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Today's update: State College Borough Parking Department Update and Pennsylvania Department of Health Confirms Seven Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.
Our Local Health Department is working in conjunction with the Centre Region Emergency Management Agency (CREMA) Response Team to monitor the situation and provide updates to our community (please scroll through this webpage to view all the updates and resources). The CREMA, which coordinates efforts with the Pennsylvania State University, Centre County Office of Emergency Services and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, was formed many years ago by the Centre Region municipalities, creating a single emergency operations plan, a shared emergency operations center, and the hiring of an Emergency Management Coordinator to deal with multi-jurisdictional disasters and other emergencies, including widespread community health threats.
At this time our local Health Department and the CREMA are advising the community to follow the PA Department of Health and CDC guidelines on COVID-19. Below you will find links to their websites that give the most current and vetted information to the public on how to monitor and respond to COVID-19. We will be monitoring the situation continuously and will be updating our website with the information necessary to keep our community informed on COVID-19.
Please note, the State College Borough Municipal Building (243 S. Allen Street) remains opened for payments utilizing the electronic payment kiosks.
For more information visit the following websites:
Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.
Given the circumstances surrounding the closure of Penn State and many merchants in Downtown State College because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Borough of State College is making the following changes to its parking operations.
These changes are effective through April 30th and updates will be provided if these dates are extended in the future.
Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we must take precautions to ensure the safety of those who provide essential services in our area, including those who collect our trash. The CDC has determined that it is possible for the virus to remain viable for hours on a variety of waste material. Therefore, starting March 30, all curbside residential customers in Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton townships must place their trash in bags in order to have it collected. Advanced Disposal will only pick up trash-grade, tied bags. Grocery bags containing trash will not be collected. All other trash will be left at the curb. This process is for the protection of the refuse employees as well as the residents by limiting the possibility of loose and wind-blown trash in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Mixed paper recycling must also be bagged, and should not contain possibly contaminated materials such as wipes, tissues, and paper towels. All other recyclables should continue to be placed loosely in the recycling bins.
In order to limit in-person contact during the upcoming Primary Election currently scheduled on April 28, more voters may be interested in voting by mail. Voters will have this option as part of a new law that was approved last year that included some of the most significant changes to the state’s election laws in decades.
Voters can learn more about how to vote by mail at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the precautions being taken reduce the spread of COVID-19, State College Borough anticipates a decrease in some refuse volumes and potentially an increase in other volumes. We are committed to providing this essential service for all our residents, businesses, and property owners and are continuing to monitor the situation including the actual collection frequencies required and volumes received. Refuse charges include the collection and disposal of trash and bulk items, collection and composting of organics and brush, curbside collection of leaves to be composted, and recyclables collection, processing, and marketing. We will continue to monitor the volumes, weights, and collection frequencies to provide the most cost-effective, sanitation service possible for our customers.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the Centre Region is doing all it can to protect workers and contractors providing essential services. One of those services is refuse collection. To better serve you and protect staff, we are reminding residents that all trash materials are to be bagged prior to being placed inside your trash can. Bags should be tied or closed to prevent the trash from falling out. This prevents workers from having to collect any loose trash with their hands. In addition, the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority reminds residents not to place items that may be contaminated, such as tissues and paper towels, in your recycling. Residents are also reminded that wipes are not recyclable. Please do your part to keep these workers safe and to prevent any service disruptions.
*If you have State College-specific questions please call (814) 234-7140.
CATA Bus Service changes - To protect its employees and the community, starting Thursday, March 19, CATA will not collect fares on any of its services and are encouraging passengers on fixed-route service who are able to, to board the bus from the rear door. Any passenger using a mobility device would still board the bus through the front door.
At this time, due to the nature of this crisis, this will continue until further notice.
The frequency of the K (Cato Park) Route will be reduced from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes throughout the day. The frequency of service on the N (Martin St./Aaron Drive), R (Waupelani Drive), and V (Vairo Blvd.) Routes will be reduced from every 20 minutes during peak operating times to every 40 minutes.
