Latest Coronavirus Updates

90.5 WESA is following the latest updates and COVID-19 case numbers in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania.

Jack Hanrahan / Erie Times-News

PA Counties Report No Major Issues With Dominion Voting Machines, A Target Of Trump And His Campaign

In their latest attempt at sowing doubt in Pennsylvania’s 2020 election, a group of state Republicans has latched onto rhetoric coming from President Donald Trump and his legal advisers about voting machines used in 14 counties during the November election.

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Politics & Government

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's governor on Monday rejected a bill that would have made it harder to sue schools, health care providers and other businesses for coronavirus-related claims.

Jack Hanrahan / Erie Times-News

In their latest attempt at sowing doubt in Pennsylvania’s 2020 election, a group of state Republicans has latched onto rhetoric coming from President Donald Trump and his legal advisers about voting machines used in 14 counties during the November election.

Source: PA Lawmaker Gets A Positive Test At Trump Meeting

19 hours ago
Julio Cortez / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator abruptly left a West Wing meeting with President Donald Trump after being informed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press.

Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano had gone to the White House last Wednesday with like-minded Republican state lawmakers shortly after a four-hour-plus public meeting that Mastriano helped host in Gettysburg — maskless — to discuss efforts to overturn president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

Science, Health & Tech

PA Expands Virus App To School-Age Phone Users

13 hours ago
Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s two-month-old coronavirus exposure notification app can now be used by mobile phone users as young as 13 as health officials work to stop the virus' spread in schools around the state, officials said Monday.

Matt Rourke / AP

Contact tracing apps have been lauded as one tool to help contain the spread of COVID-19, but they all require a majority of people to download and use them. As more apps come online, the potential user pool for any one app shrinks. 

Education

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public School administrators say assessments have to be reconsidered in a pandemic; The POISE Foundation’s latest “Pulse Report” finds a disproportionate amount of high poverty and Black students in fully remote learning; The pandemic is making the digital divide all the more obvious; and two professors take on questions about sleep and computers.

90.5 WESA

On today's program: David Dausey from Duquesne University outlines precautions for keeping students and families safe ahead of the holidays; A judge has ruled to count ballots cast in a hotly contested state senate race; and scientists have modified the American chestnut to survive blight, but some disagree GMO trees are the answer.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Why Does Frick Park Have Fire Hydrants?

Frick Park’s 644 acres include extensive hiking trails, hundreds of species of wildlife and old fire hydrants that seem out of place. As stir-crazy Pittsburghers take advantage of the city’s many green spaces, Good Question! askers took notice of the peculiarly-placed manmade objects.

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Identity & Justice

Maria Scapellato 90.5 WESA

Soup kitchens are typically busy places on Thanksgiving Day. They have always offered people in need a place to come in from the cold and share a turkey dinner with their neighbors in the community.

Evan Vucci / AP

Lawyers representing families detained at the Berks County Residential Center say Immigrations and Customs Enforcement may deport two families as soon as this weekend. They argue those families and 21 other families detained in Dilley, Texas, never received a fair chance to state their case for asylum because their cases were decided under policies that courts later struck down.

Development & Transportation

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Construction of Pittsburgh’s bus rapid transit or BRT project is expected to begin in late 2021. Port Authority of Allegheny County is working with a project management oversight consultant from the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the agency meets the remaining requirements, which include finalizing funding and design.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Mark Simpson / Alumni Theater Company

Acclaimed young-adult novelist Sharon G. Flake has adapted her very first novel into her very first play.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

The Thanksgiving night game between the Ravens and Steelers has been switched to Sunday because of coronavirus issues with Baltimore.

The NFL announced the move Wednesday, but did not specify a time of game nor which network would televise it. Previously, it was scheduled for NBC's prime-time telecast.

Baltimore placed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the reserve/COVID-19, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens also have been doing team work virtually.

For artists in theater, music and dance, there are few honors higher than a gig at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.

Environment & Energy

Dimock Residents Worry About Planned Fracking Waste Well

10 hours ago
StateImpact Pennsylvania

A fracking wastewater treatment company is exploring the possibility of constructing an underground deep injection well in Dimock, Susquehanna County. If approved, it would be the first deep injection well built to handle fracking wastewater in eastern Pennsylvania.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

If some of the city’s riverfront trails look a little bare right now, there's no cause for concern. Restoration efforts are underway to remove invasive species and introduce plants native to Pennsylvania.

Economy & Business

Michael Dwyer / AP

Black Friday, the traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season, will feature fewer “doorbuster” early morning sales at big box retailers this year, according to one consumer expert.

Local Headlines

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Explainer is taking a break this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, we’re bringing you the first episode of 90.5 WESA’s new series, Land & Power.


Gene J. Puskar / AP

On this week's Explainer:

Allegheny County set a new record this week, with more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases. Health reporter Sarah Boden reports state and county officials say they don't plan to put new restrictions in place, but are advising people to only interact with others in their home

Food & Drink

When police killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, it reminded the world that racism can become lethal. But just a few miles away, on the north side of the city, racial inequality plays out in a more ordinary yet still harmful way: A lack of fresh food.

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