COVID-19 News Update

Click here – Maryland Department of Health

Click here – PA Department of Health

Click here- W VA Department of Health

13  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  Gov. Larry Hogan has announced he will lift Maryland’s stay at home order on Friday effective at 5 p.m.

The governor said at a Wednesday press conference in Annapolis that Maryland has achieved the 14-day plateauing and decline of hospitalizations. He also said the rate of new deaths, hospitalizations and ICU patients have steadily declined. Hogan said his decision came after consultation with a state team of public health experts and business leaders.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that a person confirmed to have the new coronavirus attended a gathering at a retirement community in Rockville, Md., during a news conference Friday, March 6, 2020 in Annapolis, Md. The state health department says people who attended the event on Feb. 28 at The Village at Rockville may be at some risk for acquiring COVID-19. Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health, is standing right. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Hogan also announced that along with the stay-at-home order being lifted, he would begin phasing in most of the state into stage one of his “Road to Recovery” plan.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, retailers in Maryland such as clothing and shoe stores will be able to reopen with 50% capacity with curbside delivery and pickup encouraged. All manufacturing may resume operations with multiple shifts encouraged. Hogan also said personal services such as barber shops and hair salons may reopen at up to 50% capacity and by appointment only while following safety guidelines. Additionally, other services like pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes, art galleries and book shops can reopen.

13  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Franklin County Commissioners Dave Keller and Bob Ziobrowski released a letter today without fellow-commissioner John Flannery’s signature on the letter, backing Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to keep Franklin County in the red phase.

13  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – After much consideration, we are sorry to inform the community about the cancellation of the 2020 Franklin County Fair scheduled for July 5-11. Our goal is to ensure the safety and health of all our volunteers, exhibitors, and the community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay tuned for more information regarding upcoming events this year and the 2021 Franklin County Fair. We look forward to planning for future events in the community!

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of the Franklin County Fair!

13  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Supervisors for the Township of Antrim signed a letter supporting the seven local leaders who are pushing back against Governor Tom Wolf

13  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  President Donald Trump will visit the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Thursday to tour a distribution center of medical and surgical products for healthcare facilities, including personal protective equipment in the fight against the coronavirus.

Trump’s visit is to a warehouse of Virginia-based Owens and Minor in suburban Allentown. The White House said he will also deliver remarks.

It is Trump’s second visit to Pennsylvania this year after appearing a town hall-style event hosted by Fox News at the Scranton Cultural Center in March.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes are perhaps this year’s premier electoral prize state after Trump’s unexpected win in Pennsylvania in 2016 helped pave his way to the White House.

12  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF CHAMBERSBURG

This statement is to inform the Chambersburg business community about the nature of our handling of the Wolf  Administration’s  COVID-19 Disaster Declaration Order,   pertaining  to the recent movement to re-open non-waivered businesses in our community.

The current status of our community’s standing is that we are in the Governor’s “red”  phase,  which includes the original stay-at-home directive and non-waivered businesses remaining closed. 

While the appropriateness of the “red” phase designation is subject to debate, local elected officials do not have the authority to independently permit non-waivered businesses to open during this “red” phase.  Non-waivered business owners/operators who choose to open, do so at their own peril, considering the possible negative impacts that they may experience from the Wolf Administration, for violating the business closure order. 

I want to extend my deepest thanks to the business owners/operators in our borough for your cooperation during these trying times. Our mission will be the continued education of our local businesses as to the unchanged business closure order, issued by Governor Wolf.  When we make contact with non-waivered businesses that are not permitted to be open at this time, our approach will be that of educating and advising. 

We want businesses to possess accurate information regarding the Wolf  Administration orders and the consequences threatened by him.   We request that non-waivered businesses who have contact with Chambersburg police officers, maintain a level of civility, cooperation, and respect for these officers who are tasked with a difficult mission in these difficult times.

Our officers will treat all with civility, respect, and will conduct themselves professionally. 

Non-waivered businesses that have not received a copy of the Governor’s March 19th state-wide health emergency order will be provided with a copy, along with the Secretary of Pa. Department of Health’s order. 

Business owners/operators will be informed of the possible revocation by the state, of any license under which they operate. 

The Chambersburg Borough Police Department does not have the authority to revoke state-issued licenses.

12  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT, CHAMBERSBURG BOROUGH COUNCIL

Dear Borough Residents, Franklin County remains under Red Phase Stay At Home orders. We have yet to meet key public health metrics for reopening, which include numbers of COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks as well as testing and contact tracing capacities.

State health data show that zip code 17201, largely occupied by the Borough of Chambersburg, accounts for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases in Franklin County (health.pa.gov).

The Governor’s task force reviews data regularly, so our status is subject to change, but, for now, we are under Stay At Home orders through June 4. The Governor has recently clarified consequences for violating Red Phase Stay At Home orders. Small business owners who open prematurely might be subject to loss of insurance coverages as well as state licensures.

The county itself, and possibly the municipalities and organizations within it, may lose discretionary funds from the CARES Act that would directly benefit our citizens and our economic recovery. I understand from Mayor Walt Bietsch that the Chambersburg Police Department will continue its current practice of educating and informing business owners who operate in violation of current Stay At Home orders.

I hope that you will join me in supporting this approach and continuing to believe in the goodwill of our neighbors and our Borough business owners. Borough residents and business owners have made many sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The economic toll of this pandemic is unprecedented.

However, we risk compromising our economic recovery if non-eligible businesses reopen in violation of state orders. Moreover, the health of our families and friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, our Borough staff, our emergency services personnel and police officers, our health aides and caregivers, our nurses and doctors, continues to depend on our willingness to abide by Red Phase Stay At Home orders.

Reopening before we are positioned to manage our local and county public health crisis jeopardizes the health of our community and risks overwhelming our health care resources.

Please follow public health recommendations for regular hand washing and wearing masks in public: protect yourself and others. Practice physical distancing, too. Together, we can continue our work as a community toward the recovery of our livelihoods, the protection of public health, and the dearly sought normalcy of our pre-pandemic lives.

12  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Pennsylvania barber, Brad Shepler, who defied Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order to operate his business received a verbal warning from two East Pennsboro Twp. police Monday.

 

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  May 10-16 is National Hospital Week 2020. It is an opportunity to highlight our hospitals, health systems, health care providers, and the innovative ways they support the needs of their community members.


11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Senator Doug Mastriano called for the firing of Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine.

“Dr. Levine’s incompetence could not be clearer in testimony given to the senate,” Mastriano said. “The secretary admitted that 70 percent of deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes and long-term facilities.”

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – The Washington County Office of Budget and Finance reminds citizens that a public hearing on the proposed real property tax rate will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2020. The hearing will be conducted virtually, with video-streaming available on Facebook – Washington County Government – Maryland and on YouTube – WashCo Commissioners.

Public testimony is encouraged. Public comment may be submitted up to seven (7) days following the public hearing which is May 21, 2020 by 6:00 p.m.

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – WellSpan Health today announced that its CEO and executive team will accept salary reductions in response to the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective this month, and lasting for 12 weeks, WellSpan President and CEO Roxanna Gapstur, Ph.D., R.N., will have her salary reduced by 25 percent over that period. During the same period, all executive-level positions across the health system – including executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents and vice presidents – will have their salary reduced by 10 percent.

These temporary salary reductions make possible a contribution by WellSpan to a financial assistance fund specifically focused on helping WellSpan Health employees who have endured financial hardship during the pandemic. The new WellSpan Health Family COVID-19 Assistance Program will help cover mortgage or rent payments, utility costs and other urgent bills.

“COVID-19 is more than just a public health crisis; it’s also a financial crisis for millions of Americans,” said Roxanna Gapstur, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO, WellSpan Health. “As central Pennsylvania’s largest private employer, we know our team members are not immune from the financial impacts of this pandemic. Our executive team is doing its part to support our organization and our 20,000 team members during this trying time. We are in this together, and we’ll get through this together.”

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s comments that he would withhold CARES Act funding from Pennsylvania counties that do not obey his lockdown policy:

“It is wrong for Governor Wolf to withhold federal taxpayer funds from the CARES Act in an attempt to coerce compliance with his increasingly misguided lockdown policy. The CARES Act does not authorize this behavior. This development underscores the problem when one level of government sends money to a different level of government to be spent as the latter entity chooses. Money can be spent or withheld inappropriately and it is very difficult for taxpayers to know whom to hold accountable.

“The intent of the draconian shutdown of our economy was to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we would not overwhelm our hospitals. It has been clear since, at least, mid-April that the capacity of Pennsylvania’s hospitals have not been, and will not be, threatened. It is, therefore, no longer acceptable to deprive people of their livelihoods. Rather than punishing taxpayers by withholding federal aid that they helped to fund, our state government should be facilitating the safe re-opening of our economy.”

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  President Donald Trump pushed Monday for Pennsylvania to reopen its economy faster, escalating a fight already roiling the state, as Republican lawmakers and some local officials pressure Gov. Tom Wolf to lift the coronavirus restrictions that have slowed the pandemic’s spread but left about a quarter of the state’s workforce without a job.

“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails,” Trump said in a morning Twitter post. “The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!”

“If you look at Pennsylvania as an example, if you look at various other states, I won’t get into them, the people want to go back,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “The numbers are getting to a point where they can, and there just seems to be no effort on certain blue states to get back into gear, and the people aren’t going to stand for it. They want our country open, I want our country open, too, I want it open safely, but I want it open.”

11  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Today Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) called on Governor Tom Wolf to prioritize the comprehensive health care needs of Pennsylvanians. In a letter to the governor, Dr. Joyce warned of secondary health dangers related to the Wolf Administration’s aggressive coronavirus mitigation tactics, including needless suffering and deaths across the commonwealth.

“During the coronavirus outbreak, Pennsylvanians heeding stay at home orders have forgone important medical care and suffered negative health outcomes that could have been prevented. As the only doctor in Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation, I am concerned that delayed care and diagnoses have already spurred secondary health crises and tragic deaths,” said Dr. Joyce. “Recently, I have heard from fellow physicians that patients are experiencing increased cardiac-related deaths, overdoses, and other negative outcomes that could have been prevented if they had sought emergency care. As the governor considers reopening counties remaining under his stay at home order, I urge him to prioritize Pennsylvanians’ comprehensive health care needs.”

 In his letter, Dr. Joyce urges Governor Wolf to communicate the importance of continued preventative care to the people of Pennsylvania, as well as to collaborate with health care providers to reopen practices as expeditiously as possible.

 “As select Pennsylvania counties begin to transition into the yellow phase of reopening this month, many others remain under your administration’s stay at home order. During this extended period of aggressive mitigation, I urge you to consider all of the health care needs of your constituents and to take action to prevent additional negative outcomes and tragic deaths, wrote Dr. Joyce.

 

9  May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Officials in Franklin County are pushing back against Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order. 

Seven local and state leaders including Senators Doug Mastriano and Judy Ward, Representatives Rob Kauffman, Jesse Topper, John Hershey, Paul Schemel and Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery, cited multiple factors and the county’s need to move from the red phase to the yellow phase in a letter sent to Wolf.

“I am proud to serve with our legislators in opening-up Franklin County, in spite of Governor Wolf unfairly leaving us on “red” status, Commissioner John Flannery said.” Franklin County currently has less than one-half of one percent of the population infected with the COVID-19 virus. It is time for us to get our small businesses back to work and open up our economy! God bless all of you, stay safe and let us thrive and prosper! 

Two other county commissioners, Dave Keller and Bob Ziobrowski did not sign the letter.

The letter insists the residents of  Franklin County have taken the governor’s orders to practice social distancing and other mitigation efforts seriously and as a result of those actions healthcare facilities have adequate space to treat COVID-19 patients. 

“The draconian measures employed by Gov Wolf have done severe damage to the lives of the people of our community,” Senator Doug Mastriano said.  “It’s time to reassert our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It’s time to restore freedom and get Harrisburg off of our backs.”

Leaders also say the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the availability of COVID-19 tests have increased since mid-March. 

Local businesses who choose to ignore the governor’s executive order may still be subject to a fine. 

“The one wild card is if the business has a state related license, there is still a risk that Pennsylvania could revoke the license,” said Clint Barkdoll, an attorney with Kulla, Barkdoll & Stewart PC. 

Several counties around the state have made similar moves to challenge Wolf’s authority. Those counties include Lebanon, Dauphin, Perry and Cumberland counties. 

9  May – News Talk 103.7FM  –The Wolf administration released a list of the businesses that received waivers following an order to shutter all non-life-sustaining businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

There are nearly 6,700 names of businesses from all 67 counties on that list. The website that lists the businesses can be sorted by county.

Find the website here.

8 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – As the COVID-19 health crisis impacted each local government organization across the mid-state, it became clear that one of the most unique municipal facilities in Central Pennsylvania was going to be impacted as well. Chambersburg Borough has operated a state-of-the-art aquatic center at Memorial Park for the last two swim seasons.

The facility, complete with multiple bodies of water, three slides, picnic pavilions, an events space, beach volleyball and skate park, has seen more than 1,000 visitors per day at the height of each swim season in 2018 and 2019.

According to Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, “Every day for the last six weeks we have been working on issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis and their impacts on the Borough of Chambersburg operations and our community. No issue has consumed more time and discussion than the Aquatic Center.”

Chambersburg is in Franklin County, just north of Maryland, and the Aquatic Center draws crowds from Harrisburg to Martinsburg to Gettysburg. “Pools are licensed facilities and must follow Department of Health guidelines,” added Stonehill. “We know that Chambersburg cannot operate the Aquatic Center during the Red Phase and it is unclear during the Yellow Phase, as determined by Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.”

As of today, there is no indication when Franklin County will enter the yellow or green phase under Governor Wolf’s plan for reopening of Pennsylvania.

“We want our guests to know that the chlorinated water of the pool should kill the COVID-19 virus. Our concerns revolve around social distancing inside the facility and finding a way to enjoy the facility and still comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines.” A facility like the Chambersburg Aquatic Center would have a number of challenges to contend with should social distancing requirements continue.

7 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Governor Tom Wolf, with the help of Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, has extended the stay-at-home order for red-phase counties until June 4.

The order was originally set into motion on April 1 and was supposed to expire on Thursday, May 7.

But 24 counties will be moving into the yellow phase on 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 8.

The new yellow-phase counties include Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.

Yellow counties will be able to reopen businesses under certain limitations as long as they adhere to certain guidelines.

7 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday extended a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions by another two months, saying residents should not have to worry about losing their homes during the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court first suspended evictions in March, but its order is set to expire Monday. Wolf signed an executive order Thursday extending the moratorium to July 10.

“No one should have to worry about losing their home during this health emergency,” Wolf said at a video news conference. “This executive order takes one more burden off people who are struggling and gives them more time to get back on their feet.”

Wolf noted that renters and homeowners are still required to make monthly payments.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, meanwhile, has stopped foreclosures and evictions and is allowing homeowners with a PHFA mortgage to pause payments if they are having financial trouble because of the virus outbreak.

6 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Pennsylvania on Wednesday reported below 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus for the fourth straight day, the longest such streak since the daily reports of new cases first reached four figures in early April.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine called the four-day dip below 1,000 “good news.”

“Trends mean more than any specific day, but it’s starting to form a trend, so I think that that’s very positive news,” Levine said during a video news conference.

Also Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, an organization whose scale, funding and timeline remained unclear Wednesday.

6 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Maryland announced the closing of its schools for the rest of the academic year to slow the spread of COVID-19. We spoke to Washington County School Superintendent, Dr. Boyd J. Michael.

6 May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  Maryland will allow elective medical procedures and ease some restrictions on outdoor activities that have been in place due to the coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday, though schools will be closed for the rest of the school year.

The governor said the state is getting closer to the first stage of a gradual reopening plan, but he said some key indicators will need to continue to stay flat into next week, including the rate of hospitalizations due to the virus and the number of patients admitted to intensive care.

Hogan said elective medical procedures, including dentistry, that have been on hold for weeks will be allowed beginning Thursday. He also said outdoor activities including golf, tennis, boating, fishing and camping will be allowed starting at 7 a.m. Thursday. The governor also said state beaches will be open for walking and exercise.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that a person confirmed to have the new coronavirus attended a gathering at a retirement community in Rockville, Md., during a news conference Friday, March 6, 2020 in Annapolis, Md. The state health department says people who attended the event on Feb. 28 at The Village at Rockville may be at some risk for acquiring COVID-19. Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health, is standing right. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

The governor added that he realized the loosening of restrictions were small steps — and little comfort to people out of work and struggling financially — but he said the state was making progress.

“We are flattening the curve, and we are preparing to launch our reopening plan in order to safely get people back to work, safely get our small businesses back open again to get our economy back on track, so that Maryland and our nation can defeat this virus and come back stronger and better than ever,” Hogan said at a news conference.

6 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Gov. Larry Hogan rolled out more details in his three-stage recovery process Wednesday. 

6 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Health Care, will convene a virtual roundtable on the issue of safely re-opening the economy today at 11:00 a.m.

The public and members of the media will be able to stream this roundtable via Senator Toomey’s YouTube page.

5 May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  Each year in May, Older Americans are recognized across the nation for their contributions. Older Americans Month also serves to raise awareness concerning elder abuse and neglect as well as highlights opportunities for community members to help support our area’s aging population.

The Franklin County Area Agency on Aging is pleased to partner with various organizations to offer the following services to support our community’s aging population:

Virtual Family Council
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families, friends, and spouses of residents living in long-term care facilities may be struggling with the changes in protocol, rights and policies resulting from this pandemic. The Pennsylvania Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is launching a new statewide resource for Pennsylvania families and friends with concerns about their loved one living in a long-term care facility.

On May 5th and May 19th, the Pennsylvania Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman will be hosting internet-based meetings of the new Virtual Family Council. Meetings will continue twice each month for the foreseeable future. Everyone is welcome to participate in any or all of these meetings to ask questions, share concerns, or just listen to learn and gather information. Meetings will begin with an informational segment and then be open for discussion.

To obtain connection information for participation, email: [email protected]. In the subject line, please indicate: Virtual Family Council. Information is also available at our corresponding Facebook page: PA Long-Term Care Virtual Family Council.

Adopt-A-Nursing Home
Nursing Homes in Franklin County are currently restricting visitors, family, and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect their health and wellbeing, residents are confined to their rooms for activities and meals with very limited socializing. As a community, we can work together to help residents feel less alone.

Small acts of kindness go a long way: writing letters; sending greeting cards or pictures drawn by children; donations of craft supplies, solo games, coloring books, pencils, colored markers, small puzzles or puzzle books, word games are all signs of caring—just to let our long-term care residents know we are here for them.

If you or your business would like to be part of Adopt-A-Nursing Home in your community, please reach out to Payton Mummert, Franklin County Ombudsman, at 717-977-2272.

Volunteer or Donate
The Chambersburg Senior Activity Center at 600 Norland Avenue is taking donations of shelf stable food to support the senior population in Franklin County on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3pm–donations may be placed on the sidewalk at the senior center door. Please ring the doorbell to alert staff of the donations. Items most in demand are those which do not require the use of a stove and can be heated in the microwave as well as ready-to-eat packaged meals.

Donation ideas include: cereal, shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat meals, precooked rice and pasta bags, pre-packaged single serving tuna and chicken packs, nut butters, crackers, single-serve juice boxes, breakfast/protein bars, soups with pull-top lids (microwavable containers), instant potatoes, rice, quinoa, mac and cheese microwavable cups, microwavable vegetable cups, and fruit cups.

For information regarding becoming a volunteer, please contact the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging (FCAAA) at 717-263-2153 with questions.

Meal and Grocery Home Delivery
Homebound seniors with no family or in-home assistance may be eligible to receive five home-delivered meals per week.  Please contact the FCAAA at 717-263-2153 for an over-the-phone screening to determine program eligibility.

Individuals who have conditions putting them in the higher risk category for COVID-19 and who do not have anyone to assist them can contact the FCAAA to determine if there are volunteers able to pick up and deliver groceries and pharmacy items to their homes. Contact the FCAAA at 717-263-2153 for more information.

Franklin County Area Agency on Aging thanks all of those who have and continue to support our area seniors.

5 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Maryland is opening the first state-run drive-thru testing site for the coronavirus in western Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.

The governor said the testing site in Hagerstown, Maryland, will open Tuesday at a Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program station.


“With the tests we recently acquired from South Korea, Maryland continues to implement an expanded testing strategy,” Hogan said in a news release. “Drive-thru testing at Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program stations provides an easily accessible option for many citizens, and we now have the resources to continue to expand these sites throughout the state.”

Last week, the governor announced expanded testing to address poultry plant outbreaks in Wicomico and Caroline counties on the Eastern Shore.

Meanwhile, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones joined a group of bipartisan leaders of state legislatures around the country in a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging Congress to help state governments facing big budget shortfalls due to the virus.

4 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) has introduced legislation to freeze Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for Pennsylvania public officials through 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial turmoil it is causing at all levels of government and in the lives of Pennsylvania residents.

The freeze would affect the members of the General Assembly, senior members of the executive branch and the judiciary.

“Our economy and citizens have taken a very hard hit,” said Ryan. “The Commonwealth is currently facing a multi-billion-dollar revenue shortfall in this pandemic. Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and staggering job losses are threatening the stability of working families. When Pennsylvania residents are making sacrifices and struggling just to put food on their table, it is no time for public officials to be taking a raise.”

Even before the emergence of COVID-19, Ryan had been advocating for a rollback in state spending, a plan for greater government efficiency and transparency, and a strategy of shared pain to put the Commonwealth and its pension systems back on solid ground. Now, he says, the situation is even more dire.

“This virus is having a negative impact worldwide,” said Ryan. “In Pennsylvania, we are being asked to stay inside, gatherings of more than a few people are prohibited and businesses have been forced to close, leaving hundreds of thousands without jobs. While the General Assembly has persisted in moving the governor to reopen several key industries, much more work remains.

“We are facing an ominous state budget cycle at a time when we have barely begun to calculate the revenue losses and added costs of this pandemic,” Ryan said. “The House Republican Caucus recently placed a freeze on hiring and froze the salaries of its employees for at least one year. With these measures and the sacrifices of so many others, it is only right that we, as public officials, forego our own pay increases.”

4 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Pennsylvania has passed 50,000 confirmed coronavirus infections, state health officials reported Monday.

About 825 additional people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the Health Department. There were 14 new deaths, raising the statewide total to 2,458.

The numbers of new infections and deaths have been trending down, prompting Gov. Tom Wolf to allow construction work statewide to resume and golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds to reopen. On Friday, he plans to lift his stay-at-home order and allow some retail shops to reopen in the least impacted parts of the state.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. There is no data on how many people have recovered.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

4 May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  A group that includes Maryland business leaders, pastors, and Delegate Neil Parrott, filed a lawsuit against Governor Larry Hogan in an effort to overturn the state’s stay-at-home order. 

Parrott appeared on First News Monday morning to discuss the details of the lawsuit.

4 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Another person in Washington County has died from COVID-19, the Maryland Health Department reported Sunday. The health department said coronavirus deaths in the county increased from five to six.

4 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – To say “there’s a lot to talk about” would be putting it mildly. We want to be here to have the conversation! Your Chamber of Commerce has facilitated a virtual town hall, utilizing GoToMeeting to give you an opportunity to hear from Secretary Kelly Schulz of the Maryland Department of Commerce.

Additionally, you’ll get a chance to hear from members of your Washington County Delegation. Hear their thoughts on Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed “Road to Recovery” plan for Maryland and how that affects Washington County. You’ll be able to get a brief recap from their abbreviated Legislative Session and you’ll also be able to utilize a Q&A portion.

10:30 – 11:00AM – Sec. Kelly Schulz, Maryland Department of Commerce

11:00 – 11:30AM – Members of the Washington County Delegation

PLEASE RETAIN THE FOLLOWING MEETING ACCESS INFORMATION:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/714969253

3 May – News Talk 103.7FM  –  A group that includes Maryland business leaders, pastors, and Delegate Neil Parrott, filed a lawsuit against Governor Larry Hogan in an effort to overturn the state’s stay-at-home order. 

The suit was filed in a Baltimore Federal courtroom on Saturday after State Police threatened to arrest  Delegate Dan Cox for attending a rally with Reopen Maryland in Frederick County. 

The rally began in Frederick and featured a caravan of people driving across the state in protest of Hogan’s order.

“Threatening a legislator with arrest for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech is not only unconstitutional, it is wrong,” Parrott said. “We live in a Republic, and I want to make sure that no one person in Maryland or in any other state of the nation should be able to have unchecked power. ”

The lawsuit alleges that Hogan issued “seemingly unconstitutional executive orders” during the stay-at-home order that was issued on March 30. 

“My office has heard from so many families and individuals who are hurting,” said Parrott. “They (families) are not allowed to work, they have no money, and the unemployment office is unreachable.”

Parrott cited government overreach by saying some people are allowed haircuts because they are essential employees while others could be jailed for getting the same haircut because they don’t have an approval note from a qualified business. 

The suit names Hogan, Health Secretary Bobby Neall, Deputy Health Secretary Fran Phillips and Maryland State Police Superintendent Col Woodrow “Jerry” Jones as defendants.

“This doesn’t make sense, we are a nation where everyone is equal under the law,” Parrott added. “It’s not time to allow special favors for one class of citizens while punishing others.”

2 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – State health officials are announcing 64 new deaths associated with the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, bringing the total in the commonwealth to 2,418.

Officials also announced Saturday that the number of positive cases had topped 48,300.

Most hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. Of the total deaths, 1,614 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. There is no data on how many people have recovered.

For most people, it causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

1 May – News Talk 103.7FM  – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the reopening of 24 counties in the northwest and north-central regions of the state, moving them from red to yellow beginning at Friday, May 8, at 12:01 a.m.

Counties moving from red to yellow: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – Gov. Tom Wolf’s business shutdown waiver program is being audited amid complaints it was managed unfairly, Pennsylvania’s chief fiscal watchdog announced Thursday.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he is investigating how the Department of Community and Economic Development ran the waiver program, under which tens of thousands of businesses applied to remain open during the pandemic.

