Check here for continuous updates on how local and national businesses, organizations and institutions are handling the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Local Articles

The annual Emlenton Summer Festival kicked off Friday with several events before the community party swings into high gear today and Sunday.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Americans enjoying newfound liberty are expected to travel and gather for cookouts, fireworks, concerts and beach outings over the Fourth of July weekend in numbers not seen since pre-pandemic days.

HARRISBURG (AP) - A Republican-crafted bill to ban so-called COVID-19 "vaccine passports" in some cases and to restrict the health secretary's actions during health emergencies was vetoed Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf.

HARRISBURG - A state budget that dumps billions in federal coronavirus money into savings, boosts spending on education and provides aid to nursing homes easily passed the Legislature on Friday. Gov. Tom Wolf's office said he plans to sign it next week.

Butler Health System reported Clarion Hospital through Wednesday had collected 13,673 specimens for COVID-19 testing, including 11,540 tests at the hospital's outdoor collection site. A total of 2,191 tests were positive for the virus. As of Thursday, the hospital has no COVID-19 in-patients.

Local farmers markets are open around the area after last year's shutdowns, and business looks good across the board, say vendors and organizers.

Local farmers markets are open around the area after last year's shutdowns, and business looks good across the board, say vendors and organizers.

Effective Friday, the Clarion Hospital vaccine clinic will administer COVID-19 vaccines at the hospital. Patients should enter through the main entrance of the hospital to register. The vaccination clinic at the Gordman's Building will host its last clinic on Wednesday. To view clinic days a…

NEW YORK (AP) - COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms hit another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.

Franklin Area School District is looking to bolster its remote classroom capabilities after the past two school years saw an increase in online learning due to the pandemic.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Joe Biden took a cautious victory lap Friday in his quest to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, announcing that 300 million vaccine shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office.

HARRISBURG (AP) - Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed legislation to extend hundreds of waivers of regulations that his administration approved over the last 15 months under the authority of his pandemic disaster emergency declaration that lawmakers voted to end.

- Butler Health System reported Clarion Hospital through Tuesday had collected 13,563 specimens for COVID-19 testing, including 11,463 tests at the hospital's outdoor collection site. A total of 2,185 tests were positive for the virus. As of Wednesday, the hospital has no COVID-19 in-patients.

National Articles

AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Coronavirus numbers remained high in Nevada on Friday as the state reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, at least 20 deaths and hospitalizations climbing past the 1,000 mark for the first time in more than five months, state health officials said.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Friday that she is looking to make widespread changes in the state's prison system after meeting with tired and discouraged employees working short-handed at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

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Jewish group asks Florida grocers to stop selling Ben & Jerry’s products

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Justice Department has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response, according to a letter sent Friday to several Republican members of Congress.

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MIAMI (AP) — Pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships are no longer in place under a Friday ruling by a federal appeals court, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seek to fight a Florida lawsuit challenging the regulations.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' coronavirus cases rose by nearly 2,000 on Friday as the state's COVID-19 surge prompted the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to scale back its hospital visitor policy.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — At a time when labor unions are struggling across the United States, California on Friday signed a first-time contract with 40,000 childcare providers under a new collective bargaining agreement.

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WASHINGTON — The tone of some Republican leaders on COVID-19 vaccines has shifted in response to the highly infectious delta variant, but a continued emphasis on values like personal liberty and privacy could muddle the message.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Africa became the region hardest hit by terrorism in the first half of 2021 as the Islamic State and al-Qaida extremist groups and their affiliates spread their influence, boasting gains in supporters and territory and inflicting the greatest casualties, U.N. experts sa…

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases again jumped significantly this week as the vaccination rate in rural counties where some of the worst outbreaks are occurring remains well below the state and national averages.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's top health official said Friday that the state can still vaccinate some minors without parental consent, aiming to clear up contradictory claims from lawmakers who complained that the state's former vaccine chief circulated information about the longstandi…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizations representing long-term care facilities on Friday urged lawmakers working on a bipartisan infrastructure plan to avoid dipping into COVID-relief funds to help pay for the roughly $600 billion in new spending sought for the public works buildout.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes and several of his Kansas City Chiefs teammates reported for training camp Friday, with 90% of the team’s roster having received the COVID-19 vaccine.

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SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s top epidemiologist is recommending that everyone wear a mask or face covering in crowded indoor places because of the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant — even if they have been vaccinated.

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TOKYO — When there should have been cheers Friday night as athletes marched in for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics there instead was an eerie silence in a cavernous stadium that was closed to spectators because of the COVID-driven state of emergency that still grips most of Japan.

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LANSING, Mich. — The U.S. Department of Justice says it's not opening a civil rights investigation into Michigan nursing homes after requesting information from the state last year amid intense scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan on Friday reported an average of 431 new daily COVID-19 infections over three days, up 47% from the same period a week earlier.

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Wall Street notched more record highs on Friday, ending the week on a strong note after opening it with a stumble. The S&P 500 notched its fourth straight gain following a sell-off Monday brought on by a flare-up in worries about an upturn in coronavirus infections, particularly those of…

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Saying the NFL is America's most popular sport isn't exactly brainiac territory. Arguing that it also dealt most successfully with the dangers and restrictions caused by COVID-19 should be just as obvious.

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Aiming to treat gun violence as a public health crisis, Baltimore’s mayor on Friday unveiled a five-year violence reduction plan for the U.S. city where violent crime rates have remained high since a 2015 surge.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Friday that she will start taking emergency measures next week to keep the government from an unprecedented default on the national debt, warning that a default would cause “irreparable harm to the U.S. economy and the liveli…

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — With Alabama trailing the nation in COVID-19 vaccinations, infections rising and the governor refusing incentives to encourage more people to get shots, state prisons are offering $5 canteen credits to inmates to encourage more inoculations.

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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — With the number of coronavirus deaths starting to recede in Brazil, a renewed sense of optimism has led state governors to roll back restrictions, soccer fans are starting to return to stadiums, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro has said the city's famous New Year's par…

AP

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:

AP

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of newly reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma topped 1,000 for a third consecutive day on Friday and the seven-day average of new cases has nearly quintupled in less than a month, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health figures.