Latest Lehigh Valley coronavirus headlines

March 30

LVHN adjusts birth and newborn visitation due to coronavirus

Lehigh Valley Health Network will now allow no more than one support person for mothers in labor in order to reduce coronavirus risks for patients, staff and visitors. Read more.

Reading pretzel company participating in Bikes & Brews – and social distancing

A Reading-based pretzel manufacturer is participating in what is turning out to be a fairly “unique” national marketing effort. Read more.

Working from home with kids during the coronavirus crisis

Working from home has become the new normal for a majority of us during the coronavirus crisis. For parents, this requires adjusting to parenting while working.  Read more.

March 27

Gov. Wolf announces ‘Stay at Home’ order for Berks and eight other counties

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced on Friday that they would be issuing new stay at home orders to help staunch the spread of COVID-19 in Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties. Read more.

$2 trillion COVID-19 aid package passes House, headed to White House

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides billions of dollars for industries imperiled by the coronavirus pandemic — airlines and hotels included — and makes billions of dollars available for small businesses who have seen their income all but cease due to prohibitions on large gatherings. Read more.

Second and third Wind Creek employees test positive for COVID-19

Wind Creek Bethlehem said a total of three employees have now tested positive for COVID-19. After identifying a COVID-19 positive employee who had last worked on March 14, two more employees exhibited symptoms after the closure of the property. Read more.

Public school teachers will be paid during statewide school shutdown

Pennsylvania state lawmakers this week authorized legislation to ensure public school employees will be paid during the mandated closure of education facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

PUC prohibits utility companies from terminating service amid COVID-19 panic

State utilities officials have ratified emergency orders this week to prevent companies regulated by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) from interrupting services due to customers’ income shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as many households and businesses have seen operations hammered by social distancing requirements. Read more.

COVID-19 creates havoc on construction industry

Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to shutter all non-life-sustaining businesses to control the spread of COVID-19 has effectively halted most construction in Pennsylvania, sending a shockwave through the industry. Read more.

Seasoned managers offer their advice on making the remote work transition

For managers delving into this unchartered territory of long-term remote work, there are some best practices and effective techniques to adopt that may be helpful in managing employees who are working outside the office. Read more.

Local payment processor seeks to raise $200M for hospitality industry

With restaurants and other hospitality businesses facing some of the earliest and largest financial losses from COVID-19, one local company established an online resource to help raise more than $200 million for them. Read more.

At Redner’s Markets, ‘it’s all hands on deck.’

To stop the hoarding, Redner’s Markets, a Pennsylvania based supermarket chain, is allowing store managers to set limits on the number of items customers can buy of certain foods, like toilet paper or meat. Read more

March 26

Temperature control device manufacturer aids companies researching COVID-19 cure

Julabo USA, a company in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, is among those businesses that’s staying open because it is helping to equip pharmaceutical companies that are working on vaccines, research, and drug therapies to directly combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

KeyBank offering support to those impacted by coronavirus

Cleveland-based KeyBank, which has more than a dozen braches in the Greater Lehigh Valley, said it is offering support services for those impacted by the coronavirus, COVID-19. Read more

Chamber promoting open restaurants and businesses with website, marketing

Now, there is one place where Lehigh Valley consumers can find restaurants still serving up meals and how they can get them, as well as information about small business goods and services still available. Read more.

Here are some tips for health care workers looking to de-stress while off duty

The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic can be especially taxing for health care workers, so the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania is offering tips to help health care workers unwind and recharge when they are off duty. Read more

Pennsylvania unemployment claims jump to 650K

The state Department of Labor has reported that nearly 649,967 unemployment claims have been filed since March 16. Read more

Cedar Crest College donates face masks, gown to local health networks

Cedar Crest College’s School of Nursing donated their lab supply of approximately 400 N95 respirator masks, 700 regular masks, gloves and isolation gowns to St. Luke’s University Health Network Allentown Campus and Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Read more

Senate passes $2 trillion aid package, House expected to vote Friday

The Senate passed a record $2 trillion stimulus package late Wednesday aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. economy, which has seen mass layoffs, business closures, imperiled industries and volatile financial markets since the beginning of March due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Read more.

Distiller turned sanitizer-maker seeks a little help from his beer friends

If you have some brew your willing to spare – particularly if you’re a local brewery – the folks at Christmas City Spirits in Bethlehem are hoping you’ll donated it to them to help with their effort to make hand sanitizer for area health care and emergency services providers.