In March, Wolf, a Democrat, closed businesses deemed “non-life-sustaining” to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened more than 45,000 Pennsylvania residents and killed nearly 2,300. Wolf said he welcomed a review by the auditor general’s office, headed by DePasquale, a fellow Democrat who is running for Congress this year.

“During this pandemic, obviously our economy has taken a huge hit. The question we need to find out is, could more businesses have been opened?” DePasquale said in a video news conference. “And was this done in a fair process?”

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – PA rep. Paul Schemel is urging Pennsylvania school districts to consider cost-saving measures. 

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  –  As part of a measure that is being proposed by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33), the
General Assembly would have to re-authorize an Emergency Declaration implemented by the Governor.

The measure would require the General Assembly to re-authorize a declaration, such as the ongoing COVID-19 emergency pandemic, every 10 days.

“We need to restore checks and balances in our government,” said Mastriano. “The health crisis has been a learning experience for every component of state government, and one issue is abundantly clear – there needs to be more communication between the executive branch and the legislative branch.”

Mastriano believes his proposal will help restore checks and balances in state government during an emergency crisis, and augment communication.

The measure being proposed by Mastriano would require the General Assembly to reconsider an Emergency Declaration every 10 days.

A majority vote by the House and Senate would re-authorize the Emergency Declaration, and a negative vote would rescind it. By taking no action during a 10-day period, the Emergency Declaration would end via default.

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – A bill that would expand access to psychology services is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Judy Ward (R-30).

Senate Bill 67 would allow Pennsylvania to join the Psychology Inter jurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) to allow tel-psychological practice across state lines.

Each state has its own licensing laws and rules which vary considerably, making it extremely difficult for a person to obtain a license to practice in several states.

As such, the possibility of providing psychological services via telecommunication technologies (telepsychology) across jurisdictional boundaries is unattainable.

Also, each state has varying time frames as it relates to permitting a psychologist to temporarily provide services (in-person, face-to-face)in their state. Under PSYPACT, licensed psychologists will be able to apply to practice telepsychology and conduct temporary in-person, face-to-face practice in other states in the compact.

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards developed PSYPACT to improve patient access to services by removing red tape that prohibits psychologists from serving patients in other states.

“Ensuring patients have access to psychological services is a serious concern during the pandemic, but without this bill, it will continue to be a challenge long after the public health emergency is over,” Ward said.

“I am thankful that we are making strides to ensure more patients can access the services they need, especially in rural areas like mine where distance and a lack of providers creates significant barriers to care.”

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – Officials across the county are taking steps to help taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, Franklin County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 to extend the tax filing deadlines on both the discount and the face payments on county real estate and library tax bills.

The board extended the 2% discount deadline from the end of April to the end of August and the face value due date to October 31. If paid in November or December, taxpayers will be assessed a 10% penalty. In Franklin County, local Borough and Township real estate taxes appear on the same tax invoice as County real estate taxes and library real estate taxes. This combined bill goes out at the beginning of each year.

“It would be difficult for a local Borough to have different deadlines than the County,” explained Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. “The tax bill is the same so staff recommended that Town Council match the County Board’s dates and deadlines so that we could be consistent.”

On Monday, April 27, Town Council approved a change to the deadlines for the 2020 Borough real estate taxes. For all real property tax payments for taxable year 2020 in the Borough of Chambersburg, the two percent (2%) discount period is extended through August 31, 2020. This provision shall apply only prospectively. No discount will be retroactively provided for real estate payments made prior to the extension of the discount period.

The time by which real property tax payments must be paid without incurring a penalty has been extended to October 31, 2020. This time extension is only applicable for real property taxes assessed in 2020; no other tax years. In addition, to stay current, all 2020 taxes must be paid in full by December 31, 2020.

In Chambersburg Borough, elected Tax Collector Brenda Hill is the point of contact for questions about real estate tax payments. She can be reached at 717-263-6565. These new deadlines go into effect immediately.

30 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) announced this week he is introducing legislation that
would reopen Pennsylvania automobile dealerships, as part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

The measure would require the secretary of the Dept. of Community & Economic Development to issue a business waiver to the Governor’s Business Closure Order for all vehicle dealerships.

As part of the waiver process, the businesses must adhere to social distancing practices and other mitigation protocol defined by the Centers for Disease Control. State Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) is partnering with Mastriano in introducing the legislation.

“The Governor’s initial decision to grant waivers to some businesses, and then decide to revoke these same waivers later, exemplifies the fact that this entire waiver process is flawed, with no transparency or accountability,” said Mastriano.

Other states have successfully implemented safety restrictions that limited the spread of the coronavirus, while simultaneously allowing auto dealerships to continue operations.

Safety precautions in the legislation include requiring essential employees to wear protective clothing and equipment during their shifts. Masks and gloves would be necessary.

29 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), alongside Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) and fellow Members of Congress from Pennsylvania, recently sent a letter Governor Tom Wolf urging him to ensure that the funding provided to Pennsylvania in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act reaches rural Pennsylvanians. In the CARES Act, Congress passed $150 billion for state governments to provide coronavirus relief, including nearly $5 billion for Pennsylvania.

“The Commonwealth Pennsylvania extends far beyond the City of Philadelphia,” said Dr. Joyce. “These are difficult days for all of the municipalities and local governments across Pennsylvania. In the CARES Act, Congress provided nearly $5 billion to our commonwealth for coronavirus relief, and it’s up to the governor and his administration to ensure that this funding reaches all Pennsylvanians – including those of us in rural communities.”

 Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, which includes all or a portion of 10 counties across southcentral Pennsylvania, is comprised primarily of rural communities.

As your office employs CARES Act funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, we ask that you give full and fair consideration to every Pennsylvanian, including those in rural communities which lack the resources and health care capacity of other areas of Pennsylvania,” the letter states in part.

Read the full text of the letter below:

The Honorable Tom Wolf

Governor of Pennsylvania

508 Main Capitol Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

 Dear Governor Wolf,

 As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decides how to disburse funds allocated by Congress under the CARES Act, we are writing to ask that you consider the unique needs of rural communities and request guidance on your office’s plans for considering funding requests from local governments impacted by COVID-19.

 The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide for payments to state, local, and tribal governments, including approximately $4.9 billion for Pennsylvania. Under the law’s distribution formula, Pennsylvania’s seven counties with populations greater than 500,000 were eligible to apply directly to the Treasury Department for roughly 20 percent of the funding, or approximately $1.027 billion. The remaining 80 percent of the funding, or more than $3.9 billion, will be left to the Commonwealth to cover qualified unanticipated expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19.

 As your office employs CARES Act funding to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, we ask that you give full and fair consideration to every Pennsylvanian, including those in rural communities which lack the resources and health care capacity of other areas of Pennsylvania. COVID-19 has required many rural communities to expend unanticipated funds to keep pace with virus response efforts, including increasing supplies of personal protective equipment, bolstering emergency management resources, and ramping up technological capacity for employees to work remotely while continuing to provide residents with essential health and public safety services. These costs have added stress to already financially strapped rural health and emergency centers and local budgets.

 Given these challenges, we ask the following questions to which we request a response in writing:

  1. What COVID-19-related costs does the Commonwealth plan to cover with CARES Act Funds?
  2. Will your office make available an application process for local governments to apply directly to the Commonwealth for CARES Act funding, and if so, when will that process be made public?

 Finally, regarding your letter dated April 2, 2020, Pennsylvanians must first have a clear answer to these questions and understand how the Commonwealth will disburse the $3.9 billion in CARES Act funding before their representatives engage in further spending discussions.

 Thank you for your attention to this matter. As all levels of government continue to combat the public health and economic effects of COVID-19, we look forward to working with you to ensure that the needs of all Pennsylvanians are addressed.

A PDF of the letter and full list of signers is available here.

29 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – Greetings and thank you for all that you are doing for our community during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

For more information visit this link

As we move deeper into the health related issues impacting the work environment, please read the information we have received from Meritus Health on how to address concerns with employees and staff that may have contracted or come in contact with the virus.
Specific to your employees, please note the following:

For individuals who have recently tested POSITIVE for the Coronavirus (COVID 19)- Meritus Health physicians advise that he/she be quarantined at home and follow appropriate medical guidelines as has been advised. For now, this includes at least 7 days since onset of symptoms, with improvement of symptoms, and no fever for at least 72 hours without fever reducing medications. Please make appropriate accommodations in the interim including ‘’telework’’ if possible. Based upon available literature, it appears that the vast majority of patients that recover and are symptom free would be able to safely return to work at that time.

For individuals who have recently tested NEGATIVE for the Coronavirus (COVID 19), however have symptoms likely from another viral illness, Meritus Health advises that the individual could return to work with improved symptoms and no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications

For individuals who have Upper Respiratory symptoms and have not been tested for COVID 19, this individual has been advised to self-quarantine and take appropriate steps. This period is typically 7 days from the onset of symptoms and fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medications. We are requesting that you make reasonable accommodations as possible including ‘’telework’’.

28 – April – News Talk 103.7FM  – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration plans to announce Friday which parts of Pennsylvania will begin seeing a step-by-step relaxation of coronavirus-related shutdown directives, although Wolf and administration officials did not project Tuesday when the state will secure widespread mass-testing capacity.

Meanwhile, one of the state’s hardest-hit areas, southeastern Pennsylvania, appears to be past its peak rate of increase in new coronavirus cases, Wolf’s secretary of health said, as the rate has slowed in recent days in many parts of Pennsylvania.

Wolf, in a telephone news conference, didn’t estimate how long it will take to reach mass-testing capacity, and said his administration is working different “avenues” try to secure that capacity.

His administration doesn’t have a “benchmark for where we need to be,” although widespread testing is of paramount importance as long as a vaccine is a long ways off, he said.

“I believe that there’s a pretty broad agreement that testing is going to be at the heart of whatever it is we do, anybody does, to make people feel comfortable and safe and confident that they can go back to whatever it was that they want to do,” Wolf told reporters.

On Friday, the administration will announce which regions or counties can see some relief from shutdown orders by moving from a “red” designation to a “yellow” designation, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said.

Those changes would take effect the following Friday, May 8, a previously announced date. Amid growing complaints from some parts of the state, Levine and Wolf both said Tuesday that a county’s designation is not necessarily tied to a wider region’s.

Friday’s announcement will come with a benchmark for testing “that we’ll be shooting for,” Levine said. “It will be aspirational, that we would like to get to this much testing in those areas.”

28 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Legislation by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that would allow notaries to perform duties utilizing audio-visual technology was unanimously approved today by the Senate.

The measure – Senate Bill 1097 – builds on recent legislative efforts that authorized remote notarization, as part of Act 15 of 2020. However, those provisions expire 60 days after the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration is lifted. Mastriano’s measure addresses the long-term future of remote notarization.

“My bill makes the notarization process much easier and straight-forward, and saves everyone valuable time,” said Mastriano. “This proposal does not replace notaries or the services they provide. Rather, the bill authorizes the use of secure and reliable technology to assist notaries in performing their duties. The legislation is user-friendly, and provides notaries with an additional tool to authenticate documents.”

The legislation advances to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 1097 would bring Pennsylvania in line with other states, and modernize the notarization process by permitting audio-visual communications. More than 20 states have already enacted this type of legislation.

A notary public would still be required to confirm an individual’s identity and reasonably identify records, and an audio-visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions would be required.

The bill will help business travelers, family members working out of state, or veterans on deployment.

“Sadly, our state is behind the times with remote notarization,” said Mastriano. “The legislation is a win-win for all parties involved in the notarization process.”

A similar version of the legislation, Senate Bill 595 of 2017-2018, passed the Senate unanimously last session but did not advance in the House.

28 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – In light of ongoing concerns about the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) handling of the COVID-19 crisis, Republican senators are calling on the Auditor General to begin an immediate audit of the agency. According to State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33), the audit would help shine a light on the Wolf administration’s handling of the waiver process for businesses that wished to stay open during the Governor’s emergency declaration, and subsequent shutdown of operations not deemed to be “life-sustaining.”

The waiver process has been roundly criticized for lacking consistency, common sense and transparency. “Sadly during this pandemic, clarity, oversight and accountability have been sorely missing from Governor Wolf’s deliberations,” said Mastriano. “He has not worked with the General Assembly, nor sought to build a coalition with patriotic Pennsylvanians, to come up with a plan to intelligently guide us through these times.”

Mastriano noted that in some cases, the list of non-life-sustaining businesses that were prohibited from operating did not match federal guidance. As a result, entire industries were shuttered in Pennsylvania, while they continued to operate in other states. “Given recent developments, we formally request you take this proclaimed passion for protecting Pennsylvania taxpayers during COVID-19 and your constitutional obligation as Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog, to immediately begin an audit of the Department of Community and Economic Development,” said the letter to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, that was signed by all 28 Republican senators.

The expanded list of business closures pushed more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians into the Unemployment Compensation system – more than any other state in the nation except California. At a Senate hearing last week, Mastriano pressed DCED Secretary Dennis Davin to release information about the businesses that were approved or denied waivers. However, there was no indication from the Wolf
Administration when that information might be available.

27– April – News Talk 103.7FM – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Monday that, beginning Friday, golf courses, boating marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds can re-open — provided they follow updated  life-sustaining business guidance issued by the state.

Wolf’s office said the governor is lifting some restrictions for businesses related to certain outdoor activities that were put in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so that Pennsylvanians “have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation as a way to maintain positive physical and mental health.”

The new life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration include specifics for how these outdoor recreational industries can resume activities while prioritizing public health and safety, Wolf’s office said.
Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.

“Pennsylvanians have remained resilient throughout this COVID-19 crisis, and as we successfully continue to flatten the curve to protect our physical health, it is critical that we also focus on our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times,” Wolf said in a press release. “As the weather warms and daylight lengthens, enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress.

“As we start to take measured, limited steps to reopen our commonwealth, reopening these industries will help to rebuild our economy and strengthen our mental health.”

According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Wolf’s office said, nearly half (45 percent) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19, with the burden likely to continue even as the pandemic’s threat diminishes.

27– April – News Talk 103.7FM – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) issued the below statement on the importance of guarding against malicious scams during the coronavirus crisis. Bad actors are using a variety of methods, including imposter fraud, to target Americans. Recently, Instagram quickly removed a scam imposter account claiming to be Dr. Joyce.

“It is despicable that bad actors are using the coronavirus crisis to prey on vulnerable Americans. In these difficult and uncertain days, I encourage Pennsylvanians to take extra care to guard against scams and fraud.

 “As demonstrated by the imposter account using my likeness, bad actors can craft realistic-appearing scams to target unsuspecting victims. By being vigilant and discerning fact from fiction, all of us can take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones – especially our seniors – from the malicious criminals who are taking advantage of this pandemic.”

Importantly, Dr. Joyce and his staff will never ask constituents to share their personal information, including banking details, with them over social media posts.

Criminals are using malicious phone calls, emails, and social media posts to target vulnerable Americans, including our seniors, during this outbreak. If Pennsylvanians believe they have been targeted in a coronavirus-related scam, they should report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.org/complaint.

To combat coronavirus-related scams, all of us should learn these tips from the FTC, which include:

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes.
  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
  • Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. To check the status of your Economic Impact Payment, use the Get My Payment resource from the IRS.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), or other experts saying they have information about the virus.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
  • Be wary of ads for test kits. The FDA just announced approval for one home test kit, which requires a doctor’s order. But most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA and aren’t necessarily accurate.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

To report a suspected scam to the FTC, please visit ftc.org/complaint. The FTC has additional details about coronavirus-related and other consumer protection information on its website at FTC.gov/coronavirus.

For questions about a rumor or other questionable information found on the internet or elsewhere, please utilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rumor control resource. Additional information is available at FEMA.gov/coronavirus.

27– April – News Talk 103.7FM – The upcoming webinar on Wednesday April 29th, will focus on new developments with the PPP and EID loan programs and participant Q&A. As small businesses continue to face complex challenges relating to their business operations and managing employees, NFIB remains committed to helping owners navigate this crisis and providing updated information on financial resources, handling unemployment insurance challenges, and managing workplace health and safety issues as businesses reopen.

Please join Holly Wade, Director, NFIB Research & Policy Analysis, and Beth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel, for their weekly webinar where they will conduct a follow-up session to last week’s webinar on the financial tools and resources available to help small businesses. Holly and Beth will focus most of the webinar on answering participant questions.

Please join the webinar for the opportunity to anonymously ask questions and share insights about the issues you are facing.

RSVP NOW

25– April – News Talk 103.7FM – State health officials say more than 1,500 deaths in Pennsylvania are now associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

The state health department on Sunday also reported an additional 1,116 positive cases to bring the statewide total above 41,000 in all 67 counties. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Most hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older, officials said.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

25 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland has had its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began, but the grim milestone coincided with a modest decrease in hospitalizations.

The 74 confirmed deaths reported Saturday by the state’s health department was the largest single-day number and brought the total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Maryland to 797, according to Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan. The state said an additional 78 deaths were probably caused by the virus but hadn’t been confirmed by a laboratory test.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,150 for a total of 17,766.

The state said 1,408 people remained hospitalized on Saturday, a decrease of 17 hospitalizations since Friday.

Hogan has said the hospitalization rate and number of patients admitted to intensive care are the key metrics for state officials in assessing Maryland’s recovery from the outbreak.

24 – April – News Talk 103.7FM –

24 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is scheduled to announce a plan to reopen the state’s businesses when cases of the coronavirus drop enough to make it safe to do so.

Hogan will discuss the plan he’s calling “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” at a news conference in Annapolis on Friday afternoon.


The governor this week noted it’s unclear when the number of virus cases will drop enough to implement the plan. He has pointed out that federal guidelines call for 14 days of downward numbers.

Maryland is still seeing rising numbers. The state reported Friday that there have been a total of 16,616 cases of the virus so far in Maryland, with an increase of 879 cases compared to the day before. There have been 723 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the state. That’s 43 more deaths, compared to Thursday.

24 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion bill Friday to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 Americans and devastated broad swaths of the economy.

The bill is the latest effort by the federal government to help keep afloat businesses that have had to close or dramatically alter their operations as states try to slow the spread of the virus. Over the past five weeks, roughly 26 million people have filed for jobless aid, or about 1 in 6 U.S. workers.


Trump thanked Congress for “answering my call” to provide the critical assistance and said it was “a tremendous victory.” But easy passage of this aid installment belies a potentially bumpier path ahead for future legislation to address the crisis.

The measure passed Congress almost unanimously Thursday as lawmakers gathered in Washington as a group for the first time since March 27. They followed stricter social distancing rules while seeking to prove they can do their work despite the COVID-19 crisis.
Lawmakers’ face masks and bandannas added a somber tone to their effort to aid a nation staggered by the health crisis and devastating economic costs of the pandemic.

23 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Pennsylvania Department of Health slashed the state’s COVID-19 death toll on Thursday by 201, saying probable deaths it had previously included in the count were eliminated after further investigation.

The overall death toll now stands at 1,421, down from 1,622 reported a day earlier.


The number of deaths confirmed by a positive virus test actually rose overnight by 69, to 1,394. But Levine said Thursday that 270 probable deaths that had been added to the death toll in recent days have been removed after further investigation.

“This verification process is very intensive and under normal circumstances it can take months to complete,” she said. “We continue to refine the data that we are collecting to provide everyone this information in as near time as we possibly can. This is really difficult with thousands of reports each day.”


State health officials had recently changed the way they count COVID-19 deaths — now including probable deaths along with confirmed deaths — which resulted in a doubling of the state’s death toll in just four days. A probable death is one in which a coroner or medical examiner listed COVID-19 as the cause or contributing cause, but the deceased was not tested for the virus.

Statewide, more than 1,369 additional people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to more than 37,000, the health department reported Thursday.

23 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – This week, the Governor signed a bill allowing local governments to provide greater flexibility on property tax deadlines in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In a 2-1 vote, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution yesterday to extend the payment discount period as well as the face value payment period for county property and library taxes.

“We need to do whatever we can to help our residents,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “Anything we can do at this point to help our taxpayers is essential,” said Commissioner John Flannery.

Commissioners Dave Keller and John Flannery were in favor of the action while Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski opposed the resolution as presented. He supported offering additional time for individuals and businesses to adjust financially to the pandemic, but believes that the possible confusion resulting from extending the discount period may outweigh the 2% discount benefit.

“I think extra time to pay taxes is very important to taxpayers. However, extra time for a 2% discount has little impact on their fiscal situation and could be problematic for municipalities and tax collection,” said Commissioner Ziobrowski.

The County’s resolution only pertains to county property and library taxes, not borough and township property tax payment deadlines. The approved resolution extends the discount period through to August 31st. The face value period is from September 1st to October 31st. The 10% penalty period will be November 1st to December 31st.

23 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), a member of the House Small Business Committee, released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

 “After weeks of delay at the hands of Democrats in Congress, the House of Representatives at last approved additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. This temporary assistance already has helped nearly 70,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania, saving more than 652,000 jobs. Passage of today’s bill means that small businesses will once again be able to access this lifeline, pay their employees, and stay afloat.


“We recognize that the coronavirus outbreak has spurred both a public health crisis and an economic crisis. All of us want to get Americans back to work as soon as possible, and Congress has taken decisive action to maintain our workforce and safeguard the economy during this unprecedented situation.

 “Over the past several weeks, I have spoken with hundreds of Pennsylvania workers, small businesses, and farmers that are counting on the Paycheck Protection Program. Our small businesses and farms are not only the backbone of our economy – they are the heart of our community. This additional Paycheck Protection Program funding will help hardworking Pennsylvanians weather this storm.” 

The Paycheck Protection Program is an important resource for Pennsylvania’s farmers, who have suffered a downturn in sales to restaurants and other commercial customers. Dr. Joyce, who serves as the top Republican on the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship, is a steadfast advocate for farmers and agricultural producers.

“We are heartened by today’s changes to the PPP and EIDL programs that remove some of the obstacles preventing dairy farmers and other agricultural producers from receiving small-business support,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation. “We thank Congressman Joyce for his significant work securing these improvements, and we look forward to continuing to work with him to provide Pennsylvania dairy producers the support they need during this crisis and beyond.”

23 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Today, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of President Trump’s bipartisan “Opening Up America Again Congressional Group,” released a conceptual framework for gradually and safely reopening Pennsylvania’s economy.

Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework provides for a three-phase, county-based approach to reopening Pennsylvania’s economy.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., smiles as he speaks to supporters during an election night event, early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2016, in Breinigsville, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“Last night Governor Wolf made public his framework for gradually reopening the state economy beginning on May 8th,” said Senator Toomey. “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, my staff and I have had regular contact with the governor and his team about several issues, including how we begin the process of returning to normal life.

“The governor’s proposal represents progress and it shares many similarities with my own plan. However, our plans do have several differences; my plan allows for the following:

  • With Pennsylvania’s health care systems not being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, most of the state should resume some level economic activity immediately
  • Provides counties with the flexibility to account for isolated statistical anomalies
  • Allows doctors and hospitals to resume elective procedures immediately – provided safety benchmarks are met
  • Expanded and improved testing for at-risk health care workers, including those in nursing homes

“No one plan will account for all the variables that we must address to open Pennsylvania in a gradual and safe manner. I look forward to working with the Wolf administration on addressing these challenges.”

A summary of Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework is available here.

A full overview of Senator Toomey’s #PAStartsUpSafely framework is available here.

22 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan toured a reopened hospital on Wednesday in the county with the most coronavirus infections to highlight the increasing availability of hospital beds ahead of a potential surge in cases.

Hogan said the facility in Prince George’s County will add 135 beds, including 35 intensive care beds, adding to the steadily rising efforts to increase hospital capacity by 6,700 beds.

The event served as a prelude to Friday’s anticipated release of the governor’s plan for eventually reopening the state. However, Hogan emphasized that federal guidelines call for a downward trend in key numbers such as hospitalizations before implementing even the start of reopening.

22 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania will allow constructions projects to restart before the state reopens the economy, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday.

Construction was previously deemed non-essential business. Wolf wants to begin easing some pandemic restrictions on May 8 in areas of Pennsylvania that have been lightly impacted by the new coronavirus.

Residents of northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania are projected to be the first in the state to be released from Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order.

“We’re trying to be prudent and careful and we want to keep people safe,” Wolf said at a video news conference Wednesday night.

His reopening plan said a region or county will need to average fewer than 50 new positive cases of the virus per 100,000 residents for 14 days in order to begin moving out from under his statewide lockdown.

Many counties in rural Pennsylvania have reported just a few cases total.

Wolf also pushed up the date that limited building construction work may resume statewide, from May 8 to May 1. But he cautioned that if the virus flares up again in a certain county or region, residents would be ordered back home and businesses would have to shut down again.

Schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

22 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is boosting its efforts to get voters to cast their primary election ballots by mail, saying it would help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The administration sent 4.2 million postcards to primary voters and is mounting an awareness campaign on radio, television, social media, streaming services, mobile apps and email, officials said Wednesday.

Wolf’s administration has resisted calls from several heavily populated counties to mail a June 2 primary ballot to every registered voter and move to an all-mail, or nearly all-mail, election.

Republican and Democratic party officials in Pennsylvania have encouraged people to vote by mail amid concerns from county officials who fear the virus will make it difficult to find polling places and get poll workers to staff them. Election officials in various counties say they probably will be forced to operate far fewer polling places than normal.

During the 2016 primary, 84,000 votes were cast under the absentee ballot system, which is available only to those who offer an acceptable reason they would not be able to vote in person. Mail-in ballots were authorized in a sweeping new election law Wolf signed last fall.

21 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 360 to 1,564, the state health department reported Tuesday, with nearly 1,300 additional people testing positive for the virus.

