The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced March 23 all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.
When it is determined students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health, as of March 24, confirmed 851 positive cases of COVID-19 in 40 counties.
Locally, there are 27 cases in Lehigh County and 33 cases in Northampton County.
There are 8,643 patients who have tested negative.
There are also seven deaths — two in Northampton and Allegheny counties and one each in Lackawanna, Monroe and Montgomery counties.
In the midst of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to help ensure connectivity to its customers, as first proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
As part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, Service Electric pledges for 60 days to:
• Not terminate service to any residential or small business due to the inability to pay a bill
• Waive late fees residential or small-business customers incur because of their economic circumstance related to the coronavirus pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic deepens, PPL Electric Utilities issued a statement March 16 saying it wants customers to know it is well prepared to maintain reliable electric service.
“Those we serve in central and eastern Pennsylvania depend on us, and we’ll continue to deliver for them,” PPL Electric Utilities President Greg Dudkin said. “Efforts over the past decade to develop a more reliant, resilient and smarter grid, coupled with effective pandemic planning and emergency management, will help us weather this health crisis. We have the backs of our customers and communities.”
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong announced March 15 the Lehigh County Government Center, 17 S. Seventh St., Allentown, is now closed to all visitors and walk-ins. This includes anyone without an identification badge issued by the government center.
The decision was made by Armstrong and his administration as the county continues to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A presumptive positive COVID-19 case was confirmed March 15 in Lehigh County.
Local area legislators announced Feb. 26 the state’s School Safety and Security Committee awarded safety and security grants to school districts in the area.
Catasauqua Area School District received $35,000 for equipment; Whitehall-Coplay School District received $45,000 for equipment; and Northampton Area School District received $450,928 to fully fund four counselors, training, planning and equipment.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has signed an emergency disaster declaration to provide increased support to state agencies involved in the response to COVID-19, the latest strain of coronavirus.
Wolf announced the declaration March 6, just after the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Since then, 12 additional cases have been announced. That brings the total cases, as of press time March 11, to 14.
The World Health Organization answers some common questions about COVID-19, the latest strain of coronavirus.
Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19.
On Jan. 29, more than 400 students competed in 54 hands-on skill and leadership competitions. This showcase is a unique opportunity to observe some of the most talented career and technical education students in the area.
District gold-medal winners will advance to state and national competitions. This year, the SkillsUSA Council partnered with postsecondary educational institutions to award more than $200,000 in scholarships to the medalists of 12 competitions.
Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, partner of Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, presents Winter Restaurant Week Feb. 23-29.
The weeklong event is designed to shine a spotlight on the diverse restaurants the northern part of Lehigh Valley has to offer.
Participating restaurants will offer set-price or prix fixe menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or dessert with both take-out and dine-in options. These diverse menu items are designed to satisfy a spectrum of palates, budgets and lifestyles.