Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Katie Clark sits in a lawn chair in the backyard of the Highland Park home of her friend Nia Baton-Soffietti. The women drink coffee while their two-year-old sons, Oscar and Desmond, explore the hatch of the Baton-Soffietti family car.

'Nursing Homes As We Know Them Are Over': COVID-19 Fuels Push To Home-Based Care

Jun 16, 2020
Provided by John Stagliano

John Stagliano never was much of a hospital guy.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Five Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations will begin curbside pickup service June 23: Allegheny, Brookline, East Liberty, Hill District and Oakland. Patrons will be able to take home books and other materials, as well as return borrowed materials. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Marlo Engels describes herself as an "innate hugger."

Courtesy of Stageline

Even as Pittsburgh museums announce plans to reopen, performing-arts groups are still struggling to decide whether and how to resume live shows during the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden Releases Plan To Reopen US Economy Amid Coronavirus

Jun 12, 2020
DoD News photo by EJ Hersom

As Pennsylvania and the rest of the country ease stay-at-home restrictions and begin allowing businesses to serve customers, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden is releasing his own plan for reopening, focused largely on worker safety.

Wolf Asks Pennsylvania Supreme Court To Uphold Shutdown

Jun 12, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday to intervene in his dispute with legislative Republicans who are trying to end pandemic restrictions he imposed in March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Courtesy of Gene Pembroke

There’s a whole subculture of artists and craftspeople who make their living traveling to fairs and festivals to sell their work.

The coronavirus pandemic has not been kind to them.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The coronavirus caused 51 additional deaths among Pennsylvanians and about eight times that number in new infections, health officials said Thursday, while Philadelphia kept close tabs on its virus numbers after recent protests.

Gif by Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

When Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all bars and restaurants in Pennsylvania to close in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pittsburgh drag queen Scarlet Fairweather had to cancel a voter registration performance planned at Blue Moon Bar in Lawrenceville. 

State Drops Hospital Lobbyist As Its Emergency Response Provider

Jun 10, 2020
Ed Mahon / PA Post

Amid a disaster emergency from the coronavirus pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is ending its contract with the agency that coordinates hospitals’ response to health emergencies.

Wolf, Lawmakers Clash Over Emergency Declaration

Jun 10, 2020
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the GOP-led Legislature headed toward a legal clash Wednesday over the emergency declaration he issued at the beginning of the pandemic, with lawmakers voting to end it and Wolf insisting he holds veto power.

Pennsylvania Orders Hospitals To Protect Workers From Virus

Jun 10, 2020
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania hospitals will be required to replace soiled or damaged respirators on request, require universal masking and take other steps to protect health care workers from the new coronavirus under an order issued Tuesday by the state health secretary.

With unionized nurses raising the alarm about hazardous working conditions, Health Secretary Rachel Levine pledged to “deliver a safer environment” for health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Gloria Lumbrano-Torres’ bedroom walls are lined with vinyl records.

She favors soul and gospel classics: The Every Brothers, James Cleveland, Lou Rawls.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 death toll passed 6,000 as the state Health Department on Tuesday reported 61 additional deaths linked to the disease.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

With Allegheny County in the green phase of the coronavirus pandemic, many museums and other cultural institutions have either reopened or are preparing to. But the visitor experience there will be different, at least at first, and performing-arts groups still face big hurdles on the way to resuming operations.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf is ordering Pennsylvania nursing homes to test all residents and staff for coronavirus at least once by July 24.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania will offer $225 million to small businesses struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. At a press conference on Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf said residents must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, but that the state can begin to focus on economic recovery.

Wayne Parry / AP

Health officials in eastern Pennsylvania have traced 12 new coronavirus cases to a person who attended recent beach house gatherings at the New Jersey shore, the Bucks County Department of Health said.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.


6:10 p.m. - Playgrounds, basketball courts and ballfields will reopen soon

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Schools

As the city’s public school district serving 23,000 students launches a planning group to reopen schools in the fall, a newly-formed local collective wants the school board to find another leader. They say the district’s response to the statewide closure of schools was ineffective and students weren’t learning for weeks.  


Black deaths from COVID-19 are higher than white deaths due in part to institutional racism and social impediments, such as poverty. The Pittsburgh-based Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition is a group of public health researchers, businesspeople and elected officials working to address those factors as a way to secure better health and economic outcomes for the black community during the pandemic.

12 More Counties Get Wolf's Green Light To Enter Green Phase

Jun 5, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf will allow 12 more counties that are home to 1.3 million people to join the nearly 4 million who are now in the least-restrictive phase of his three-step pandemic reopening plan, even as he warned Friday of an outbreak in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Starting Friday, June 5, Allegheny County moves into the green phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan.

To help clear up confusion, 90.5 WESA asked listeners for their questions about reopening. Here are answers to some of those questions. 


Pennsylvania's largest medical system said Thursday that its inpatient volume has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. Though certain areas of care at UPMC, like cancer treatment, are still not back to normal.  

Rebecca Frederick / Heart of Glass

Salons, gyms and spas can reopen Friday after months of restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Some businesses are taking the weekend to ready their locations for appointments and social distancing beginning next week.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf will announce Friday that more counties will be allowed to enter the “green” phase of his pandemic reopening plan, the least-restrictive phase of his stoplight-colored three-phase plan, his office said.

Gene J. Puskar / AP


On today's program: Allegheny County prepares to enter the green phase of reopening; and a former Stanford University freshman dean discusses harms of overparenting and how to fix it.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

With Allegheny County entering the green phase of reopening from the coronavirus pandemic Friday, bars and restaurants will be free to serve dine-in guests for the first time since March. But not all establishments will reopen right away, and for those that do, the rules will be much different.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The coronavirus has infected another 511 people to surpass 73,000 total cases in Pennsylvania, and another 75 people have died from it, the state Health Department said Tuesday.