Not all of the deaths happened in one 24-hour period. The health department has been revising its numbers upward because it is now counting probable deaths, or deaths in which a coroner or medical examiner listed COVID-19 as the cause or contributing cause but the deceased were not tested for the virus.

Officials have said the updated numbers are part of the department’s efforts to reconcile data provided by hospitals, health care systems, county and municipal health departments and long-term care living facilities with the department’s own records of births and deaths.

Statewide, more than 34,500 people have tested positive, according to the latest health department statistics.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

21 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Gov. Larry Hogan signed an order Monday allowing barbershops and salons to reopen by appointment only for some essential workers amid coronavirus concerns.

The order allows for services by appointment only for who are required to maintain “grooming standards” by their employer, according to the order.

The worker is required to present documentation to the salon or barbershop from their employer expressing their standards.

Officials said those who this order would generally apply to include “military personnel, first responders and other essential workers required to maintain certain, well-documented grooming standards as part of their profession, or where ungroomed hair could pose a safety risk.”

20 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Governor Tom Wolf said on Monday that a statewide stay at home order will remain in effect until at least May 8, but some restrictions are being eased.

During a news conference, Wolf said that some limited construction in the state will be allowed to resume on May 8, with guidelines for social distancing.

Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers and other emergency responders preparing for testing subjects to arrive at the test location. The Wolf Administration provided pictures of the COVID-19 testing site at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, that will provide much-needed testing for symptomatic first responders, health care workers and residents 65 or older throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Monday, April 20, 2020 – Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County

Wolf also said more businesses and regions could be allowed to reopen then, but he said standards for reopening the state will be guided by a data-driven and regional approach.

He mentioned the curbside pickup for state liquor stores that is now underway, and also said that auto sales can resume online.

17 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania will gradually reopen its economy using a “regional, sector-based approach” and a modeling tool that will help public officials decide when it’s safe, according to a plan outlined Friday by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The plan offered few details. It does not include a timetable or spell out the metrics that Wolf and his administration will use to decide that Pennsylvania can begin emerging from the coronavirus pandemic after weeks of social distancing.

Wolf called the plan a “framework” and said he would lay out more concrete steps next week.

“There is no magic wand to wave to get us back to where we want to be,” said Wolf, unveiling his “Relief, Reopening, Recovery” plan at a video news conference Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, we cannot flip a switch and reopen the commonwealth. There’s not going to be one big day,” Wolf said. “We need to be smart and make data-driven decisions.”

The Democratic governor has imposed a series of progressively tougher measures in the face of a pandemic state officials say threatened to swamp hospitals and spike the death toll. COVID-19 has sickened nearly 30,000 Pennsylvania residents and killed more than 750.

16 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – To help Franklin County residents concerned about making their county tax payments on time, the Board of County Commissioners discussed extending the payment discount period as well as the face value payment period for county and county library tax payments.

“Extending the discount period would greatly help people who are trying to put out fires in their personal and their business affairs,” said Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski.“I think it’s a very good faith gesture to our constituents under these circumstances,” said Commissioner John Flannery.

The Pennsylvania Senate and House recently passed a bill allowing local governments to provide greater flexibility on property tax deadlines in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Governor is expected to sign the bill next week. On average, the County receives about 85% of tax revenue during the discount period. “By extending the discount period . . . it will not significantly reduce the amount of revenue the county receives this year. It would just spread it out,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller.

Assuming that the legislation is authorized, a resolution extending the discount period from April 30 to August 31 , and face value period from June 30 to October 31 st , will be presented for consideration at next week’s board meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

16 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Everyone is practicing social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve of infection, but what happens when someone brings you a package? You want as little face-to-face interaction as possible and services like Amazon make it easy.

If you order a package from Amazon, make sure the delivery driver leaves it at your doorstep or in a package locker, if your community has one. To do this, you can leave special delivery instructions during checkout on either the Select a shipping address or Review your order pages.

Just choose Add delivery instructions and mention you want your package on your doorstep, in a package locker or another location of your choosing. Tap or click here to see more Amazon delivery options.

Once your delivery arrives, let it sit for at least three hours before retrieving it. This will reduce your chance of contacting any airborne particles from the delivery person.

Handle with care

Social distancing will only protect you from human-to-human transmission. For germs lingering on your packages, you need to take extra precautions.

When you retrieve your deliveries, take note of the packaging. If you have them, put on a pair of gloves and place your package in a safe, secure outdoor location — like the backyard, patio or balcony — for 24 hours.

16 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has been named to a bipartisan task force charged with assisting the Trump administration on developing a plan to reopen the economy.

Due to social distancing measures, Pennsylvania’s hospital capacity has not been overburdened by the COVID-19 crisis. With this in mind, Senator Toomey believes it is time for lawmakers, public health officials, and economists to begin developing a plan to reopen aspects of the economy.

“I appreciate President Trump appointing me to this task force and for the opportunity to speak with him about this today,” said Senator Toomey. “This week, I have spoken with local officials – Republicans and Democrats – from across Pennsylvania and one thing is clear: there are regions and sectors of our economy that can begin to reopen safely right now and not jeopardize hospital capacity.

“There are businesses, located in areas with very few COVID-19 cases, that both rely on a low-risk workforce and can comply with CDC social distancing guidelines. I look forward to working with my colleagues on plans to gradually and safely enable these businesses to reopen their doors.”

The Democratic senators invited to the task force are Tom Carper of Delaware, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Angus King of Maine, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Jacky Rosen of Nevada, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Mark Warner of Virginia and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

Among the Senate Republicans asked to be on the task force are Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Rob Portman of Ohio, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Braun of Indiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and John Cornyn of Texas.

On the House side, the Democrats invited to the task force are Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas, Ted Deutch of Florida, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Ro Khanna of California, Derek Kilmer of Washington, John Larson of Connecticut, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Jimmy Panetta of California and Tom Suozzi of New York.

Among House Republicans invited is House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Greg Walden of Oregon and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.

15 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday the state is beginning to transition more from containment and mitigation of the coronavirus to planning for a gradual reopening of the state and its businesses.

While the number of cases are still rising in Maryland, the Republican governor said there are signs to be cautiously optimistic. For example, the number of hospitalizations appear to be stabilizing and the state has increased its stock of protective equipment and the state’s capacity to care for the sick.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that a person confirmed to have the new coronavirus attended a gathering at a retirement community in Rockville, Md., during a news conference Friday, March 6, 2020 in Annapolis, Md. The state health department says people who attended the event on Feb. 28 at The Village at Rockville may be at some risk for acquiring COVID-19. Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health, is standing right. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

“It is too soon to say, ‘’yes, we’re going to start opening already.’ We’re not going to flip the light switch,” Hogan said at a news conference, before adding, “It’s not too soon to start laying out what that will look at and maybe start considering when first steps might be.”

15 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Going to a Pennsylvania supermarket, home improvement center, pharmacy or other business that remains open during the pandemic? Be prepared to wear a mask. That goes for workers, too.

Many commercial buildings that serve the public will be required to make sure customers wear masks — and deny entry to anyone who refuses without a medically valid reason — under an order signed Wednesday by the state health secretary.


Employees will have to wear face coverings, too, including those who work in warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other places that remain in business but aren’t open to the public.

The mask mandate was included in a wide-ranging order that will govern many aspects of how a business operates — from how it arranges its break room to how many patrons it can allow inside at any one time — as the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf confronts a pandemic that has killed at least 647 in Pennsylvania and sickened thousands more.

14 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Health Department said Tuesday that 60 deaths of people with COVID-19 were reported over the prior day, raising the state’s running total to 584. There were 1,146 new cases of infection, for a statewide total of more than 25,000.

The number of new deaths represents a spike from recent days — there were just 17 on Monday and 13 on Sunday. The state’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said part of the increase was attributable to a lag time in reporting of deaths over the weekend.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

14 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Health Information Management (HIM)/Medical Records department at Meritus Medical Center has temporarily changed its policy and is currently unable to take walk-in requests for medical records. Urgent needs should be directed to 301-790-8137, Monday thru Friday, between 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m

14 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland recorded its deadliest day yet from the coronavirus on Tuesday, with 40 new fatalities and a total of 302 deaths in the state so far.

The state health department released updated numbers Tuesday morning. So far, there have been at least 9,472 cases in the state. There also have been 44,261 negative tests and 2,122 hospitalizations.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the state’s chief judge of Maryland’s highest court to issue an order directing judges to limit the detention of juveniles and to consider releasing committed and detained juveniles.

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – While the City of Hagerstown operates according to the stipulations outlined in the Mayor’s Declaration of a Civil Emergency, the Planning and Code Administration Department (PCAD) has tapped into a way to perform inspections for occupied residential structures even without entering them. As of today, April 13, PCAD is offering virtual inspections of those properties.

Virtual inspections provide an alternative to traditional in-person inspections, enable prompt service, and productive follow-ups for occupied residential structures during the Civil Emergency. These technology-centric inspections are conducted between a Virtual Inspection (VI) Representative and a City inspector via a video call on either a smart phone, tablet, or other webcam-enabled device.

Minimum requirements for a virtual inspection:

All building-related inspections (building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing) for occupied residential structures may be considered for virtual inspections; however, based on the size and/or complexity of the project it may not be possible to conduct the inspection virtually. Inspection complexity will be determined by the inspector. And, for inspections deemed too complex to perform virtually, the City will discuss other options that will permit the inspection to take place in a safe, compliant manner.

Customers must have a host device such as a smart phone, tablet, or webcam-enabled device connected to Wi-Fi or 4G wireless service.

FaceTime (Apple OS device) or Google Duo (all devices) is required to host the call. Check your mobile device’s app store to download.

If the project has a building permit for work being conducted, all approved plans must be on site and available for review to the inspection staff during the video call.

Ensure you have the necessary tools (based on the inspection type) readily available. For example, a tape measure, screwdriver, level, thermometer, GFCI tester/voltage tester, ladder, device to test smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, and/or flashlight.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and Declaration of Civil Emergency, the City’s Planning & Code Administration Department was working hard to strengthen our partnership with investors and contractors,” Director of Planning and Code Administration Kathy Maher said. A year ago, we began a PCAD social media program on Facebook and Instagram to share with the community the great things investors were doing, and to provide educational posts on code issues and the 2020 census. Later in the year, we started a podcast program, “The HubBub Podcast”, to provide educational information on code issues and the census. We welcome all to follow our pages and podcast in order to stay connected.”

“Late last year, code changes went into effect to allow certain residential permit activities on renovation projects to be permit-exempt at the request of an ad hoc citizen advisory committee. A variety of other procedural changes were implemented to be more customer friendly.”

“When the Declaration of Civil Emergency began on March 16, our staff immediately began launching new procedures to allow us to continue to take building permits and site plans while City Hall was closed. We held a virtual Planning Commission meeting on April 1 so we wouldn’t hold up investment projects. We continued our building and trades inspections except for occupied residential structures. As we began to learn about how other communities were rolling out virtual inspections of residential structures, our staff jumped right on it, did research, learned from Arlington County, Virginia, and held a test run last week. We figured out some things, learned some lessons, and are rolling it out City-wide today. PCAD and the rest of the City of Hagerstown are committed to providing essential services to our community during this extraordinary time of social distancing,” Maher explained.

For more detailed information regarding virtual inspections, visit the PCAD webpage at https://www.hagerstownmd.org/1488/Virtual-Permit-Inspections

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Senator Judy Ward (R-30) will field questions about COVID-19 and the state’s response to the pandemic during a special telephone town hall on Friday, April 17 at 9:50 a.m.

Ward will be joined by a panel of experts in medicine, business and unemployment benefits to answer questions from local residents.

Participants are encouraged to ask questions or simply remain on the line to listen to the conversation. Community residents can sign up to participate at www.senatorjudyward.com/tele-town-hall. A live audio stream will also be available on the webpage.

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM –

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Franklin County Sheriff sale scheduled for May 8, 2020 has been postponed. All properties listed on the May 8, 2020 sale schedule will be relisted for July 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse.

“We have an unprecedented situation of judicial emergencies and statewide health emergencies due to Covid-19. There is also limited public access to the Courthouse right now,” said Sheriff Dane Anthony. “The safety of our employees and of the public is first and foremost in everything we do.

While it remains uncertain when current restrictions may be eased, sheriff sales are required to be advertised at least 3 weeks in advance of the scheduled sale.

“We simply didn’t want to take the risk of publishing notices and preparing for the sale, when there is a very real chance these restrictions may still be in place,” said Anthony. “There are also various other mandated limitations right now regarding evictions and foreclosures, which would further complicate our ability to successfully conduct a sale.”

Anyone with further questions about the postponed sale may contact the Sheriff’s Office at: 717-261-3877.

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk. Due to this newly developing environment, the FBI is seeking to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.

Reporting suspected sexual exploitation can help minimize or stop further victimization, as well as lead to the identification and rescue of other possible victims. If you believe you are—or someone you know is—the victim of child sexual exploitation:

  • Contact your local law enforcement agency.
  • Contact your local FBI field office or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
  • File a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-843-5678 or online at www.cybertipline.org.

When reporting, be as descriptive as possible in the complaint form by providing as much of the following as possible:

  • Name and/or user name of the subject.
  • Email addresses and phone numbers used by the subject.
  • Websites used by the subject.
  • Description of all interaction with the subject.
  • Try to keep all original documentation, emails, text messages, and logs of communication with the subject. Do not delete anything before law enforcement is able to review it.
  • Tell law enforcement everything about the online encounters—we understand it may be embarrassing for the parent or child, but providing all relevant information is necessary to find the offender, stop the abuse, and bring him/her to justice.

More information about the FBI’s guidance on child sexual exploitation and protecting your kids.

For up-to-date information and accurate information about COVID-19, visit coronavirus.gov, cdc.gov/coronavirus, and usa.gov/coronavirus.

13 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), the top Republican on the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship, recently led a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza encouraging the agency to expand its support for farmers in the face of the coronavirus crisis by clarifying guidance surrounding the Paycheck Protection Program. Dr. Joyce was joined by five fellow Members of Congress on this letter to Administrator Carranza.

“In Pennsylvania and across the country, our farmers are working hard to strengthen our supply chain and keep healthy food on American tables during this difficult and uncertain time – even as they suffer substantial losses from the downturn in sales to restaurants and other commercial customers,” said Dr. Joyce. “The SBA, in an unprecedented timeframe, has done an incredible job to rollout the Paycheck Protection Program to support American workers and assist our small businesses. Now, I encourage Administrator Carranza and her team to ensure that our farmers also receive the help that they need to weather this storm and keep our country going.”

Established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program allows small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to apply for forgivable loans to cover payroll and other key operating expenses. Under current guidelines, there is confusion in the agriculture community about the qualifications for their businesses, which yield a high yearly revenue, to qualify for these loans. Dr. Joyce and his colleagues are encouraging the SBA to clarify its guidelines to explicitly communicate that this assistance is available for farmers and ranchers, both of which are critical job creators in rural communities.

“Farmers play a critical role in our economy and we strongly believe that this program was intended to include these vital members of our community,” they wrote. “As you know, the United States Department of Agriculture released guidance that states farmers and rangers are eligible for PPP loans. Specific guidance from your office on farmers’ eligibility will ensure that rural job creators have access to essential capital.”

12- April – News Talk 103.7FM – Washington County MD Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Paul Frey, appeared on Friday’s afternoon show to discuss what his organization is doing for local businesses.

12- April – News Talk 103.7FM – The United States’ top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the economy in parts of the country could have a “rolling reentry” as early as next month, provided health authorities can quickly identify and isolate people who will inevitably be infected with the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci also said he “can’t guarantee” that it will be safe for Americans to vote in person on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Rather than flipping a switch to reopen the entire country, Fauci said a gradual process will be required based on the status of the pandemic in various parts of the U.S. and the availability of rapid, widespread testing. Once the number of people who are seriously ill sharply declines, officials can begin to “think about a gradual reentry of some sort of normality, some rolling reentry,” Fauci said.

11- April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., April 11, that there are 1,676 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 21,655. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania now have cases of COVID-19. The department also reported 78 new deaths among positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 494. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“Now more than ever, as we continue to see COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in Pennsylvania, we need Pennsylvanians to take action,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Those actions should be to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. If you must go out, please limit it to as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but other people as well. We need all Pennsylvanians to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and our healthcare workers and frontline responders.”

11- April – News Talk 103.7FM – Gov. Tom Wolf says the state labor department has started sending out expanded federal unemployment compensation payments provided by the coronavirus relief package approved by Congress.

The measure temporarily provides an additional $600 per week and makes self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers eligible for benefits. It also extends unemployment compensation benefits for an additional 13 weeks.

The federal benefits are in addition to Pennsylvania’s regular unemployment benefit, which is about half of a person’s full-time weekly income up to $572 per week for 26 weeks.

10- April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday that there are plans to significantly ramp up coronavirus testing and disinfect protective masks, adding that the state budget is taking a massive hit in its revenues.

10- April – News Talk 103.7FM – Some Pennsylvania state prison inmates will be getting out of jail early under a reprieve program ordered by Governor Tom Wolf, the state announced Friday.
Releases will be granted to non-violent inmates who have nine months to serve or who are considered at high risk for complications of coronavirus and are within 12 months of their release.
“I am pleased to direct the Department of Corrections to begin the process to release vulnerable and non-violent inmates at or nearing their release dates in an organized way that maintain supervision post-release and ensures home and health care plans are in place for all reentrants,” Wolf said.

As of this morning, there are 11 COVID-19 cases at one prison, SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County, but concern for cases spreading to other facilities is another reason for the expedited release of eligible inmates.
“Just as everyone in the community is dealing with COVID-19, the state prison system is doing the same,” Corrections Sec. John Wetzel said. “We must reduce our inmate population to be able to manage this virus. Without this temporary program, we are risking the health, and potentially lives, of employees and inmates. We can safely release individuals to the community to reduce their vulnerability and allow the department to successfully manage COVID-19.

The releases could begin as early as Tuesday, April 14.

10- April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported over 1,750 new cases Friday, bringing the statewide total to about 20,000. There were 78 new deaths, tying the previous single-day high, for a statewide toll of 416.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

10- April – News Talk 103.7FM – Washington County Health Officer Earl Stoner announced the first confirmed death of a Washington County resident from 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The resident was a woman in her 20’s with underlying medical conditions.

“I am deeply saddened to announce this loss of a member of our community ” said County Health Officer Earl Stoner. “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends.

To watch the full press conference, click the video below.

9 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Why were some Pennsylvania businesses allowed to remain open while others were forced to close? A key Republican State Senator wants to know.

Senator Doug Mastriano, Chairman of Intergovernmental Operations Committee, wants to learn from Gov. Tom Wolf details of the so-called waiver process.

“There’s zero accountability and the governor (Wolf) who ran on transparency, has become the least transparent governor in the country,” Mastriano told News Talk 103.7 FM.

Mastriano said he wants to know how Gov. Wolf picked winner and losers in the waiver process that followed his decision to close all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“It is the constitutional responsibility of the General Assembly to provide oversight and transparency to the exercise of the Executive Branches actions, especially during this emergency crisis operation,” Mastriano concluded.

9 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Local school districtas are reacting to Gov. Wolf’s decision to close schools for the rest of the year.

Even though school buildings are closed, CASD teachers and staff will continue communicating with you and your child to provide engaging enrichment projects,” said Chambersburg Area School District Superintendent, Dr. Dion Betts. “Our desire is to provide as much educational enrichment as possible until the end of the school year. We will also continue to provide free lunches for area children.”

The extended shutdown order affects more than 1.7 million students in public and private K-12 schools. It means children will spend the rest of the year learning remotely.

“We understand that this decision raises a number of questions from parents/guardians and community members. CASD administration is working hard on plans for final grading procedures, opportunities for students/ staff to retrieve belongings from schools and to turn in library books/others items, CASHS/CMS graduation ceremonies, and more,” Betts said.

9 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Pennsylvania State Police released data on enforcement actions taken to enforce Governor Wolf’s Stay at Home order. The order went into effect statewide at 8 p.m. on April 1, 2020. Under the order, all individuals must stay at home except for certain essential activities and work to provide life-sustaining business and government services.

“Law enforcement is focused on ensuring residents are aware of the Stay at Home order and informing the public of social distancing practices and while the order is mandatory, voluntary compliance is preferred,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Troopers maintain discretion to warn or issue citations, and their decision is specific to the facts and circumstances of each particular encounter.”

A map of counties covered by each troop is available on psp.pa.gov.

9 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Franklin County is reducing its staff by 25 percent of its non-essential staff beginning at the close of business on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

“First and foremost, our goal is to help protect the health and welfare of the public and our workforce,” said Commisioner Dave Keller. “It’s our fiscal responsibility to temporarily adjust our staffing needs in response to the lighter workload resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.”

On March 17, 2020, the Board of Commissioners declared a disaster emergency as a proactive measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic which had not yet reached Franklin County.
Since then the county, and eventually the state, was given a stay-at-home order from the Governor as COVID-19 positive test results increased.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor issued orders closing all courts statewide, except to hear emergency matters, until April 30, 2020.

These measures, implemented to protect the public from COVID-19, have impacted businesses, agencies, and organizations throughout Franklin County as consumer activity has drastically decreased. Health experts

9 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – More than 108,000 unemployment filings were made last week in Maryland, the state reported Thursday, as jobless claims continue to rise sharply due to shuttered businesses because of the coronavirus.

Maryland also reported available data on cases and deaths by race for the first time. The data shows black residents have had more cases of the virus and deaths in Maryland, even though African-Americans make up only 29% of the population.

The state reported 108,508 unemployment insurance claims for the week ending April 4. More than 235,000 people filed for unemployment in a three-week period. The state already has received more jobless claims this year than in all of last year.

8 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Sources indicate that PA Gov. Tom Wolf is prepared to release a certain number of inmates around the state as the pandemic carries on. Our Michele Jansen broke the news today on “The Drive”

8 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania emergency management officials will be permitted to commandeer N95 face masks, ventilators and other crucial medical equipment for use in the fight against COVID-19 under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The order mandates that private and public health care facilities, manufacturers and other companies tabulate their supplies of personal protective equipment, drugs and other medical equipment, and provide an inventory to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency within five days.

PEMA will make the supplies available to areas of the state hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, Wolf’s order said, and it will be up to state agencies to repay the entities from which the equipment was taken.

8 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – A West Virginia judge in the county with the state’s highest coronavirus caseload has approved strapping ankle monitors to people who test positive but refuse to quarantine, officials said Monday.

The order allows Kanawha County sheriffs to use the GPS bracelets after a county commissioner said “a few” people with the virus ignored isolation orders.

“We do not want to use the GPS ankle bracelets to enforce the quarantines, however, if we must we will. This must be taken seriously,” said Kent Carper, president of the Kanawha County Commission.

The ruling comes after judges in Kentucky put ankle monitors on at least three people who have flouted quarantine orders after testing positive.

8 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Department of Health reported 1,680 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to more than 16,000. There were 70 new deaths, for a statewide toll of 310.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

Wolf ordered flags at all state buildings and grounds to be lowered to half-staff until further notice to honor victims of the pandemic. He invited all Pennsylvania residents to follow suit.

“Too many Pennsylvanians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and, unfortunately, many more will die,” Wolf said in a written statement.

“This virus prevents us from honoring the dead at traditional gatherings. We cannot have funerals, wakes, or sit shiva. I hope this flag lowering provides some solace to the grieving families and friends,” he wrote.

8 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland recorded its largest daily increase yet in coronavirus infections on Wednesday, a rise Gov. Larry Hogan attributed to an “emerging hotspot” in the Baltimore-Washington corridor as well as increased testing.

The number of cases rose to 5,529, up nearly 27% from 4,370 the day before. Recorded deaths from the virus rose to 124, up from 103 on Tuesday.


“This virus continues to spread in every jurisdiction, and as I have been saying for weeks, the Baltimore-Washington corridor has become an emerging hotspot,” Hogan tweeted.

Hogan noted that Wednesday’s numbers “reflect a tripling of the tests reported” as of Tuesday, the result of commercial labs beginning to clear backlogs. Hogan also pointed out that more than 30% of the new cases reported Wednesday are for testing that was completed in March.

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The House is in session this week taking up numerous bills related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including protecting retired medical professionals who returned to work. Check out this video from Rep. Jesse Topper

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania smashed its single-day high for reported coronavirus-related deaths, recording 78 more fatalities and nearly 1,600 more cases of COVID-19, as the state Department of Health said Tuesday that every county now has an infected resident.

The count more than doubled the previous single-day high of 34 deaths, and boosted the statewide death toll to 240, although the state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said at least some of the deaths occurred over the weekend and were delayed in being reported.

New cases — confirmed Monday through midnight — raised the statewide total to more than 14,550, according to the department. Levine maintained Tuesday that the best way for people to protect themselves, their families and their communities is to stay home.

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Though trout season is open, anglers and boaters must abide by social distancing guidelines, the Fish and Boat Commission said.

“The trout we have been stocking have had time to spread out, and so should you,” Tim Schaeffer, the agency’s executive director, said in a statement.

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The commission nonetheless urged anglers and boaters to fish close to home, wear masks or cloth coverings, keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others, only go fishing with family members living in the same household and never share fishing gear.

Not all waters have been stocked, and the commission said it won’t provide a stocking schedule or a list of stocked waters, to further discourage group gatherings.

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland is forming special strike teams with members of the National Guard to help fight the coronavirus in nursing homes, an effort Gov. Larry Hogan described Tuesday as the first of its kind in the nation.

Hogan, who heads the National Governors Association, also said the Trump administration has designated the Baltimore-Washington corridor as a priority for federal attention, as the number of cases rise in and around the nation’s capital where many federal workers live and work.

“The goal here is not to replace a nursing home’s medical and clinical team, but to provide immediate support and assistance to help protect residents of these facilities,” Hogan said at a news conference in Baltimore. “The state teams will provide assistance and care to patients immediately in order to slow the spread of this virus among our most vulnerable Marylanders.”

