Ray-Barishansky

Pa. notches one of its ‘mildest’ flu seasons on record, Health Dept. says

BY: - May 28, 2021

With state residents already masked-up and driven indoors by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania notched one of its “mildest” flu seasons on record in 2020-21, a senior state Health Department official said Friday. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw caution — or masks — to the wind. The state charted 3,664 laboratory-confirmed flu cases and 21 flu-associated […]

COVID-19 pandemic contributes to increase in overdose deaths, state health officials say

BY: - December 8, 2020

Since the creation of the Opioid Command Center in January 2018 during the height of the opioid crisis, drug overdose-related deaths have fallen by nearly 20 percent in Pennsylvania, according to Barishansky. However, the trend has been flatlining since the middle of last year, continuing into 2020 and coinciding with the spread of COVID-19  -- data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that overdose deaths increased by nearly 6 percent from April 2019 to April 2020.