Precautions taken due to COVID-19

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania topped 60 over the weekend, just days after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered schools across the state to close their doors for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.

The closest cases to Franklin County so far are five in Cumberland County, but precautions and preparations are being ramped up.

Essentials like bread, water and toilet paper are being cleared from the shelves of local grocery stores.

Temporary outdoor screening areas have been set up at WellSpan Waynesboro and WellSpan Chambersburg hospitals.

"As part of our continued preparation for the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are planning for the potential of a larger-scale response to this issue,” said Dr. R. Hal Baker, senior vice president of WellSpan Health and co-leader of the health system’s COVID-19 incident command response. “This includes developing a temporary outdoor patient screening and testing area for patients who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Health system officials have established a web page for information and updates on the COVID-19 at:


Tents also have been set up to use if needed at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown. More information on Meritus' response and preparations is available from a dedicated care line at 301-790-9170 or:


During the closure of schools, there is no educational programming for students; all extracurricular, athletics events/practices and after school events will are canceled — this includes the closing of athletic facilities; and non-district organizations cannot use district facilities.

At this time, schools are scheduled to reopen Monday, March 30.

The Greencastle-Antrim High School production of "Annie," originally scheduled for April 3 and 4 is being postponed, but new dates have not yet been scheduled.

There are many unanswered questions, including makeup days and spring break, Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, said in a letter at:


Many community events are being cancelled or postposed in response to COVID-19, including:


The Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation's Daddy and Daughter Dance scheduled for Friday, March 27, has been postponed. A new date will be announced within the next few weeks and all 250 tickets for the soldout dance will be honored then.

It is the policy of the Greencastle-Antrim Christian Women’s Fellowship that when G-A schools are closed, meetings will not be held so the March 24 fellowship meeting is cancelled. The program by Kelsey Marshall, “No Business Like Show Business,” will be rescheduled for the fall.

The free spaghetti dinner, Pasta and Praise, scheduled for March 22 at State Line UMC has been cancelled.

The cybersecurity seminar planned April 1 by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce has been postponed. A new date has not yet been set.

The Shady Grove Ruritan buffet breakfast scheduled for Saturday, March 28, has been cancelled.


The breakfast scheduled for Saturday, March 21, in the Heidelberg Church Fellowship Hall in Marion has been cancelled. Organizers hope to see everyone next month at the April 18 breakfast.


A Mix and Mingle sponsored by The Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, which was to be held Thursday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., has been cancelled.

A town hall on veterans' issues planned for March 19 by state Rep. Paul Schemel, a Republican whose district includes Greencastle and Antrim Township, has been postponed.


Wilson College's Orr Forum on Religion, which had been scheduled for March 26, has been postponed until Sept. 25.

Providence Place is asking for essential visits only. "If you feel your visit is absolutely essential, we’d ask that only one person visit per resident per day between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.," said Laura M. Gifford, director of marketing and communications.

Central Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg is uncertain at this  time whether the Lenten Noontime Musical Meditations offered Wednesdays from noon to 12:30 p.m. will be held. To learn the latest, check the Facebook page "Central on the Square," call the church office at 717-264-4113 or visit:



The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts will be closed and activities postponed through March 30. Information about program plans, including Art in Bloom, will be announced soon. During this time, the museum will be cleaned and sanitized.

The Washington County Historical Society has closed the Miller House Museum and the kinship Family Heritage Research Center through March 30. Activities and events planned during this time are suspended.

Area wide 

Penn State Extension has cancelled all events, workshops and meetings due to the coronavirus until further notice. LIFT Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together has been rescheduled for April 7-May 26. The 2+2 Agronomic Pesticide Update has been cancelled. If you are unsure about your event, contact the Penn State Extension office in Franklin County at 717-263-9226.n The AARP TaxAide program held at locations across Franklin County has been postponed indefinitely.

The GIANT Co. announced that until further notice, all 24-hour store locations will close at midnight and reopen 6 a.m. The decision comes as part of the company’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow store team members additional time to sanitize and restock shelves as daily deliveries arrive.

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that all public programs, events and trainings in state parks and forests will be canceled for the remainder of March, and the month of April. With the exception of three state parks in Montgomery County, DCNR facilities throughout the state will remain open, pending any changes in COVID-19 spread.

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Executive Director Andrea Lowery announced the closure of all of its state-owned historic sites and museums, regardless of location, through the end of March to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Editor's note: To add to this list, email information to news@echo-pilot.com