Tips for staying safe when you’re staying home | Five for the Weekend

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Happy Weekend, everyone.
We hope you all are staying well during this trying time. We know first-hand how difficult isolation can be – that’s why this week, instead of a trivia question, we’re sharing some wellness tips to encourage us all to take care of ourselves.

As for our usual disclaimer: Continue self-isolating, stay informed and follow the advice and precautions laid out by state health officials.

The team at the Capital-Star will continue to work hard, bringing you the news you need about COVID-19 and the key issues that affect your lives. At a time of trial, the need for clear, concise reporting is more important than ever. And we’re going to deliver it to you. If you have questions or want to pass along story tips, email us at [email protected].

Here are some wellness tips to hep you cope with isolation:

  1. Practice good hygiene – Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and stick to your regular hygienic routines.
  2. Eat well – Eat to support a healthy immune system. Fresh fruits and veggies are a must!
  3. Get enough sleep – Just because you don’t have to be anywhere, doesn’t mean you should keep an erratic sleep schedule. Take 30 minute naps throughout the day, if needed and try to go to bed at the same time you normally would.
  4. Exercise regularly – Whether it’s a home workout or a jog with the dogs, make sure you are staying active during your self-isolation. A short walk around the block or working in the yard can be a great way to get some activity into your day.
  5. Stay in touch – Check in on loved ones regularly. Facetime friends and family, share funny texts and write to each other often.
  6. Express yourself – Find a way to channel your free time and creative energy through journaling, blogging, taking photographs or other artistic means.
  7. Get organized – If you’re working from home, or even if you are not, now is a great time to get organized. Create a dedicated space for working where you won’t be interrupted. Organize the basement, garage, attic and get a head start on Spring cleaning.

As always, the top five stories from this week’s news are below to help you stay current.

All the best,
Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

1.‘We’re going the wrong way,’ Wolf says of state’s COVID-19 curve; Pa. sees fourth death in East Stroudsburg(*Updated, 7:53 a.m.: Pennsylvania saw its fourth COVID-19 death in East Stroudsburg, Pa., the Morning Call of Allentown reported Monday morning)

The COVID-19 outbreak is “the most significant public health crisis in our lifetime,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Sunday, as he called on the state’s nearly 13 million residents to step up and do their part to help contain the outbreak.

“We all have to change the way we live our lives,” Wolf said, calling for unity. “This cannot be the government versus the individual or the government versus the business community.”

As of Sunday afternoon, state health officials confirmed 479 cases of COVID-19 in 33 counties, including three COVID-related deaths, one in Allegheny, one in Northampton.

On Sunday evening, officials in Montgomery County announced a the county’s first fatality. On Monday, the Morning Call of Allentown, citing the Monroe County Coroner, reported that a “56-year-old East Stroudsburg man died Sunday at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono in East Stroudsburg due to complications from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.”

2. W. Pa. mayor confirms that his town has Pennsylvania’s second COVID-19 deathThe mayor of Clairton, Pa. has confirmed that a resident of his suburban Pittsburgh community is Pennsylvania’s second COVID-19 death.

In a private Facebook post, Mayor Rich Lattanzi wrote that officials had been “made aware that a resident of Clairton has passed away from the COVID-19 virus that has plagued our nation and found our city. Prayers from all of us from city hall and condolences to the entire family.”

3. COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closedThis story will be updated with the latest COVID-related shutdowns. Last update: Monday, March 23 at 2:45 pm.

Update: Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday strengthened his orders for most Pennsylvania businesses to temporarily close their doors, using his executive power to threaten legal enforcement against those that refused to cease operations.

The broad designation applies to laundromats, performing arts venues, recreation centers, entertainment venues, and general merchandise stores, which all must shutter by 8 p.m. Thursday, Wolf announced in a late afternoon press release.

State agencies including the Pennsylvania State Police began enforcing the order at 8 am on March 23, and businesses that don’t comply could face fines, citations, license revocations, or criminal prosecution, Wolf said.

The order also affects many office workplaces, including accounting businesses, law firms, real estate offices and certain administrative support services, according to a list of business classifications that accompanied the release.

4. COVID-19 in Pennsylvania: Tracking the outbreak with maps and graphsThe staff at the Capital-Star is working round-the-clock to keep you updated on the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania. Our continually updated graphics use state Department of Health data to show you the latest in testing data, total case counts, and the geographic spread of the virus.

First, our county-level map shows how many cases have been confirmed in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. We’re currently updating this at least once a day with information from the Department of Health’s noon-time press releases.

This map only uses data from the state Department of Health, so it may not include new cases that you’ve seen reported in local media outlets. Local hospitals and health officials report their cases to the state, and we’re relying on state data to make sure we’re not over-counting patients.

5. Sent back to work, state human service workers say their offices aren’t prepared for the coronavirusUpdate, 9:30 am Tuesday 3/24: In an email Monday night, Ali Fogarty, spokesperson for DHS, said that due to the coronavirus, “the entire supply chain for products such as sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer has been strained.”

All leases for an office of the commonwealth require regular cleaning, she added, and the state Department of General Services “is in communication with landlords across the commonwealth about proper cleaning and CDC guidelines.”

Fogarty also said that on top of the adaption of staggered shifts reported by the Capital-Star, the department is also “in the process of moving some CAO employees to alternative office locations so that employees have more space to work and reduced contact with each other.”

And that’s the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We’ll see you all back here on Monday.

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.