7 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – West Virginia National Guard members who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic will be used to process mounting unemployment claims, Gov. Jim Justice said.

“As of Monday, the Workforce call line will be operating 24/7 and I have directed the West Virginia National Guard to spare no expense, and use all their resources in as many physical locations as possible, to get the backlog of calls under control,” Justice said in a news release last week.

The West Virginia Office of Technology is assisting with implementing technology, he said.

Workforce WV employees are trying to process 90,000 claims from last month compared with 2,400 in March 2019, Justice said.


6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – More than 1 million Pennsylvania residents have filed unemployment compensation claims since the coronavirus began taking a severe toll on the economy in mid-March, according to data released Monday, as the state reported more virus cases and deaths.

The state exceeded 283,000 jobless claims last week, pushing Pennsylvania past 1 million in the three weeks since businesses began shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The state’s swelling ranks of jobless account for an outsized portion of the nationwide toll.

Even as the economic devastation came into sharper focus, there was a glimmer of good news on the health front: The number of new virus cases and deaths reported by the state health department did not set single-day records in either category.

Gov. Tom Wolf warned that a “surge is coming,” but expressed some optimism that his worst fears may be avoided.

“We are starting to see that the early exponential increase in cases has given way to a much flatter (curve), so the surge may not be as great as we once anticipated, that’s our fervent hope,” Wolf said at a video news conference.

6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Maryland added 436 cases and 24 deaths since Sunday. More than 25,572 people have tested negative for COVID-19 and 184 have been released from isolation, according to state officials.

6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – As we all are facing this critical COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army continues to provide services to those that otherwise would go without. Donations are desperately needed for food and/or monetary donations.

The Salvation Army serving Washington County is providing meals to an average of 200 people each and every day from our Soup Kitchen location on Wise Street, Monday through Friday, 11 AM – 1 PM and on Saturday and Sunday we serve from our Canteen kitchen location in downtown Hagerstown at the municipal parking lot between E. Washington Street and East Franklin Street, 11 AM – 1 PM. We are seeing these numbers grow as days pass and only anticipate they will continue to grow. We are also supplying food boxes to individuals and families, so they can support themselves and families at home.

All support that is given will make a difference and provide meals to the elderly, families in need, the homeless, unemployed, laid-off, and anyone else who finds themselves in need.

Mail donations to:
The Salvation Army Hagerstown
PO Box 747
Hagerstown, MD 21741

6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Chambersburg’s annual spring event when residential Sanitation Department customers can free-of-charge bring their larger items to a drop off spot, has been postponed as a result of the COVID-19 Crisis. The Bulky Items Drop-Off event has been delayed until the week of June 15-20, 2020. It had previously been scheduled for the end of April, but staff concluded that it was in the public interest and worker safety to delay the event until summer.

“Bulky items days require employees to work in close proximity to each other for hours on end, and to interact with residents and handle their heavy household bulky items,” stated David Finch, Assistant Manager and Public Works Director. “With coronavirus a major concern these days, we felt it was safest if we delayed the event until the middle of June.”

Bulky items days allows residents to dispose of a wide variety of household goods that are not normally allowed to be put out with the regular trash. Items such as furniture, mattresses, refrigerators, and dry paint cans, etc., cannot normally meet the weight and size requirements of normal weekly residential solid waste collection. Therefore, once or twice per year, the Borough holds an event that runs a series of days, where customers can bring their materials to a drop-off spot staffed with Borough employees. This event would be
impossible to hold while maintaining social distancing.

6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – The Washington County Chamber of Commerce has a new website to serve as a resource for local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Senator Doug Mastriano penned an Op-Ed regarding his Back to Work initiative legislation that he’s proposed.

Op-Ed: Healthy Citizens & Healthy Businesses Back to Work Initiative is a Commonsense Way to Safely Return PA to Work

5 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Pennsylvania’s health secretary issued new standards Sunday for cleaning large buildings that remain open during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Dr. Rachel Levine’s order, which applies to building that are at least 50,000 square feet, requires building owners to maintain usual cleaning and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to routinely clean and disinfect areas that are often touched.

The types of buildings covered by Levine’s order include warehouses, factories, offices, airports, grocery stores, government facilities, hotels, colleges and universities and residential buildings that have 50 units or more.

Building owners also must make sure there are enough workers to perform the cleaning properly and, if they have security, that they are sufficient to control access, keep order and enforce social distancing. The order takes effect early Monday.

5 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – There were more than 1,400 new cases overnight for a total of 11,500, the state Health Department said Sunday. Fourteen deaths were reported, making 150 people who have died in the state.

The agency said most deaths and most hospitalizations have been of patients 65 and older.


For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

5 – April – News Talk 103.7FM– Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday announced new mandates for Maryland’s nursing homes in order to dull the spread of COVID-19, which has invaded dozens of facilities in the state.

Under the threat of criminal penalties, Hogan’s order and directive from his health secretary demand that nursing home employees in close contact with residents wear facemasks, gloves, gowns and other personal protective gear when providing care. Nursing homes must have expedited testing for the new coronavirus and designated areas where residents with known or suspected COVID-19 are treated, according to the new rules.


4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM –The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the number of coronavirus cases in the commonwealth has topped 10,000 with another 34 deaths reported, bringing the statewide total to 136.

The department reported Saturday another 1,597 additional positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 10,017 across all but three of the commonwealth’s 67 counties.


Officials say most patients hospitalized and most deaths have occurred in patients aged 65 or older. There have been no pediatric deaths to date, officials said.

Some now-empty eastern Pennsylvania college dorms may be used to house medical professionals who need to self-quarantine or don’t feel comfortable going home to their families after working with patients amid the coronavirus epidemic.

4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM

4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM

4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Law enforcement officials in Louisiana and Maryland took separate action this week against pastors who continue to hold in-person services in the face of stay-home orders in most states.

But more than a half-dozen of those state orders provide a degree of exemption for religious activity, underscoring the political sensitivity of the decisions being made by states and localities.


Vice President Mike Pence said this week that churches should not host groups bigger than 10 people, and President Donald Trump said that “my biggest disappointment is that churches can’t meet in a time of need.” But the application of guidance on the ground has raised questions for some faith leaders.

4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – President Donald Trump on Saturday returned to the idea of opening up the country’s economy as as soon as possible, even as he said the United States was heading into what could be its “toughest” weeks as coronavirus cases swell nationwide.

“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be death,” Trump said in a somber start to his daily briefing on the pandemic.


Joining Trump were Vice President Mike Pence, virus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s foremost infection disease expert. Each stood far apart from one another on the small stage.

The virus has decimated the sports world with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League suspending their seasons indefinitely and Major League Baseball postponing the start of its season. The NCAA basketball tournament was also canceled; so were college spring sports.

4 – April – News Talk 103.7FM – Governor Wolf asked all Pennsylvanians to wear cloth masks any time they leave home at a press briefing Friday. Wolf said that wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility of infecting an innocent bystander. He also said this would help to protect essential workers like healthcare and grocery store workers. He asked the public to keep N95 masks for healthcare crews and instead use scarves or homemade masks.

From Senator Bob Casey – There continues to be a lot of concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Pennsylvania and across the country. I’m reaching out to share some resources to help you, your family and your community navigate the challenges of these extraordinary times. Coronavirus Resources for Pennsylvanians

In a situation changing as quickly as this one, when people are scared and looking for strong leadership, Governor Wolf, Secretary Levine and local officials throughout the Commonwealth continue to take decisive action to protect the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians. Throughout this pandemic, I have been working with my colleagues in Washington to provide direct assistance for the people who need it most: families, workers and small businesses. As our Nation faces this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, I will continue fighting to ensure communities across the Commonwealth get the support they need as quickly as possible.

In accordance with the recommendations and orders of public health experts and state and local officials, my office remains ready to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians remotely. Should you need direct assistance, please contact the office either by phone at (202) 224-6324 or through my website.

3 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Washington County has 36 confirmed cases. For a count of confirmed cases, death, tests administered and test results received please visit washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/

The Health Department is investigating these cases with the help of the of the Maryland Department of Health. Communicable Disease nurses will identify contacts and advise them of any necessary actions to take. Information will be released as soon as possible if any risk to the public is identified.

Maryland has 2,758 confirmed cases.

3 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM -The coronavirus has been confirmed in 60 different nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday.

An outbreak at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy, Maryland, has caused 99 cases among residents and staff, the governor said, and 42 patients have been sent to 14 different hospitals. There have been five deaths from the virus related to the nursing home.


“While we’re intensely focused on these particular clusters, I want to be very clear: we now have widespread community transmission,” Hogan said. “This virus is everywhere, and it is a threat to nearly everyone. “

3 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – President Donald Trump announced new federal guidelines Friday recommending that Americans wear face coverings when in public to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus. The president immediately said he had no intention of following that advice himself, saying, “I’m choosing not to do it.”

The new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people, especially in areas hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus, to use rudimentary coverings like T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks to cover their faces while outdoors.


The president exempted himself from his administration’s own guidelines, saying he could not envision himself covering his face while sitting in the Oval Office greeting world leaders.

“It’s a recommendation, they recommend it,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to wear one myself.”

3 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – A person wearing protective masks due to coronavirus concerns walks in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania residents should wear a cloth mask in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the governor said Friday, as the state recorded another single-day high in new cases and passed 100 deaths.


Gov. Tom Wolf, noting the federal government is readying guidance on the wearing of masks, urged Pennsylvanians to make their own and wear them when they go to the grocery store, pharmacy and other places where people congregate.

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like that grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” he said in a video news conference. “These folks are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”

3 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Maryland’s National Guard has stepped up to help the state prepare for their own coronavirus surge, which Governor Larry Hogan says is “about two weeks behind New York.” The National Guard has set up cots for a field hospital at a Baltimore convention center, a COVID-19 testing site at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field and are busy moving pallets of face shields and surgical gloves to areas where medical staff need them most.

2 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM –

2 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – There is a potential vaccine for COVID-19, doctors and researchers from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh announced Thursday.

“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. “That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.”

The vaccine is delivered through a fingertip-sized skin patch. The research team calls this vaccine PittCoVacc, short for Pittsburgh Coronavirus Vaccine.

Scientists say they are now in the process of applying for an investigational new drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and hope to starting a phase I human clinical trial in the next few months.

2 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – There are more than 7,000 cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania statewide with 1,211 new cases reported today.

State health officials said 90 people have died, 16 of those deaths occurred today. There are cases in 62 of the state’s 67 counties.


Franklin County has reported 21 cases of COVID-19 with no deaths. Cumberland County has 38 cases and one death.

2 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Maryland has topped 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 2,331 cases confirmed as of Thursday morning.

Thirty six people have died. 582 people have ever been hospitalized for the virus in the state, and 81 people have been released from isolation.

18,890 people have tested negative for the virus. Allegany and Dorchester Counties reported their first case Wednesday. Now all 24 jurisdiction in Maryland have a case of coronavirus.

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM -All Pennsylvania residents must stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday as he dramatically expanded the footprint of the quarantine to include the entire state.

The Democratic governor added 34 counties to his existing stay-at-home order, meaning that residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties are now asked to stay put unless they have a legitimate reason to go out.

With coronavirus infections continuing to rise dramatically in the state — nearly 1,000 new confirmed cases were reported Wednesday — Wolf called a statewide quarantine “the most prudent option.”

The expanded order will take effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday and last through at least April 30.

Residents may leave their homes for a number of reasons that include working at a business that’s still open, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, visiting a doctor, caring for a relative or heading outside to exercise. Police will continue to focus on informing residents of the order rather than on enforcement, according to the governor’s office.

Separately, schools and nonessential businesses are closed until further notice

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the new coronavirus despite his administration’s projections that tens of thousands of Americans are likely to be killed by the disease. One by one, though, states are increasingly pushing shutdown orders of their own.


Trump said Wednesday he wants to give governors’ “flexibility” on whether a stay-at-home policy is the best option for their constituents, but acknowledged that he’s looking at limiting air and rail travel between hot spots within the United States. The president remains hesitant to press a unified policy even after the White House released “sobering” new projections on Tuesday that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will likely succumb to the coronavirus even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

“We trust the governors and the mayors to understand their people and understand whether or not they feel like they can trust the people in their states to make the right decisions,” Adams said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Launch-UX Owner, Nathan Neil, stopped by “The Drive” to discuss a common scam affecting people during this pandemic crisis.


1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Pennsylvania State Police will no longer respond in person to some types of calls as the agency tries to limit troopers’ contact with the public, officials announced.

Calls for lost and found, littering, identity theft and general requests to speak to a trooper are among the types of calls that will now be resolved with “limited or no-scene response,” state police said in a news release. The new policy took effect Wednesday and will be in place until further notice.


State police said troopers will continue to respond to emergencies.

State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick said the new policy only applies to a “limited number of call types” and that police will continue responding to critical calls.

State police barracks remain open to the public, though the agency has asked that residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms to stay away and call instead. Others should be mindful of social distancing guidelines, the agency said.

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – A Pennsylvania nursing home where two dementia patients died over the weekend after contracting COVID-19 has struggled to contain the spread, with staff thinned by suspected infection and fears for their own safety.

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver released a statement Wednesday that 34 of its 458 residents have tested positive, and that seven tests are pending.

Pennsylvania has 695 nursing homes, and officials said Wednesday that together they have reported about 200 total positive tests from residents in 92 facilities, many in the region around Philadelphia.

About 20 nurses, many who were relocated to the area by staffing agencies, had either walked out or decided to not come back for shifts by the end of last week, Vance said. Some had even returned home to places such as Georgia and Louisiana.

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM

1 – April – News Talk 103.7 FM – Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled West Virginia’s May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears about the coronavirus spreading at polling places.

Justice said medical experts told him that having the primary on its originally scheduled date would be unsafe for voters and poll workers, since health officials have warned of a surge in the coming weeks.

“There is no question moving this date is the right thing to do,” said Justice, a Republican.

Justice said he had wanted to preserve the May primary date, but he has been “bombarded” with requests to postpone the election. He said the new June date will result in fewer people at polling places since it falls after the school year.

Secretary of State Mac Warner has said he mailed absentee ballot applications to registered voters in a bid to encourage mail-in voting. The applications should arrive during the first week of April, according to Warner. He said deadlines on those applications, as well as the early voting period, will be extended.

Multiple states including Ohio, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana and Maryland have pushed back election dates. Alabama has also moved a GOP primary runoff from March to July.

Also on Wednesday, Justice extended a statewide schools closures until at least April 30, though he said he remains hopeful schools will reopen at some point this year.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM -Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order statewide amid the coronavirus pandemic.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – We continue our commitment to keeping local businesses informed about any changes or mandates during this very uncertain time. Click to hear this conversation with Chambersburg Chamber’s Executive Director, Steve Christian.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM -West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Tuesday acknowledged that his directive to have police monitor roads and check in on travelers from coronavirus hotspots might be unconstitutional but he said it will continue for safety reasons.

Justice has issued an executive order mandating that people entering the state from places hard-hit by the virus must quarantine for two weeks or face an obstruction charge, saying authorities will watch roads and conduct home checks to make sure people comply.

“If they don’t quarantine themselves for 14 days, you know, I’m going to take a big time issue with it, and I may lose at the end of the day but I’m going to try to protect our people,” Justice, a Republican, said in response to a question about the legality of the directives.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Washington County has 15 confirmed cases. Maryland has 1,660 confirmed cases.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – PA Senator Doug Mastriano joined “The Drive” to discuss Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order and proposed legislation that would allow small businesses to function during the COVID-19 pandemic.

31- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Gov. Tom Wolf added seven more counties Tuesday to his order to stay at home as the new virus expanded its reach and Pennsylvania reported another big jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.


Wolf told residents of Lebanon, Franklin, Somerset, Lawrence, Cameron, Crawford and Forest counties to stay home at least through April 30, bringing to 33 the number of counties under the governor’s order.

The Department of Health reported more than 750 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to over 4,800. There were 14 new deaths for a statewide toll of 63.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

Nearly 11 million Pennsylvania residents, or 85% of the state’s population, have now been instructed to remain in their homes, with exceptions that include working at a business that’s still open, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, visiting a doctor, caring for a relative or heading outside to exercise.

30- March – News Talk 103.7 FM

30- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –Title 1 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, which provides relief for small businesses and their employees who are adversely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. The cornerstone provision is the “Paycheck Protection Program,” an emergency lending facility, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under its 7(a) lending program, to provide small business loans on favorable terms to borrowers impacted by the current state of economic uncertainty. Click this link to learn more…Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses(1)

30- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Washington County has 14 confirmed cases…For a count of confirmed cases, death, tests administered and test results received.

The Health Department is investigating these cases with the help of the of the Maryland Department of Health. Communicable Disease nurses will identify contacts and advise them of any necessary actions to take. Information will be released as soon as possible if any risk to the public is identified.

Maryland has 1,413 confirmed cases. At this time Maryland State and Washington County have declared a State of Emergency.

30- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a “stay-at-home” directive in response to the coronavirus pandemic effective Monday.

Hogan said the region around the nation’s capital, which includes Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, has reached “a critical turning point in the fight to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home order will be effective at 8 p.m. Monday.

“No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes,” Hogan said at a news conference on the Maryland State House lawn.

 

30- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that all schools will remain closed indefinitely as Pennsylvania reported nearly 700 new cases of the coronavirus.

Wolf also extended his order to stay at home to more counties — Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill — and said the social distancing guidelines will be extended until April 30.

“We’re going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe. Right now, it isn’t safe,” he said.

Under Wolf’s order, people in the 26 affected counties may leave their homes to work at a business that’s still open, go to the grocery store or pharmacy, visit a doctor, care for a relative, get outside to exercise or for several other reasons.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania increased by more than 640 over the past day and four more people died, the state Health Department announced Sunday.

The state’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said in a video news conference that 38 people in all have died in the state after being diagnosed with the coronavirus infection. In all, nearly 3,400 Pennsylvanians have tested positive, and infections have been confirmed in 58 of the 67 counties.

Most of the people who have died or required hospitalization in Pennsylvania have been 65 or older.

The medical director at a western Pennsylvania nursing home said 14 residents have become infected with the coronavirus and additional tests are pending.

Dr. Dave Thimons told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that staff are doing what they can to help those affected at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver.

Levine said there have been 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across Pennsylvania, and most of them are in the state’s southeastern region of Philadelphia and its suburbs.

Thirty-six of the state’s 695 nursing homes have confirmed cases. As of three days ago, there had been 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 17 Pennsylvania nursing homes, the Health Department said.

29 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The Pennsylvania Office of Administration said Sunday that about 2,500 state workers were out of a job as of Friday because of the coronavirus.

Agency spokesman Dan Egan said Sunday the job cuts were in response to a decline in state revenues in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Egan said the workers were either laid off or put into a leave-without-pay status. He described them as generally being temporary or seasonal employees, part-timers and interns. Most will qualify for unemployment benefits.

Pennsylvania’s governor says the state’s COVID-19 outbreak response would be helped by a federal major disaster declaration.

Gov. Tom Wolf made a formal request for the declaration on Sunday, saying it would provide additional help to governments responding to the crisis.

Wolf, a Democrat, signed a disaster emergency proclamation for Pennsylvania on March 6 and it remains in effect.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –A resident of a Maryland nursing home died after contracting COVID-19 in an outbreak that has sickened dozens of the facility’s residents and strained a short-handed staff, health officials said Sunday.

A man in his 90s who was a resident at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mount Airy died Saturday night after testing positive for COVID-19, Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer said at a news conference. Singer said 66 facility residents had tested positive and 11 had been hospitalized.


Outside the nursing home on Sunday, a sheriff’s deputy and state trooper parked their patrol vehicles and checked all incoming vehicles to make sure people were authorized to enter the premises. Signs saying “NO TRESPASSING” were staked to the ground, and a half-dozen or so vehicles that pulled up to the entrance turned around after the drivers apparently saw the signs.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Bracing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April, bowing to public-health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

It was a stark shift in tone by the president, who only days ago mused about the country reopening in a few weeks. From the Rose Garden, he said his Easter revival hopes had only been “aspirational.”

The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires Monday and Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the national guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. He instead decided to extend them through April 30, a tacit acknowledgment he’d been too optimistic. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – This COVID-19 Emergency Relief $75M Loan Fund offers working capital to assist Maryland for-profit small businesses disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Loan assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • Loans up to $50,000 (not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses) open to Maryland businesses impacted by the COVID-19 with fewer than 50 employees.
  • 0% for the first 12 months, and 2% for the remaining 36 months.
  • Deferral of any payments for the first 12 months, and straight amortization beginning in the 13th month through the 36th month.
  • Business must be established prior to March 9, 2020 and in good standing.
  • Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e. W-2 employees).
  • Two years of historical financial statements and most recent interim statement to benchmark revenue against (if available).
  • Six month pro forma of estimated lost revenue or other documented loss evidence.
  • Minimum personal credit score of 575.
  • No collateral requirements.
  • Eligible uses include: working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.
The business must demonstrate financial stress or disrupted operations, which may include but are not limited to:
  • Notices from tenants closing operations and not paying rent caused by loss of income.
  • Notice of inability to pay rent or make loan payments due to reduced sales, suspended operations.
  • Increased cost related to COVID-19 prevention measures.
  • Notice of disrupted supply network leading to shortage of critical inventory or materials.
  • Other circumstances subject to review on a case by case basis.
If you have questions before applying, please review these Frequently Asked Questions.

APPLY

Click here to apply.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM

This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment and other items identified as Critical Needs Items by MEMA and DGS, that are urgently needed by the State of Maryland, Maryland-based hospitals and healthcare facilities, and emergency and first responders.

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  • Grants of up to $100,000 will be made available to manufacturers to 1) increase existing capacity to produce these critical need items or 2) quickly pivot operations to produce these critical need items.
  • Grant awards will vary based on the applicant’s total investment.
  • Applicants must be an established Maryland business and demonstrate experience, technical expertise and financial stability to implement the proposed project.
  • Eligible costs include but are not limited to capital expenses such as machinery and equipment, raw materials needed for production, and operating expenses associated with increased production.
  • Funding decisions will be made based on a variety of evaluation criteria, including but not limited to technical capability, operational experience, and the priority purchasing needs of the State of Maryland, with priority given to the product areas of greatest need within the Maryland healthcare system.
  • Funds will be disbursed as follows: 50% at notice of award, with remaining 50% paid upon completion with proof of expenses.
To be eligible an applicant must:
  • Currently be located, and plan to manufacture the products, in Maryland.
  • Be in good standing with the State of Maryland and with OSHA and MOSH regulations.
  • Demonstrate an ability to quickly implement the proposed project in order to meet the urgent needs resulting from the COVID-19 response.

29- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – AFT will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.

Effective March 19, borrowers with USDA single-family housing Direct and Guaranteed loans are subject to a moratorium on foreclosure and eviction for a period of 60 days. This action applies to the initiation of foreclosures and evictions and to the completion of foreclosures and evictions in process.

Guaranteed Loan Program:

  • Guaranteed Loan borrowers who are in default or facing imminent default due to a documented hardship can have payments reduced or suspended by their lender for a period not to exceed 12 months delinquency. Once the hardship is resolved, the lender can modify the loan to cure the delinquency or make up the missed payments based on the borrower’s individual circumstances.
  • Guaranteed Loan servicing questions should be directed to: [email protected].

Direct Loan Program:

  • USDA has waived or relaxed certain parts of the application process for Single-Family Housing Direct Loans, including site assessments, and has extended the time period that certificates of eligibility are valid.
  • A Direct Loan borrower who is experiencing a reduction of income by more than 10 percent can request a Payment Assistance package to see if he/she is eligible for payment assistance or for more assistance than currently received.
  • Moratorium Assistance is available for Direct Loan borrowers experiencing medical bill expenses (not covered by insurance) or job loss because of COVID-19. Qualifying borrowers can receive a moratorium on house payments for a period of time, repaid at a later date.
  • Direct Loan questions should be directed to USDA’s Customer Service Center at 800-414-1226 (7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday-Friday) orhttps://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/loan-servicing. Call volume and wait times are high at this time.

Multi-Family Housing

Multi-Family Housing is taking several steps to help owners, management agents and tenants maintain quality housing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, three immediate steps are effective for Section 515 Multi-Family properties:

  • Tenant certifications due March 31, April 30 and May 31 for Multi-Family properties have been extended to June 30 with no late fees or overage charges, as allowed in Multi-Family guidance (HB-3-3560, Chapter 4, Section 4.11). This extension will allow for additional time to complete needed certifications while avoiding face-to-face meetings as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Late fees on Section 515 mortgages will be waived, subject to waiver authority in 7 CFR 3560.403 (c)(3).
  • Section 515 Annual Financial Statements due March 31 will be extended 30 days, as per Multi-Family guidance (HB-2-3560 Chapter 4, Section 4.16-H). USDA is exploring whether a longer extension is appropriate and will provide further guidance.
  • Current policy states that owners must process an interim re-certification at the tenant’s request if there is a change in income of $50 or more per month. The owner should already have this policy in writing and apply it consistently. To the maximum extent possible, we encourage all owners to work with all tenants with impacted income to adjust rent payments.
  • USDA encourages all owners to work with impacted residents and families to adjust rent payments, enter into forbearance agreements, and lessen the impact on affected residents. At this time, no additional subsidy funding has been made available. If borrowers are temporarily unable to make loan payments, the Agency may waive late fees and enter into an official workout plan.

