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COVID-19

Thousands opt for mail-in ballots

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County voters have already submitted 8,100 absentee and mail-in ballots for today’s presidential primary, a record amount in light of COVID-19 and the state’s expansion of the rules permitting the option. How that affects this year’s overall turnout should be ...

Levine explains facility efforts

On the day the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced plans to ramp up infection-control enforcement on nursing homes, Pennsylvania’s health secretary outlined efforts to prevent and contain outbreaks of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities. Long-term care ...

Cambria County fair, Ag Progress Days canceled

From Mirror staff reports Two farming-related summer traditions have fallen victim to the coronavirus. The American Legion County Fair in Cambria County and Penn State’s Ag Progress Days won’t be held this year, organizers said. “Due to the ongoing concerns linked to the COVID-19 ...

COVID-19 kills 26,000 in nursing homes

WASHINGTON — Nearly 26,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, the government reported Monday, as federal officials demanded states carry out more inspections and vowed higher fines for facilities with poor infection control. The partial numbers released by the Centers for ...

Program to help business ‘Thrive’

The Blair County Chamber of Commerce will kickoff a new program today designed to encourage Blair County residents to help local businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic and its daunting economic consequences. “Buy Here. Thrive Here.” is the next phase of the chamber’s “Buy Here. ...

Ministerium provides baccalaureate online

The Southern Cove/Yellow Creek Ministerium is providing a virtual baccalaureate service for the seniors at Northern Bedford High School. The online service includes messages from five pastors of local churches. Since an in-person gathering of graduates cannot be held at the usual time of ...

Officials: Gatherings may spike COVID-19 case totals

MIAMI — In hindsight, Rosa Jimenez Cano realizes that attending a protest against police brutality was risky — and not just for the usual reasons. “This can be kind of a tinderbox for COVID,” the 39-year-old venture capitalist said after attending a demonstration in Florida, one of ...

Green pastures looming — Restaurants changing, preparing to reopen

Jen Haramoto speaks confidently. Mike Luciano is full of misgivings. Blair and its neighboring counties soon will be going into the coronavirus recovery green zone, which means that beginning Friday, June 5, bars and restaurants may serve in-house for the first time since mid-March — but ...

Going green: ‘People just craving it’

By William Kibler bkibler@altoonamirror.com Blair County, along with Cambria and Bedford, will be moving Friday from yellow to green on the state’s coronavirus recovery continuum, along with 13 other counties. Centre and Clearfield counties moved to green Friday with 16 others — while ...

Hillview reports case

Blair County has its first case of coronavirus in a long-term care facility. The case was reported in Hillview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Altoona, and it was listed Friday as being new within the past 24 hours on the website of parent company Guardian Elder Care of ...

Amtran to re-establish fares

mtran is making plans to transition from its corona­virus-induced policy of not charging customers to the eventual return of full fares. The bus service hasn’t been charging customers to ride during the pandemic so those customers can enter and leave buses through the back door and avoid ...

Street ball plays came with Hail Marys attached

Spending so much time with family these past few months left me nostalgic for the days when I grew up on Third Avenue in Altoona with seven houses on the block all containing my family. Besides my home, there were grandparents, aunts and uncles and plenty of cousins. Mostly, it was me, my ...

Lawmaker’s COVID-19 case stirs anger, fear in Pa. House

At least one local lawmaker has self-quarantined after the revelation of a COVID-19 case in the state House stirred national controversy. State Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Altoona, who works closely with affected Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Harrisburg, said Friday that he would spend several days in ...

Sporting goods sales hit or miss amid COVID-19 pandemic

GILBERT, Ariz. — Brian Morris faced a difficult scenario when the coronavirus pandemic started leading to shutdowns across the nation. If Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey opted to include bike shops among the businesses deemed nonessential, Freeride Bike Company, which he owns with his wife ...

Salons closing after threats over alleged virus exposure

O’FALLON, Mo. — Great Clips has temporarily closed its salons in Springfield, Missouri, after receiving threatening messages following the news that two of its hairstylists who tested positive for the coronavirus might have exposed 140 clients to the illness. Great Clips Inc., which has ...

Capital inches toward reopening

WASHINGTON — As the nation’s capital took the first tiny steps toward reopening Friday, the continued threat of coronavirus was ever present. Showing IDs was not enough at the Dacha Beer Garden in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood. Would-be customers had to answer a series of questions ...

Meat plant reports virus deaths

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — At least 44 meatpacking workers in the U.S. have died from the new coronavirus and another 3,000 have tested positive, according to an estimate released Thursday by the largest union representing workers. Meat processing plants have become hot spots for infections in ...

Casey may have had COVID-19

HARRISBURG — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said Friday he received an antibody test result this week that indicated he probably had COVID-19 when he fell ill earlier this year. The Democratic senator from Scranton said he had a low-grade fever and mild flu-like symptoms, leading him to isolate ...

School guidelines expected soon

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf will lift most of his pandemic restrictions in an additional 16 counties home to nearly 3 million people, including much of the Pittsburgh area, his office said Friday as afflicted Philadelphia also began mapping its way out of the crisis. In the green phase, ...

Blair to offer ballot drop-off

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County voters will be able to turn in absentee and mail-in ballots on Tuesday along the Union Street side of the courthouse. In a news release distributed Thursday, the county advised that absentee and mail-in ballots can be submitted between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, ...