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March 6-12 Explained: Isolation In Nursing Homes, Paid Sick Leave & Pittsburgh Politics

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto at a press conference in Larimer on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

On this week’s Explainer:

More than 25% of Allegheny County residents have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As the pace of vaccination picks up, many people see light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says fully vaccinated people can hang out together indoors, without masks, and that low-risk, unvaccinated people can join in too. But WESA's Sarah Boden reports there’s one group of vaccinated people that is still quite isolated: residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

Allegheny County Council has passed a bill mandating paid sick leave for workers. The rule would require companies with more than 25 employees to offer five paid sick days to full-time staff. WESA's An-Li Herring reports a veto-proof majority of councilors voted for the bill, which was introduced nearly a year ago.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has drawn a third challenger in this spring’s Democratic primary. Some see the two-term incumbent as vulnerable, and critics have lambasted him for his response to racial justice protests last summer. WESA's Chris Potter reports on how this and other city races are shaping up.


Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Listen on the NPR One app or subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Liz Reid oversees newsroom operations at WESA. She began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor. You can reach her at
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 of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.