Read more.

March 25

COVID-19 ends LVIA’s 30-month growth pattern

The rapidly changing and spreading virus upended nearly 30 consecutive months of positive passenger traffic at Lehigh Valley International Airport and put a financial strain on the airport as it continues operating and providing services.

Customers Bank switches to appointment-only service

All Customers Bank branches are switching to appointment-only service. The changes are being made to protect clients and employees from the spread of coronavirus, bank officials said.  Drive-through service will still be available at five locations.

Read more

Sen. Casey: $350B small business relief to be streamlined for speed

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, said the goal of a provision in the $2 trillion federal COVID-19 rescue package to get funds to small businesses is putting an emphasis on speed to get the money where it’s needed quickly.

Lehigh, Northampton counties added to ‘Stay at Home’ order

Gov. Tom Wolf has expanded stay-at-home orders to include Lehigh and Northampton Counties. The announcement comes as the number of positive cases of COVID-19 has grown to 1,127 in 44 counties with 11 deaths in the state, including three deaths in Northampton County.

The $2 trillion stimulus package is a ‘great start’, says local business leader

With the White House and Senate reaching a deal earlier today to provide a $2 trillion stimulus package to bolster the national economy in the wake of COVID-19, Pennsylvania’s small businesses can benefit if they act now, according to the leader of a local mortgage-lending firm.

Here’s what the COVID-19 stimulus bill includes

The Senate plans to vote this afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus bill that would inundate American households and businesses with cash with the intention of reviving the economy, which has endured mass layoffs and business suspensions due to the outbreak of the coronavirus

Read more

Dr. Rachel Levine: “COVID-10 cases doubling every 2 days

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health warns that the number of coronavirus cases is doubling every two days, underscoring the importance of self-isolation and social distancing.

Read more

bizcares.org offers place to share COVID-19 survival tips

John Dame, a CEO coach and business consultant based in Harrisburg, realized that top managers would struggle with what to do about the unprecedented crisis, so he and his son, Ed Dame, set up a forum for leaders to chat about their experiences and to share their stories

Read more

Trans-Bridge temporarily suspends bus service because of COVID-19

After passenger traffic dropped by 88% due to the coronavirus pandemic, Trans-Bridge Lines of Bethlehem said is temporarily suspending all operations.

Read more

$100,000 low interest loans available from small businesses through PIDA

Small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees have the opportunity to apply for a $100,000 low-interest loan through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Agency (PIDA), state officials said this week.

March 24

St. Luke’s, local businesses collaborate to produce masks that protect against COVID-19

Bethlehem’s St. Luke’s and Filament Innovations of Coplay, as well as 3D manufacturer ProtoCAM of Upper Macungie Township, have teamed up to produce 3D printed masks and face shields for health care providers to help protect them from COVID-19.

Read more

LANTA bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

The City of Bethlehem is reporting that a bus driver for LANTA is among the six individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the city. The bus driver worked on March 20 and drove several trips between Easton and Bethlehem during the shift.

Read more

Statewide, 27 warnings issues to non-life-sustaining businesses

State police have issued 27 warnings against businesses considered “non-life-sustaining” who failed to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf’s order directing them to close operations at their physical locations beginning March 23.

Read more

Locals are encouraged to support area businesses with online shopping

To support buying local during self-quarantine efforts, the cities of Easton and Bethlehem have launched initiatives which aim to encourage cyber-shopping.

Read more

With COVID-19 keeping people home, gas prices at record low levels

As most people in Pennsylvania shelter in place, not going out to restaurants or stores and commuting only to the most essential jobs, gas prices are hitting record lows.

Read more

East Penn Manufacturing receives waiver to operate

Berks County battery manufacturer, East Penn Manufacturing, said it has received a waiver from the state classifying it as a life-sustaining business and it will resume operations, bringing back about half of its staff.

Local company makes air purification systems that kill COVID-19

LifeAire Systems, an Upper Macungie Township company that creates in-duct air purification systems that remove airborne pathogens such as COVID-19, is looking to produce more. The company developed the technology for the in vitro fertilization industry and installed it in its first hospital a couple years ago.

March 23

Exclusive interview: LVHN CEO Brian Nester warns “We are two weeks behind Manhattan.”

Brian Nester opened up about a possible timeline for the peak of the virus, why testing times need to be improved, and why more aggressive measures are needed to stop the spread.

