Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

 

A patient places a swab in a COVID-19 testing tube at a mobile test site in Pittsburgh's South Hills on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This page will be frequently updated with the latest facts and news about the coronavirus, from both our community and around the world.

Coronavirus is a novel virus first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease in humans; the disease has spread to the U.S. and other countries around the world.  

 

The disease causes respiratory illness and is spread through the air by coughs and sneezes, and by personal contact. Its symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. There is no approved vaccine for this virus.

 

To prevent contraction of coronavirus, officials recommend people frequently wash their hands.

 

For the latest coverage of the Pittsburgh area's preparation for coronavirus, please follow WESA's Daily Briefings.

 

Here’s what we know:

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

More than 1,100 patients in Pennsylvania are hospitalized with the coronavirus, up from 841 last week.

Fewer Virus Patients Aiding Pennsylvania Case Investigators

3 hours ago
Gene J. Puskar / AP

A growing majority of people contracting the coronavirus in Pennsylvania are not answering basic questions that would help case investigators trace the source of the infections, Pennsylvania health officials said Monday.

The rising lack of cooperation with case investigators comes as Pennsylvania's positivity rate, number of infections and coronavirus-related hospitalizations are on the rise.

Francisco Seco / AP

 

On today's program: Parents deal with the challenges of online school; the pandemic is exacerbating educational inequality for already at-risk students; the lack of classroom, hallway and cafeteria socialization could negatively impact English language learners; and for Good Question, Kid! experts answer questions about language and geography.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania reported its largest daily total of new coronavirus cases on Friday, as an additional 2,219 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Wolf Offers $20M Relief Plan For Bars And Restaurants

Oct 23, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania plans to offer $20 million in relief to the state’s beleaguered hospitality industry, the governor announced Thursday, an amount trade groups called woefully inadequate for helping bars and restaurants survive the pandemic.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week’s Explainer:

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: The FCC is calling on governors to regulate rates and fees for intrastate phone calls; LGBTQ candidates in the general election could encourage more people from underrepresented groups to run for office; and drive-in theaters are enjoying a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A large, for-profit Pennsylvania nursing home where dozens of residents died of COVID-19 was sued Wednesday over allegations that it failed to take basic steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


On a chilly October evening, Vicki Potter stands in a gravel parking lot in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The scent of popcorn mixes with the gasoline from nearby idling cars. Patrons are masked and sitting in the beds of trucks and trunks of minivans as an old-timey concession stand advertisement blares over the loudspeakers.

MATT ROURKE / AP

The strong resurgence of coronavirus cases that’s been seen in other parts of U.S. has reached western Pennsylvania.

Emma Lee / WHYY

 


On today's program: Allegheny County Rich Fitzgerald has proposed a new department for children initiatives; a new report showcases problems with policing and ways to address them; and voters discuss the reliability of election results. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Universities across the city have adjusted programs that were typically interactive to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Emma Lee / WHYY

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the loss of up to 15,600 child care spots in Allegheny County, and could push parents of young children out of the workforce if those losses become permanent, according to a new report.

Pennsylvania Has Confirmed Its First COVID-19 Positive Cat

Oct 20, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The case was reported by state veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill. He said the 16-year-old feline lived in a household with multiple people who’d been infected with COVID-19, and was humanely euthanized earlier this month after presenting with respiratory distress.

90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: A task force assembled in June released its report about current police practices; three clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines were paused after some participants got sick; and this year’s flu shot could serve as a dress rehearsal for when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. 

Lewis Joly / AP

While the world waits for a safe and effective inoculation, this year’s flu shot can serve as a sort of dress rehearsal for when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. That’s because everyone, from the very young to the very old, should get vaccinated in a relatively short amount of time.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Allegheny County solicitor Andy Szefi answers questions about voting ahead of the general election; and this year, voters might not know election results on election night.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Universities across the city have adjusted programs that were typically interactive to maintain social distancing guidelines during the pandemic.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Prospects remain unclear for an Allegheny County Council bill that would mandate paid sick leave throughout the county. A committee met to discuss the bill Thursday, but six months after the legislation was introduced, there are no signs it will receive a vote anytime soon. 

Delphi COVIDcast / Carnegie Mellon University

New data from Carnegie Mellon University allows users to see the percentage of people who wear masks in their county. COVIDcast, which already localized collected data about coronavirus activity, began asking survey respondents about face coverings and test access last month. 

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