HARRISBURG — The Wolf Administration on Tuesday announced four new COVID-19 mitigation efforts, according to a news release from the state Department of Health.

Hospital care

State Secretary of Health Rachel Levine issued a memorandum to acute care hospitals outlining expectations to care for Pennsylvanians who need care during the pandemic.

Hospitals are to work through the established health care coalitions and other partnerships to prepare for how they will support one another in the event that a hospital becomes overwhelmed during the pandemic.

Hospitals should also be working to move up elective procedures necessary to protect a person’s health and prepare to suspend them if the health care system becomes strained.

Restrictions on elective surgeries put into effect in March and lifted in April were to help with both personal protective equipment and bed capacity and were considered successful.

Hospitalizations are increasing, as are ICU patients, and according to modeling from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, which does not take into account hospitalizations from influenza, Pennsylvania will run out of intensive care beds in December if ICU admissions continue at the current rate.

The same modeling indicates there will be sufficient medical-surgical beds with some uncertainty as to capacity from region to region.

Traveler testing

Levine issued an order requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the commonwealth.

If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvanians visiting other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to the commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania.

This order, which takes effect on Friday, does not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work or medical treatment.

Strengthened masking order

Levine first issued a masking order on April 15. The order signed today strengthens this initial order with the following inclusions:

— Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.

— When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.

— When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.

— The order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors offices, public transportation and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.

Colleges and universities

The departments of Health and Education issued recommendations for colleges and universities to implement a testing plan for when students return to campus following the holidays.

These recommendations include establishing routine protocols for testing.

Colleges and universities should have adequate capacity for isolation and quarantine and should be prepared to enforce violations of established policies such as mask wearing and physical distancing.

Every college and university should test all students at the beginning of each term, when returning to campus after a break and to have regular screening testing throughout the semester/term.

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Three individuals from Central Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to a post by Franklin Area School District Superintendent Mark Loucks on the district's Facebook page.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Monday announced 59 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the tri-county area, and Butler Health System said an additional virus-related death occurred Sunday at Clarion Hospital that has yet to be reported by the state.

HARRISBURG - The state Department of Health over the weekend announced the tri-county area reported an increase of 136 cases of COVID-19.

HARRISBURG--The state Department of Health on Saturday announced Clarion County reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 (37 confirmed and three probable), Forest County reported 20 new confirmed cases, and Venango County reported 18 new confirmed cases.

HARRISBURG–The state Department of Health on Friday announced Clarion County reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 (10 confirmed and 28 probable), Venango County reported 28 new cases (13 confirmed and 15 probable), and Forest County reported six new cases (two confirmed and four probable).

In a year that would have marked a milestone, one of Oil City's most popular holiday venues for young students has been canceled due to coronavirus-related health directives.

  • Updated

HARRISBURG–The state Department of Health on Thursday announced Venango County reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 (65 confirmed and five probable), Clarion County reported 47 new cases (32 confirmed and 15 probable), and Forest County reported five new confirmed cases.

Three people were injured in a water rescue Tuesday on the Allegheny River in Oil City after the city fire department's boat flipped during the rescue.

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HARRISBURG - The state Department of Health on Tuesday announced Clarion County reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 (27 confirmed and four probable) and Venango County reported 26 new cases (21 confirmed and five probable).

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Monday announced Clarion County reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 (21 confirmed and 20 probable) and Venango County reported 25 new cases (19 confirmed and six probable).

An amazing 1,260 turkeys were distributed at the annual Friends for Food campaign in a socially distanced drive-through on Saturday at the Rocky Grove fire hall.

Franklin's annual Light-Up Night on Saturday may not have had its usual pomp and circumstance, but the simple celebration of the holiday season succeeded in what it always set out to do and ignited the magic and excitement in the hearts of countless residents.

  • Updated

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health over the weekend announced the tri-county area reported an increase of 111 cases of COVID-19.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Friday announced Forest County reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 (18 confirmed and two probable), Clarion County reported 52 additional cases (39 confirmed and 13 probable) and Venango County reported 23 new cases (20 confirmed and three probable).

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Thursday announced Venango County reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 (30 confirmed and six probable), Clarion County reported 29 new cases (16 confirmed and 13 probable) and Forest County reported two additional cases (one confirmed and one probable).