BACKYARD BROADCASTING LOCAL NEWS MARCH 20, 2020

NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS MUST CLOSE
Governor Tom Wolf yesterday ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations at 8pm last night to slow the spread of the corona virus.  The Governor has directed state agencies such as Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania State Police and local officials, to use their resources to enforce closure.  Non-compliant businesses or groups who don’t comply with the order give up their ability to receive some disaster relief and could be subject to other administrative action.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN PA GROW TO OVER 180
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed yesterday at midnight March 19, that there are 52 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported, bringing the statewide total to 185.  According to the department’s  press room, There are 1,608 patients who have tested negative, and one death. With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

GEISINGER UPDATES POLICES
In an ever changing health care environment in the interest of patient and visitor safety, Geisinger Medical Center updated their visitation policies, temporarily suspending routine, in-person visits to hospitalized patients, and encourage alternative ways to interact. They do acknowledge the crucial nature of having support so in critical cases involving unstable medical conditions, end of life, surgeries, delivering mothers, and cases involving minors, where exceptions can be made and one or two visitors are permitted, however no one under 18 will be allowed. Visitors must be well and have not traveled internationally or been in contact with a positive flu or C-19 case, and must stay in the patients room.  Patients with appointments can have one person accompany them. Geisingers Coronavirus 24/7 hotline is 570-284-3657.

AUCTION WON’T BE HELD
Fraley’s Auction Company  has  announced that it will not be holding it’s annual public sale in Muncy this year due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.  According to the Sun Gazette, the Muncy Creek Township Board of Supervisors was notified of the event and released a statement reiterating federal and state guidelines discouraging large gatherings.  Lycoming County Commissioner Rick Mirabito told the paper that owner Harold Fraley is doing a great community service agreeing to postpone the auction for a few weeks.

SBA LOAN APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
The Governor  requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implement an SBA disaster declaration so businesses and non-profits can access SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans in all 67 counties in the state for the effects the COVID-19 pandemic have caused. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, or bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Businesses can fill out the forms now online at   disasterloan.sba.gov/

MUNCY CREEK TOWNSHIP ROBBERY
There was a late night robbery this week at Sam’s Place Lottery and Tobacco, in Muncy Creek Twp.  The PA State police put information on social media that they are searching for a suspect in the crime which took place around 10pm Wednesday night at the store on E. Penn St.  Police are seeking an unknown male wearing grey sweatpants and a blue PSU sweatshirt, who demanded money from the cashier with a silver handgun and fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money and a red drawstring bag.  If you have information, call Montoursville State police.

INMATES COULD BE MOVED FROM NYC TO UNION COUNTY
It’s unofficial at this time, but officials are considering moving federal inmates from the COVID-19 hot zone In New York City to the Federal Corrections Complex at Allenwood and another location that is not near Lycoming County.  There has been an inmate, vendor and visitor moving stoppage implemented in the prison system for 30 days according to the Sun Gazette. Officials say they may wait to see any staff or inmate get the virus and then formally decide.

VIRUS TEST ON THE MARKET WITH A PRESCRIPTION AVAILABLE MONDAY
There will be a home test for the corona virus available next week with a doctor’s prescription.  According to PennLive, an at-home collection test kit is set to be released on Monday from a digital health company, which provides other home tests for other pathogens. In conjunction with the CDC, the website everlywell.com will provide a health screenings for consumers given by an independent health partner of the company who is in compliance with the CDC. They will determine if a secure test is needed and it then could be overnighted for a fee – the cost of the test is $135 but is usually  covered by HSA and FSA proividers. It will not be available in New York, Rhode Island or New Jersey.  They say positive results are shared with  mandated state and federal authorities.

CHURCH SERVICES SHUTTERED DUE TO VIRUS CONCERNS
Churches throughout Pennsylvania have decided to suspend services to slow the spread of the corona virus in the commonwealth.  All churches in the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church are affected as well as the Diocese from Scranton reports that Catholic Churches in the area have suspended all Masses and public gatherings.  Churches may remain open daily under the direction of local clergy and sacramental celebrations like weddings and funerals are permitted but with limited amount of people.  Call your church for before you attend.

Sports
NFL
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton who is 56, tested positive for the coronavirus, the first person in the NFL world known to test positive so far.

Sources at ESPN report that the NFL and NFL Players Association are preparing some contracts for free agency that have added provisions stating that failed physicals will result in forfeited signing bonus money – meaning if a player signs now and fails a physical in June from the coronavirus, he’s bound to the contract without the bonus.
NBA
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that eight full teams and other individual players who have shown symptoms have been tested for the coronavirus. The Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder have said no one tested has contracted it, but with the 76’ers – three people with the team received positive tests and are in self-isolation. Four players on the Brooklyn Nets tested positive as well as Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood.  The New Orleans Pelicans have yet to test the team.

Olympics News
Regional Olympic officials are supporting  the IOC and have backed its stance on opening the Games  July 25 in Tokyo as scheduled, but there is a call around the world asking them to reconsider due to training concerns and the risk of human life due to the global coronavirus pandemic

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