News Flash

Public Health & Safety

Posted on: April 8, 2020

[04/08/2020] - Local Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today's update: State College Borough Launches Impacted Service Dashboard, PA DOH Confirms 57 Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 in Centre County, and more

This page contains local updates and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our local Health Department and the Region Emergency Management Agency are advising the community to follow the PA Department of Health and CDC guidelines on COVID-19. 

For more information visit the following websites:

04/08/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) confirms 57 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

Religious institutions. However, religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings and to avoid endangering their congregants. Individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay at home order is lifted.

  • The State College Borough has launched a service dashboard to show residents what municipal services have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IMAGE FOR SITE

Click to Launch Dashboard


04/07/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) confirms 55 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

  • Centre Region Parks and Recreation Direct, Pam Salkangas Shared the Following PSA About Park Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic,


04/06/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) confirms 44 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

  • Local Updates by Mayor Filippelli
  • Earned Income Tax (EIT) Rate Update

Act 10 of 2020, recently signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf, directs that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) coordinate the filing extension and payment deadlines of the Local Earned Income Tax so that they coincide with State filing extensions.

INDIVIDUALS: With the enactment of Act 10 of 2020, the filing deadline for 2019 Individual Earned Income Tax Returns in Pennsylvania has been extended to July 15, 2020. This means taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15.

This extension applies to both 2019 individual tax returns and payments as well as estimated payments for the 1st quarter of 2020. Additionally, all penalties and interest will be waived on 2019 earned income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020.

Some localities and collection agencies have already announced extensions for local earned income tax returns – the enactment of Act 10 now makes this universal to ALL municipalities in the Commonwealth.

EMPLOYERS: Currently, there are no extensions for Employer 1st quarter 2020 earned income tax returns or payment of the 1st quarter 2020 tax withheld from employees – that deadline remains April 30.

  • State College Police Personal Protective Equipment Usage in Response to COVID-19 

The State College Police would like to inform the public of measures we are taking to help protect both our staff and the public from potential COVID-19 exposure during police contacts.  Our officers are being instructed to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when performing job functions with the public in accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s recommendations made on April 3.  This additional equipment being worn will include masks and gloves.
 
We are also asking for the public’s understanding that our officers will attempt to resolve calls that do not require immediate police contact via a phone call or through email. Officers will continue to respond to any in-progress or other call necessitating immediate police contact.  Officers will attempt to maintain appropriate social distancing when practical.  We will continue to serve our community 24-hours a day and are always a phone call away.     

  • State College Area School District does not need a formal exemption through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to continue construction projects. Projects to be started/continued beginning this week.

School districts should use best judgment in exercising their authority to continue critical construction projects, and should not seek a formal exemption through DCED. All school district construction decisions should appropriately balance public health and safety while ensuring the continued safety of critical infrastructure. School districts and the contractors must ensure continuance of and compliance with the social distancing and other mitigation measures to protect employees and the public, including virtual and telework operations (e.g. work from home) as the primary option when available, as have been or will be established by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In-person work is only to be performed on the most limited basis possible. (Source: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Pages/AnswersToFAQs.aspx )

04/03/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) confirms 32 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

  • State College Launches COVID-19 Awareness & Impact Survey (Take the Survey)

The Borough is asking if you can complete the following Survey and share the Survey with your Neighbors.

It is always a top priority for us to make sure you are informed and safe. This is even more important during this pandemic. We are asking for three minutes of your time to complete this survey that will help us assess the awareness and impact of COVID-19 within the Borough of State College. Help us understand how you and your loved ones are affected. Please complete this survey and help spread the word among other residents about this opportunity to help us serve you.

  • Updates to State College Borough Bulk/Brush Collection AND Compost/Mulch Orders

Bulk/Brush Collections Requests: Borough residents’ materials must be outside for 3 consecutive days. If you submit your request on Saturday or Sunday, the collection will not take place until Tuesday or Wednesday. You can request bulk/brush collection via the request tracker

Compost/Mulch Order: Borough residents can now order compost and mulch delivery online. This program was previously suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that residents cannot pick up at the service building, the service is delivery only. 

  • Short term rentals (example: Airbnb) are not a life-sustaining business

Short term rentals of any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests, or which is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or rented through a home-share website are not authorized. This prohibition does not apply to the following:

-Hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments, or timeshare projects; or
-Rental stays where guests are currently staying in a vacation rental or have previously booked a stay and are scheduled to check-in no later than April 1, 2020; or
-Rentals to persons performing military, emergency, governmental, health or infrastructure response, or travelers engaged in non-vacation commercial activities. 

