BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MARCH 24, 2020

STATE CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
The State Department of Health confirmed Monday night that there are a confirmed 644 cases of COVID-19 in 34 counties, a one-day increase of 165 cases in Pennsylvania,  and a total of six deaths, up from two a day earlier.   According to Penn Live, it’s the largest one-day increase to date. All who have tested positive for the coronavirus are either in isolation at home or being treated at a hospital, There are 6,595 patients who have tested negative.  Most testing is now being done in private laboratories or in hospitals..

BUCKNELL STUDENT TESTS NEGATIVE
The student from Bucknell University who had self-isolated while thinking they were infected with the coronavirus and was tested in Lewisburg, has been found to be negative for the virus and is out of quarantine.  According to Penn Live, university officials say the student sought help from local health authorities after feeling ill following a trip to New York City.  They had been isolated since testing at Evangelical Community Hospital March 16th.

LOCALS DISAGREE WITH INMATE TRANSFER
A Prison Local organization and Representative Fred Keller of Kreamer are speaking out to oppose the transfer of federal inmates from hot zones for COVID-19 in New York City, to federal facilities in Union and another in Wayne County.  According to WNEP, first inmate in the federal prison system tested positive for the coronavirus as well as  two federal Bureau of Prison employees, and according to the Bureau of Prisons, they are limiting inmate transfers under certain conditions.  However, Rep Keller said he had gotten word Monday that transfers will take place.  According to the Council of Prison Locals, inmates are currently being transferred into federal prisons near Lewisburg, Allenwood, and Waymart.

USE 211 IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
If you have questions about how to find resources in this time of uncertainty, residents in Williamsport can use 211 to find answers for solutions to the loss of a job, or how to cope with overwhelming utility bills.  Using 211 puts a caller in touch with a caseworker 24/7 who will help them find the resources they need.  According to the Sun Gazette the United Way can track what community needs are when callers use 211 and helps them serve the community better.  The 211 service is also available online at PA211 and by texting your zip code to 898211.

GOVERNOR WOLF EXTENDS SCHOOL SHUTDOWN
Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday extended a statewide schools shutdown through at least April 6 and ordered residents of Pennsylvania’s hardest-hit areas to stay home for at least two weeks to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus.  Pennsylvania health officials on Monday reported 165 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Pennsylvania, for a total of more than 640 in 34 counties. They reported a total of six deaths, up from two a day earlier. The Department of Education said school buildings are scheduled to reopen for administrators, teachers and other staff on April 7. Under the plan announced Monday, students could return to school April 9.

LOCAL TESTING GOES WELL
The outpatient specimen collection process through UPMC Susquehanna for testing of the coronavirus that started yesterday in Williamsport went quickly and safely.  According to the Sun Gazette, the hospital’s director of infection prevention and control said 23 patients who had a referral to be tested at the site at 609 Brandon Ave, were in and out of the facility in about 4 minutes each.  Officials say no risk to nearby homes around it and experts say the facility is specially designed to produce ideal conditions to perform these kind of tests safely and efficiently.  The specimens will be safely transported to one of three places for testing and results could be returned could be returned in less than a week.

TURNPIKE REOPENED WITH LIMITED STAFFING
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has reopened all 17 of its service plazas as of last Friday. Restrooms inside all service plazas will be open 24 hours. The outdoor portable toilets will remain in place at the service plazas for approximately one more week.  Limited food options will before take-out only.  All service plazas will have limited staffing for the safety of the employees Fuel and all convenience stores inside the service plazas will continue to remain open 24 hours a day.

YMCA HAS RESOURCES FOR YOU
The River Valley Regional YMCA serving 5 counties with 6 branches has closed all their facilities according to a press release.  They will make available home workouts, online classes, healthy recipes, and other ways to stay active and safe available at www.rvrymca.org and on Facebook.  The non-profit encourages members to continue their membership support and look forward to reopening to continue the fulfillment of their mission.

 

Sports
NFL

The NFL Physicians Society is discontinuing physicals for players amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter obtained by NFL Network..  The decision will affect free agents who are awaiting physicals to officially sign contracts with new teams, as well as draft prospects whose health issues need to be rechecked.

Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center, 29 year old Travis Frederick, announced his retirement via Twitter on Monday.  Frederick has been battling an auto-immune disease that affects the nervous system.

Olympics
The Olympic torch relay will start Thursday as planned in northeastern Japan with no torch, no torchbearers, no public, and little ceremony. The flame arrived on Friday from Greece – which will now be carried on the trek in a lantern by vehicle.

Men’s Basketball
David Edwards, a guard for the Texas A&M basketball team in the early 1990s who holds the school’s single-season record for total assists, has died of complications from the coronavirus Sunday according to The Dallas Morning News. Originally from Queens, NY, Edwards started his collegiate career at Georgetown before transferring to Texas A&M

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