Wine festival cancelled, Porter-Tower pool not opening

A popular event and another area swimming pool announced their cancellations recently due to the ongoing pandemic

On Monday, the Hegins Park Association announced through the Schuylkill County Wine Festival’s Facebook page that the 2020 edition of the festival would be cancelled.

“While we are heartbroken to cancel, there are just too many unknowns at this time to ensure the safety of our attendees, and especially our volunteers, and still provide a high-quality, enjoyable event,” the Facebook post read. “As many other annual events are also canceling, we understand it’s disheartening to also lose the wine festival but we have to prioritize the health of every one of our wineries, vendors, staff, caterers, entertainers, community, and all of you that support the festival.”

Wineries, vendors, and caterers will be receiving a letter or email very soon concerning refunds and other information.

On June 13, the Porter-Tower Recreation Committee announced that the Tower City Pool will not open for the season.

“Due to CDC guidelines, and restraints placed upon us by the Governor, even when the county moves to green. We will not be able to open,” the committee wrote in a Facebook post. “We are going to use this time to make some upgrades to the pool. So next year we will be ready to open.”

These announcements come on the heels of the annual Father’s Day breakfast at the Valley View Park being cancelled, but with officials hopeful that entertainment can resume there in July as Schuylkill County goes green on June 19

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania added 362 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. The state has 79,483 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The death toll was increased by 33 souls, putting the count at 6,276.

Dauphin County added 19 cases and one death to their county on Tuesday, as Schuylkill County added five cases and Northumberland County added three. Dauphin County currently stands at a total to 1,674 cases with 108 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 696 cases with 43 deaths, and Northumberland County is at 231 cases and four deaths.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 89 cases and nine deaths on Tuesday, putting their totals at 20,096 positive cases and 1,518 deaths since the coronavirus first hit in March..

Officials say that the public’s effort to fight and prevent the spread of the disease must continue.

“With more than half of the state now in the green phase of the process to reopen, it is essential that we continue to take precautions to protect against COVID-19,” Dr. Levine said. “The commonwealth’s careful, measured approach to reopening is working as we see case counts continue to decline even as many other states see increases. But the virus has not gone away. Each of us has a responsibility to continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands frequently. Together we can protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 14,056 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 6,474 negative tests and 2,206 in Northumberland County.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 815 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,720 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,955 cases among employees, for a total of 19,675 at 650 distinct facilities in 47 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,279 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found. Approximately 6,033 of our total cases are in health care workers.

The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:

Adams-292 (10), Allegheny-2,113 (177), Armstrong-68 (5), Beaver-613 (77), Bedford-53 (2), Berks-4,341 (338), Blair-55 (1), Bradford-47 (3), Bucks-5,452 (544), Butler-260 (12), Cambria- 61 (3), Cameron-2, Carbon-259 (24), Centre-177 (6), Chester-3,343 (309), Clarion-31 (2), Clearfield-57, Clinton-64 (3), Columbia-385 (33), Crawford-35, Cumberland-746 (61), Dauphin-1,674 (108), Delaware-6,936 (622), Elk-6, Erie-472 (8), Fayette-95 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-849 (42), Fulton-17 (1), Greene-30, Huntingdon-239 (4), Indiana-95 (5), Jefferson-19 (1), Juniata-108 (5), Lackawanna-1,608 (197), Lancaster-3,802 (333), Lawrence-87 (8), Lebanon-1,193 (40), Lehigh-3,973 (271), Luzerne-2,840 (169), Lycoming-172 (17), McKean-13 (1), Mercer-117 (6), Mifflin-60 (1), Monroe-1,356 (105), Montgomery-7,950 (769), Montour-65, Northampton-3,250 (244), Northumberland-231 (4), Perry-73 (5), Philadelphia-20,096 (1,518), Pike-485 (20), Potter-13, Schuylkill-696 (43), Snyder-60 (1), Somerset-41 (1), Sullivan-3, Susquehanna-172 (17), Tioga-20 (2), Union-84 (2), Venango-17, Warren-5, Washington-156 (6), Wayne-126 (9), Westmoreland-493 (38), Wyoming-36 (7), York-1,183 (32).

As of midnight June 15, there have been 523,609 negative tests for the coronavirus. The state also said that 75 percent of the confirmed cases have recovered. If a case has not been reported as a death, and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test (or onset of symptoms) then an individual is considered recovered.

The two stages of reopening and the counties that are in them are:

Yellow counties (counties going green on June 19 in bold) — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon,  Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, and Susquehanna. 

Green counties — Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne,Westmoreland, Wyoming and York.

What is coronavirus?

According to the Pa. Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals and at times, evolve and infect people before spreading through human to human contact.

Human coronaviruses are spread just like the common cold or the flu — either through the air through coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after a person is exposed to the illness. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. As of June 16, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 2,104,346 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 116,140 deaths.

What can you do?

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
Clean surfaces frequently.
Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.
The Pa. Department of Health offers these guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.