BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS APRIL 6, 2020

GOVERNOR ASKS ALL TO WEAR MASKS
Friday, Governor Wolf asked all Pennsylvania to participate in the mitigation of COVID-19,  and  to wear a cloth or homemade mask when outside of the home.  Wolf said wearing a mask helps cut down the possibility of infecting others.   According to Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, a homemade mask isn’t fool proof as far as keeping you from catching the virus but it is one more tool or line of defense against community spread.   She  added that the N95 masks should be reserved for health care workers and that wearing a mask when outside of the home is not a free pass to go back to work or negate social distancing requirements..

NEARBY COUNTY COVID-19 CASE COUNT
The Pennsylvania Department of  Health has provided a tally of coronavirus cases of counties close to Williamsport, fortunately, there are no deaths reported in these surrounding counties as of Sunday.  In Lycoming County, 9 cases have been reported, Union County, 6, Sullivan has reported one case, Columbia County has 22. There are 14 cases in Northumberland, 1in Clinton and 3 in Tioga County.  The 1,493 new cases as of the weekend,  brings the statewide total of confirmed coronavirus cases to 11, 510.  There have been 150 deaths in the commonwealth.

LOCAL LEADER HOSTS TELE-TOWNHALL DISCUSSION
Senator Gene Yaw of Loyalsock Township will host a telephone town hall discussion today to provide an update on the coronavirus response.  According to a press release form his office, the event is today at 11:20am and included in the panel are Dr. Rutul Dalal of Chairman of Infection Prevention and Control at UPMC Susquehanna, Jason Fink of the Williamsport Chamber and Eric Kratz, Executive Director of the PA Senate Labor and Industry Committee.  The call-in event is intended for the public to listen in on the phone line or participate in the discussion.  Sign up in advance at www.senatorGeneyaw.com and use PIN 111880.  A live stream is also available for smartphone, tablet or computer users.

AREA HOSPITALS ADOPT MASKING POLICIES
According to a press release, Geisinger Medical center Friday updated their policy requiring all employees, patients and visitors to wear a mask while inside within Geisinger buildings.  The hospitals will provide the appropriate level of masks to those arriving at their facilities.  Evangelical also updated their masking policy, also requiring a mask to be worn at all times by anyone who is in an Evangelical facility including off-site locations.

SPAY AND NEUTERING PROCEDURES ON HOLD TO RESERVE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, ADOPTIONS ARE STILL OK
The Department of Agriculture has suspended the requirement to spay or neuter pets before adoption , in order to conserve personal protective equipment during the pandemic.   The requirement is waived for now, with the contingency that pet owners will have 120 days from the time of adopting to spay or neuter those pets.  The Lycoming County SPCA has cancelled their 2020 Paws Run and hope to hold it in 2021.  Those who have already registered can either receive a refund, or donate their entry fee to support the non-profit.   If you’re looking to adopt a dog or cat at this time, the shelters are authorized to continue adopting pets out in Pennsylvania. Www.Lycomingspca.org or call to make an appointment to adopt 570-322-4646

SUSQUEHANNA POSTPONES COMMENCEMENT
Susquehanna University is the latest institution in the region to make changes to their upcoming commencement ceremonies.  According to a  news release, the event was originally scheduled for May 13th , but will neo be held on August 9th at the James Garrett Sports Complex Field House.  About 500 students are eligible for degrees – details about special events surrounding commencement will be available in the upcoming weeks.

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