CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19: Franklin County now under stay-at-home order, schools closed indefinitely

Shawn Hardy and Andrea Rose news@echo-pilot.com

On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf added Franklin County to the list of counties under a stay-at-home order, a day after he extended the school closure across Pennsylvania indefinitely to curb the spread of COVID-19.

 Stay at home 

Franklin County was among the additional counties placed under the stay-at-home order by Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

The order went into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday and will continue until April 30. It now includes these 33 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Forest, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.

People are still allowed to venture out for food, gas, medical appointments, shared custody drop-offs and pick-ups and exercise. And Pennsylvanians who are employed by essential businesses can still go to work. 

When going outdoors is needed, people are told to use social distancing and stay at least 6 feet apart.

As of Tuesday, there a total 4,843 of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 60 of the state's 67 counties and 63 deaths. There were 19 confirmed causes and no deaths in Franklin County.

“The continued rise in cases combined with our increasing deaths from COVID-19 reflects the seriousness of this situation,” Levine said. “We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must.”

Schools 

"Up until now, I've been saying another two weeks and another two weeks," Wolf said Monday regarding the closure of schools that started March 16. "Now I'm going to leave the date indefinite. We're going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe. Right now it isn't safe."

Last week, the Greencastle-Antrim School District's plan to return students to learning on Monday, April 6, was announced and teachers are currently undergoing training in online learning through the Lincoln Intermediate Unit.

"I believe education is best accomplished in a classroom setting, but I am glad that our students will have access to educational resources, enrichment and review activities, assignments, readings, etc.," said Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent. "Our teachers are still in training, but I believe they have approached the challenges head on as they desire to serve our students the best we can."

All Greencastle-Antrim High School students were issued iPads in January as the first phase of the district's Equal Technology Opportunities initiative and they will begin online coursework in their regular classes.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will receive expectations in math and language arts, while students in grades six to eight will receive expectations in math, language arts, science and social studies.

Families also will receive recommended activities, projects and resources from K-8 special subject teachers as well as the K-12 guidance department.

Feeding children 

The Greencastle-Antrim School District is providing free meals for children 1 to 18 during the closure of schools due to COVID-19.

The distribution is being held in the parking lot of the Antrim Township Building, 10655 Antrim Church Road, Greencastle, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until schools reopen. Next week, due to good Friday, the distribution will be held on Thursday, April 9.

Each day, children receive two breakfasts and two lunches. Meals are available for anyone younger than 18 regardless of what school they attend and whether they are eligible for free or reduced lunches.

The number of children fed:

March 18 —165

March 20 — 200

March 23 — 225

March 25 — 255

March 27— 242

March 30 -— 252

People should remain in their vehicles and the bags will be brought to them. All children for whom breakfast and lunch bags are requested must be present.

For more information, contact Nancy K. Foust, G-ASD food service director, at

nfoust@gcasd.org

Borough council meeting 

As of Wednesday morning, Greencastle Borough Council's regular monthly meeting was still scheduled for Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in borough hall.

Council members and staff will practice social distancing and community members are being encouraged not to attend.

Council is governed by the Borough Code, which dictates that a physical quorum must meet monthly to conduct essential business, according to Lorraine Hohl, borough manager.

Monday's agenda will be modified and fewer items will be considered. Most action items will be placed in the consent agenda so they can be voted on all at one time in order to keep the meeting short with less contact time.  

The public comment period for anyone who does attend will be shortened from five minutes to three minutes.

"Again, we encourage all residents to stay at home as their health depends on it just as much as others," Hohl said.

The meeting will be recorded and placed on the borough website the following day. Draft minutes will also be posted on the website:

greencastlepa.gov

Greencastle-Antrim events impacted 

Many community events are being canceled, postponed or changed in response to COVID-19, including:

  • The free community shredder event planned on April 4 by WRGG and Sunnyway Foods in Greencastle has been canceled. It will be rescheduled later.
  • The free meal served the first Saturday of each month at Grace United Church of Christ, 128 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, will not be held in April.
  • The Greencastle-Antrim Homemakers April 8 meeting has been canceled. The program was to be “Dyeing Eggs with Silk Ties” by Diana Reeder.
  • The “Stepping On: Building Confidence and Reducing Falls” program planned Wednesdays, April 15 through May 20, in Greencastle has been canceled.
  • The Great American Clean-up Day/Keep PA Beautiful event planned April 25 by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber has been postponed. A new date has not been set.
  • The Greencastle-Antrim Christian Women’s Fellowship April 28 meeting has been canceled. The program “A Christian View of Empathy” by the Rev. Adam Meredith will be rescheduled in the fall. Information on the May 7 National Day of Prayer will be issued later.
  • Allison-Antrim Museum is closed.

To add to this list, email information to news@echo-pilot.com

Local government 

  • The Antrim Township administrative office is closed to the public and staff members are working remotely as much as possible.

The public is asked to use telephone, email and fax for communication with township staff. Contact information can be obtained by calling 717-597-3818 or on the township’s website:

www.twp.antrim.pa.us

  • Greencastle Borough Hall is closed to the public and staff members are working remotely as much as possible. The borough is still accessible by phone at 717-597-7143 or email at:

office@greencastlepa.gov