Updated schedule information can be found on CATA’s website at: https://catabus.com/
While Schlow Centre Region Library is closed until at least March 29 to fight the coronavirus outbreak per the direction of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the Library’s WiFi can be accessed in the Library parking lot, which has 27 spaces, 24/7. Schlow staff, however, won’t always be available to help troubleshoot any issues that may occur with the WiFi.
For their own health and safety, we ask that visitors remain in their vehicles while using the WiFi and to not congregate with other visitors in the parking lot outside or inside of your vehicles.
To keep up-to-date with Schlow’s response to the coronavirus, visit schlowlibrary.org/coronovirus.
Board of Commissioners Issue Declaration of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19
On March 14th, 2020, the Centre County Board of Commissioners signed a Countywide Declaration of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19.
While there are no reported cases of the COVID-19 virus in the County, as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as of 2:45 P.M. on 3/14/2020, this action is taken out of an abundance of caution. This Declaration allows the Board of Commissioners to access State and Federal resources as well as to streamline the procurement and decision-making processes in the event additional measures are necessary to address the COVID-19 crisis.
Citizens of the County are encouraged to access the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for guidance regarding this public health emergency and updates on the current status of the COVID-19 response.
Contact:Margaret N. Gray, County Administratormngray@centrecountypa.gov
Clean freezers - delivered by Tuesday early afternoon (so we can prepare and freeze additional meals and move to once a week delivery)
Hand sanitizers and wipes. Our volunteers cannot wash their hands between each delivery. They also should be wiping door knobs/handles, door bells, phones, steering wheels and gear shifters between each delivery. These items are vitally important.
Funds to purchase shelf stable foods in lieu of the cold meals we deliver to supplement the hot meals. (Each client gets one hot and one cold per day Monday - Friday. The frozen meals will replace the hots. ) we are estimating $25/ week per client for the self-stable foods and hope to get that down. We cannot accept grocery donations because so many of our clients have special diets and physical limitations. Therefore, we have to be very selective about our grocery purchases.
A list of people (and contact info) that would be willing to deliver if our current volunteer core cannot serve. We would need copies of drivers licenses & insurance cards, as well as a PA state police background check for each person.
CONTACT: Suelynn ShillerState College Meals on Wheelssuelynn@scmow.orgc 412.390.7503o 814.237.8135
In order to help combat the coronavirus outbreak, Commonwealth Libraries has asked public libraries to suspend operations, so Schlow Library will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16 through at least Sunday, March 29.
We are staying open this weekend (Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15) in order to ensure some of our most vulnerable community members have the opportunity to access resources, especially our public computers.
Our virtual library at schlowlibrary.org will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout our closure for visitors to get temporary library cards so they can manage their library accounts, as well as download digital materials including books, audiobooks, magazines and movies for all ages.
Please visit schlowlibrary.org/coronavirus and our social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) often as we continue to post updates during this rapidly-evolving situation, and thank you for your patience as we determine the best course to continue providing library services while protecting the health of our visitors, volunteers and staff.
State College, PA – The Borough of State College is following public health advice to take precautionary and preparatory measures to limit the local impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As we deal with this public emergency, we are continuously balancing the most important health and wellbeing issues for our employees and the general public with the economic and business concerns in our community, and our commitment to providing local government services to ensure the public health, safety and welfare. Mayor Ronald L. Filippelli has issued the following statement to the community:
“I want to take a moment to express my sympathies to those around the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a global health crisis that has and will continue to have a local impact on our economy. My deepest sympathies go out to the local businesses and residents that are feeling the repercussions of this pandemic. I’ve spoken with Borough administration and can assure you that the Borough is making a maximum effort on keeping our citizens safe as we work through this unprecedented event. This release contains all the relevant information about changes the Borough is making to limit the local impact of COVID-19. All information and resources will be posted on the Borough’s website at www.statecollegepa.us/coronavirus and the Borough will be sending out a daily briefing via email to highlight the local updates. You can subscribe to those updates at http://www.statecollegepa.us/civicalerts.aspx?Mode=Subscribe and select “Public Health & Safety” under the NewsFlash section.”
