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Back At Work, Peduto Says Only Collaboration Will Slow The Spread Of COVID-19

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced via Twitter on March 19 that he would be starting a precautionary self-quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus earlier that week.

On today's program: Pittsburgh's mayor says it will be weeks before local coronavirus cases peak; residents ask whether the government should direct more resources to people struggling during the pandemic; and a look at how local arts groups are coping with widespread shutdowns.

Peduto says the city has been working ahead of the federal government
(00:00 — 08:45) 

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto returned to his office this week after a precautionary self-quarantine, during which he says he suffered no symptoms. He tells 90.5 WESA’s Chris Potter that the city has taken a step-by-step approach in trying to control the spread of the coronavirus, starting with the cancelation of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But, he says, to see real results of these efforts requires collaboration among all Pennsylvania municipalities, counties and the State. 

“There’s also 129 other municipalities in Allegheny County," he says, "and if they decide that they’re not going to take the same type of initiatives, then it doesn’t really matter what we’re doing in the city.”

Peduto says over the last two months, his administration has been exploring properties owned by the city, universities or medical providers to potentially convert into emergency hospital space. Local health systems, according to Peduto, are considering refurbishing older ventilator systems to prepare for an increased demand as cases rise. 

Will federal relief funds help Pittsburgh renters?
(8:48 — 13:25)

Federal, state and local governments are scrambling to help people navigate financial fallout from the coronavirus. 

WESA’s Margaret J. Krauss reports people with low or moderate incomes are more vulnerable, especially if they rent their homes. And so far, it’s unclear just how much help they can expect to weather the storm.

Pittsburgh's arts groups adjust to an uncertain future
(13:28 — 18:03)

From Broadway in New York to Penn Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, theaters across the country have gone dark. Museums, galleries and concert halls are closed, too, with no clear end in sight. 

In week two of the coronavirus shutdown, WESA’s Bill O’Driscoll talked with local arts leaders about what it all means for Pittsburgh’s cultural scene.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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