CDC billboard don't touch face

An electronic billboard on Clipper Magazine Stadium 650 N. Queen St. in Lancaster city has messages from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


Editor's note: This story will be updated throughout the day. Check back frequently to see if there is more information.


Sunday 8:30 p.m.

CDC recommends that gatherings of 50 people or more in US be canceled, postponed in next 8 weeks because of coronavirus.


Sunday 4:41 p.m. 

Urban Outfitters has closed all of its stores in response to COVID-19, according to release shared March 14. 

The Philadelphia-headquartered retail store chain said all stores would be closed until at least March 28, the release said. Store teams will be paid during the store's closure. 

Urban Outfitters has a e-commerce fulfillment center in rural Salisbury Township just outside Gap on Route 30, which opened in 2015 and employs 800 full-time and 300 temporary employees. Urban Outfitters did not specify whether or not its fulfillment centers will be closed, but noted that products can still be purchased online. 


Sunday 4:12 p.m. 

Lititz Borough Police modified some response procedures to limit exposure to COVID-19 issues, the department announced Sunday. 

Officers will be handling non-emergency reports over the phone, the department said. Emergency reports will be handled in-person, but officers may ask to meet outside to file the report. Fingerprinting is suspended, as well as police station tours, the department said. 

At the police station, visitors are asked to speak with officers through the lobby glass rather than stepping into the lobby, the department said. 


Sunday 3:11 p.m.

Walmart stores will operate 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. beginning March 15 as a part of the company's response to COVID-19, the store announced on its website. 

The new hours will allow employees to stock products and sanitize the store. 

Employees will continue to work their regularly scheduled hours and shifts, Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said. 


Sunday 12:30 p.m.

The Department of Health reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the total to 63.

The new counties with confirmed cases are Lehigh (1) and Luzerne (1). 


Sunday noon

State and local museums announcing shutdowns amid a wave of closures aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission says all state-owned historic sites and museums — regardless of location — will be closed as of Sunday through the end of the month. The commission earlier this week closed the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the state archives in Harrisburg as well as sites in Montgomery and Delaware counties. Commission meetings are being limited to 10 people or fewer through the end of April.

In Philadelphia, officials announced that museums on the Ben Franklin Parkway — including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, the Barnes Foundation and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will close and postpone or cancel events for at least two weeks.


Sunday noon

The Vatican says all Holy Week ceremonies will take place without the “physical presence of the faithful” because of the health emergency over the coronavirus.

The Vatican tweeted Sunday citing an announcement by the office of the pontifical household said that until April 12, when Easter Sunday is celebrated this year, all the general audiences on Wednesday as well as Pope Francis weekly Sunday noon prayer will be streamed by the Vatican.

Among popular Holy Week ceremonies is the Good Friday Way of the Cross torchlit procession at Rome's Colosseum.

Holy Week ceremonies usually draw tens of thousands of people to Rome, but with Italy the European center of the COVID-19 outbreak, tourism in the country has vanished.

—Associated Press


Sunday 8 a.m.

Penn State Health is enacting temporary changes to hospital visitation guidelines at facilities in Dauphin and Berks counties, effective immediately.

Patients at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey may have only two visitors at a time. At Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, adult patients may have one visitor at a time, and pediatric patients may have two visitors at a time. Visitors under the age of 18 are not allowed at either hospital campus.


Sunday 9 a.m.

According to a press release from Amtrak, in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, starting Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29, Keystone Service will be operating on its Saturday schedule on a daily basis, with no service to the Ardmore, Paoli, Downingtown, Parkesburg, Cornwells Heights, Coatesville and Exton Stations.


Sunday 9 a.m.

A School District of Lancaster employee's spouse who was believed to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has tested negative, the district said Saturday

The district shut down schools and offices Friday because of the potential exposure, said to have occurred at Wickersham Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School. 



Saturday recap:

• Lancaster Family YMCA announced changes to its offerings in response to the outbreak.

Beginning Sunday, March 15, its associated facilities will operate on a limited schedule. They will open at their regular times but close at 5 p.m. on weekends and 8 p.m. on weekdays. ChildWatch babysitting service is suspended. All programs and activities are postponed for at least two weeks. Wellness centers will be closed from 1 to 2 p.m. daily for extensive cleaning. For other changes, go to lancasterymca.org.

• Pet Pantry of Lancaster said all non-essential and elective surgeries will be postponed for two weeks, including “TNR” surgeries. Pet owners will be notified to reschedule.

Starting on Monday, March 16, Pet Pantry will be closed to the public, but staff will still be there for urgent and emergency situations. All volunteers are asked to stay home for two weeks. 

•  Lancaster Bureau of Police instituted new precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak. The department is suspending employment fingerprints, will be handling more reports over the phone and may ask people to step outside of homes or businesses when responding.

“Please do not be offended if responders arrive wearing personal protective equipment,” the department said.

• Starting March 14, visitation at Lancaster County prison has been suspended until further notice.

Legal visitation will not be affected at this time, said Lancaster County commissioner Josh Parsons.

• Following recent orders from Gov. Wolf, which called for all non-essential public spaces in Bucks and Chester counties to close to encourage social distancing, King of Prussia Mall closed Saturday afternoon, according to media reports.

Simon, the company that owns the mall, posted on its website: "We expect that all non-essential tenants of King of Prussia adhere to and comply with Gov. Wolf's recommendation effective immediately."

• The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced two more presumed positive cases of coronavirus in the state.

Dr. Rachel Levine, during a press conference Saturday afternoon, said two cases are presumed positive in Allegheny County.

This brings the total count in the state to 47 cases.

Additionally, in the press conference, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Chester and Bucks counties would shut down for the next two weeks to enforce social distancing. 

This announcement comes on the coattails of orders to temporarily close down Montgomery and Delaware counties.

• The Humane League of Lancaster County, at 2195 Lincoln Highway East in East Lampeter Township announced it would be "dramatically scaling back operations," according to a press release.

All animals in the care of a Humane facility will still be taken care of, but there will be fewer staff members available. Volunteer members will be asked to stay home.

• Manheim Township Police Department announced all parks and recreation-related activities will be canceled until April 1, because of the threat of coronavirus.

Lancaster County does not yet have any confirmed cases of the virus as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Pa. Dept. of Health.

• Allegheny County announced it has its first suspected cases of coronavirus, and will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. today, media reports say.

Additionally, UPMC announced it is able to create coronavirus tests that could have results ready within 24 hours.

• The Pa. Dept of Health has announced four new cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, bringing the overall total to 45.

The new cases were reported in Chester County (1), Montgomery County (2) and Philadelphia (1).

Lancaster County libraries have announced they will be closed until March 29 as a means of preventing the spread of coronavirus. 

There is not yet confirmation from the governor's office that says this is a statewide initiative. 

All electronic library resources are available on the county library's website.

• Until further notice, all 24-hour Giant grocery stores will close from midnight to 6 a.m. to handle sanitization and stocking, the company said in a press release.

In Lancaster County, this affects the Giant at 1605 Lititz Pike in Manheim Township.

• The West Earl Fire Company mud sale, scheduled for March 21, has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date, according to president of the fire station, Kristopher Pursel.

"This decision was not made lightly," Pursel said in a press release.

• PennDOT announced drivers license centers will be closed for two weeks in Montgomery and Delaware counties, out of an abundance of caution for mitigating the spread of coronavirus. 

In addition, PennDOT will also stop issuing Real IDs in several Pennsylvania counties, including Lancaster County, until March 28, to slow the flow of occupants at the DMV.


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