-Mayor Ronald L. FilippelliOur local Health Department is working in conjunction with the Centre Region Emergency Management Agency (CREMA) Response Team to monitor the situation and provide updates to our community. The CREMA, which coordinates efforts with the Pennsylvania State University, Centre County Office of Emergency Services and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, was formed many years ago by the Centre Region municipalities, creating a single emergency operations plan, a shared emergency operations center and the hiring of an Emergency Management Coordinator to deal with multi-jurisdictional disasters and other emergencies, including widespread community health threats. The Centre Region Council of Governments has declared a state of emergency for all the Centre Region communities, including the Borough of State College along with the townships of College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris and Patton. A full copy of this declaration is available on our webpage.The Borough joins with these partners in implementing and strongly recommending social distancing as a key tool to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The Borough is developing options, both for employees and residents, who engage with and attend events that will minimize opportunities for viral transmission while allowing the continuity of vital services to the community. The following changes are being made:
Additional information about events and meetings will be provided at the Borough’s website.If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, contact the PA Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258 and your health care provider. If you need to seek medical treatment, call the facility you intend to visit before showing up so that the staff can be aware and be prepared for your arrival. As we work together to cope with this public health challenge, the Borough of State College is grateful for our community partners at CREMA, Penn State University, State College Area School District, Mount Nittany Health, our many social service agencies and the many dedicated healthcare and first responder workers on the front lines who protect our health and safety every day.
All media inquires about this release should contact Douglas Shontz, Assistant to the Manager, by phone at (814) 278-4723 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities.
First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.
As such, I am ordering that all schools in the commonwealth close for the next two weeks.
Be aware that no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.
The Department of Education will work with intermediate units and other stakeholders to support school districts with any continuity of learning plans they may be pursuing.
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low-income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.
We appreciate your collaboration as we work together to deal with this difficult issue.
To our customers and our community.
We know that Coronavirus is a concern for many people in our region, and I want to take a moment to let you know what CATA is doing to combat community spread of the virus.CATA’s Pandemic Task Force has been working closely since February with public health officials as well as with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), whose guidance we are following. Their current advice is to stay close to home if you are over 60 or are not feeling well; and to wash your hands often.
Although CATA cleans our buses daily, starting in February we stepped up deep cleaning and disinfecting of our bus fleet and facilities. Our staged response plan includes preparing for any service changes that may be required based on the CDC’s guidance and regional public health requirements for our employees and customers. We are mindful that CATA provides essential services, and the health and safety of our workforce and the communities we serve are paramount as this situation evolves.
Following Penn State’s announcement yesterday that classes would be presented on-line and asking students not to return to campus until after April 3rd, we enacted the first level of our plan to reduce service to meet the community need should the university close. As a result, we will remain in reduced service through Thursday, April 2nd. We plan to return to full service on Friday, April 3rd to help deal with the traffic congestion that will likely occur as students return. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the public if this changes.
For more information on which routes operate on what trips, you should see page 19 of our ride guide, or visit the front page of our website and click on the yellow link. Our routes that are designed to handle high capacity crowds will not operate – HU, NE, NV, RC, RP, VE, VN and WE. Routes that are typically used by commuters going to and from work are operating during this time, however, they may have fewer trips each day. You can also call our customer service center at 814-238-2282 and speak with a customer service representative or visit our mobile app which is updated to show the existing service level.
Please look for future updates and information at CATABUS.com; through CATA’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts or sign up for text alerts by clicking on our real-time text notifications located on the website home page near the bottom of the page then click on the log in the icon in the top right corner of the real-time page to create an account.
The CATA team wishes you and your families well and thanks to you for your support.