Download the latest FAQ for Life-Sustaining Businesses  

  • FirstEnergy COVID 19 Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program Update

West Penn Power customers who may find themselves unable to pay their electric bills.  For many customers, this may be the first time ever and will be confused on what they should do and how to interpret the information they receive and come to you for advice. 

The first step is to contact the West Penn Power credit and collection department at 1-800-736-3404 (number shows on top of the invoice).  If eligible, you will be guided to contact Dollar Energy, who administers financial aid programs for FirstEnergy.  Please see this one-page summary showing the various PA financial assistance programs and the income guidelines for 2020 on the bottom

Additionally, on April 2, 2020, FirstEnergy put into place new processes for Dollar Energy to evaluate residential applications eligible to receive financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP), where household income has been impacted by COVID 19.  See the chart below for these recent updates: 

image001

At this time, WPP is not pursuing the termination of any services, however, "10-day notices" are being mailed out to all customers.  These notices are important because customers may need proof of delinquency to qualify for some assistance programs.  This notice serves as their proof document.  

Please keep in mind theses financial programs are only regarding residential customers.  All non-residential customers (commercial/business) should also contact WPP’s credit and collection department to review options available to them.  

Residential customers also can request getting set-up on an Equal Payment Plan (EPP). With EPP, customers can make consistent monthly payments to avoid seasonal highs and lows in their electric bills.

For customers with medical conditions, FirstEnergy offers a Medical Certification program. Disconnection of electric service resulting from overdue bills can be delayed up to 30 days if it is determined that the loss of electric service would be especially dangerous to the health of a permanent member of a customer’s household. An appropriate health care professional must complete a Medical Certification Form describing the resident’s medical condition. The Medical Certification process also can be used to restore electric service after a customer has been disconnected.  

FirstEnergy also offers a program called Third-Party Notification where a relative, friend, clergy, or social service agency can be notified along with the customer if electric service is about to be disconnected. The third party is not obligated to pay the overdue bills but can help make payment arrangements for the customer who might have difficulty paying their bill.

04/02/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms 28 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

Centre County United Way and our 28 Partner Agencies are here to help! Not just during the COVID-19 Crisis but every day - all year long. If you need help with food, child care, transportation, rent, and many other basic needs, you can simply call 211.  An operator will answer your call and provide you with the information you need to get help.   You can contact 211 online by clicking HERE.

Centre Helps

If you have trouble getting though when you call 211, you can also reach out to Centre Helps.  Centre Helps is a partner agency that also provides the referral information you need for help. You can visit them on their website by clicking HERE.

  • Megabus is suspending the Philadelphia-Harrisburg-State College-Pittsburgh service until April 30th. The New York-State College-Pittsburgh service has also been suspended until April 30.

04/01/2020

  • Temporary Drop Off Recycling Containers Placed in the Region

Residents are reminded that curbside recycling has been suspended by the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. You can find more information on the suspension here: https://www.crcog.net/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={C4CB333D-44F3-44B0-B6CB-F815C3A2EB4F}  

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority added temporary drop off locations throughout the Region. You can find the list of locations here: https://www.centrecountyrecycles.org/vertical/Sites/%7B19100380-CED0-47E2-8734-43A86A251C04%7D/uploads/Temporary_Roll_April_1.jpg

 Residents have the option of storing their recycling on their property until curbside collection resumes or placing it in their trash in a trash grade bag.

We are not encouraging residents to leave their homes to drop off recycling. 

Please be advised that if you do choose to utilize the drop off locations, you should only do so in accordance with the Governor’s order (i.e. don’t make a separate trip just to recycle; instead combine it with a trip to the grocery store). Residents are reminded to practice social distancing at all locations.

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

03/31/2020

To report a noncompliant business or violation, contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (814) 234-7150. Please do not call 911.

  • Mount Nittany Health has a dedicated COVID-19 hotline available to the community: (814) 231-7111. The COVID-19 hotline will be answered daily from 7:00 am – 11:00 pm. For the most up-to-date information, visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms 26 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County. 

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases. 

03/30/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms 24 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County. 

