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Dec. 5-11 Explained: Coronavirus Shutdown Lite, PPS Budget Shortfall & New Trump Voters

Matt Slocum
A person wearing a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walks past holiday decorations at City Hall, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Philadelphia.

On this week’s Explainer:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine mandated new restrictions on Thursday, aimed at reining in the coronavirus as it continues to spread rapidly across the state. Among the new rules: no more indoor dining in restaurants and bars, youth sports are suspended, and businesses like gyms, casinos and theaters must close. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden says new restrictions go into effect on Saturday and will last at least until early January.

Pennsylvania proved key to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory last month. While the state’s flip from red to blue was a big deal for Democrats, President Trump picked up hundreds of thousands more votes than he did in 2016. Keystone Crossroads’ Miles Bryan talked to some of those new Trump voters.

Sarah Schneider reports on the $34 million shortfall for Pittsburgh Public Schools’ 2021 budget. The district says it will propose a property tax increase, and has also suggested cuts to programs and possible consolidation of schools.

Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.