Rural Utilities Service

  • On March 20, 2020, USDA extended for 60 days the deadline for Telecommunications and Electric Program borrowers and grantees to submit their annual CPA audit. In most cases, such audits are due to the agency by April 30, 2020.
  • USDA is waiving borrower covenant requirements for loan agreement financial ratios for the period from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. Additionally, USDA is waiving all financial reporting requirements associated with existing Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan and grant covenants beginning Jan. 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
  • The RUS Administrator has delegated authority to the RUS Telecommunications, Electric, and Water and Environmental Programs to consider requests to waive certain site inspection requirements during the current COVID-19 National Emergency.
  • Applicants will be able to use alternative methods to notify the public, such as through video conferences, teleconferences and public notices on websites and in local newspapers, as a substitute for the public meeting notification requirement for water and waste projects.
  • On a case-by-case basis, USDA will help Electric Program borrowers gain access to obligated funds more quickly at current low interest rates by considering extensions of loan terms (within statutory limits); considering requests to move obligated funds between the Electric Program’s six budget purposes where the new purpose has cleared environmental review; and by considering Temporary Normal Inventory (TNI) requests.
  • For assistance, please contact:
  • Electric Program: Christopher McLean, [email protected], 202-407-2986
  • Telecommunications Program: Laurel Leverrier, [email protected], 202-495-9142
  • Water and Environmental Programs: Edna Primrose, [email protected], 202-494-5610

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – President Donald Trump floated the idea of a quarantine as early as Saturday affecting residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for a short time to stop the spread of coronavirus from reaching states with fewer infections.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he had spoken with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, among others, and that “a lot of the states that are infected but don’t have a big problem, they’ve asked me if I’ll look at it so we’re going to look at it.”

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, used Twitter to provide an update on the state’s total number of cases.

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The Baxter Group’s, Jocelyn Melton, discusses disinfecting your home, work, and personal space amid the coronavirus pandemic. Listen now, ON-DEMAND!

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Dr, Wayne Myers from Norland Pharmacy in Chambersburg, appeared on “The Drive” to discuss the coronavirus. Listen now, ON-DEMAND!

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Below, you’ll find updated information on operating hours, procedures for Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.

Drive-Thru Screening Center – hours of operation will change effective Friday, March 27. The new hours for this screening center will be 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., daily. New screening restrictions implemented on March 26 will remain in place.

Due to limited testing supplies nationwide, new guidelines for COVID-19 testing were released by the state of Maryland on March 24. Screening centers run by Meritus Health now have new criteria for COVID-19 testing. Click here for the new guidelines

Walk-Thru Screening Center – Surrey School location will close effective Monday, March 30. Patients should use the Walk-Thru Screening Center located at 24 N. Walnut Street which will remain open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Gov. Tom Wolf is expanding his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania’s counties amid an increase in cases and a dozen more deaths that brought the total to 34.

The number of new cases in the state stands at 533, the total stands at 2,751, according to Wolf.

The governor’s office said Saturday that Wolf was expanding the order to Beaver, Centre and Washington Counties, making a total of 22 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties included. The order already covered three-fourths of the state’s 12.8 million residents.

The order restricts movement to certain health or safety-related travel, or travel to a job at an employer designated by Wolf’s administration as “life-sustaining.” The measures are designed to slow the spread of the virus and give the state’s hospitals time to increase staffing, equipment and bed space.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

28- March – News Talk 103.7 FM –People most at risk of contracting COVID-19 are those who have traveled to places where person-to-person transmission of the virus is occurring, and/or those who have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus and have no symptoms, you may contact your doctor for advice. Practice routine precautions such as social distancing.

If you have flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, you may call your primary care doctor to schedule a video visit or use UPMC AnywhereCare. A video visit from home limits the spread of infection, and if needed, UPMC can guide you safely to the next care site.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, you should visit an emergency department in your community for immediate care. If you can, call ahead of time so they may prepare for your arrival and prevent the spread of any illness, but do not delay if you have severe breathing problems.

Please note that UPMC Urgent Care locations and Primary Care Walk-In Centers are not able to test for or treat patients with COVID-19. They are open to treat minor illnesses and injuries.

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) released the following statement on the House passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will provide immediate relief for American families, workers, small businesses, and health care workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

“As our nation fights a war against an invisible enemy, it is more important than ever for Congress to support the American families, workers, small businesses, and frontline health care workers bearing the brunt of this public health crisis. We cannot allow the coronavirus to shut down the American Dream. The CARES Act will deliver compassionate, targeted relief for the American people as we battle coronavirus, as well as safeguard our economy.

“This legislation will provide immediate income for American families in the face of this crisis. It also will sustain small businesses during this unprecedented pause by helping them make payroll and keep their workers employed.

“America’s health care workers are fighting an invisible adversary. By passing the CARES Act, Congress is standing with the doctors, nurses, and all health care workers on the frontlines of this war.

“As a staunch fiscal conservative, I recognize that this legislation is far from perfect. However, it is the only path forward for our nation. Families are hurting, workers are hurting, small businesses are hurting, frontline health care workers are hurting – this is no time for playing political football. This is a time to act.

“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives did our part to come together and deliver tangible relief for Americans in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. This crisis has reaffirmed what we already know – Americans are resilient and we are stronger when we are united.”

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all childcare programs are to be closed. During this State of Emergency, childcare programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel.

These programs are at no cost to designated essential personnel. Eligible programs may be found on the MSDE website at earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org or by using the LOCATE: Child Care resource, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday – Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Please see the list of designated essential personnel identified in the Governor’s March 25, 2020 Executive Order.

The children of essential personnel attending the State-funded child care programs will be kept at an appropriate distance from each other with ratios of one teacher to nine children and smaller class sizes for younger children.

Parents/guardians are strongly urged to keep children at home as the first and best option to protect them from the virus; it should be noted in the Governor’s March 13, 2020 Executive Order, licensing regulations were relaxed to allow for Family, Friend and Neighbor care for five or fewer students.

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The Washington County Board of County Commissioners delivers a message to the community regarding COVID-19.

The Board of County Commissioners meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, 2020 has been canceled. All evening meetings with municipalities are canceled until further notice.

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM -The Washington County MD. Chamber’s homepage is constantly being updated with additional resources, with the more important information still remaining: Assistance with Maryland’s Small Business disaster relief programs, SBA information, Layoff Aversion Funding, information on how to file for unemployment insurance claims in bulk (and why it’s encouraged), and so much more. We’ve also got a nice feature that easily breaks down The CARES Act!

Our latest addition is our “Members Here to Help” page, which will be continuously updated with information that other members are sharing, including ways they can offer assistance to fellow members experiencing some confusion and hardship.

The U.S. Small Business Administration launched the Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program on March 25 to help existing small businesses obtain financing if they already have a relationship with an SBA approved lender.

The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the SBA’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by the coronavirus emergency. The loans will help small businesses that are waiting for long-term financing, including through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. For more details go to the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program PROGRAM GUIDE .

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Below is a message from Washington County Health Officer Earl Stoner, as he provides an update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Congressman John Joyce shared his thoughts on the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package hours before the House voted on it. Here what you missed, ON-DEMAND!

27- March – News Talk 103.7 FM– A massive bipartisan effort to provide relief to a U.S. economy on ice just leapt over its last major hurdle. On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a historic stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or “CARES” act, which contains an unprecedented $2.2 trillion in total financial relief for businesses, public institutions and individuals hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill passed the House today after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) took the unpopular step of blocking a voice vote that House members could conduct remotely. House lawmakers quickly returned to Washington to appear in person Friday, where they spread out in the galleries above the House floor for safety. The bill passed with a quorum of more than 216 members of the House present.

“The aid must be robust, rapid and resilient, just like its recipients,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said during proceedings Friday. “We are going to help Americans through this. We are going to do it together.”

Small businesses can expect some relief. The bill sets aside $350 billion for small business loans up to $10 million, with priority given to women-owned businesses, new businesses and those run by anyone “socially and economically disadvantaged.” A separate $10 billion in emergency small business grants of up to $10,000 is also set aside — an unprecedented measure from the Small Business Administration.

A separate $500 billion pool of money is set aside for bailing out larger businesses hurt by the crisis with emergency loans — a provision of the bill key to its Republican support. In recent days, Democrats were able to work in some oversight measures for how that money gets allocated, provisioning for an inspector general to oversee the process.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the COVID-19 relief package in the Oval Office at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

The historic measure was passed by the House of Representatives earlier Friday afternoon.

The $2 trillion package, which the Senate passed on Wednesday, is the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history.

27 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM –An order that restricts people’s movement is being expanded to nine additional Pennsylvania counties, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday as his administration confirmed more coronavirus cases and deaths.

Wolf said in a statement that the expanded stay-at-home order, which starts Friday at 8 p.m. and will last until at least April 6, impacts a total of 19 counties. The new counties under the order are Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.

The stay-at-home order restricts movement to certain health or safety-related travel, or travel to a job at an employer designated by Wolf’s administration as “life-sustaining.”
26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Waynesboro Chamber Of Commerce, Executive Director, Jackie Mowen, discuss how the chamber is collaborating with local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The Manufacturer’s Association appeared on The Drive to discuss the industry’s role in getting the economy moving in the midst of a pandemic.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The West Virginia nursing home described as the epicenter of the state’s coronavirus caseload now has 28 positive cases as containment measures continue, officials said Thursday.

Sundale nursing home medical director Carl Shrader said 20 residents and eight staffers at the Morgantown facility have the virus, with four tests pending after an aggressive effort to screen nearly everyone at the center.


“What’s on all our minds is containing it where we have it and not letting it rage on if possible,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Gov. Jim Justice described it another way.

“It is the horror story that we absolutely didn’t want to have happen, at least from a nursing home standpoint because that’s a place, you know, that our elderly are at for sure,” Justice said at a news conference Thursday.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – After hearing from local business owners, construction workers and others, members of the House of Representatives from York, Adams and Cumberland counties joined to urge Gov. Tom Wolf to allow construction projects to be completed and to allow workers to return to sites.

Previously, Wolf included construction on the list of “non-essential” businesses, which put a halt to construction projects in Pennsylvania. In response, the members, who are House Appropriations Chair Stan Staylor (R-Red Lion) and Reps. Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown), Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Kate Klurk (R-Hanover), Dan Moul (R-Gettysburg), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Keth Gillespie (R-Hellam), Barb Gleim (R-Carlisle), Greg Rothman (R-Camp Hill) and Mike Jones (R-York Township) issued the following statement.

“We understand the need to take measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect all Pennsylvanians. We also recognize the tough decisions the governor has had to make during the crisis. However, we believe the governor is wrong to shut down all construction in Pennsylvania.”

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – A bill sponsored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon), which would provide relief to businesses and their employees impacted by mitigation efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

Today, the House unanimously concurred on Senate amendments to House Bill 68, which would make temporary changes to Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) law to ease requirements for both employers and their workers seeking unemployment relief.

“During the COVID-19 emergency, my bill would waive job search and registration waiting periods required of all claimants and relieve employers of charges they pay into the Unemployment Compensation Fund,” said Ryan. “This includes employers who pay UC taxes and nonprofits and public employers who choose to pay a solvency fee into the UC Trust Fund. The original intent of the bill is maintained to extend the 21-day appeal period from 15 days and provides automatic relief for benefit charges paid out during the emergency period.”

For employers who do not participate in the state’s UC program, Ryan’s bill expands the repayment period from 30 days to 120 days. An additional 60 days (interest free) may be granted to employers claiming a financial hardship. No interest would be charged on late payments nor would it accrue on unpaid balances until Jan. 1, 2021.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM –The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania rose by 50% to more than 1,600 cases, while record numbers of state residents filed for unemployment compensation, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Thursday.

The state Department of Health said five more people died over the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s grim death toll to 16.

Pennsylvanians have filed about 650,000 unemployment compensation claims over the past 11 days as the coronavirus has spread and thousands of businesses closed or laid off employees.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FMState Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) intends to introduce legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955.

The proposal aims to revise restrictions that are preventing the state Department of Health from publicizing relevant data and details concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mastriano hopes the legislation enhances transparency that has been lacking in Pennsylvania.

“Currently, the law allows the Health Department to keep records and reports of contagious diseases strictly confidential,” said Mastriano. “Unfortunately, the Health Department has been using this outdated law to withhold life-saving information during the ongoing pandemic. This change to the 1955 law only impacts information related to a pandemic.”

Mastriano circulated a co-sponsorship memo to Senate members Tuesday.

During the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, state health officials were not providing the public with the total number of samples tested or the number of people quarantined after possible exposure. The lack of information-sharing potentially exacerbated the crisis.

“It is disheartening that neighboring states have been more transparent about potential cases,” added Mastriano.

The state Senate commissioned a report on the Disease Prevention and Control Law in 2013, and several recommendations were suggested to lawmakers. Mastriano is seeking action on those recommendations.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM –Two City of Hagerstown firefighters and three Community Rescue Service (CRS) providers were first responders to a call for a person in need of critical medical attention on Friday, March 20, 2020 in the City of Hagerstown. Despite their efforts, they were unable to save the patient. It was later learned that the deceased tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, both City of Hagerstown firefighters are at home in self-isolation. Two CRS providers remain to work with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and the third CRS provider is at home in self-isolation.

One agency, out of an abundance of caution, chose to quarantine both of their exposed providers.

The other agency followed Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) guidelines, due to staffing needs. Those guidelines require the provider to be monitored and to wear a face mask while working. If any employee shows symptoms they are immediately sent home to self-isolate and contact a health care provider. The employee that was sent home developed a fever and is currently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. The provider remains in good spirits. All others involved have displayed no symptoms.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – The Health Department said there were 560 new cases, and the 1,680 total cases are in 48 of the state’s 67 counties.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine has said she expects a surge of patients in the coming weeks, with cases doubling every two to three days. The Wolf administration is putting a strong emphasis on buying time to help get the state’s health care system ready for that growing flood of patients, Levine said.

26 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM –Maryland will keep its public schools closed for another four weeks through April 24 in response to the new coronavirus, the state’s superintendent of schools announced Wednesday.

Karen Salmon said she made the decision with the state board of education after lengthy discussions with health experts. Salmon said she is working with all local school superintendents to provide continuity of learning throughout Maryland.


“More information will be available in the coming days as we work collaboratively on a statewide plan that maintains equitable standards and expectations for students,” Salmon said at a news conference with Gov. Larry Hogan.

The state health department said there have been at least 423 cases in Maryland. That’s an increase of 74 cases overnight, the largest increase in a single day yet in the state. Four deaths from coronavirus have been reported in the state.

25 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration reported more coronavirus-related deaths in Pennsylvania on Wednesday and ordered residents of Lehigh and Northampton counties to stay home, with few exceptions, as more of the state is put under the directive in an effort to slow the virus’ spread.

Wolf’s office said the order will take effect at 8 p.m. for the two counties, home to more than 670,000 people.

Before Wednesday, Wolf’s orders covered eight counties, including Philadelphia, Allegheny County and Philadelphia’s four heavily populated suburban counties. The 10 counties account for half of Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million residents and are home to nearly 80% of the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases, as of Wednesday.

25 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Due to limited testing supplies nationwide, new guidelines for COVID-19 testing were released by the state of Maryland March 24. Screening centers run by Meritus Health now have new criteria for COVID-19 testing.

Staff at the current screening centers run by Meritus Health will ask all those directed to the locations the following questions…

Are you 18 or older? Do you have a fever greater than 100.5 degrees and/or a dry cough or shortness of breath or a sore throat? People without symptoms do not qualify for testing. ? Are you a Meritus health care worker or a Washington County first responder? If not, are you age 65 or older? If not, do you have any underlying conditions, which include high-risk co-morbidities like chronic lung disease (asthma or COPD), long-term steroid use, current chemotherapy treatment for cancer, hemodialysis and heart disease)?

Meritus Health currently has three screening centers open: The drive-thru screening center behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton
Blvd., is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week. A downtown walk-thru screening center is open at 535 Summit Ave., the property
where the Surrey School/The Learning Center was once located. Open Monday thru Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A second walk-thru screening center is open at Meritus Family Medicine, 24 N. Walnut St. This is open Monday thru Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Covid testing supplies are in short supply nationwide. With new testing limitations in Maryland, please speak with your primary care physicians or a health care professional
answering the COVID-19 care line prior to arriving. The COVID-19 care line is 301-790- 9170.

25 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Dr. Joyce Joins Fox News to Talk Coronavirus Relief.

25 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Maryland’s public schools will be closed through at least April 24, and any Marylander or visitor who has recently spent time in New York quarantine in place for 14 days.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon made the announcements during a morning news conference Wednesday at the Maryland State House as they updated the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.


Maryland now has 423 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, having added 74 since Tuesday. Hogan said this is the largest one-day increase since the crisis began.

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Pending any additional closures from the PA Department of Education, CASD students will return to schools on Tuesday, April 14. District staff will return to buildings on Thursday, April 9.

Please be aware that the third marking period has ended and teachers are submitting grades. These grades will be for work completed before the closure.

In addition, our staff are working hard to develop an educational enrichment project for all students, k-12. You will receive more information as it becomes available.

As this situation is changing daily, we want to remind you that updates will be provided to parents, guardians, and concerned community members via our COVID-19 website portal (https://www.casdonline.org/covid19), social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram), and with direct calls and e-mails home to families.

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – PA Rep. Paul Schemel is encouraging residents to take a short survey regarding the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following message was posted on his website.

To my friends in the business and non-profit community of Franklin County,

Gov. Wolf’s mandated closure of businesses and other activities is rightly intended to “flatten the curve” of the rate of COVID-19 infection. The governor has invoked his emergency powers under the law in order to enact these measures.

However, the disruption to commercial activity will also have a profound negative impact as businesses and the people they employ struggle to weather the financial storm. We know that this virus causes serious risks to health, but poverty brought about by continued business stoppage will also have serious health consequences. The state is going to have to make the decision as to when and how to permit businesses and schools to reopen, it is just a matter of when.

Your answers to these questions will assist me and other policy makers in weighing those competing risks.

All answers will be confidential, you need not share the name of your business.

This survey will remain open for answers through Thursday, March 26 at 5pm.

Urgency is most important in completing these questions so we can consolidate the data to present to Harrisburg.

Take the survey. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhnwQSAjxQMCmu6-2daX6u2f-byNo75u6WdJixFna0v0R7Og/viewform

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Organized by the Borough of Chambersburg, as of Tuesday, March 24, ten Chambersburg Area Churches have stepped forward to offer food supplies to any families that might become homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Borough has had a Pandemic Response plan in place for about 10 years now,” said Assistant Borough Manager David Finch, who acts as Emergency Management Coordinator during local emergencies. “One very important aspect of the plan was to prepare for citizens who become too sick to feed themselves or care for their families. We will coordinate with local churches to provide the food they might need.” Requests for aid may be routed to Mr. Finch, at (717) 660-2702.

In other planning, the Borough is releasing a mailing to all 11,000 utility customers explaining their options for contacting the Borough during the health emergency. Chambersburg prohibited access to municipal buildings and facilities effective Monday, March 23, 2020. According to Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, “for convenience and safety, we encourage the use of alternative methods of payment and communication to avoid physical in-person utility transactions whenever possible.

If you must make a payment by cash or check, please use the U.S. Mail (please do not mail cash), or use the Borough’s secure drop-box located to the right of the rear lobby entrance. If you would like a receipt, please include a note with your payment and one will be mailed to you. Billing communication, questions, or discussion is best via phone at (717) 264-5151, or by email at [email protected]burgpa.gov, which is for billing inquiries.” Stonehill added that he anticipates delays as customers attempt to use the single Drive-Thru Teller Window at City Hall.

In an attempt to encourage social distancing, the Borough will suspend house-to-house meter reading on a temporary basis. As a result, utility bills sent in April 2020 will be “estimated” based on an account’s historic usage. A reconciliation of “estimated” to “actual” usage will happen at the end of the crisis; or, when a customer closes out their utility account. This will lessen the need for Borough employees to read meters.

On Monday, March 23, Chambersburg installed digital information signs at the entrances to the town. According to Stonehill, the Borough added the signs so that “we have another means to disseminate public information. At this time, we still are unsure whether Governor Wolf will order stricter restrictions. We want to keep in touch with citizens and businesses and provide them with good information. The digital signs are another way to communicate.”

Finally, Deputy Borough Manager Phil Wolgemuth is coordinating with food service retailers on enforcement of the restriction on eat-in dining establishments. According to Mr. Wolgemuth, “most licensees have been very cooperative, adjusting their business practices, and complying with the directions issued by the Governor. We know that these are challenging times for our community’s small businesses, and we want to thank Sam Thrush and Downtown Chambersburg, Inc., for getting information out there as to how to support our local businesses.” The Downtown Chambersburg, Inc., website is www.downtownchambersburgpa.com . “Chambersburg is proud to protect the health and safety of our residents and businesses,” added Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. “When Town Council gathers next, they will discuss our temporary actions to address this crisis and whether more actions are available for their approval. We stand by to support our
residents and businesses during this difficult time.”

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – Hagerstown Police Chief, Paul Kifer, joined “The Drive” to discuss local enforcement of Governor Larry Hogan’s order to close all non-essential businesses.

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM – West Virginia from Gov. Jim Justice as his order for residents to stay inside and close all nonessential businesses takes effect Tuesday night to stem the spread of the coronavirus.


The order goes into effect at 8 p.m.

24 – March – News Talk 103.7 FM State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) is reminding older Pennsylvanians and their caretakers that a number of steps have been taken over recent days to protect seniors during statewide efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging recently issued guidance to help older adult day centers, adult protective services, and senior centers continue to meet the needs of older adults while coronavirus mitigation measures remain in effect.

Some of the guidance addresses temporary senior center and adult day center closings, congregate meal alternatives, and processes that can temporarily be completed via telephone rather than in person. These guidelines are available here.

“We all have an obligation to work together during this crisis to protect the people we are elected to serve,” said Mastriano. “I remain willing to work with Governor Wolf and his administration, as well as my colleagues in the General Assembly, to respond to this crisis strongly and intelligently.”

The department is also relaxing restrictions in the PACE prescription assistance program that require a person to use 75 percent of their medication before seeking a refill. Enrollees who wish to receive an exception must have their pharmacy provider contact PACE at 1-800-835-8040.

All enrollees should be able to receive free home delivery of medications from their pharmacy. Enrollees who have difficulty obtaining their refills can call Cardholder Services at 1-800-225-7223.

Additionally, the deadline for older Pennsylvanians and disabled state residents to apply for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program has been extended from June 30 until December 31. The program provides rebates of up to $975 for eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The Online Customer Service Center remains open for applicants who have questions about the program.

24 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update- The nation’s governors kept pressing the federal government for supplies and economic aid to battle the new coronavirus in a conference call with the White House on Monday without getting the assurances they were hoping to hear.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, the chairman of the National Governors Association, said the governors are seeking more testing, ventilators and personal protective equipment like masks for health care providers. The call with Vice President Mike Pence lasted about an hour and 15 minutes.


“There aren’t enough of all of these items, and we’re pushing to get our supply wherever we can, and we’re pushing the federal government to produce more of them, distribute more of them, and hopefully we’ll get some progress,” Hogan said earlier in the day. “There’s been a little bit of progress, but not nearly enough and not fast enough.”

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday issued a statewide stay-home directive and ordered nonessential businesses to close as confirmed coronavirus cases reached at least 16.

The order, which allows people to go out for food, medicine and other important items, goes into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Justice said in a news conference. He didn’t set an end date.

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued “Stay at Home” orders to Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, as the state seeks relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.

This order takes effect at 8:00 PM on Monday, March 23, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.

All schools statewide will also remain closed through at least April 6, 2020.

“I remain deeply concerned about this public health crisis and we must continue to take careful but critical steps now to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are issuing these orders because Pennsylvanians’ health and safety remains our highest priority.”

“The number of cases continues to grow and so we must take further steps to stop the spread of this contagious and dangerous novel virus to protect the public’s health and mitigate the risk to our hospital system,” Dr. Levine said. “There is one way to make sure people don’t need to be hospitalized and we don’t strain our health care system: Stay calm. Stay home. Stay safe.”

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Chambersburg Mayor Walt Bietsch appeared on First News to discuss how local law enforcement will begin enforcing business closings.

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund – This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses.

Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.

• Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund – This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.

• Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund – This $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Pennsylvania State Department of Health confirmed 165 new cases of COVID-19, the largest one-day increase since the coronavirus pandemic started, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 644.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has urged Pennsylvania residents to stay home so the virus can’t spread. The governor also issued a stay-at-home order for Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.

Cases have now been identified in more than half of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. All of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus are either in isolation at home or being treated at a hospital, the health department said.

23 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Governor Larry Hogan ordered all non essential businesses to close at 5:00 p.m. today.

“Let me repeat, once again as strongly as I possibly can: if you are engaged in this activity, you are breaking the law and you are literally endangering the lives of your family friends and fellow citizens,” Hogan said.

“We are all in this together. Together we will get through this,” he said.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The White House Coronavirus Task Force met with reporters on Sunday evening.


22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf giving an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Washington County, MD is aware of a second positive Coronavirus patient from Montgomery County, MD who was visiting Washington County, MD. The patient subsequently has passed away. This is the third death attributed to COVID-19 in the State of Maryland. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) reported two deaths earlier this week. The Washington County Health Department is working with MDH to identify possible exposures and to conduct tracing processes.

STAY INFORMED

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If symptoms develop, please contact your health care provider and describe the situation.

To lower the risk of transmission, the Health Department recommends the following:

  • Avoid non-essential travel and public gatherings, especially if you are an individual who is at increased risk for severe illness, including pregnant women, older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
  • Avoid travel to all areas where there are outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home except to get medical care.
  • Those with high risk factors and who have fever or new or worsening cough, should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. Call ahead to let them know of your symptoms.

This is not a time to fear but to be aware, prepared, and informed. Please do not accept or share information unless it is from a credible source. Please follow https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/ for updates related

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 22, that there are 108 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 479 in 33 counties. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

Statewide, there are 479 cases of COVID-19 reported from commercial, hospital and state labs. There are 4,964 patients who have tested negative, and two total deaths. With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update- In compliance with Governor Wolf’s orders and officially effective 12:01 AM, Saturday, March 21, the Borough Recreation Office and specific park and recreation facilities are closed until further notice. In an attempt to answer most questions regarding current program postponements and other Recreation Department-related functions and facilities, please read this entire document.

