules for those who are exposed to the virus — by potentially reducing the 14 day quarantine to 10 days after exposure if a person returns a negative test at that point.

Pandemic is not uniformWhile there has been an increase in cases throughout Europe, the ECDC says the pandemic is not having the same affect in all countries.
CDC Warns Americans to Avoid Trick-or-Treating for Halloween
The Centers for Disease Control rolled out new guidance warning against door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween.

“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said. “There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.”

The CDC says the public should avoid the following “higher-risk activities”:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating in which treats are given to children going door to door.
  • Trunk-or-treat, in which treats are given from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Crowded indoor costume parties.
  • Indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
  • Hayrides or tractor rides with people outside your household.
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
  • Travel to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.