Each weekend, read a curated summary of the work produced by the members of the Pittsburgh Media Partnership.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new research on Wednesday that found wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against the coronavirus, as does tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks. Those findings prompted new guidance on how to improve mask fit at a time of concern over fast-spreading variants of the virus.
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Life under quarantine
The first episode aired March 17, 2020, just days after Pennsylvania locked down in the face of the coronavirus. Some 155 episodes and more than 500 guests later, “Alone / Together” is still airing about three nights a week. And host Patrick Jordan said he and collaborators Dave Mansueto and Pete Spynda will keep going as long as the pandemic continues.
Across the country, experts have predicted a nationwide ‘baby bust,’ or a lower number of births than previous years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic recession. Yet interviews with doctors and experts in the Pittsburgh region, paired with local birth data, paint a more nuanced picture.
Health & Care
In early February, more than a month into Pennsylvania’s rocky vaccine rollout, state officials were once again facing questions about missing data on race and ethnicity.
The scramble to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is chaotic and fierce. There are not yet enough doses for everyone who’s eligible and wants to get vaccinated. As frustration rises, the federal government hasn’t offered much besides assurances that things will get better and appeals for calm.
The state Department of Corrections defied federal guidelines and a doctor’s order last week, demanding that an officer who tested positive for COVID-19 come back to work at a Pennsylvania prison struggling to contain the spread, Spotlight PA has learned.
‘It only takes one person’: University of Pittsburgh library workers worry about health as COVID-19 cases rise
As the University of Pittsburgh deals with the spike in coronavirus cases among students following the Halloween weekend, the administration ordered students to shelter in place before Thanksgiving break, with a few exceptions.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is allocating $303 million to support child care providers who have endured a year of challenges and changes. The money comes from the federal pandemic aid package signed into law in late December.
Teachers and school employees in the Mon Valley received encouraging news Wednesday when Gov. Tom Wolf announced they are now eligible to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination as early as next week.
Hospitals, health care systems and other vaccine providers reported brisk business on its website and on phone calls again Monday, as almost nonexistent supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine clashed with patients’ desires to be inoculated after the state vastly expanded the eligibility criteria.
Back Burner Bar & Grill in Coraopolis has had a steady stream of business since reopening after the December lockdowns.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that he is lifting some statewide COVID-19 restrictions effective immediately, upping occupancy limits for both indoor and outdoor events and eliminating out-of-state travel restrictions in place since November. Mask mandates and social distancing rules remain in effect.
Since COVID-19’s introduction to the United States over a year ago, experts have learned there are two key factors to surviving the novel coronavirus once infected: young age and good health.