Recreation Center and Areas Within Parks:

  • The Recreation Department staff is working, but the Borough Recreation Center is closed for in- person business transactions, rentals, meeting, open gyms, or other gatherings. Staff will continue to work during normal business hours to answer phones and respond to emails Monday-Friday 8 AM-5 PM. The office phone number is 717-261-3275 and general email received by all administrative and program personnel is [email protected].
  • Borough Parks are open but certain amenities and areas within each park are closed. These closed locations to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 are as follows:

– Playgrounds

– Basketball Courts

– Tennis/Pickleball Courts

– Pavilions

– Open fields for group pick-up games bringing people in close contact

Park Security will be roaming to visit each location and strongly urging people to comply with these recent mandates. Gated areas will be locked.

However, parks are still inherently considered safe and healthy locations for passive recreation, i.e. nature observation, and other forms of more individual, active recreation such as walking, jogging, hiking, biking, and other activities that do not encourage personal connectivity. In fact, these activities are highly encouraged as physical movement supports a stronger immune system. Please remember to exercise the CDC’s best practices by maintaining the recommended distance of 6 feet between people and practicing good hygiene.

Programs Currently Postponed:

Staff will communicate any revised plans as soon as new and clear directives are provided. Please anticipate receiving this in the form of an email or phone call no later than next Thursday, March 26

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – West Virginia Governor is drawing criticism for comparing the coronavirus to a “scary movie.”

“If we don’t act and we don’t act as strongly as possible right now we’re going to lose lives and lots of lives,” the Republican governor said, just minutes after he said he wasn’t ordering a a widespread shutdown similar to those in New York, California and Illinois.

March 22 – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Special guest tomorrow morning on First News.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who ordered last week a statewide reduction in the number of people allowed to congregate from 50 to 10, said those not heeding the warnings are “endangering not only yourselves but your fellow citizens.”

“We’ve got to get people off the streets and out of these crowds. It’s absolutely essential,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Failing to heed the limit on assemblies is a violation of state law.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The global coronavirus outbreak that first emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year is changing life in the D.C. area.

The leaders of the District, Maryland and Virginia have all declared states of emergency and announced several other actions to curb the spread of the disease, such as prohibiting large gatherings of people and closing bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms.

Globally, more than 242,000 people have been infected with the virus and more than 9,800 have died.

In the U.S., there have been more than 13,000 cases as of Thursday morning — an increase of more than 5,000 since Wednesday evening — and the numbers continue to climb as testing ramps up

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update- Pennsylvania’s coronavirus death toll rose by one on Saturday as lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging his authority to shutter “non-life-sustaining” businesses, declaring that unprecedented action is needed to combat a global pandemic they called “perhaps the biggest catastrophe of our lifetimes.”

More than 370 coronavirus cases and two deaths have been reported in Pennsylvania. Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the state is seeing a spike in cases because more people are getting infected, not because testing has expanded. She also revealed Saturday that Wolf’s administration is considering a “shelter in place” order to ensure people stay at home.

In a legal filing late Friday, the state attorney general’s office said Wolf is empowered by the state’s Emergency Management Services Code to shutter businesses and to restrict people’s movements in a disaster.

“COVID-19 presents an extraordinary challenge that requires extraordinary measures to combat. The governor was empowered by law to combat precisely this challenge,” the filing said.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update- In response to numerous concerns expressed by statewide business leaders and lawmakers, enforcement of Governor Wolf’s order for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close has been delayed until Monday, according to State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33)

The delay in enforcement will provide additional time for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to review the high volume of waiver requests that have been submitted by businesses previously ordered to close their physical locations on March 19.

“Thanks to considerable feedback from local residents and businesses, the Governor backtracked on his hasty and haphazard decision,” said Mastriano. “I am encouraging all area businesses that are unsure about their status to complete a timely waiver application. We are all in this together and when it ends, we will be stronger than ever.”

Business owners can get clarification on whether their business is defined as life-sustaining by emailing DCED at [email protected] or calling 1-877-724-3258. An online waiver application for businesses that believe they should be considered life-sustaining is available here.

Additionally, the list of businesses that are considered to be life-sustaining was expanded to include more critical industries. A number of industries that are essential to medical and manufacturing supply chains were initially excluded. The updated list is available here.

Mastriano is also reminding businesses and non-profits who have been affected financially by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak to consider applying for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Information is available by contacting SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mailing [email protected].

Additional funding for impacted businesses will also be available from DCED at a later date.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry also has a webpage dedicated to helping businesses deal with coronavirus concerns at www.pachamber.org/coronavirus.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Local authorities said they have learned of a second COVID-19 patient in Washington County who has since died.

The individual was from Montgomery County and was visiting Washington County, according to a news release sent Sunday from the county’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Franklin County Board of Commissioners wants to reassure residents that they,along with state and local emergency service and healthcare partners, are ready to address the health,safety and welfare needs of the community.

“Public and workforce safety is our number one priority. By limiting foot traffic to our buildings, we are minimizing exposure to COVID-19. Our goal is to flatten the curve while doing our best to provide continued services,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller.

As a result of the spread of COVID-19 into the county, Franklin County Commissioners and Administration will modify operations, effective Monday, March 23, 2020. Services are still available to the public, but are adjusted to protect the health of employees and the community by limiting person-to-person contact and restricting walk-in visits.

22 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 21, that there are 103 additional positive cases of COVID-19 and one additional death in Allegheny County, bringing the statewide total to 371 in 28 counties. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

Statewide, there are 371 cases of COVID-19 reported from commercial, hospital and state labs. There are 3,766 patients who have tested negative, and two total deaths. With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

21 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Washington County, MD officials confirmed a case of COVID-19 Saturday during a press conference live streamed on our Facebook page.

21 – March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – In a statement Saturday night, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed the death of a woman from Montgomery County.

21 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The mayor of Maryland’s most popular beach destination wants vacationers to postpone their trips as the state attempts to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We’re not encouraging people to come,” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan told WBAL-TV on Saturday. “We don’t want them to be here and contract anything while they were down here in Ocean City, even if that’s possible.”

Gov. Larry Hogan has reduced the permissible number of people statewide at gatherings from 50 to 10. He said this week that some people were still holding parties and cookouts and large gatherings, in violation of state law.

21 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – Beginning Saturday, March 21, no visitors will be permitted in Meritus Health facilities except under these specific circumstances: End-of-life care or end-of-life decision making. For these situations, two visitors will be permitted to be with the patient. One parent or caregiver of a child in the special care nursery ~ One parent or caregiver of pediatric patients as long as that parent/caregiver is not symptomatic ~ One visitor inclusive of a professional support person or postpartum helper of a patient in the labor and delivery and postpartum units ~ One visitor to accompany a patient for hospital discharge ~ One visitor for a patient undergoing emergency surgery ~ A visitor who has been asked by the patient’s care team to be a part of scheduled family training for a patient with rehabilitation needs ~ One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery including scheduled surgery.

In any of these circumstances, the visitor should be in touch with the patient’s primary provider or a member of his/her health care team prior to coming to Meritus Medical Center. This policy applies to all patients in all Meritus Health facilities. The decision aligns with other hospitals in Maryland, including Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland system and is consistent with approaches taken by other leading health care institutions nationwide. Liberalized family presence in hospital settings could lead to potential spread to patients and staff by those with asymptomatic or mild infection.

21 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – On March 19, 2020, the Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 8:00 a.m. Monday, March 23. Businesses seeking waivers and exemptions to the closure order can use our Business Exemption Form for assistance.

21 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday closed lodges and the famous Hatfield–McCoy Trails as the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to eight.


20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Franklin County reports its first case of COVID-19 coronavirus as the Department of Health confirms 83 New Positives Bring Statewide Total to 268.The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 20, that there are 83 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported, bringing the statewide total to 268. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a press conference, announcing the 133rd presumptive positive case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania, inside PEMA headquarters on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”
Statewide, there are 268 cases of COVID-19 reported from commercial, hospital and state labs. There are 2,574 patients who have tested negative, and one death. With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.
20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania – Effective at 5:01 p.m. today, Friday, March 20, 2020, and for the balance of the State of Emergency, City Hall and the Utility Department Addition are closed to all members of the public unless a staff member escorts them. While Borough workers will continue to come and go to our facilities, access to the customer service functions would only be:
 Via telephone at either 717-264-5151 or the 24/7 Utility Customer Service Center at 717-263-4111
 Via email at either [email protected], or the 24/7 Utility Customer Service Center
at [email protected]
 By accessing the Customer Service Department through the Drive-Thru Teller Window at City Hall;
which will remain open during regular business hours
 By accessing the Police Department: call 911 for all emergencies, or the Police Non-Emergency number at (717)
263-1611 for non-emergencies
 By visiting the Police Department vestibule on S. Second Street and picking up the black emergency access
phone, which is available 24/7
 By accessing Borough employees by their personal email addresses or direct dial phone numbers; available on
our website https://www.chambersburg.org/
Photo: Ryan Hedrick | News Talk 103.7 FM
Further, beginning Saturday, March 21, the 24/7 Utility Customer Service Center will be closed to unescorted public visitors. Contractor and visitors can access the Center by phone and email. If you visit the 24/7 Utility Customer Service Center, you can communicate with the on-duty employee via their intercom system.
Please attempt to contact the Borough as much as possible by phone and email. Also, please consider U.S. Mail, our online payment options, or drop off to pay your utility bills rather than visiting as the inside teller windows are inaccessible. Anticipate delays as we serve customers through our single Drive-Thru Teller Window. Further, while public parks are open for passive recreation, please be conscious of social distancing and respect that all “in-park” facilities (tennis courts, picnic pavilions, basketball courts, athletic fields, the Recreation Center, etc.) are closed to the public effective 12:01 am on Saturday, March 21. Park Guards will be dispatched to remind visitors.
All other Borough buildings are closed entirely to the public (unless you are an approved contractor or supplier) effective at 5:01 pm today.
Finally, please be mindful of our Federal, State, and Local lawful directives and adjust your lifestyle. We encourage social distancing and good hygiene to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning today, Chambersburg utility workers will be asking a prepared set of simple questions about household health before entering into a private, confined space to address utility repairs. We ask that the public cooperate with this new protocol.
Finally, the Borough is asking our utility workers to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe. Borough services: water, electric service, natural gas, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, municipal solid waste, and recycling are not impacted by these changes. Our utility workers will continue to respond to our customer needs. “Chambersburg is proud to protect the health and safety of our residents and businesses,” added Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. “When Town Council next gathers they will discuss our temporary actions to address this crisis and whether more actions are available for their adoption. We stand by to support our residents and utility customers
20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Yesterday, Governor Wolf ordered the closure of all non-life essential businesses. He also invoked his authority to use state and local resources, to enforce this order.

Below are two important links: A copy of the Governor’s business closure order, the order from the PA Dept. of Health.

https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200319-TWW-COVID-19-business-closure-order.pdf

A list of businesses, which currently can and cannot be open.

https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200319-Order-of-Secetary-of-PA-DOH-Closure-of-All-Businesses-That-Are-Not-Life-Sustaining.pdf

This order went into effect last evening at 20:00 hrs, but enforcement of that order is authorized at 00:01 hrs Saturday, March 21st. The men and women of the Chambersburg Police Department understand that the current crisis is unprecedented and evolving; patience and understanding during this time is key.

The Chambersburg Police Department will be educating those business that defy the order with a goal of getting compliance. If enforcement is warranted, citations can be issued.

If the owners want to appeal their businesses placement on the non-life essential list, here are two email addresses where that request can be sent: [email protected] or [email protected].

The submission of an appeal does not circumvent the enforcement of the order. I want assure all members of the Greater Chambersburg community that the officers of the Chambersburg Police Department will continue to be professional, maintain their composure, educate the public, and carry out the business of law enforcement in the Borough.

20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) the Washington Township Supervisors have made the decision for staff to keep working but close the office to the public until further notice. This decision was made at their March 16th, 2020 meeting.

All of Washington Township Parks including Red Run Park, Pine Hill Park, Rolando Park and the Rouzerville Community Center and Park are CLOSED until further notice NO bathrooms will be availble for use at any of the parks.

We are concerned for your health as well as our employees. So, we are taking advantage of the resources that we have. We are available by telephone, fax, and email and we as well as the public can utilize our drop box.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are trying to keep everyone safe.Thank you for your understanding. Washington Township Personnel

20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to get needed medical supplies on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak and the private sector mobilized against it.

20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin announced the decision in a tweet Friday saying that at President Donald Trump’s direction “we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

The administration had announced earlier in the week that it would delay the payments, a move that Mnuchin said would leave $300 billion in the economy at a critical time.

20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Meritus Health will now be offering electronic visits. These visits will allow citizens to speak directly with a primary care provider to discuss your health concerns.

Telehealth visits are available from 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. To request a telehealth visit please complete the form below.

Meritus has activated several COVID-19 testing locations for those who are experiencing symptoms. Only patients who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC, will be tested. It is preferable to be referred by a physician for COVID-19 screening or who have been directed to one of the screening centers by a health care professional answering the COVID-19 care line will receive this screening. The COVID-19 care line is 301-790-9170.

Drive-thru Center: COVID-19 screening is now available behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Boulevard. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Walk-thru Center: COVID-19 screening will be available at the former Surrey School parking lot. Entrance is located in the 500 block of Virginia Avenue. The walk-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Meritus Health continues to provide a hotline for those who have questions about symptoms directly related to COVID-19. Questions from the public may be directed to [email protected] or by calling 2-1-1 or 301-790-9170.

WASHINGTON COUNTY TRANSIT
Washington County Transit (WCT) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. In conjunction with Governor Hogan’s latest order regarding transit services across the state, WCT announces the following service changes effective Friday, March 20, 2020:

WCT will operate on a weekday only schedule with no Saturday service
Transit service operating hours are limited to 6:15 AM – 5:45 PM, Monday – Friday

This decision was not taken lightly as WCT is the primary mode of transportation for many of our passengers. Transit should only be used as a last resort and limited to essential travel only. In light of the recommendations from state and local health officials, we believe this decision is in the best interests of our passengers, employees and the entire community. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the schedule as events dictate. We regret the inconvenience or hardship this may cause to our riders.

For more information regarding WCT’s operations, please call 240-313-2750, or visit www.washco-md.net/transit.

PLANNING COMMISSION
In accordance with State and Locally mandated emergency protocols implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for April 6, 2020 is cancelled. We are continuing to monitor workload to determine the best method of action for future meetings and will continue to work with the COOP Leadership Team on alternative methods for workflow processes and meeting requirements.

BUSINESS RESOURCES
The state of Maryland received U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Declaration, which means small businesses and private non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply directly to SBA for low-interest federal disaster loans.

This assistance is crucial and can help businesses pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable during this difficult time.

PARKS AND RECREATION
Actions taken to control COVID-19 have resulted in the closure of gymnasiums, sports leagues, recreational programming, and events. Despite these necessary actions, Washington County parks and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. If you plan to use parks and open spaces there are some restrictions and rules to follow:

Refrain from using parks if you are exhibiting symptoms
Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains
Limit groups to 10 people or less
Observe minimum recommended social distances of 6’ from other persons

We recognize that parks provide an opportunity for physical activity which can reduce stress and improve mental health, and our Parks and Recreation Staff are working hard to maintain these spaces and keep them safe and accessible during this time.
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN

The City of Hagerstown is now offering free parking in downtown. This includes all metered parking on-street and in the parking lots as well as the parking decks. Please be courteous to others and only use the free on-street parking for curb side pickups or quick stops. Longer term parking is available in both parking decks and the parking lots. Parking will remain free until further notice.

WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is taking additional steps to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Sheriff’s Office will be handling calls which do not require a deputy on scene by telephone. If you are calling to file a police report, you may be told that a deputy will call you back to take the information for your report. Visitors are discouraged at the Sheriff’s Office and would prefer contact by telephone at 240-313-2100.

20 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland has reported its first case of COVID-19 involving a teenager and an infant.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

Here’s a list of businesses that can/can’t continue to operate under this new order. Click here for the link. 20200319-Life-Sustaining-Business

“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And,
we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”

Private businesses, local organizations and other non compliant entities that fail or refuse to comply with the governor’s orders that protect the lives and health of Pennsylvanians will forfeit their ability to receive any applicable disaster relief and/or may be subject to other
appropriate administrative action. Such action may include termination of state loan or grant funding, including Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) grant funding and/or suspension or revocation of licensure for violation of the law.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Hagerstown City Communications Officer, Wes Decker, joined “First News” today to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local economy.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered shopping malls and entertainment venues closed effective at 5:00 p.m.

Hogan has ordered that Baltimore Washington International Airport to close its doors to anyone other than ticketed passengers, those assisting disabled passengers and airport staff.

The governor also placed restrictions on public travel.

“No one, no one should get on a MARC train, Metro, Amtrak train or bus or any of our transportation assets unless you are an emergency personnel, a front line health care provider or your job is essential the supply chain,” Hogan said.

The governor also lowered the number of mass gatherings to 10 people.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Board of Commissioners approved changing the time and place of future board meetings. In January, commissioners directed staff to consider the logistics of moving meetings from twice a week to once a week. They decided to make the change now in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and practice social distancing. The meetings will be held on Wednesdays at the Administration Annex Building in the back conference room.

County Administrator Carrie Gray recommended the weekly meetings be held on Wednesdays in order to maintain vendor payment expectations and provide adequate time for the payroll processing.

Meetings will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a workshop and review then, after a brief recess, will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. to finalize board actions and approve or reject the actions before the board.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held on March 25,2020 at the Administration Annex at 218 N Second Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Effective immediately, the Borough of Chambersburg will voluntarily suspend utility disconnections.

Chambersburg is unique in that it is the only municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to operate most public utilities including electricity, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, natural gas, and sanitation. “No other Borough is as heavily involved in the delivery of utilities as the Borough of Chambersburg,” explained Stonehill. “During this crisis, it was imperative that the Borough make plans to address the needs and challenges of the community.”

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

According to a proclamation issued by Mayor Walter Bietsch on March 18, 2020, “the COVID-19 virus has the potential to endanger the health, safety, and welfare of a substantial number of persons residing in the Borough of Chambersburg, and threatens to create problems greater in scope than the Borough of Chambersburg may be able to resolve through traditional measures.”

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM UpdateThe Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 19, that there are 52 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported, bringing the statewide total to 185. The state also reported one death, an adult from Northampton County. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days and our first death in Pennsylvania indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –In Pennsylvania, more than 70,000 people filed for unemployment in a single day, according John Dodds, director of the nonprofit Philadelphia Unemployment Project.

“We’ve been getting flooded with calls,” said Dodds. “It’s going to be a big mess.”


President Donald Trump’s administration is proposing an economic stimulus package to help Americans pay for groceries, bills, mortgage and rent.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – At the current time, County services will remain available with the following modifications and recommendations to help ensure the health and safety of our residents and workforce:

Senior Activity Centers – closed to the public until further notice.

Adult Probation – administering temperature checks to individuals reporting.

Franklin County Jail

All social and contact professional visits are suspended for 30 days.

All non-essential meetings, volunteer programs, and contractor visits are cancelled.

All those entering the facility will be administered temperature checks. The work release program is on hold until further notice.

Inmate trips into the community are restricted.

Weekender program participants are not to report to the jail for two weeks.

County operations

Staff is encouraged to work remotely if able and practice social distancing.

Non-essential meetings and gatherings have been canceled or postponed.

In a separate action, President Judge Shawn Meyers declared a judicial emergency, effective March 18th – April 3, with the potential to extend if deemed necessary. Please see http://bit.ly/FranklinCountyCourts for more information.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the increasing likelihood of the virus spreading to Franklin County, the Franklin County Commissioners declared a disaster emergency, effective March 17th, 2020. The declaration allows staff to expedite activities related to emergency response and readies the county for federal funding for costs related to COVID-19.

In addition, commissioners led a discussion of the pandemic preparation with leaders from healthcare, government and emergency services.

At the current time, County services will remain available with the following modifications and recommendations to help ensure the health and safety of our residents and workforce:

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Fulton County, PA has released a list of changes due to COVID-19. As always, if you have something to share with our members call the office at 717-485-4064 or email [email protected]. The office is currently closed unless you have scheduled an appointment.

Fishing Season Changes

Responding to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is consolidating the 2020 trout season schedule into a single, statewide schedule for all Pennsylvania counties. A single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18. These changes are intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing. Learn more at https://bit.ly/394ImCB.

F&M Trust Announces Lobby Closures

Customers can still access the bank’s drive-up services during normal banking hours, with offices providing access to safe deposit boxes and banking services that require an in-person meeting by appointment only.F&M Trust customers can also access their accounts online, via the F&M Trust mobile app, by ATM or by phone. Additionally, F&M Trust offers customer service support after normal business hours, including weekends, at (717) 264-6116 or toll-free at (888) 264-6116.

FirstEnergy Provides Energy Assistance Information

For more information about any of these programs or to find out if you qualify, visit FirstEnergyCorp.com/BillAssist and click on
“Search Assistance Programs.” You can also call us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the number listed below.

Penelec and Met-Ed: 1-800-545-7741
Penn Power: 1-800-720-3600
West Penn Power: 1-800-686-0021

Employer COVID-19 FAQs

Update for businesses: Relief from Charges

Labor & Industry is proposing to the legislature a change in the law to specifically allow relief to be granted for employers who have to reduce or close operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or additional questions please visit the following link

https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Employer-COVID19-FAQs.aspx?fbclid=IwAR16mP__4Y4NmJmzXEPcgI8b0mu42QupZisOmh9-BpUefoF9GqYrAc_6F9Q

Business Hours in McConnellsburg

Main Street McConnellsburg has provided the following list of restaurants and other businesses still operating in mcConnellsburg. This is not an all inclusive list but does provide information on some of the businesses that have changed their hours or process of deliveries.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is working on a plan to open public testing sites for the coronavirus, as more services shut down and the state sees a spike in people filing for unemployment compensation.

The Department of Labor and Industry said unemployment compensation claims exceeded 50,000 on Monday, and Tuesday’s filings were on course to exceed that number. In the entire first week of March, the state received barely 12,000 claims, according to federal data.

The Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are in the process of organizing public testing sites, one in Philadelphia and one in Montgomery County, in hard-hit southeastern Pennsylvania.

The model will follow federal guidance with a drive-through concept with tests reserved for people who meet certain criteria, officials said.

“The goal of those two sites is really to test folks that fall within a certain symptom range,” Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said during a news conference Tuesday at his agency’s headquarters.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Pennsylvania announced its first death related the COVID-19. Here’s the governor’s announcement.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Maryland announced its first death related the COVID-19. Here’s the governor’s announcement.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Nathan Neil from LaunchUX, shares his story of tireless dedication of assisting local businesses transition to teleworking.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Members of the Coronavirus Task Force brief reporters at the White House on the latest developments and the administration’s response.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update-Senator Doug Mastriano recently sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf about the statewide closure of rest stops. Read the letter below.

The Honorable Governor Tom Wolf
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Dear Governor Wolf:

March 18.2020

I am keeping you in my prayers in these days that try our souls.
You have many significant and consequential decisions to make during this tumultuous time that the Commonwealth faces. One of the chief concerns that I share with you is ensuring nothing disrupts the flow of food and other necessary commodities. There are two areas of concern that I wish to communicate to you that could be disruptive the provisions of food and commodities in the Commonwealth.

1. Commonwealth bakeries, food processors, snack companies, canneries and food providers. Their services must continue unabated during this national emergency.Nothing should prevent them from providing vital food to our state and nation.My concern is that when an employee in any of these declared essential businesses tests positive for COVID-19, well-intentioned bureaucrats from our Departments of Health and
Agriculture will disrupt and even close the facilities. Suchan outcome would be disastrous, especially for largecities such as Philadelphia. 1
suggest that instead of responding with draconian action that disrupts the provision and supply of food, that the Health and Agriculture Departments issue guidance now, before there is a COVID-19 case, for each of these essential food producers/facilities. The guidance
would help food producers develop their own remediation andtreatment plans to ensure food safety (sanitizing potentially contaminated areas), while having little disruption to the food supply.

In this national crisis we must not become part of the problem. Food disruption by Department of Health/Agriculture officials would be catastrophic. Therefore, let’s work with our food companies and not against them.

2. Your decision to close rest stops on our major highways was ill-advised and may have the indirect correlation of disrupting our food supplies by making our roadways unfriendly to truckers. I ask for immediate reversal of this decision. Having truck rest stops closed is also a public safety issue, with trucks now parking on the side of the highways, as well as forcing some truckers to drive beyond their required rest
periods. The preponderance of our food items are transported by these great people. As a matter of public safety, and good order, I request that you immediately reopen the rest stops.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -For all non-emergency incidents, the Waynesboro Police Department has launched an Online Reporting System.

By utilizing Online Reporting, you can… Contact the Waynesboro Police Department, maintain social distance, and help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS Receive an automated e-mail receipt and reference number Be contacted by a police officer regarding your submission

You may also contact our office at (717) 762-2132 during normal business hours 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and after hours (717) 762-213.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -The state Senate took an important step today to continue its operations safely by passing a resolution allowing members to vote remotely, according to Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).

The temporary emergency rules included in Senate Resolution 318 will ensure the Senate can continue voting even when lawmakers cannot be physically present at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg due to coronavirus mitigation efforts that are ongoing statewide.

“Senators were elected to serve the people and that’s what I continue to do during this unprecedented situation,” said Mastriano. “Public outreach and transparency are very important to me – – – I have conducted daily Facebook Live updates as well as a district-wide email regarding the latest COVID-19 information disseminated by federal, state and county agencies. We will get through this time by working together.”

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – A Waynesboro woman, living in Italy, is quarantined and living near the “red zone” of a worldwide pandemic. Hear the her story by clicking on the link below.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –The Borough of Chambersburg declared a health emergency because of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Wednesday.

The declaration allows the borough to access federal funds as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania confirmed 37 new coronavirus cases, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. The total number of cases now stands at 133. There have not been any reported cases in Franklin County.

