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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a request to order the wholesale release of prisoners held by jails in Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. But in a partial win for prison-reform advocates, the Court ordered county judges and officials to do what they could to minimize the threat of the coronavirus behind bars.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh's officials warned on Friday that too many residents violated "social distancing" rules meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus last weekend, there was less social distancing last weekend, as milder weather brought more people out to public parks. 

Pennsylvania Residents Told To Wear Masks In Public

Apr 3, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania residents should wear a cloth mask in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the governor said Friday, as the state recorded another single-day high in new cases and passed 100 deaths.

Pennsylvania Halting Pay For 9,000 State Workers

Apr 3, 2020
Kevin McCorry / WHYY

Pennsylvania will stop paying about 9,000 state workers whose offices have been closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Friday.

Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania corrections secretary John Wetzel said earlier this week that his department is taking steps to reduce the state’s incarcerated population, in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus behind bars. But prison-reform advocates argue that more dramatic action is needed to remedy conditions that they say amount to cruel and unusual punishment.


Jessica Griffin / Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania has received a fraction of the equipment it has requested from a federal stockpile to help battle the coronavirus, new data shows, as state officials look to other sources to purchase more supplies, including life-saving ventilators.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It will be at least another month before life can be expected to go back to normal due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus. Gov. Tom Wolf has extended his stay-at-home order and expanded it to include the entire state of Pennsylvania. 


New documents released Thursday show the Federal Emergency Management Agency only fulfilled only a fraction of requests for equipment to fight the coronavirus, leaving states like Pennsylvania short hundreds of thousands of items needed to protect healthcare providers and others.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

With reports of bigotry against people of Asian descent on the rise, Democratic state lawmakers including state Senators Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) and Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) are calling to address hate crimes in Pennsylvania.

Deadline Looms For Pennsylvania Virus-Shutdown Waivers

Apr 2, 2020
Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania businesses are running out of time if they want an exemption from Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown order as state health officials on Thursday reported more than 1,200 new cases of COVID-19.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network began assembling COVID-19 test kits in its downtown Highmark Health Penn Avenue Place building this week. Dozens of tables with medical staffers lined the auditorium of the building filled with sterile media tubes, swabs, instructions, and biohazard bags.


On today's program: A Murrysville company says it’s under “no moral obligation” to produce taxpayer-funded ventilators faster because of the pandemic; how domestic abuse shelters are adapting during the outbreak; and with their storefronts closed, local bookshop owners share fears and strategies for survival.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House Coronavirus Task Force are both reviewing official guidance that people who are healthy don’t need to wear face masks during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

If the federal government changes its stance, that would be a big deal: Just more than a month ago, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams urged the public, in no uncertain terms, to stop buying face masks.


The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine says it has developed a promising potential vaccine against the virus driving the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Wolf has issued stay-at-home orders across Pennsylvania as the coronavirus spreads. The directives are meant to save lives, but for victims of domestic violence, being stuck at home with their abusers can be extremely dangerous.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Independent bookstores have been an unexpected comeback story of the past decade. Since the 2008 recession, their numbers have grown nationally by about 50 percent, according to industry statistics – something most observers wouldn’t have predicted in the age of Amazon. Pittsburgh alone now has a dozen or more such bookshops.

April 1 is Census Day. That means it’s usually where you live on April 1 that you give as your address when you fill out the census

But coronavirus means Penn State students who would usually be in State College are spread far and wide. Penn State and the U.S. Census are trying to get word out that students should still be counted at their school address.  

Ed Mahon / PA Post

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says the state Department of Community and Economic Development will not respond to open records requests for the foreseeable future, including ones related to the administration’s decision to grant waivers to thousands of businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.


After a surge of coronavirus cases in the Poconos that some attributed to out-of-state travelers, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says it is moving to remove short-term rentals such as Airbnb from the state’s list of “life-sustaining” businesses during the shutdown. 

Fears, Infection Thin Staff At Beaver Nursing Home With 2 Deaths

Apr 1, 2020
Google Maps

A Pennsylvania nursing home where two dementia patients died over the weekend after contracting COVID-19 has struggled to contain the spread, with staff thinned by suspected infection and fears for their own safety.

Google Maps

Allegheny Technologies Inc. has announced plans to shut down a western Pennsylvania plant at the end of June, citing steel tariffs imposed on imports by the Trump administration.

About 70 employees, most represented by the United Steelworkers union, would lose their jobs at the Midland plant in Beaver County, the company said Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Wetherbee said in a statement that Allegheny Technologies had sought a tariff exclusion since March 2018. Officials said the first request was rejected and the second received no response.

All Of Pennsylvania Now Under Orders To Stay Home

Apr 1, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

All Pennsylvania residents must stay home as much as possible for the coming month to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday as he expanded the footprint of the quarantine to include the entire state.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: What to expect when venturing into city parks; 911 centers will know if they’re responding to COVID-19 patients; and scientists need help from amateur researchers.


The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true for COVID-19. The disease has no cure, and right now, the only way to avoid completely overwhelming our medical system is to prevent the virus’s spread by isolating ourselves from each other.

Why Is Pennsylvania Leading The Nation In Unemployment Claims?

Apr 1, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Unemployment claims have reached historic levels nationwide as coronavirus mitigation efforts effectively shutter the national economy, and it’s Pennsylvania that is outpacing the nation in the number of claims filed.


If a surge of COVID-19 patients overwhelms local health systems, Allegheny County plans to use the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh to accommodate patients.

Mike Canton

On WYEP’s 40th anniversary in 2014, hosts and DJs from the station’s history came on air to play setlists and reminisce. Among them was Stephen Chatman, 14-year host and co-founder of The Soul Show, calling in from his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He described one of his favorite radio moments: meeting a man in his new home city who used to listen to his show in Pittsburgh.

Wolf Places 7 More Counties Under Stay-Home Order

Mar 31, 2020
Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Wolf added seven more counties Tuesday to his order to stay at home as the new virus expanded its reach and Pennsylvania reported another big jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It's been more than week since Gov. Tom Wolf ordered Allegheny County residents to stay home and many people have been hunkered down and/or working from home for longer than that. (Here at Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting, we've been working remotely for approximately 19 days, 2 hours and 30 minutes, but who's counting?!) 

With social distancing and #quarentinelife becoming the new normal, here's a look at Pittsburgh life as we all ride the coronavirus wave of uncertainty. 

Courtesy of Coston Funeral Home

While the number of Pennsylvanians who have died from COVID-19 continues to climb, families who have lost loved ones to the pandemic -- and to other causes -- are trying to figure out what mourning rituals look like during a period of social distancing.