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

With the Governor’s announcement that Centre County has been added to the stay-at-home order, please remember that you may still visit the parks for fresh air and exercise, please practice social distancing and good hygiene and refrain from visiting the parks if you are ill. Additionally, please note that park restrooms and water fountains are closed and playgrounds will be closed starting March 30.

Centre Region Parks and Recreation staff have been assessing the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19). In consideration of the health and safety of our customers and employees, and the availability of School District facilities, we are instituting the following temporary changes to our services (view all changes to services). 

  • An Update from the Centre Tax Agency

Local Earned Income Tax Filing Due date:  State legislation was passed late last week authorizing the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to coordinate with local political subdivisions to extend filing and payment deadlines for the Local Earned Income Tax.  At this point, Centre Tax Agency is awaiting confirmation from the DCED and our Tax Collection Committee (TCC) to extend the 2019 Earned Income & Net Profits Tax (EIT) return/payment due date and the 2020 1st Quarter Estimated Declaration payment due dates until July 15, 2020.  Once we have an official statement, an update will be provided.  

Centre Tax[2]

03/28/2020

The Borough of State College is continuing to evaluate the order and will provide additional guidance. Governor Wolf has provided the following guidance.

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

The following operations are exempt:

  • Life-sustaining business activities
  • Health care or medical services providers
  • Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
  • Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders
  • News media
  • Law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters
  • The federal government
  • Religious institutions

03/27/2020

03/26/2020

To keep our recycling and refuse collection crew and recycling facility workers safe, please follow the guidelines below:

  • If you have tested positive for Covid-19, are quarantined, self-quarantined or have any symptoms of the virus, please do not put recycling items in your curbside recycling bins.
  • Instead, hold on to your items for a few weeks or place with your bagged trash, which then should be properly discarded at the direction of your trash hauler (placed in or next to your refuse container).
  • These actions can keep us from spreading the virus through our recycling since it can remain viable on surfaces for up to several days.

Thank you for your consideration in helping to keep our employees safe

  • National Recreation and Parks Association Statement on Using Parks and Open Space While Maintaining Social Distancing

covid19-urban-parks-1000

Concerns about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continue to grip our nation. As organizations that support the power of parks and open spaces as essential resources for health and wellness, we understand that people may have questions and concerns about visiting their local parks, trails or open spaces at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that social distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. We also know that parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improve mental health.

We believe that many parks, trails, and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. In all instances, we recommend people follow local, state and national ordinances and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from community to community.

In places where there are no restrictions on the use of local parks, trails, and open spaces, we encourage all users to follow these recommendations:

  • Refrain from using parks or trails if they are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during the use of parks or trails.
  • Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
  • While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
  • Consult their local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up to date recommendations on park and trail use.

We encourage local jurisdictions to keep parks, trails and open spaces accessible as long as it is safe to do so.

Our local parks, trails and open spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. During this time of uncertainty, these places are needed now more than ever. Our nation’s park and recreation professionals are working hard to maintain these spaces and keep them safe, accessible and benefiting our communities during these challenging times. Let us all do our part to use them in a way that respects each other and public health guidance. 

03/25/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms eight diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County. 

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

  • The April Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event has been POSTPONED until further notice

03/24/2020

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms seven diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Centre County. 

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases.

  • State College Borough Parking Department Update

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.   

  • Payment will not be required at all Borough garages, lots, and parking meters. 
  • One- and two-hour time limits in residential neighborhoods will not be enforced. 
  • The “No Parking 2AM-6AM” ordinance will not be enforced until further notice.  
  • Loading zones and state law violations including no parking anytime will still be enforced if they cause the disruption of service or create any type of hazard to pedestrians or vehicular traffic.  

These changes are effective through April 30th and updates will be provided if these dates are extended in the future. 

03/23/2020

  • The State College Borough Department of Public Works has suspended Brush/Leaf drop-off at the composting facility and mulch/compost purchase and deliveries, until further notice. 
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms three cases of COVID-19 in Centre County. 

Please note that the Borough of State College will only report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed cases. 

  • IMPORTANT TRASH UPDATE FOR CUSTOMERS IN BENNER, COLLEGE, FERGUSON, HARRIS AND PATTON TOWNSHIPS (NOT STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH):

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.

03/22/2020

03/20/2020

03/19/2020

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.

  • A message to State College Borough refuse customers:

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.  

  • A message to Centre Region residential refuse 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/ 

03/18/2020

03/17/2020

03/16/2020

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.

