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Pa. considers releasing inmates as virus hits prison

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The Investigator

Your guide to the Capitol & stories holding the powerful to account

April 2, 2020 | spotlightpa.org

Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday extended his stay-at-home order to all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians and said residents should expect it to stay in place at least through April. The move comes as Pennsylvania has seen record increases in the number of new positive cases for three straight days.

Behind the scenes in Harrisburg, there's a lot happening to hash out a plan to release some number of inmates from the state prison system, which has now reported two cases among those incarcerated. There is also concern about a striking decrease in calls to the state's child abuse hotline.

We're united with you in this crisis and we're in it for the long haul, focusing on holding our government accountable for its handling of this pandemic. We depend on your support, so please consider making a donation now. For those of you who have already given, we can't thank you enough.

If you have a story we should pursue, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Christopher Baxter, Spotlight PA


"This is really just the tip of the iceberg."

— State Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell, on the first revenue numbers indicating the severe toll the coronavirus shutdown will take on the state budget.
Because of limited testing and asymptomatic patients, experts believe the virus is far more widespread than case counts suggest. Nonetheless, the statistics are a consistent indicator of the state's trend, which is increasing exponentially.


As of 12 p.m. April 2
 SPOTLIGHT PA: Pa. high court extends eviction moratorium
» SPOTLIGHT PA: How the coronavirus is gutting Pa. state finances
» PA POST: Early mitigation efforts, unions why Pa. leads nation in unemployment claims 
» INQUIRER: Pending tests, underlying health problems create death certificate issues
» PROPUBLICA: Pa. company selling taxpayer-funded ventilator overseas 
» PENNLIVE: People with disabilities fear they could be deemed expendable
» STATNEWS: UPMC bioethicists say no patients should be automatically denied care
» POST-GAZETTE: Majority of Pa. residents approve of Wolf's handling of crisis, poll says
» CAPITAL-STAR: Human services workers walk off the job over safety concerns

 INQUIRER: Home of shuttered hospital owner vandalized after negotiations break down
» THE MERCURY: Montgomery County jail reducing its population through early parole

 MORNING CALL: Court denies ex-Allentown mayor's prison release request
» MORNING CALL: Warehouse workers say companies have done little to protect them
» MORNING CALL: Walmart fulfillment center closed after spike in COVID-19 cases

 TIMES-TRIBUNE: Scranton mayor OK with keeping financially distressed designation
» TIMES-TRIBUNE: Short-term rentals stopped after owners solicited NY and NJ travelers

 LNP: Latinx groups move to plan B to ensure complete census count
» PENNLIVE: Contractors Association reverses course on exemption lobbying
» YORK DAILY RECORD: Some in ICE detention released due to coronavirus risk

 BEAVER COUNTY TIMES: Doctor at nursing home with 34 cases saw issues coming
» POST-GAZETTE: Allegheny Health Network plans to produce 6,000 new test kits
» POST-GAZETTE: Carnegie Mellon moves summer session to online-only
» PUBLICSOURCE: Maps show where at-risk groups live in Pittsburgh region

 ERIE TIMES-NEWS: City workers told to quarantine after travel to hot spots like NYC
» ERIE TIMES-NEWS: Domestic violence shelter lays off four, but still providing services

 OBSERVER-REPORTER: Washington Co. pastor plans "Easter blowout service" 
» OBSERVER-REPORTER: Mine closes after two workers test positive for COVID-19

Send your answers to newsletters@spotlightpa.org.

The winning run (Case No. 32): The bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning of a baseball game. A batter came to the plate, and the winning run was scored without a pitch. No one stole a base. What happened?
Stumped? Get a hint. Feeling smart? Challenge a friend.

Last week's answer: Put the apple on someone's head. 

Congrats to Kathy W., who will receive Spotlight PA swag (when we reopen our office!). Others who correctly answered: Don H., Marian S., John D., Rebecca D., John B., Jon N., Harry H., Joseph S., Allison K., Mark C., Cathy L., Lou R., Claudia M., T. Carr, Jeff B., Jim K., Frank D., Drew C., Jim S., Kenneth J., Mark V., Keith B., Robert K., and Jack F.
» This week's Riddler hint: Don't hesitate
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