Coronavirus News & Updates

COVID-19 | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM THE CDC, CLICK HERE

WASHINGTON COUNTY (& ALL PA COUNTIES) IN GREEN PHASE


The latest on the COVID-19 pandemic on the local front, including news & cancellations.

Updated: 8/7/2020

More news & resources from Washington County’s Website, here.
Additional information on COVID-19, including testing sites from the Pennsylvania Department of health, here.
From CNN Health: Tracking Covid 19

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Event Cancellations due to COVID 19: 
** PONY League World Series
** The Washington County Agricultural Fair (As well as the West Alexander, Greene Co. & Fayette Co. Fair)
** The Washington & Greene County Covered Bridge Festivals
** The The Hickory Apple Festival
** Oktoberfest in Canonsburg

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
(From CNN) – COVID 19 Cases Skyrocketing among young people (WHO Says)
The Covid-19 pandemic is moving into younger populations, health experts said Thursday, with cases skyrocketing among children, teens and young adults. Early in the outbreak, health experts stressed that older adults were most at risk for the virus that has infected more than 4.8 million people in the United States, but new data from the World Health Organization shows that most cases — by far — are reported in people ages 25 to 64. The proportion of cases in teens and young adults has gone up six-fold, and in very young children and babies the proportion has increased seven-fold, WHO said. The increase might be explained by broader testing, greater detection of milder cases and shifting demographics of hotspots, but “a rise in risky behavior after easing of public health and social measures” is also to blame, WHO said. In Georgia a 7-year-old child with no underlying conditions became the youngest person in the state to die of the virus. “This is a disease everyone should take seriously. Please watch out for each other,” Dr. Lawton Davis, the Health Director for Georgia’s Coastal Health District, said. A resurgence of large parties and social outings have been a source of widespread infections following the loosening of restrictions, and they are most often attended by younger people, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday. They have recently become the hardest hit population in the county and continue to drive numbers up, she said. In New Mexico, where one fifth of all cases are reported in people ages 20 to 29, the state’s Human Services secretary, Dr. David Scrase, urged people not to plan big gatherings for Labor Day.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

(From WJPA News) – Washington School District Changes Start Date
The Washington School Board held a 5 minute special voting meeting on Thursday August 7th. The purpose of the meeting was to change the start date for school from August 20 to September 8. Superintendent, Dr. James Konrad said the change was needed for several reasons. The extra time will be used to train teachers on the learning platforms the district will use for its Prexie Cyber program and remote learning days in their hybrid reopening plan. According to Konrad, participation in the full time cyber option has doubled since the announcement of the hybrid reopening plan. Extra care will be given to sanitization of district buildings. The change will also allow families to make arrangements for child care if parents will be at work when students will be in the cyber phase of their school week. Parents can check for updates at www.prexie.org

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

(From WJPA News) – Trinity Officially Approves School Return Plan
The Trinity Area School District has officially approved their return-to-school plan for the 2020-2021 school year.  At Thursday’s planning meeting, the board approved their health and safety plan – which includes two options: a Hybrid Model and Trinity K-12 Cyber.  Students who choose the Hybrid Model will be broken into two groups: A or B.  They will attend school two consecutive days and then three days of remote, digital, and live learning.  The K-12 Cyber option is complete online learning.  According to Superintendent, Dr. Michael Lucas, about 15% of Trinity students have chosen the full cyber option.  He says the deadline has passed, but parents may still enroll their children up until the start of school.  He also said that, if necessary, Trinity will be prepared to begin the school year completely online if the hybrid model is not recommended by the state health and education departments at the current time. In addition, Lucas said he expects more specific guidance regarding fall sports and that, “it would be extremely disappointing if we do not have sports.”  Trinity will hold “parent town hall meetings” and be releasing “what to expect videos” for students and families soon.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

(From WJPA News) – Canon McMillan Approves Hybrid Plan
The Canon-McMillan School District has voted to take a hybrid approach to learning this Fall. Board Members voted 7-2 on Thursday night to approve the plan, which will allow students the opportunity to get at least two days of in-class learning each week. According to the plan, students will either return to the building Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday, depending on which group they are assigned. The days that they are not assigned to come into school, they will be learning virtually. Every student district-wide will be learning from home on Wednesdays in the Fall as long as the current plan holds. The district is also giving students the option to learn virtually full-time as well. Few parents attended the meeting in person to voice concerns, but those who did think it is more important to get kids back into the classroom 5 days a week. The board also voted to bump back the start of school year from Monday, August 24th to Thursday, August 27th to give teachers and aides more time to prepare for classes.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

(From WJPA News) – Masks Now Mandatory In Public Places In Pennsylvania.
Masks must now be worn whenever anyone leaves home, according to a new order signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday that the order takes effect immediately. “This mask-wearing order is essential to stopping the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing – two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening.” The order outlines the situations when a mask must be worn and includes limited exceptions to the face-covering requirement. The mask-wearing order will be sent to state and local officials, law enforcement and others tasked with education about the order for those not in compliance.

According to the order, Face coverings are required if you are:

  • Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not a member of your household.In any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted.
  • Waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing service.
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank.
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, expect for members of the person’s own household or residence, are present when unable to physically distance.

Here are the exceptions to the face mask requirement, according to the order:

  • Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition or disability.
  • Individuals for whom wearing a mask while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance
  • Individuals who are under two years of age
  • Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

The order says individuals are not required to show documentation that an exception applies.