No time for ticks. Here’s how to stay safe on the trail | Five for Your Weekend

By: - June 27, 2020 6:30 am

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Happy weekend, everyone!

Whether it’s in the woods or your backyard, before you set out for your weekend adventure, here are a few reminders about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Pennsylvania consistently ranks among the highest in the nation for cases of tick-borne diseases, according to U.S. News & World Report. 
Symptoms of Lyme disease include, but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A rash, sometimes bullseye-shaped, however not everyone will experience a rash
  • Joint pain and stiffness

To reduce your chances of a tick bite, follow these tips from the Department of Health:

  • Walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter;
  • Use a repellent that contains at least 20% DEET;
  • Wear light-colored clothing;
  • Conduct full-body tick checks on yourself and on your pets after spending time outdoors; and
  • Take a bath or shower within 2 hours after coming indoors.

Enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, but remember to be safe, protect yourself from ticks and continue following social distancing measures.

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. COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closedThis story will be updated with the latest COVID-related re-openings. Last update: Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

Updated: With all 67 Pennsylvania counties now fully, or partially, reopened, the Wolf administration has issued updated guidance for a host of outdoor-related businesses, from miniature golf courses and paintball ranges, to horseback riding businesses and tennis clubs.

“As summer quickly approaches and all 67 counties are in either yellow or green phases of reopening, it was important to provide businesses with the guidance necessary to safely reopen or plan for reopening as they reach the green phase,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement issued by his office. “I want all Pennsylvanians to remain active and to enjoy all the recreation the commonwealth has to offer, but we must do so safely and with social distancing top of mind.”

Pittsburgh Current
2. We can’t address racial injustice in Pa. without fixing our unfair public school funding system | OpinionBy Jordan Harris, Matt Bradford, and Frank Dermody

For the last three weeks, many in our country have had their consciousness awakened to long-standing fundamental inequities disproportionately impacting communities and people of color.

In the wake of the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, and in the midst of a global pandemic, we have all been called to acknowledge and confront systemic racism.

In Pennsylvania, the Legislative Black Caucus courageously advanced the policy conversation by demanding votes on languished police reforms, but the conversation cannot end there. We must have an open and honest conversation to address the racial and socioeconomic inequities and injustices in our public school system.

3. In one deranged press release, Metcalfe gets everything wrong about mask-wearing | Wednesday Morning Coffee

We thought long and hard about calling your attention to the latest histrionics by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler. Initially, we were going to err on the side of ignoring the western Pa. lawmaker for much the same reason that you never feed a raccoon — they just keep coming back for more.

But the deranged jeremiad that Metcalfe delivered at the start of Tuesday’s session of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee is an object lesson in the way the fight over mask-wearing has been weaponized by some on the right, even as COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to rise nationwide.

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4. Memorial Day 2020: 14-Day quarantine complicates tourist rentals

By Elaine S. Povich

Ken Mason is in the ninth generation of his family to run the Seaside Inn in Kennebunk Beach, Maine. He’s worried he might be the last.

What’s got him concerned are the COVID-19 rules that Maine and many other states have put in place requiring visitors from other states to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive. That won’t work for Mason. His average visitor stays three and a half days; that’s typical for tourist rentals. Mason is now limited to hosting only Maine residents or out-of-staters who agreed to quarantine for the two weeks.

All over the country, states have instituted the two-week quarantine for hotels, inns, golf courses and other amenities to stop people from states with high COVID-19 infection rates from bringing the virus with them, sickening local residents and overwhelming medical facilities.

5. With Cutler at the helm, Pa. House GOP promises new ideas, hands-off style

After a sudden midterm resignation, the Pennsylvania House Republican leadership has undergone a shake up.

The biggest promotion is for Bryan Cutler, who at 45 years old, is now the newest speaker of the Pennsylvania House.

In a closed door meeting his Republican colleagues picked Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, to be the new majority leader. Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, will be his second-in-command at whip.

They take over the lower chamber in the middle of turbulent political times. The state is still slowly reopening amid the specter of COVID-19, and faces a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall that still must be filled.

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

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Cassie Miller
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.