The latest: Coronavirus in Pittsburgh

Updated: 3:10 p.m. March 27, 2020 

This is a roundup of coronavirus news and resources for Pittsburgh and will be updated regularly. Sign up for our morning newsletter to have roundups like this delivered straight to your inbox. If you appreciate work like this, please consider supporting us as a member! Head here to learn more.

The numbers

There were 158 positive cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County as of Friday morning, part of 2,200+ cases across the state. Allegheny County has reported two of the 22 COVID-19-related deaths in Pennsylvania. 

Here’s what’s new:

The big story

📍 Allegheny County has tallied 158 positive cases of COVID-19, with 25 people hospitalized here during the pandemic. (Allegheny County)

🗺 In other local counties: Westmoreland is reporting 30 cases, Butler has 26, Beaver has 14, Washington has 14, Fayette has 9, and Armstrong has one. (Pennsylvania Department of Health)

🏥 Allegheny County’s second COVID-19 death involved a 78-year-old woman from Bulgaria who refused a hospital visit because she didn’t have insurance and thought she couldn’t afford the bill. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

🏠 A stay-at-home order is in effect for Allegheny, Westmoreland, Butler, and several other Pennsylvania counties. Roads, grocery stores, and pharmacies will remain open. What exactly does a stay-at-home order mean? Here you go. (Gov. Tom Wolf)

🚨 Dozens of warnings have been issued to non-life-sustaining Pennsylvania businesses in the first days of the governor’s closure order — a surprising share of them in our region. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

🚹 More than half of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 patients are under the age of 50. (Spotlight PA)

⛔️ COVID-19 is now in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump is asking everyone to avoid the following: dine-in restaurants, bars, groups of more than 10 people, all non-essential travel. (NPR)


🚍 A Port Authority bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19. Port Authority officials say they began holding the employee out of work when the employee first reported a potential exposure. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

🔒 Pittsburgh is under a state of emergency and Level 2 Emergency Operations plan. Here’s what that means. Of note: Parking enforcement is suspended. (City of Pittsburgh)

🚮 City offices and rec centers are closed until further notice. Essential services, like trash pick-up, will continue. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

🚏 Schedules have been reduced on three-quarters of Port Authority bus lines and all three light rails. The transit system is also asking riders to board using the rear door of the bus away from the driver. (Port Authority)

🚫 Events across the city are postponed or canceled — everything from Riverhounds soccer matches to theater performances to Catholic masses and the Pittsburgh marathon. Here’s a list of things you can do at home to beat the cabin fever. (The Incline)

🕳 Here’s how Mayor Bill Peduto says Pittsburgh is preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic — and why he says federal aid for cities like Pittsburgh doesn’t go far enough. (PublicSource)

📂 Pittsburgh’s personal income tax deadline has been extended to July 15. The city is also stopping all delinquent real estate tax billings and late fees. (TribLive)


🏥 Need a COVID-19 test? Here’s where to go and what to bring. (90.5 WESA)

😷 How does the COVID-19 test work? It works like this. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star / The Conversation)

🏥 Frontline health workers are calling UPMC’s decision to continue performing elective surgeries right now a dangerous one. UPMC said it is serving patients in cases where delays might be harmful. (90.5 WESA / Modern Healthcare)

😷 Thousands of protective masks are en route to help Pittsburgh fight the pandemic. (TribLive / KDKA Newsradio 1020)


📝 Pennsylvania schools will remain closed through at least April 6. (Gov. Tom Wolf / PennLive)

🎓 Carnegie Mellon University moved commencement online. Pitt, Point Park, and Carlow have postponed spring commencement ceremonies. (KDKA-TV / Carlow University / Pittsburgh Business Times)

‘Social distancing’

😐 Here’s how to work from home with your child or children in the house. (The New York Times / Poynter)

👂 And here’s some advice on talking to your kids about the virus. (Fred Rogers Center)

😇 All the cool kids are social distancing, and this tweet explains why you should, too, even if you’re young and feel fine. (The New York Times)

🚑 There aren’t enough hospital beds in the Pittsburgh region for a year-long “moderate” COVID-19 outbreak. It’s why “flattening the curve” is so important. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Spotlight PA)


🕓 Unemployment claims have skyrocketed in Pennsylvania due to COVID-19, shattering previous records. Here’s how to file if your job has been impacted. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

🤒 All Pittsburgh workers are now guaranteed paid sick leave. (KDKA-TV)

🏥 COVID-19 has us facing a possible shortage of ventilators. Philips Respironics in Murrysville and Upper Burrell is looking for assemblers to help meet the demand. (TribLive)

🛒 Giant Eagle will give $10 million in bonus pay to employees working during the pandemic. (KDKA-TV)


🗳 Pennsylvania’s primary is now officially on June 2, a postponement of five weeks. (PA Politics


📞 If you have coronavirus questions, the county has a hotline. (Allegheny County)

🔔 Allegheny County is urging residents to join its electronic notification system for updates. (Allegheny County)

Need help understanding all the medical terms you’re hearing and seeing? Let this handy glossary help. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

What else you need to know

🔬 A multi-million dollar grant is going to Pitt for work on a COVID-19 vaccine. (WTAE)

🍽 Pittsburgh will distribute meals to registered seniors starting Friday, March 20. (City of Pittsburgh)

💧 Some utilities won’t be shut off if you can’t pay the bill right now. (Office of the Mayor / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

📂 Hundreds of inmate releases have been requested at Allegheny County Jail amid the pandemic. Inmates with health problems are being considered first. (WTAE)

☎️ Pennsylvania’s state prisons are currently closed to visitors. (Associated Press)

💛 Local foundations are pledging $10 million for health care, food, and other basic needs to help the most vulnerable in our region. (Pittsburgh Magazine)

🗺 Here’s how our region’s patchwork of municipal governments makes us more vulnerable in outbreaks like this. (PublicSource)

How to help 

👀 Read this resource guide we compiled in a collaboration with NEXTpittsburgh, Pittsburgh City Paper, Kidsburgh, and PublicSource. (Pittsburgh News Partners)

💧 “Warsh yinz dirty hands, PA.” (Lt. Gov. John Fetterman)

😷 Practice “social distancing.” (The New York Times)

💲Service industry workers are hurting. Consider donating to them directly with this virtual tip jar. (Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Ethics & Policy)

🌽 Donate to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as it feeds local families during the pandemic. (GoFundMe)

♥️ Donate blood. Supplies are critically low because of the pandemic, officials say. (TribLive)

Some levity

😂 Slugs, slugs, slugs is the handwashing song we all need right now. (Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

📱 You want anti-coronavirus memes? Pennsylvania has you covered. (Lt. Gov. John Fetterman / Lt. Gov. John Fetterman)

🗣 Dormont broke the monotony of self-isolation by forming a “CoronaChoir.” See (and hear) for yourself. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

😷 George and Guyasuta with some new accessories. (TribLive)

👟 The marathon may be canceled, but this trio of friends isn’t letting that stop them from going 26.2 miles in the middle of the night. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

— By Rossilynne Culgan and Colin Deppen