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By Chadwick Dolgos

COVID-19 has played a major role in disrupting our everyday lives. With news developing on what seems to be an hourly basis, it’s not hard to believe all of the changes made since the new coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

The inception of the virus dates to early 2020, when doctors in Wuhan, China experienced an uptick in pneumonia cases of an unknown cause. American life did not experience noticeable disruption until early March.

When COVID-19 first entered the United States, the virus was expected to be the world’s most severe health crisis. Government, business and organization response initiated measures in order to reduce the spread of the virus, expecting death rates to exceed those of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Here is a timeline of local and national events that have occurred since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic:

Dec. 31, 2010 – Jan. 10, 2020

• Wuhan, China treats multiple patients for pneumonia of an unknown cause

• World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the illness is a new form of coronavirus

• Health officials in China monitor the new coronavirus to prevent an outbreak

Jan. 11 – 31

• Chinese state media reports first known coronavirus-related death

• Japan, South Korea and Thailand report first cases

• U.S. confirms first coronavirus case in the state of Washington

Chinese authorities close off the city of Wuhan by suspending travel outside

• WHO declares the new coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern

• President Donald Trump suspends entry into the U.S. from China

Feb. 1 – March 5

• The Philippines report first coronavirus-related death outside of China

• WHO officially names the new coronavirus “COVID-19,” which stands for coronavirus disease 2019

• France announces first COVID-19 related death in Europe

• Italy experiences a major increase in cases

• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declares a state of emergency for the state

• U.S. reports first COVID-19 related death in Seattle

Officials in the U.S. lift all federal restrictions on testing for the coronavirus and approve widespread testing

March 6 – 12

• Pennsylvania reports first cases of COVID-19 in Delaware and Wayne counties

• WHO declares COVID-19 a world pandemic

• Actors Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson test positive for the new coronavirus

• NBA suspends season after Rudy Gobert, center for the Utah Jazz, tests positive for the new coronavirus

• MLB announces they will delay the start of their regular season

• NHL announces an indefinite hiatus for regular hockey seas

March 13 – 16

• President Trump declares COVID-19 a national emergency

• Gov. Tom Wolf orders all schools and parks to close for two weeks

• Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends gatherings of 50 people or less

• McDonald’s limits services to drive-thru, curbside, take-out and delivery

• NASCAR postpones all races until the beginning of May

March 17 – 24

• Pennsylvania Health Department reports the first recorded COVID-19 related death in Northampton County

• Gov. Wolf orders all nonessential businesses to close

• Pennsylvania postpones primary election from April 28 to June 2

• Walmart temporarily changes hours of operation, with stores closing at 8:30 p.m.

• Sen. Rand Paul becomes the first U.S. Senator to test positive for COVID-19

• Olympic officials postpone Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics to 2021

March 25 – 31

• The House and Senate pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act ) with bipartisan support

• President Trump signs CARES Act into law

• Gov. Wolf issues the first stay-at-home orders for Beaver, Butler, Centre, Washington and Westmoreland counties

• Trump approves a major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania

April 1 – 14

• Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order is extended statewide

• The U.S. Department of Labor reveals that 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment

• Gov. Wolf issues first mask mandates for all state residents when going outside

• Gov. Wolf orders all Pennsylvania schools to remain closed for the remainder of the school year

• Pennsylvania reports more than 18,000 known coronavirus cases with more than 300 fatalities

• Gov. Wolf orders the early release of 1,800 inmates from state prisons

• Pennsylvania reveals three-step plan to enter into the “new normal”

• Funds allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program are fully dispersed

• PIAA cancels spring high school sports season and winter championship games affecting Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Sto-Rox who had advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA 2A state playoffs

• Local churches including Coraopolis United Methodist Church, St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Moon and McKees Rocks Assembly of God begin offering live stream worship

April 15 – 30

• Dr. Rachel Levine signs executive order protecting state’s essential workers

• Gov. Wolf introduces three-phase, color-coded plan, with more restrictions on counties in the red, fewer restrictions for counties in the yellow, and few restrictions on counties in the green

• Cloth face-covering become mandatory for all state residents when leaving the house

• Crafton Celebrates committee cancels all annual Crafton Celebrates festival activities for the summer of 2020

May 1 – 15

• Gov. Wolf extends stay-at-home order to June 4 for counties in the red phase

• Pentagon releases a memo stating that a COVID-19 diagnosis permanently disqualifies future recruits from joining the military

• 24 Pennsylvania counties enter the yellow phase, allowing some businesses to resume operations

• Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the U.S. Senate that the death toll is likely underestimated

• Gazette 2.0 reports local municipalities worried about a loss of earned income and amusement taxes will cause long-lasting financial impacts

May 15 – 31

• Allegheny County and 12 more counties

enter the yellow phase

Caring Heights Community Care and Rehabilitation Center in Kennedy accounted for about 92% of all COVID-19 reported cases in the 15108 zip code, with 65 resident cases, 22 staff cases and 28 total deaths

• The first 18 counties enter the green phase in Pennsylvania

June 1 – 16

• Allegheny County joins 15 counties in entering the green phase

• Total COVID-19 confirmed cases reaches 2 million in the U.S.

Sto-Rox school directors announce the implementation of a permanent cyber-school option for students

June 17 – 30

• Southern states see sharp increase in COVID-19 cases

• Gazette 2.0 reports the number of new cases has dropped in Pennsylvania

• Dr. Levine announces partnership with CVS Health to provide free testing kits to nursing facilities across the state

July 1 – 6

• Gov. Wolf issues statewide mandate requiring face masks in all public spaces throughout the state

• Local business owners, servers and bartenders gather in downtown Pittsburgh to protest Allegheny County’s ban on alcohol sales

• Lebanon County becomes final county to enter into the green phase within the state of Pennsylvania

Moon Township holds its fireworks display at Robert Morris University instead of Moon Park in an effort to promote social distancing

• Total COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. exceeds 130,000

July 7 – 31

• Gov. Wolf issues new restrictions that limit indoor seating for restaurants to 25% capacity, limit indoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people and require a meal purchase for on-premise alcohol consumption

• Montour School District announces in-person, real-time virtual and self-paced cyberlearning for 2020-21

• Moon Area school directors vote to start the fall semester with virtual-only

Aug. 1 – to date

Gazette 2.0 reports children are contracting COVID-19 at lower rates than adults

• Johns Hopkins University reports more than 22 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported

• COVID-19 related cases begin to decline in the U.S., but experts warn to proceed with caution

Gazette 2.0 reports that scammers are using the pandemic as an avenue to target vulnerable consumers

• Cornell school directors approve a half-day rotating school schedule for fall

• Gov. Wolf announces $50 million in grants to help provide essential employees with hazard pay


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