No fatalities have been reported in Pennsylvania.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Courthouse will remain open with limited access. All court hearings are basically cancelled for the foreseeable future. Here’s what Court Administrator, Mark Singer, told the Franklin County Commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Wilson College said they will transition to temporary remote instruction and learning, the school announced in a release

“There are no positive COVID-19 cases in our community at this time, but the college is increasingly concerned about the ways that our friends, families, and loved ones may be affected by the coronavirus,” the school said.

Resident halls will remain open for residential students for whom returning home would pose a hardship. Students are encouraged to check their college emails frequently for updates.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Wolf administration mandated that non-essential businesses across the state close for at least 14 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a press conference, announcing the 96th presumptive positive case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania, inside PEMA headquarters on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

“We strongly urge non-essential businesses across the commonwealth to do their part by temporarily closing as we work to flatten the curve and protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin.

Non-essential businesses include public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operation.

Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Commissioners declared a disaster emergency for the COVID-19 virus allowing the county to seek any federal or state funds that may be available during the pandemic.

“It is a disaster declaration which opens up the door for funds whether it be the state or federal level,” said Commissioner John Flannery. “At least we’ll be able to qualify under those guidelines.”

COVID-19 screening is now available at the drive-thru center established by Meritus Health behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily.

Only patients who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC, will be tested. It is preferable to be referred by a physician for COVID-19 screening or to be directed to the drive-thru screening center by a health care professional answering the COVID-19 care line. That number is 301-790-9170.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Office of the Mayor of Chambersburg issued a statement to clarify the Wolf Administration’s COVID-19 disaster declaration order which ordered the closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.

“He (Wolf) can not mandate closures of private businesses in the Commonwealth,” the statement read. “My advice to all businesses is to evaluate the impact on the community and your employees.”

You can read the full statement here

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that the state would delay its elections scheduled for April 28 until June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The state is now the fifth to delay primary elections, following Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.

According to the State Board of Elections, early voting for the primary will now run May 21-28. Voters will also be able to vote absentee. The new deadline to request an absentee ballot for the primary by mail is May 26, or May 29 for those who wish to receive the ballot electronically. Returned ballots must then be postmarked on or before June 2.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Washington County Department of Business Development would like to share the following information and resources to assist businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please send us an email with a description of the economic impact you are experiencing. If you have interest in applying for a low-interest loan through SBA for COVID-19 related financial issues, please click here to complete the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses. Send information and completed forms to [email protected].

US Small Business Administration

The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses recover from declared disasters. The Hogan Administration and the Commerce Department are applying for the U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Application requires the Governor to request an SBA Economic Injury Declaration by certifying at least five (5) businesses in the disaster area suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the incident. SBA will be working through the governors’ office for each of the states to determine the amount of disruption by area before loans will be available to businesses in those impacted areas.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) announced new procedures have been put in place at his district offices in Bedford, McConnellsburg and Mercersburg.

“Though my offices are closed, my staff continues to assist residents via phone and email communications,” Topper said. “The closure of my offices is temporary and I hope to have them reopened in the near future.”

Though the offices are closed, staff remains available to handle phone and email inquiries. Topper’s office can be reached at 814-623-9097. Residents can also contact Topper and his staff through his website, www.RepTopper.com.

Residents can stay up-to-date on this very fluid situation by going to Toppers’ website or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RepTopper.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Jail is taking action to minimize the risk of bringing coronavirus into its facility.

The Franklin County Jail is suspending all social and contact professional visits for at least 30 days. All non-essential meetings, volunteer programs, and contractor visits are cancelled. In addition, all those entering the facility will undergo temperature checks prior to entering the facility.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – All Franklin County Senior Activity Centers will be closed to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice.This includes all activities, congregate meals, scheduled tax days, and other programming to prevent and reduce the possibility of coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure.

Franklin County Senior Activity Center staff will be in contact with participants two times per week to offer available assistance and inquire about potential needs.

Staff will be updating the Senior Activity Center Hotline at 717-660-2678 to provide information as it becomes available.

Home Delivered Meals (HDM) consumers will continue to receive meals on Monday and Wednesdays only and will receive a total of 5 meals per week. Consumers receiving frozen meals bi-monthly will continue to receive their normal delivery.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The 39th annual Waynesboro Area Gala Cancer Auction is postponed from April 4th and rescheduled for July 25th at Green Grove Gardens. All updates will be their Facebook page “WAGCA” and on the website www.wagca.org

All Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers across the state, including Franklin County, close indefinitely at 9 p.m. today. Online store sales ended at 5 p.m. yesterday.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The. Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce closed its offices to the public this week but is still available by phone and email. The office number is 717-264-7101 or email [email protected].

In light of recent events, and to keep the best interests of its members as top priority, the Chamber also cancelled Thursday’s Lunch & Learn session with Penn State Mont Alto. Plans to reschedule are in the works.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Capitol Theatre Center closed this week, cancelling or postponing all events at the Center through May 3.

During this closure, management will clean and disinfect the venue using guidelines given by health officials.

Check Capitol Theatre’s website or Facebook page for updates. Anyone with questions can call the theater’s Box Office at (717) 263-0202.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) today announced that his district offices in Chambersburg and Shippensburg will not be providing walk-in service until further notice.

Kauffman’s staff will still be available to assist residents over the telephone or online with any state government-related matter.

“Due to the most recent suggestions from health care professionals urging ‘social distancing,’ we have decided it is in the best interest to suspend face-to-face service at this time,” said Kauffman. “Those in need of assistance are encouraged to reach out to my offices via the phone, email or through my website.”

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – F&M Trust said they are carefully following guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as such our Cumberland County com We are carefully following guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as such our Cumberland County community offices will now be drive-up only. As things continue to unfold, please visit https://fmtrust.bank/covid-19 for updates on hours of operation and accessibility of our banking offices. community offices will now be drive-up only. As things continue to unfold, please visit https://fmtrust.bank/covid-19 for updates on hours of operation and accessibility of our banking offices.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Antrim Township Administrative offices will have restricted access for the next two weeks. All staff will be working and services will continue. The public is asked to utilize the telephone, email, and fax for communications with Township staff. Contact information can be obtained on the Township’s website at www.twp.antrim.pa.us or by calling 717-597-3818. Payments can be made utilizing the drop-box at the main entrance. Announcements will be made regarding the status of public meetings.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Senator Judy Ward is closing her offices to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and protect public health and safetssistance is still available at https://www.senatorjudyward.com or by email at [email protected] or phone in Hollidaysburg at 814-695-8386, McConnellsburg at 717-485-3616 or Harrisburg at 717-787-5490 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Paul Frey, discussed Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to close bars, restaurants, and clubs.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – PA Senator Doug Mastriano joined “The Drive” to discuss what ramifications the governor’s order to shutter businesses could have on the local economy.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Rep. Rob Kauffman jouined “The Drive” to to discuss what ramifications the governor’s order to shutter businesses could have on the local economy.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Frederick County Executive, Jan Gardner, announced Tuesday morning the first positive coronavirus case in the county. The resident is a 30-year-old woman who had contact with people who had traveled to places with community transmission.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Washington County Government announces a Local State of Emergency declaration in Washington County as well as disclosing new restrictions for Washington County Government buildings. All actions are precautionary to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Effective immediately, a Local State of Emergency has been declared for Washington County, running parallel with the State. The declaration will remain in effect for the duration of the State’s State of Emergency.

Also, effective immediately and until further notice, Washington County Government will implement the following restrictions:

Washington County Board of County Commissioners regular scheduled meeting for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 is cancelled and future meetings will be assessed on a week-by-week basis thereafter;

Visitor access to some county office buildings will be by appointment only. A directory of departments with phone numbers is also available on the county website. Signs are posted at all entrances. This includes deliveries at the following locations:

Administration Building – 100 W Washington St, Annex Building – 80 W Baltimore St, Highways – 601 Northern Ave, Environmental Management & Emergency Services – 16232 Elliott Parkway, Emergency Support Services – 17556 York Rd, Agricultural Education Center – 7313 Sharpsburg Pike

Visitors destined for the Treasurer’s Office require an appointment. Call to schedule an appointment at 240-313-2110.

Any residents needing to visit any county office building should call the county’s main phone number at 240-313-2776 for referral to the appropriate department to receive more information or to schedule an appointment. All visitors or those seeking appointments will be asked the following questions on the phone or prior to going beyond the Administration Building’s Information Desk area:

Are you or others you have had close contact with, suspected of having coronavirus (COVID-19)? Have you recently traveled to or from another country? Do you have any of the following symptoms?

Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath, Washington County Commission on Aging’s Senior Center remains closed.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, following the State Board of Elections instruction, the Washington County Board of Elections office will be operating by appointment only.

All county meetings are cancelled unless attendees are notified by county staff. Teleconferencing will be used when possible. Any exceptions to this protocol will be communicated by the managing department. This includes Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

All Washington County Parks & Recreation sponsored programs and events are canceled through March 29, regardless of their location. In accordance with Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, all events and gatherings of groups larger than 50 people are cancelled. Washington County park facilities are seasonally closed, however, outdoor areas remain open for public use. Black Rock Golf Course remains open, but the restaurant will be closed.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that Pennsylvania has ordered a shutdown of non-essential stores, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery as of midnight. He anticipates it to continue for two weeks.

Governor Tom Wolf answers questions submitted by reporters. Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update on the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and outline ongoing efforts to mitigate the virus in Pennsylvania. The Department of Health anticipates that there will be more Pennsylvanians who test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks and it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves. People have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if they have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. The Wolf Administration is working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing, and ensure they have the resources they need to care for patients.
March 16, 2020 – Harrisburg Pa

Non-essential businesses include community and recreation centers; gyms; hair and nail salons, along with spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; and retail facilities, including shopping malls.

The number of medical professionals getting infected with the fast-spreading COVID-19 in Pennsylvania is growing. St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia closed its trauma department after a doctor became ill and tested positive.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf, in a new front to slow the spread of the new coronavirus in Pennsylvania, ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities starting Monday in five heavily populated counties, including Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, and the four counties ringing Philadelphia.

The number of cases continued growing Monday, exceeding 75, according to the state Department of Health.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The government’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday he would like to see aggressive measures such as a 14-day national shutdown that would require Americans to hunker down even more to help slow spread of the coronavirus.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauc i said travel restrictions within the United States, such as to and from hard-hit Washington state and California, probably will not be needed anytime soon.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office has fielded more than 300 reports of price gouging as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state.

Since the beginning of March, Shapiro has been posting updates about his office’s progress in processing these scam claims. As of Saturday, the office has 373 reports of price gouging, and the office itself has issued 24 cease and desist letters.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania health officials confirmed 16 additional cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases now stands at 63.

446 patients to date have been tested or are in the process of being tested. There are 205 who have tested negative; 63 confirmed cases; and 183 patient samples are either at the lab for testing or on their way to the lab.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan closes all casinos and race tracks over coronavirus concerns. The closings will start on Monday and last indefinitely.

The state has 31 confirmed cases. Most of the cases are in suburban Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – President Trump said during a news conference on Saturday afternoon that he has been tested for the novel coronavirus Friday night, but did not reveal the results and said he did not know when he would get them.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -As of today – March 13th at 530pm the Funeral for Firefighter Jerome S. Guise has been changed to a closed service. The family and Departments that responded to the scene on the first alarm will be the only ones in attendance at the church. Following the Federal, State and Local Government recommendations with regard to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution, it was felt that this was the best possible option. Fire Departments still wishing to attend the reception at the Citizen’s Fire Company in Mount Holly Springs are encouraged to attend. Plan on being at the station – 100 Chestnut Street by 12 noon. Mount Holly Police Department has requested all personnel traveling to Mount Holly please travel Route 34 (Baltimore Rd) to West Pine Street to Chestnut Street where police department and fire police staff will give further instructions for parking. We encourage you to support the families by donating to the Memorial Fund that has been established. Donations can be made in cash or check, made payable to “Jerome Guise Memorial Fund” and can be mailed to F&M Trust 3 East First Street, Boiling Springs, PA 17007. Questions can be directed to the bank office at 717-241-4131.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – President Trump Tweeted that he will be spending his Saturday at the White House attending coronavirus meetings.

Meanwhile, Apple plans to temporarily close all of its retail stores to help control the spread of coronavirus. The company announced the plan on Friday to close all stores outside of Greater China until March 27.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland has identified nine new cases of coronavirus with the total now standing at 26, the health department announced Saturday.

There have been no deaths in the state and no children have been infected, state officials said.

The Governor’s office also announced that according to Montgomery County health officials, the first 3 Maryland Coronavirus cases have recovered and cleared self-quarantine, saying the development serves as a reminder that “the vast majority of people will recover from this infection, and this disease can be properly managed.”

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Now in Pennsylvania, the spread of the novel coronavirus has reached western Pennsylvania, with a presumptive case of the virus announced Friday in Washington County.

Saturday, four news cases were reported in the state bringing the total to 45. Those cases involve adults in Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties.

State and local leaders are urging people to take extra precautions and has led to the cancellation of events and Gov. Tom Wolf announcing the closure of Pennsylvania’s public schools for 10 days. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –Frederick county and Montgomery county offering free “to-go” meals to children ALL ages during the closure

• Ballenger Creek Elementary
• Crestwood Middle School
• Frederick High School
• Hillcrest Elementary School
• Lincoln Elementary School
• Monocacy Elementary School
• North Frederick Elementary School
• Waverley Elementary School
School Meals:
FCPS will be serving FREE breakfast and lunch to all children 18 years and younger and adults older than 18 years old who are enrolled in an education program for persons with disabilities at the following schools Monday through Friday from March 16-27, 2020.
Breakfast: 8:30-9:30 AM
Lunch: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
In addition to meals served at the schools listed, FCPS will deliver cold “to go” lunches to numerous community sites, Wednesday, March 18-Friday, March 27. Sandwich options will include turkey/cheese, ham/cheese, Italian combo, and Wow butter. We will share details about sites and times as soon as they are determined.
All children 18 years old and younger and adults older than 18 years old who are enrolled in an education program for persons with disabilities are eligible to participate.
• Children do NOT have to live in Frederick County to receive free meals.
• Children do NOT have to be Frederick County Public School students receive free meals.
• Children do NOT have to be students at the participating school to receive free meals.
• Children will be allowed to take their meals to go. Participating schools will have containers and bags for children to transport their meals.
If you have questions, please call the FCPS food and nutrition services office at 301-644-5061.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – WellSpan Health announced today that the health system will waive all out-of-pocket costs for anyone who needs COVID-19 testing or treatment during the coronavirus outbreak.

For patients who have insurance or are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, WellSpan will collect the individual’s coverage information, but will not bill or collect any deductible, co-insurance, or any other payment for the screening, testing and treatment of COVID-19. WellSpan will also not charge individuals who do not currently have health insurance for testing or treatment of COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We recognize the need for prompt care for anyone impacted by this crisis and we want to remove any barriers people may face to receiving testing or appropriate care,” said R. Hal Baker, M.D., senior vice president of WellSpan Health, and co-leader of the health system’s COVID-19 incident command response.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed five additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, in addition to the cases released in the morning update – one resident from Delaware County, one resident from Chester County, two residents from Philadelphia County and one pediatric patient from Monroe County. All are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. This brings the statewide total to 33 cases; 27 of the cases are presumptive positive and six cases, one in Delaware County, one in Wayne County and four in Montgomery County have been confirmed by the CDC.

“While we anticipate that there will be more Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves,” Dr. Levine said. “Right now, you have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if you have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. We are working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing and ensuring they have the resources they need to care for patients.”

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16.

“We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities,” said Gov. Wolf. “First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.”

The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland is closing all public schools in response to the coronavirus. State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said schools will be closed from Monday through March 27.

13 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update -The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today that effective Friday, March 13, 2020, all public events scheduled for March at the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center would be canceled in response to COVID-19. Private meetings with 250 or more in attendance will also be prohibited.

13 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Waynesboro Area School District is closing all its schools through the end of the month due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to the district’s website.

Meanwhile, other districts are starting to follow suit. Red Lion School District, York Suburban School District, the Northern York, Dallastown, Northeastern, and York Country Day School districts all announced closings. In Cumberland County, Mechanicsburg and Big Spring Schools are closed for two weeks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has not ordered schools to close.

13 March – News Talk 1037FM Update – West Virginia is closing on public schools beginning Monday, according to a statement released by the governor’s office Friday.

“We’ll close the schools as long as we have to close schools,” Gov. Jim Justice said at a news conference today at the capital. “Tough decision. Tough, tough decision.”

Twelve West Virginians have tested positive for coronavirus with 11 negative results and one still pending, officials said this morning.

13 March – News Talk 1037FM Update –The Chambersburg Area School District is closing all of its schools for the next two weeks due to concerns about the coronavirus. “Out of an abundance of caution for our students and staff, and with a sincere desire to keep our community safe, CASD will close all schools from March 17th through March 27th,” the district Tweeted Friday. Schools are scheduled to open again on March 30th.

12 March -NEWS TALK 1037FM Update — The Cumberland Valley Christian School Administration has been closely monitoring the developing concerns with the Coronavirus. The health and welfare of our students and faculty is top priority of our School Board and Administration. Mrs. Garvin has been receiving daily updates and communication from the local, state and federal agencies as they are keeping School Principals informed. I feel that it is important that you as parents receive the latest information on how to keep yourself and loved ones safe. As this situation is evolving rapidly, I am also including links below to the CDC and PA Dept. of Health webpage for advice and local guidance during this time. Effective immediately the School Administration is implementing several sanitation plans within our campus. All of our buildings will continue getting a cleaning each night as well as additional deep cleaning over the weekend. Daily sanitation of touch points on campus and within our transportation department has been implemented. These sanitation procedures will be repeated regularly throughout the school day. Sanitation staff as well as faculty are being diligent to ensure our campus is sanitized. Teachers will continue to encourage the students to practice good hygiene habits, which include proper hand washing during the day. We are encouraging all students to bring in a personal water bottle that can be refilled on campus to avoid drinking directly from the water fountains. In the event that your child becomes ill for any reason, please keep the child home until the child is symptom free for 48 hours (2 days).

As your students may have mentioned, CVCS will be receiving several international students next week. All students were vetted by the United States government and have been cleared of the coronavirus prior to arriving to the United States in February. As precaution, the students have been in quarantine since arriving and have been receiving continued medical screenings to monitor their health. The agency is constantly updating us with information about these students, and if any health concerns were to arise, the students will not be allowed to attend CVCS. I will continue to keep on top of the developments pertaining to the Coronavirus in the coming days. If a school closure or class/athletic activity requires cancellation due to mandated guidelines, we will notify you as soon as possible. I appreciate and am thankful for your prayers and support as we navigate the remainder of the school year.

CDC Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

PA Dept. of Health: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Pastor Mike Sanders — CVCS President

12 March – NEWSTALK 1037FM Update — WellSpan Health has been working continuously to prepare for the COVID-19 coronavirus issue, as Pennsylvania continues to see an increase in confirmed cases. “As part of our continued preparation for the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are planning for the potential of a larger-scale response to this issue,” said R. Hal Baker, M.D., senior vice president of WellSpan Health, and co-leader of the health system’s COVID-19 incident command response. This includes developing a temporary outdoor patient screening and testing area for patients, who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus. “Doing screening and testing in an open-air setting limits the potential spread of the disease and will help us preserve our negative airflow rooms in our hospitals,” he added. Temporary screening areas are currently being validated by staff at WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital, WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, WellSpan York Hospital and WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital. Other hospitals within WellSpan Health will have similar validation in the coming days. “

Prevention and Treatment — “Information is key, but we are asking our patients to do their part too. Remember, the best way to prevent from getting sick is to wash your hands, try to not touch your face, and avoid contact with people who are sick,” Baker said. He also noted that people should remember to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. In addition, it’s important to clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched items. Lastly, if you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.  WellSpan encourages patients to consider the following guidelines for assessment and treatment: If you have recently traveled to impacted countries or areas, or had contact with someone known to have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, and you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, we recommend you contact your healthcare provider before going to the doctor’s office or hospital. This will allow you to coordinate your care with your provider while minimizing risk to others. Patients can also use a new automated chat feature available on WellSpan.org, to help determine whether they may or may not be at risk for the virus.

12 March NEWS TALK 1037FM Update — Although no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Washington County, as the situation continues to evolve in Maryland and surrounding areas, Meritus Health has begun cancelling large community events we planned to host. We are committed to providing excellent care and are proactively assessing visitation policies and community events held at Meritus Health properties, including Meritus Medical Center and Robinwood Professional Center. This is an effort to reduce the chance of spreading germs during large gatherings and support social distancing. Events at these properties will be reassessed one month in advance of happening.

###

Click here – Maryland Department of Health

Click here – PA Department of Health

Click here- W VA Department of Health

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

Here’s a list of businesses that can/can’t continue to operate under this new order. Click here for the link. 20200319-Life-Sustaining-Business

“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And,
we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”

Private businesses, local organizations and other non compliant entities that fail or refuse to comply with the governor’s orders that protect the lives and health of Pennsylvanians will forfeit their ability to receive any applicable disaster relief and/or may be subject to other
appropriate administrative action. Such action may include termination of state loan or grant funding, including Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) grant funding and/or suspension or revocation of licensure for violation of the law.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Hagerstown City Communications Officer, Wes Decker, joined “First News” today to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local economy.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered shopping malls and entertainment venues closed effective at 5:00 p.m.

Hogan has ordered that Baltimore Washington International Airport to close its doors to anyone other than ticketed passengers, those assisting disabled passengers and airport staff.

The governor also placed restrictions on public travel.

“No one, no one should get on a MARC train, Metro, Amtrak train or bus or any of our transportation assets unless you are an emergency personnel, a front line health care provider or your job is essential the supply chain,” Hogan said.

The governor also lowered the number of mass gatherings to 10 people.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Board of Commissioners approved changing the time and place of future board meetings. In January, commissioners directed staff to consider the logistics of moving meetings from twice a week to once a week. They decided to make the change now in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and practice social distancing. The meetings will be held on Wednesdays at the Administration Annex Building in the back conference room.

County Administrator Carrie Gray recommended the weekly meetings be held on Wednesdays in order to maintain vendor payment expectations and provide adequate time for the payroll processing.

Meetings will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a workshop and review then, after a brief recess, will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. to finalize board actions and approve or reject the actions before the board.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held on March 25,2020 at the Administration Annex at 218 N Second Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Effective immediately, the Borough of Chambersburg will voluntarily suspend utility disconnections.

Chambersburg is unique in that it is the only municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to operate most public utilities including electricity, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, natural gas, and sanitation. “No other Borough is as heavily involved in the delivery of utilities as the Borough of Chambersburg,” explained Stonehill. “During this crisis, it was imperative that the Borough make plans to address the needs and challenges of the community.”

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

According to a proclamation issued by Mayor Walter Bietsch on March 18, 2020, “the COVID-19 virus has the potential to endanger the health, safety, and welfare of a substantial number of persons residing in the Borough of Chambersburg, and threatens to create problems greater in scope than the Borough of Chambersburg may be able to resolve through traditional measures.”

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM UpdateThe Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 19, that there are 52 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported, bringing the statewide total to 185. The state also reported one death, an adult from Northampton County. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.

“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days and our first death in Pennsylvania indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –In Pennsylvania, more than 70,000 people filed for unemployment in a single day, according John Dodds, director of the nonprofit Philadelphia Unemployment Project.

“We’ve been getting flooded with calls,” said Dodds. “It’s going to be a big mess.”


President Donald Trump’s administration is proposing an economic stimulus package to help Americans pay for groceries, bills, mortgage and rent.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – At the current time, County services will remain available with the following modifications and recommendations to help ensure the health and safety of our residents and workforce:

Senior Activity Centers – closed to the public until further notice.

Adult Probation – administering temperature checks to individuals reporting.

Franklin County Jail

All social and contact professional visits are suspended for 30 days.

All non-essential meetings, volunteer programs, and contractor visits are cancelled.

All those entering the facility will be administered temperature checks. The work release program is on hold until further notice.

Inmate trips into the community are restricted.

Weekender program participants are not to report to the jail for two weeks.

County operations

Staff is encouraged to work remotely if able and practice social distancing.

Non-essential meetings and gatherings have been canceled or postponed.

In a separate action, President Judge Shawn Meyers declared a judicial emergency, effective March 18th – April 3, with the potential to extend if deemed necessary. Please see http://bit.ly/FranklinCountyCourts for more information.

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the increasing likelihood of the virus spreading to Franklin County, the Franklin County Commissioners declared a disaster emergency, effective March 17th, 2020. The declaration allows staff to expedite activities related to emergency response and readies the county for federal funding for costs related to COVID-19.

In addition, commissioners led a discussion of the pandemic preparation with leaders from healthcare, government and emergency services.

At the current time, County services will remain available with the following modifications and recommendations to help ensure the health and safety of our residents and workforce:

19 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Fulton County, PA has released a list of changes due to COVID-19. As always, if you have something to share with our members call the office at 717-485-4064 or email [email protected]. The office is currently closed unless you have scheduled an appointment.

Fishing Season Changes

Responding to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is consolidating the 2020 trout season schedule into a single, statewide schedule for all Pennsylvania counties. A single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18. These changes are intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing. Learn more at https://bit.ly/394ImCB.

F&M Trust Announces Lobby Closures

Customers can still access the bank’s drive-up services during normal banking hours, with offices providing access to safe deposit boxes and banking services that require an in-person meeting by appointment only.F&M Trust customers can also access their accounts online, via the F&M Trust mobile app, by ATM or by phone. Additionally, F&M Trust offers customer service support after normal business hours, including weekends, at (717) 264-6116 or toll-free at (888) 264-6116.

FirstEnergy Provides Energy Assistance Information

For more information about any of these programs or to find out if you qualify, visit FirstEnergyCorp.com/BillAssist and click on
“Search Assistance Programs.” You can also call us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the number listed below.

