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COVID-19

Nearly half of new US virus cases in 5 states

Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states — a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ...

State updates school learning models

The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education announced changes to its instructional model recommendations Monday as a result of updated guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a press release. Based on the CDC updates, the departments recommend ...

Following the herd

LANCASTER — Late last spring a COVID-19 wave tore through the Plain community when they resumed church services, infecting an untold number of Amish and Mennonites in Lancaster County. The administrator of a medical center in the heart of the Amish community in New Holland Borough estimates ...

Especially this year, use Easter to restore hope

Especially this year, use Easter to restore hope A slow evolution toward the way Easter was celebrated around the world pre-pandemic is occurring this weekend as Christians here and beyond commemorate Jesus Christ’s victory over death but also try to abide by recommended COVID-19 safety ...

Easter revival

A day to celebrate resurrection and new life, this Easter some local churches are celebrating their own new life and new beginnings. Since the start of COVID-19’s rampage in the U.S. last March, many businesses and organizations have been forced to adapt and even close — some ...

Mainline a driving force behind local vaccine clinics

A local independent pharmacy chain has been playing a big role in the administration of coronavirus vaccines. “We started looking into this last May when the state started up its program. We thought it was our duty to be at the forefront,” said John Pastorek, director of pharmacy for ...

Vaccine appointment availability hit-or-miss

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of the vaccination sites provided by area pharmacies seems to be a hit-or-miss proposition at this time, based on periodic examinations of those pharmacy websites. Appointment slots open, remain open for a while, then fill up, leaving no ...

State expanding vaccine eligibility

HARRISBURG — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and people in other high-risk groups are able to schedule their shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Wednesday in a dramatic ...

Big shot

Frank Servello of Altoona receives a COVID-19 vaccine from nursing student Kilee Willett of Bellwood on Tuesday morning during the first of Mainline Pharmacy’s weekly mass vaccination clinics at the Jaffa Shrine Center. The pharmacy was set to distribute 1,400 vaccinations during the first ...

Pennsylvania to make all adults vaccine eligible by April 19

HARRISBURG — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and others will be able to set up shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced Wednesday. Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the new ...

Blair’s hospitality funding tapped

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County expects to exhaust its COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Grant Program allocation in the first round of funding. The Altoona Blair County Development Corp., which is administering the county’s CHIRP, identified 60 eligible entities that submitted ...

Judge: Hospital can’t claim virus losses

A Windber hospital does not have a claim against its insurance company for its loss of business income and extra expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown ruled. The Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center, which has facilities in Windber, Johnstown and ...

State mulls expansion of vaccine eligibility

With Pennsylvania still vaccinating its most vulnerable population, Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday that his administration is discussing when to make the COVID-19 shot more widely available and that he expects it to happen relatively quickly. Providers under the state’s jurisdiction are ...

Canada halts AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 55

TORONTO — Canada on Monday suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under age 55 following concerns it might be linked to rare blood clots. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization had recommended the pause for safety reasons and the Canadian ...

Moratorium on evictions extended

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is extending a federal moratorium on evictions of tenants who have fallen behind on rent during the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved to continue the pandemic-related protection, which had been ...

HASD reports new virus cases

Two Hollidaysburg Area School District buildings reached their COVID-19 case thresholds this week according to Superintendent Robert Gildea. In letters sent to parents Wednesday and Thursday, Gildea said a fourth person tested positive at the junior high school and two people tested positive ...

Virus outlook brightens in US

More than three months into the U.S. vaccination drive, many of the numbers paint an increasingly encouraging picture, with 70% of Americans 65 and older receiving at least one dose of the vaccine and COVID-19 deaths dipping below 1,000 a day on average for the first time since ...

State nears 1M cases

Pennsylvania neared 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday amid rising infections and word of a setback in the state’s accelerating COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The Department of Health reported another 4,667 new cases — the highest single-day number since early ...

Feds: Pitt official stole 13K masks

The University of Pittsburgh's former director of emergency management stole more than 13,600 face masks meant for school employees and students and sold them online in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a federal indictment announced Wednesday. Christopher D. Casamento, ...

State eases mask mandate for those who are vaccinated

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania has eased its mask mandate to allow people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to gather with other vaccinated people without masks or social distancing, state health officials said Monday. The new rules also apply to vaccinated people gathering with people ...