  • Centre County Government: Declaration of Emergency (COVID-19)

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 Administrator
mngray@centrecountypa.gov

  • State College Meals on Wheels Requests 

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 Shiller
State College Meals on Wheels
suelynn@scmow.org
c 412.390.7503
o 814.237.8135

03/14/2020

  • Schlow Centre Region Library Update

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.

03/13/2020

Precautions, Preparations to Limit Local Impact of COVID-19 


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. Filippelli


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.  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: 

  • The Borough of State College Parking Department will suspend metered parking enforcement at 5 p.m. instead of the regular time of 10 p.m. in all surface lots and on street meters through April 5, 2020.  All other parking regulations and policies will remain in place at this time.  All parking meters and equipment will be sanitized regularly.  For questions regarding this policy, please email parking@statecollegepa.us.
     
  • The Municipal Building will continue to be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, the Borough encourages the use of email, phone, the website and other virtual methods to engage/request for service from the organization, including online payment options for taxes, and other payments to the Borough.  
     
  • Due dates for tax payments remain unchanged at this time.
     
  • All Authorities, Boards, Committees and Commissions (ABCs) will be postponed through April 30, 2020, unless there are business items that must be decided on immediately and will impact the community’s essential services. A full list of cancellations will be posted and updated on the Borough’s COVID-19 webpage.
     
  • All use of Borough facilities by outside groups has been restricted through April 5, 2020, and will likely be extended.  
     
  • Front-end and other staff members that have frequent interactions with the public are following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines on how to prevent illness, which includes cleaning their hands often and avoiding close contact.
     
  • Employees who themselves or family members with whom they live are in a vulnerable population are encouraged to either work remotely if their job function is conducive to remote work or utilize sick leave. 



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. 

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All media inquires about this release should contact Douglas Shontz, Assistant to the Manager, by phone at (814) 278-4723 or by email at dshontz@statecollegepa.us.


  • Centre Region Council of Governments: DECLARATION OF DISASTER EMERGENCY

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CR Emergency Declaration

















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  • Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools in the following statement: 

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.

03/12/2020

  • A Message From CATA on COVID-19 and CATA Operations

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.

03/11/2020

  • Letter sent to all [State College Area School District] parents and guardians March 11, 2020

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: 

  • Identify immunosuppressed and other at-risk students and employees
  • Finalize daily systematic approach to disinfect all schools and buses
  • Develop flexible and remote learning options for all K-12 students
  • Prepare for the potential distribution of chromebooks to K-5 students
  • Coordinate food service options for our children in need


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’Donnell
Superintendent of Schools

Source: https://www.scasd.org/covid19.

03/10/2020

  • PA DOH: We haven’t seen #COVID19 community spread in Pennsylvania. We have seen contact spread. ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ means that a person had contact with an individual who tested presumptively positive. The source of infection is known.

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03/09/2020

Coronavirus Self-Monitor Infographic[2]

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03/06/2020

  • Wolf Administration Confirms Two Presumptive Positive Cases of COVID-19

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:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with their elbow, not their hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas.
  • Contain- if someone is sick, they should stay home until they are feeling better.

To date the Wolf Administration has:

  • Activated of the Department of Health’s Emergency Operations Center to allow for enhanced response coordination;
  • Began testing for COVID-19 at the state laboratory;
  • Maintained communication and outreach with federal, state and local partners;
  • Provided symptom monitoring for residents returning from areas impacted by coronavirus;
  • Provided health care providers, businesses and education providers with information;
  • Reviewed and adapted current pandemic flu plans to prepare for spread of COVID-19;
  • Increased testing capacity to test 20-25 individuals a day;
  • Purchased equipment to increase testing capacity to 125-150 individuals within a day.

For more information on coronavirus visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

03/05/2020

  • American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries pre-approved cleaning products by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens and can be used during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

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  • CDC Facts about COVID-19

CDC Five Facts

  • PA Department of Health: Preparing for the Spread of COVID-19

PA DOH Coronavirus Home Preparedness

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03/02/2020

  • Public Health Ordinance Enforcement Officer, Brian O’Donnell provided an update to Council at their Monday, March 2, Regular Meeting. 

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID 19 Fact Sheet

2019-ncov-factsheet

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  • CDC Handwashing Guide

CDC Handwashing

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All questions can be directed to the Neighborhood and Community Services Division at (814)-234-7191.


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