Penelec and Met-Ed: 1-800-545-7741
Penn Power: 1-800-720-3600
West Penn Power: 1-800-686-0021

Employer COVID-19 FAQs

Update for businesses: Relief from Charges

Labor & Industry is proposing to the legislature a change in the law to specifically allow relief to be granted for employers who have to reduce or close operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or additional questions please visit the following link

https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Employer-COVID19-FAQs.aspx?fbclid=IwAR16mP__4Y4NmJmzXEPcgI8b0mu42QupZisOmh9-BpUefoF9GqYrAc_6F9Q

Business Hours in McConnellsburg

Main Street McConnellsburg has provided the following list of restaurants and other businesses still operating in mcConnellsburg. This is not an all inclusive list but does provide information on some of the businesses that have changed their hours or process of deliveries.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is working on a plan to open public testing sites for the coronavirus, as more services shut down and the state sees a spike in people filing for unemployment compensation.

The Department of Labor and Industry said unemployment compensation claims exceeded 50,000 on Monday, and Tuesday’s filings were on course to exceed that number. In the entire first week of March, the state received barely 12,000 claims, according to federal data.

The Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are in the process of organizing public testing sites, one in Philadelphia and one in Montgomery County, in hard-hit southeastern Pennsylvania.

The model will follow federal guidance with a drive-through concept with tests reserved for people who meet certain criteria, officials said.

“The goal of those two sites is really to test folks that fall within a certain symptom range,” Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said during a news conference Tuesday at his agency’s headquarters.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Pennsylvania announced its first death related the COVID-19. Here’s the governor’s announcement.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Maryland announced its first death related the COVID-19. Here’s the governor’s announcement.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Nathan Neil from LaunchUX, shares his story of tireless dedication of assisting local businesses transition to teleworking.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Members of the Coronavirus Task Force brief reporters at the White House on the latest developments and the administration’s response.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update-Senator Doug Mastriano recently sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf about the statewide closure of rest stops. Read the letter below.

The Honorable Governor Tom Wolf
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Dear Governor Wolf:

March 18.2020

I am keeping you in my prayers in these days that try our souls.
You have many significant and consequential decisions to make during this tumultuous time that the Commonwealth faces. One of the chief concerns that I share with you is ensuring nothing disrupts the flow of food and other necessary commodities. There are two areas of concern that I wish to communicate to you that could be disruptive the provisions of food and commodities in the Commonwealth.

1. Commonwealth bakeries, food processors, snack companies, canneries and food providers. Their services must continue unabated during this national emergency.Nothing should prevent them from providing vital food to our state and nation.My concern is that when an employee in any of these declared essential businesses tests positive for COVID-19, well-intentioned bureaucrats from our Departments of Health and
Agriculture will disrupt and even close the facilities. Suchan outcome would be disastrous, especially for largecities such as Philadelphia. 1
suggest that instead of responding with draconian action that disrupts the provision and supply of food, that the Health and Agriculture Departments issue guidance now, before there is a COVID-19 case, for each of these essential food producers/facilities. The guidance
would help food producers develop their own remediation andtreatment plans to ensure food safety (sanitizing potentially contaminated areas), while having little disruption to the food supply.

In this national crisis we must not become part of the problem. Food disruption by Department of Health/Agriculture officials would be catastrophic. Therefore, let’s work with our food companies and not against them.

2. Your decision to close rest stops on our major highways was ill-advised and may have the indirect correlation of disrupting our food supplies by making our roadways unfriendly to truckers. I ask for immediate reversal of this decision. Having truck rest stops closed is also a public safety issue, with trucks now parking on the side of the highways, as well as forcing some truckers to drive beyond their required rest
periods. The preponderance of our food items are transported by these great people. As a matter of public safety, and good order, I request that you immediately reopen the rest stops.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -For all non-emergency incidents, the Waynesboro Police Department has launched an Online Reporting System.

By utilizing Online Reporting, you can… Contact the Waynesboro Police Department, maintain social distance, and help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS Receive an automated e-mail receipt and reference number Be contacted by a police officer regarding your submission

You may also contact our office at (717) 762-2132 during normal business hours 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and after hours (717) 762-213.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -The state Senate took an important step today to continue its operations safely by passing a resolution allowing members to vote remotely, according to Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).

The temporary emergency rules included in Senate Resolution 318 will ensure the Senate can continue voting even when lawmakers cannot be physically present at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg due to coronavirus mitigation efforts that are ongoing statewide.

“Senators were elected to serve the people and that’s what I continue to do during this unprecedented situation,” said Mastriano. “Public outreach and transparency are very important to me – – – I have conducted daily Facebook Live updates as well as a district-wide email regarding the latest COVID-19 information disseminated by federal, state and county agencies. We will get through this time by working together.”

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – A Waynesboro woman, living in Italy, is quarantined and living near the “red zone” of a worldwide pandemic. Hear the her story by clicking on the link below.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –The Borough of Chambersburg declared a health emergency because of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Wednesday.

The declaration allows the borough to access federal funds as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania confirmed 37 new coronavirus cases, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. The total number of cases now stands at 133. There have not been any reported cases in Franklin County.

No fatalities have been reported in Pennsylvania.

18 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Courthouse will remain open with limited access. All court hearings are basically cancelled for the foreseeable future. Here’s what Court Administrator, Mark Singer, told the Franklin County Commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update- Wilson College said they will transition to temporary remote instruction and learning, the school announced in a release

“There are no positive COVID-19 cases in our community at this time, but the college is increasingly concerned about the ways that our friends, families, and loved ones may be affected by the coronavirus,” the school said.

Resident halls will remain open for residential students for whom returning home would pose a hardship. Students are encouraged to check their college emails frequently for updates.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Wolf administration mandated that non-essential businesses across the state close for at least 14 days to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a press conference, announcing the 96th presumptive positive case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania, inside PEMA headquarters on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

“We strongly urge non-essential businesses across the commonwealth to do their part by temporarily closing as we work to flatten the curve and protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin.

Non-essential businesses include public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operation.

Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Commissioners declared a disaster emergency for the COVID-19 virus allowing the county to seek any federal or state funds that may be available during the pandemic.

“It is a disaster declaration which opens up the door for funds whether it be the state or federal level,” said Commissioner John Flannery. “At least we’ll be able to qualify under those guidelines.”

COVID-19 screening is now available at the drive-thru center established by Meritus Health behind Meritus Medical Plaza, at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily.

Only patients who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC, will be tested. It is preferable to be referred by a physician for COVID-19 screening or to be directed to the drive-thru screening center by a health care professional answering the COVID-19 care line. That number is 301-790-9170.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Office of the Mayor of Chambersburg issued a statement to clarify the Wolf Administration’s COVID-19 disaster declaration order which ordered the closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.

“He (Wolf) can not mandate closures of private businesses in the Commonwealth,” the statement read. “My advice to all businesses is to evaluate the impact on the community and your employees.”

You can read the full statement here

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that the state would delay its elections scheduled for April 28 until June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The state is now the fifth to delay primary elections, following Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.

According to the State Board of Elections, early voting for the primary will now run May 21-28. Voters will also be able to vote absentee. The new deadline to request an absentee ballot for the primary by mail is May 26, or May 29 for those who wish to receive the ballot electronically. Returned ballots must then be postmarked on or before June 2.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Washington County Department of Business Development would like to share the following information and resources to assist businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please send us an email with a description of the economic impact you are experiencing. If you have interest in applying for a low-interest loan through SBA for COVID-19 related financial issues, please click here to complete the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses. Send information and completed forms to [email protected].

US Small Business Administration

The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses recover from declared disasters. The Hogan Administration and the Commerce Department are applying for the U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Application requires the Governor to request an SBA Economic Injury Declaration by certifying at least five (5) businesses in the disaster area suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the incident. SBA will be working through the governors’ office for each of the states to determine the amount of disruption by area before loans will be available to businesses in those impacted areas.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) announced new procedures have been put in place at his district offices in Bedford, McConnellsburg and Mercersburg.

“Though my offices are closed, my staff continues to assist residents via phone and email communications,” Topper said. “The closure of my offices is temporary and I hope to have them reopened in the near future.”

Though the offices are closed, staff remains available to handle phone and email inquiries. Topper’s office can be reached at 814-623-9097. Residents can also contact Topper and his staff through his website, www.RepTopper.com.

Residents can stay up-to-date on this very fluid situation by going to Toppers’ website or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RepTopper.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Franklin County Jail is taking action to minimize the risk of bringing coronavirus into its facility.

The Franklin County Jail is suspending all social and contact professional visits for at least 30 days. All non-essential meetings, volunteer programs, and contractor visits are cancelled. In addition, all those entering the facility will undergo temperature checks prior to entering the facility.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – All Franklin County Senior Activity Centers will be closed to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice.This includes all activities, congregate meals, scheduled tax days, and other programming to prevent and reduce the possibility of coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure.

Franklin County Senior Activity Center staff will be in contact with participants two times per week to offer available assistance and inquire about potential needs.

Staff will be updating the Senior Activity Center Hotline at 717-660-2678 to provide information as it becomes available.

Home Delivered Meals (HDM) consumers will continue to receive meals on Monday and Wednesdays only and will receive a total of 5 meals per week. Consumers receiving frozen meals bi-monthly will continue to receive their normal delivery.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The 39th annual Waynesboro Area Gala Cancer Auction is postponed from April 4th and rescheduled for July 25th at Green Grove Gardens. All updates will be their Facebook page “WAGCA” and on the website www.wagca.org

All Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers across the state, including Franklin County, close indefinitely at 9 p.m. today. Online store sales ended at 5 p.m. yesterday.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The. Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce closed its offices to the public this week but is still available by phone and email. The office number is 717-264-7101 or email [email protected].

In light of recent events, and to keep the best interests of its members as top priority, the Chamber also cancelled Thursday’s Lunch & Learn session with Penn State Mont Alto. Plans to reschedule are in the works.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Capitol Theatre Center closed this week, cancelling or postponing all events at the Center through May 3.

During this closure, management will clean and disinfect the venue using guidelines given by health officials.

Check Capitol Theatre’s website or Facebook page for updates. Anyone with questions can call the theater’s Box Office at (717) 263-0202.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) today announced that his district offices in Chambersburg and Shippensburg will not be providing walk-in service until further notice.

Kauffman’s staff will still be available to assist residents over the telephone or online with any state government-related matter.

“Due to the most recent suggestions from health care professionals urging ‘social distancing,’ we have decided it is in the best interest to suspend face-to-face service at this time,” said Kauffman. “Those in need of assistance are encouraged to reach out to my offices via the phone, email or through my website.”

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – F&M Trust said they are carefully following guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as such our Cumberland County com We are carefully following guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as such our Cumberland County community offices will now be drive-up only. As things continue to unfold, please visit https://fmtrust.bank/covid-19 for updates on hours of operation and accessibility of our banking offices. community offices will now be drive-up only. As things continue to unfold, please visit https://fmtrust.bank/covid-19 for updates on hours of operation and accessibility of our banking offices.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The Antrim Township Administrative offices will have restricted access for the next two weeks. All staff will be working and services will continue. The public is asked to utilize the telephone, email, and fax for communications with Township staff. Contact information can be obtained on the Township’s website at www.twp.antrim.pa.us or by calling 717-597-3818. Payments can be made utilizing the drop-box at the main entrance. Announcements will be made regarding the status of public meetings.

17 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Senator Judy Ward is closing her offices to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and protect public health and safetssistance is still available at https://www.senatorjudyward.com or by email at [email protected] or phone in Hollidaysburg at 814-695-8386, McConnellsburg at 717-485-3616 or Harrisburg at 717-787-5490 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Paul Frey, discussed Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to close bars, restaurants, and clubs.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – PA Senator Doug Mastriano joined “The Drive” to discuss what ramifications the governor’s order to shutter businesses could have on the local economy.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Rep. Rob Kauffman jouined “The Drive” to to discuss what ramifications the governor’s order to shutter businesses could have on the local economy.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Frederick County Executive, Jan Gardner, announced Tuesday morning the first positive coronavirus case in the county. The resident is a 30-year-old woman who had contact with people who had traveled to places with community transmission.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Washington County Government announces a Local State of Emergency declaration in Washington County as well as disclosing new restrictions for Washington County Government buildings. All actions are precautionary to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Effective immediately, a Local State of Emergency has been declared for Washington County, running parallel with the State. The declaration will remain in effect for the duration of the State’s State of Emergency.

Also, effective immediately and until further notice, Washington County Government will implement the following restrictions:

Washington County Board of County Commissioners regular scheduled meeting for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 is cancelled and future meetings will be assessed on a week-by-week basis thereafter;

Visitor access to some county office buildings will be by appointment only. A directory of departments with phone numbers is also available on the county website. Signs are posted at all entrances. This includes deliveries at the following locations:

Administration Building – 100 W Washington St, Annex Building – 80 W Baltimore St, Highways – 601 Northern Ave, Environmental Management & Emergency Services – 16232 Elliott Parkway, Emergency Support Services – 17556 York Rd, Agricultural Education Center – 7313 Sharpsburg Pike

Visitors destined for the Treasurer’s Office require an appointment. Call to schedule an appointment at 240-313-2110.

Any residents needing to visit any county office building should call the county’s main phone number at 240-313-2776 for referral to the appropriate department to receive more information or to schedule an appointment. All visitors or those seeking appointments will be asked the following questions on the phone or prior to going beyond the Administration Building’s Information Desk area:

Are you or others you have had close contact with, suspected of having coronavirus (COVID-19)? Have you recently traveled to or from another country? Do you have any of the following symptoms?

Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath, Washington County Commission on Aging’s Senior Center remains closed.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, following the State Board of Elections instruction, the Washington County Board of Elections office will be operating by appointment only.

All county meetings are cancelled unless attendees are notified by county staff. Teleconferencing will be used when possible. Any exceptions to this protocol will be communicated by the managing department. This includes Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

All Washington County Parks & Recreation sponsored programs and events are canceled through March 29, regardless of their location. In accordance with Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, all events and gatherings of groups larger than 50 people are cancelled. Washington County park facilities are seasonally closed, however, outdoor areas remain open for public use. Black Rock Golf Course remains open, but the restaurant will be closed.

16 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that Pennsylvania has ordered a shutdown of non-essential stores, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery as of midnight. He anticipates it to continue for two weeks.

Governor Tom Wolf answers questions submitted by reporters. Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update on the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and outline ongoing efforts to mitigate the virus in Pennsylvania. The Department of Health anticipates that there will be more Pennsylvanians who test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks and it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves. People have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if they have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. The Wolf Administration is working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing, and ensure they have the resources they need to care for patients.
March 16, 2020 – Harrisburg Pa

Non-essential businesses include community and recreation centers; gyms; hair and nail salons, along with spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; and retail facilities, including shopping malls.

The number of medical professionals getting infected with the fast-spreading COVID-19 in Pennsylvania is growing. St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia closed its trauma department after a doctor became ill and tested positive.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf, in a new front to slow the spread of the new coronavirus in Pennsylvania, ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities starting Monday in five heavily populated counties, including Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, and the four counties ringing Philadelphia.

The number of cases continued growing Monday, exceeding 75, according to the state Department of Health.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – The government’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday he would like to see aggressive measures such as a 14-day national shutdown that would require Americans to hunker down even more to help slow spread of the coronavirus.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauc i said travel restrictions within the United States, such as to and from hard-hit Washington state and California, probably will not be needed anytime soon.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office has fielded more than 300 reports of price gouging as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state.

Since the beginning of March, Shapiro has been posting updates about his office’s progress in processing these scam claims. As of Saturday, the office has 373 reports of price gouging, and the office itself has issued 24 cease and desist letters.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Pennsylvania health officials confirmed 16 additional cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases now stands at 63.

446 patients to date have been tested or are in the process of being tested. There are 205 who have tested negative; 63 confirmed cases; and 183 patient samples are either at the lab for testing or on their way to the lab.

15 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan closes all casinos and race tracks over coronavirus concerns. The closings will start on Monday and last indefinitely.

The state has 31 confirmed cases. Most of the cases are in suburban Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – President Trump said during a news conference on Saturday afternoon that he has been tested for the novel coronavirus Friday night, but did not reveal the results and said he did not know when he would get them.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update -As of today – March 13th at 530pm the Funeral for Firefighter Jerome S. Guise has been changed to a closed service. The family and Departments that responded to the scene on the first alarm will be the only ones in attendance at the church. Following the Federal, State and Local Government recommendations with regard to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution, it was felt that this was the best possible option. Fire Departments still wishing to attend the reception at the Citizen’s Fire Company in Mount Holly Springs are encouraged to attend. Plan on being at the station – 100 Chestnut Street by 12 noon. Mount Holly Police Department has requested all personnel traveling to Mount Holly please travel Route 34 (Baltimore Rd) to West Pine Street to Chestnut Street where police department and fire police staff will give further instructions for parking. We encourage you to support the families by donating to the Memorial Fund that has been established. Donations can be made in cash or check, made payable to “Jerome Guise Memorial Fund” and can be mailed to F&M Trust 3 East First Street, Boiling Springs, PA 17007. Questions can be directed to the bank office at 717-241-4131.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – President Trump Tweeted that he will be spending his Saturday at the White House attending coronavirus meetings.

Meanwhile, Apple plans to temporarily close all of its retail stores to help control the spread of coronavirus. The company announced the plan on Friday to close all stores outside of Greater China until March 27.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland has identified nine new cases of coronavirus with the total now standing at 26, the health department announced Saturday.

There have been no deaths in the state and no children have been infected, state officials said.

The Governor’s office also announced that according to Montgomery County health officials, the first 3 Maryland Coronavirus cases have recovered and cleared self-quarantine, saying the development serves as a reminder that “the vast majority of people will recover from this infection, and this disease can be properly managed.”

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Now in Pennsylvania, the spread of the novel coronavirus has reached western Pennsylvania, with a presumptive case of the virus announced Friday in Washington County.

Saturday, four news cases were reported in the state bringing the total to 45. Those cases involve adults in Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties.

State and local leaders are urging people to take extra precautions and has led to the cancellation of events and Gov. Tom Wolf announcing the closure of Pennsylvania’s public schools for 10 days. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

14 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –Frederick county and Montgomery county offering free “to-go” meals to children ALL ages during the closure

• Ballenger Creek Elementary
• Crestwood Middle School
• Frederick High School
• Hillcrest Elementary School
• Lincoln Elementary School
• Monocacy Elementary School
• North Frederick Elementary School
• Waverley Elementary School
School Meals:
FCPS will be serving FREE breakfast and lunch to all children 18 years and younger and adults older than 18 years old who are enrolled in an education program for persons with disabilities at the following schools Monday through Friday from March 16-27, 2020.
Breakfast: 8:30-9:30 AM
Lunch: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
In addition to meals served at the schools listed, FCPS will deliver cold “to go” lunches to numerous community sites, Wednesday, March 18-Friday, March 27. Sandwich options will include turkey/cheese, ham/cheese, Italian combo, and Wow butter. We will share details about sites and times as soon as they are determined.
All children 18 years old and younger and adults older than 18 years old who are enrolled in an education program for persons with disabilities are eligible to participate.
• Children do NOT have to live in Frederick County to receive free meals.
• Children do NOT have to be Frederick County Public School students receive free meals.
• Children do NOT have to be students at the participating school to receive free meals.
• Children will be allowed to take their meals to go. Participating schools will have containers and bags for children to transport their meals.
If you have questions, please call the FCPS food and nutrition services office at 301-644-5061.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – WellSpan Health announced today that the health system will waive all out-of-pocket costs for anyone who needs COVID-19 testing or treatment during the coronavirus outbreak.

For patients who have insurance or are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, WellSpan will collect the individual’s coverage information, but will not bill or collect any deductible, co-insurance, or any other payment for the screening, testing and treatment of COVID-19. WellSpan will also not charge individuals who do not currently have health insurance for testing or treatment of COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We recognize the need for prompt care for anyone impacted by this crisis and we want to remove any barriers people may face to receiving testing or appropriate care,” said R. Hal Baker, M.D., senior vice president of WellSpan Health, and co-leader of the health system’s COVID-19 incident command response.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update –The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed five additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, in addition to the cases released in the morning update – one resident from Delaware County, one resident from Chester County, two residents from Philadelphia County and one pediatric patient from Monroe County. All are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. This brings the statewide total to 33 cases; 27 of the cases are presumptive positive and six cases, one in Delaware County, one in Wayne County and four in Montgomery County have been confirmed by the CDC.

“While we anticipate that there will be more Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves,” Dr. Levine said. “Right now, you have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if you have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. We are working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing and ensuring they have the resources they need to care for patients.”

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16.

“We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities,” said Gov. Wolf. “First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.”

The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.

13 March – News Talk 103.7 FM Update – Maryland is closing all public schools in response to the coronavirus. State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said schools will be closed from Monday through March 27.

13 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update -The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today that effective Friday, March 13, 2020, all public events scheduled for March at the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center would be canceled in response to COVID-19. Private meetings with 250 or more in attendance will also be prohibited.

13 March – News Talk 103.7FM Update – The Waynesboro Area School District is closing all its schools through the end of the month due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to the district’s website.

Meanwhile, other districts are starting to follow suit. Red Lion School District, York Suburban School District, the Northern York, Dallastown, Northeastern, and York Country Day School districts all announced closings. In Cumberland County, Mechanicsburg and Big Spring Schools are closed for two weeks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has not ordered schools to close.

13 March – News Talk 1037FM Update – West Virginia is closing on public schools beginning Monday, according to a statement released by the governor’s office Friday.

“We’ll close the schools as long as we have to close schools,” Gov. Jim Justice said at a news conference today at the capital. “Tough decision. Tough, tough decision.”

Twelve West Virginians have tested positive for coronavirus with 11 negative results and one still pending, officials said this morning.

13 March – News Talk 1037FM Update –The Chambersburg Area School District is closing all of its schools for the next two weeks due to concerns about the coronavirus. “Out of an abundance of caution for our students and staff, and with a sincere desire to keep our community safe, CASD will close all schools from March 17th through March 27th,” the district Tweeted Friday. Schools are scheduled to open again on March 30th.

12 March -NEWS TALK 1037FM Update — The Cumberland Valley Christian School Administration has been closely monitoring the developing concerns with the Coronavirus. The health and welfare of our students and faculty is top priority of our School Board and Administration. Mrs. Garvin has been receiving daily updates and communication from the local, state and federal agencies as they are keeping School Principals informed. I feel that it is important that you as parents receive the latest information on how to keep yourself and loved ones safe. As this situation is evolving rapidly, I am also including links below to the CDC and PA Dept. of Health webpage for advice and local guidance during this time. Effective immediately the School Administration is implementing several sanitation plans within our campus. All of our buildings will continue getting a cleaning each night as well as additional deep cleaning over the weekend. Daily sanitation of touch points on campus and within our transportation department has been implemented. These sanitation procedures will be repeated regularly throughout the school day. Sanitation staff as well as faculty are being diligent to ensure our campus is sanitized. Teachers will continue to encourage the students to practice good hygiene habits, which include proper hand washing during the day. We are encouraging all students to bring in a personal water bottle that can be refilled on campus to avoid drinking directly from the water fountains. In the event that your child becomes ill for any reason, please keep the child home until the child is symptom free for 48 hours (2 days).

As your students may have mentioned, CVCS will be receiving several international students next week. All students were vetted by the United States government and have been cleared of the coronavirus prior to arriving to the United States in February. As precaution, the students have been in quarantine since arriving and have been receiving continued medical screenings to monitor their health. The agency is constantly updating us with information about these students, and if any health concerns were to arise, the students will not be allowed to attend CVCS. I will continue to keep on top of the developments pertaining to the Coronavirus in the coming days. If a school closure or class/athletic activity requires cancellation due to mandated guidelines, we will notify you as soon as possible. I appreciate and am thankful for your prayers and support as we navigate the remainder of the school year.

CDC Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

PA Dept. of Health: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Pastor Mike Sanders — CVCS President

 

12 March – NEWSTALK 1037FM Update — WellSpan Health has been working continuously to prepare for the COVID-19 coronavirus issue, as Pennsylvania continues to see an increase in confirmed cases. “As part of our continued preparation for the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are planning for the potential of a larger-scale response to this issue,” said R. Hal Baker, M.D., senior vice president of WellSpan Health, and co-leader of the health system’s COVID-19 incident command response. This includes developing a temporary outdoor patient screening and testing area for patients, who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus. “Doing screening and testing in an open-air setting limits the potential spread of the disease and will help us preserve our negative airflow rooms in our hospitals,” he added. Temporary screening areas are currently being validated by staff at WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital, WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, WellSpan York Hospital and WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital. Other hospitals within WellSpan Health will have similar validation in the coming days. “

Prevention and Treatment — “Information is key, but we are asking our patients to do their part too. Remember, the best way to prevent from getting sick is to wash your hands, try to not touch your face, and avoid contact with people who are sick,” Baker said. He also noted that people should remember to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. In addition, it’s important to clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched items. Lastly, if you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.  WellSpan encourages patients to consider the following guidelines for assessment and treatment: If you have recently traveled to impacted countries or areas, or had contact with someone known to have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, and you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, we recommend you contact your healthcare provider before going to the doctor’s office or hospital. This will allow you to coordinate your care with your provider while minimizing risk to others. Patients can also use a new automated chat feature available on WellSpan.org, to help determine whether they may or may not be at risk for the virus.

12 March NEWS TALK 1037FM Update — Although no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Washington County, as the situation continues to evolve in Maryland and surrounding areas, Meritus Health has begun cancelling large community events we planned to host. We are committed to providing excellent care and are proactively assessing visitation policies and community events held at Meritus Health properties, including Meritus Medical Center and Robinwood Professional Center. This is an effort to reduce the chance of spreading germs during large gatherings and support social distancing. Events at these properties will be reassessed one month in advance of happening.

 

 

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