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Wolf closes Pa. schools for remainder of academic year

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The Investigator

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

April 9, 2020 | spotlightpa.org

New today: Gov. Tom Wolf has closed all Pennsylvania schools for the rest of the academic year. Colleges and universities may not resume in-person instruction or reopen their physical locations until the governor permits them to open or lifts the closure of all but "life-sustaining" businesses.

While there are signs the curve in Pennsylvania might be flattening, officials are cautioning that deaths will continue to rise and it's critical not to let up on social distancing efforts. That's bad news for the state budget, which could come up $4 billion short if the statewide shutdown continues for six more weeks. Last week, the state told 9,000 employees it would stop paying them.

Also this week, Wolf signed an order allowing the state to "commandeer" medical supplies from health systems, manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers to ensure areas most in need can get them. The state unveiled a new dashboard tracking hospital bed availability, and overall, there is capacity.

You can find all the latest case counts by county and more with our tracker.

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


"The substance [of the legislation] is insane."

— State Rep. Matt Bradford (D., Montgomery), the minority chair of the House Appropriations Committee, on Republican legislation to reopen businesses.
The chart below shows cases per day adjusted for the rate of growth, making it easier to see the current trend. A flatter curve means the rate of new cases is slowing, and it appears to have slightly flattened in recent days.


As of 12 p.m. April 9
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From across the state
 POST-GAZETTE: Divide creates disparities among counties desperate for virus data
» INQUIRER: How is a casino 'life-sustaining'? Construction continued in South Philly
» PUBLICSOURCE: Allegheny County independent medical providers on the brink
» MORNING CALL: Pa. orders cleaning to keep warehouse, other essential workers safe
» YORK DISPATCHYork County 911 dispatchers required to work 12-hour shifts
» OBSERVER-REPORTER: Washington County wants more info from the state
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Baseball munchies (Case No. 33): If brownie mix is on first base, pudding is on second and cookie dough is on third, who specifically is hitting at the plate?
Stumped? Get a hint. Feeling smart? Challenge a friend.

Last week's answer: The pitcher balked (or, as some pointed out, the pitcher made an errant pick-off attempt that resulted in an error.)

Congrats to Jeffrey F., who will receive Spotlight PA swag (when we reopen our office!). Others who correctly answered: Bob S., Nathan B., George S., Peter W., Eric K., Norm P., Joseph S., Norm A., Paul L., John R., Kenneth J., Chuck S., Jon N., Jeff C., Cyril Z., Jeff W., Mark C., Don H., Paul K., Jim, Dotty K., Nate C., Chris K., Lou R., Jack F., John M., and Dennis P.
» This week's Riddler hint: Happy birthday.
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