Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong declared a state of emergency for Lehigh County effective March 16.
Armstrong made the official announcement 1 p.m. in front of the county government building accompanied by Edward Hozza Jr., director of administration; John Kalynych, director of Lehigh County’s emergency services department; and Richard Molchany, director of general services.
Based on a recommendation from Coplay Borough Police Chief Vincent Genovese at the March 10 council meeting, Coplay hired a new police officer to replace Officer Kevin Torres, who is transferring to Pittsburgh. The new officer, Lauren Fizz, is going through orientation and on-the-job training.
Representatives from numerous municipalities met March 3 in North Catasauqua to continue an ongoing effort to address truck traffic in the region.
The concerned townships and boroughs were joined by state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-133rd; representatives from the office of state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th; and Becky Bradley, executive director of Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, making this the most heavily attended meeting yet.
In the midst of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to help ensure connectivity to its customers, as first proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
As part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, Service Electric pledges for 60 days to:
• Not terminate service to any residential or small business due to the inability to pay a bill
• Waive late fees residential or small-business customers incur because of their economic circumstance related to the coronavirus pandemic
The Pennsylvania Department of Health, as of March 24, confirmed 851 positive cases of COVID-19 in 40 counties.
Locally, there are 27 cases in Lehigh County and 33 cases in Northampton County.
There are 8,643 patients who have tested negative.
There are also seven deaths — two in Northampton and Allegheny counties and one each in Lackawanna, Monroe and Montgomery counties.
The coronavirus has presented communities across the United States with a host of problems, including shortages of items like hand sanitizer. Stores are sold out, hospitals have resorted to rationing medical supplies, and hand sanitizer has become a precious commodity.
While some companies are using the crisis to make a profit, one Whitehall pharmacist, Rikin Patel, Pharm.D., decided to use his resources to help others. Patel and his staff are compounding hand sanitizer to give to police officers, firefighters, first responders and medical staff — free of charge.
Mayor Michael Harakal Jr. officially declared a state of emergency for Whitehall Township March 20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes just one day after Gov. Tom Wolf’s order that all nonlife-sustaining Pennsylvania businesses should close or operate remotely.
Generally speaking, a state of emergency does not affect the everyday lives of residents. Primarily, emergency declarations are a means for municipalities to access crucial resources and federal funds more easily.