Subject: SCASD Plan for March 16-20
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We have spent the past few weeks researching and monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 coronavirus health issue. As we negotiate this uncharted territory, we believe that the time has come for our district community to make an important decision.
All schools in the State College Area School District will not be in session for students from March 16 until March 20, 2020, but all buildings and district offices will be open.
Great care and research went into this decision; however, we regret the hardships this will cause for some of our families. Before choosing a course of action, we reviewed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and worked with the PA Department of Health, Centre Region Emergency Management, and the Integrated Health Planning Group. At this time, we believe that is the right step to take for the health and safety of our SCASD families, employees, and the community at large — especially to protect our students and employees who are immunosuppressed or at greater risk due to age and other reasons.
We will use this time to develop the following measures should we resume classes on Monday, March 23, or a longer closure becomes necessary:
This five-day period will consist of two instructional training days for faculty and staff and three days that will be rescheduled for students and made-up. In the coming days, we will communicate more information about Special Education and Student Services, including Counseling, Gifted, Nursing, and ESL.
At this time, athletics and extracurricular activities will proceed as planned. The SAT test scheduled for Saturday will continue as normal. However, because of the expected large number of test-takers, we will take extra precautions related to student health.
Moving forward, we’ll continue monitoring the situation weekly and proceed on a week-by-week basis. We will make a decision about the week of March 23-27 on Thursday, March 19. Regardless, our goal is to resume instruction on March 23, whether that’s in our classrooms or via remote learning.
Because of the magnitude of this decision, I ask that you please reach out to your building principal with individual requests and needs. They will serve as the first contacts for funneling communications throughout the district.
Though this is an uncertain time, I know we’ll pull together as a community. Thank you for your understanding as we work through this difficult period.
Bob O’DonnellSuperintendent of Schools
Governor Tom Wolf today confirmed the first two presumptive positive cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania and reminded residents that the commonwealth is prepared to respond to community spread of this virus.
“We anticipated this very scenario and have been preparing for Pennsylvanians to become impacted by this virus,” Governor Wolf said. “This is not the first rapidly-spreading virus we have faced in our commonwealth and it will not be the last. We are prepared to mitigate the spread of this virus.”
The one individual is an adult from Wayne County and is currently in their home in isolation. The individual recently traveled to a country where COVID-19 is present.
The other individual is from an adult from Delaware County and is currently in their home in isolation. The individual recently traveled to an area of the United States where COVID-19 is present.
To date, there are nearly 100,000 cases worldwide, including more than 3,300 deaths. There are 233 cases and 12 deaths to date in the United States. The CDC expects cases to continue to be confirmed in the upcoming days and weeks but wants everyone to take action to help prevent the spread of the virus. CDC also said due to the rapidly changing nature of the spread of COVID-19 around the world, it is important for families to be prepared.
“Further spread of this virus throughout the nation will likely occur,” Dr. Levine said. “We encourage people to prepare for potential life disruptions. The same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for flu or norovirus, and even snowstorms and floods, are important now. Pennsylvanians should continue to help stop the spread of viruses by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces and staying home if you are sick.”
“The confirmation of a case of coronavirus is not a surprise to us, and we’ve been working with the Department of Health since January to ensure that we’d be ready,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “Earlier this week, we partially activated the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center here at PEMA in order to support their planning efforts.”
Individuals who intend on traveling outside of the United States are urged to check the CDC’s and the federal Department of State’s travel guidance. Currently there are outbreaks of COVID-19 occurring within numerous countries across the world. The number of countries seeing new cases has increased significantly over the last week.
“As this situation evolves, we will continually update Pennsylvanians through our website, health.pa.gov, our Facebook page and our Twitter account,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through the Department of Health.”
Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Individuals most at risk for severe symptoms include the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
Anyone who does not feel well should:
To date the Wolf Administration has:
For more information on coronavirus visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All questions can be directed to the Neighborhood and Community Services Division at (814)-234-7191.