Read more

Just Born reverses decision, closes production facilities

Bethlehem’s Just Born has now decided to close its production facility through at least April 7 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Read more

Gov. Wolf issues stay-at-home order for 6 counties, extends school closures

Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order for six counties and extended the closure of schools in the state for another two weeks to help fight the spread of COVID-19. He did not mention any timetable for the closure of non-life sustaining businesses. Those closures were ordered “until further notice.”

Read more

Builders, contractors, seeking exemption from Wolf’s closure order

In a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, officials from the five chapters that make up the Associated Builders and Contractors of Pennsylvania, asked for a waiver for the construction-industry-at-large, and clarification of his executive order to shut down businesses.

Read more

LVHN recycling surgical wrap to extend the life of protective masks

With shortages of personal protective equipment across the nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Lehigh Valley Health Network is recycling surgical wrap to make coverings to extend the life of protective masks.

Read more

Pennsylvania loosens access to medical marijuana during COVID-19 emergency

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has temporarily suspended a number of provisions in the state’s medical marijuana program to allow patients to have more access to medications.

Read more

COVID-19 closes Stich-Fix Lehigh Valley distribution center

Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based online personal clothing styling service, is temporarily closing two of its distribution centers in the wake of the coronavirus threat, including its Lehigh Valley location in Lower Nazareth Township. The other location is in California.

Read more

Pennsylvania business shutdown enforcement begins this morning

The governor originally said enforcement would begin at 8 p.m., Thursday, but the number of waiver requests coming in for businesses that wanted to be considered life-sustaining led the administration to delay the order.

Read more

March 20

Trade groups request, receive sales tax waiver from Pa. Revenue Department

Businesses will not be penalized for failing to meet the March 20 Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) deadline, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue confirmed to Lehigh Valley Business.

Read more

Hand sanitizer replaces spirits for local distillers

There is a saying that necessity is the mother of invention, but for a family-run micro-distillery in East Stroudsburg, motherhood was the necessity.

Read more

Pennsylvania confirms another 83 COVID-19 cases

Pennsylvania now has 268 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s a jump of 83 cases from yesterday. The state has had one death so far and 2,574 people who have tested negative.

Read more

COVID-19 won’t stop the PEEPS – Just Born to continue manufacturing

Just Born, which manufactures PEEPS and Mike & Ikes in Bethlehem said it will continue operations, while adjusting to extra precautions because of the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania Chamber seeks clarity, modification, of Wolf’s closure order

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is seeking modification and clarification of Gov. Tom Wolf’s order closing all “non-life sustaining businesses” in the state.

Here are the businesses affected by the state-wide mandatory closure

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations late yesterday, and offered a comprehensive list of those types of businesses affected.

Read more

Community banks are showing their strength amid COVID-19 crisis

Community banks have been working around the clock for weeks to implement pandemic protocols, which address not only hygiene and cleanliness, testing procedures and sick leave compensation, but also ensure customers maintain access to vital banking services.

Wind Creek Bethlehem employee tests positive for COVID-19

Wind Creek Bethlehem said it has been notified that one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19.

Read more

March 19

Governor Tom Wolf orders closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses

Gov. Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

Read more

Berks Visitors Bureau lists restaurants offering takeout, curbside and delivery

Restaurants that offer TakeoutCurbside Pickup, and Delivery to your homes, businesses, and hotels are listed below. Included with the restaurant listings are wineries offering customers curbside pickup and mail delivery of wines to their homes.

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LVHN adds coronavirus testing locations in Allentown and Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley Health Network has added two more coronavirus testing site locations, making for a total of 10 COVID-19 testing sites throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Read morehttps://www.lvb.com/lvhn-adds-coronavirus-testing-locations-allentown-bethlehem/

Wolf asks SBA to approve disaster declaration for loans

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to implement an SBA disaster declaration so businesses and nonprofits in the state can access SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans in all 67 counties.

Read more

Sharps Compliance donates protective gear to area hospitals

Supplies, which were shipped out within hours of the request, include 3,700 isolation gowns, 2,700 mask and 1,500 nitrile gloves.

Read more

Health Secretary to businesses leaders: ‘We need your help’ to fight COVID-19

“Now is the time for you to act in your roll as business leaders,” she said during a webinar on how businesses should respond to the coronvavirus organized by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “If a local business stays open, our local residents will think it’s OK to gather and congregate and it is not.”

Read more

COVID-19 having sharp impact on real estate market

As a relationship-driven, people-facing industry, real estate is facing the turbulent effects of COVID-19.

Read more

Phone, broadband providers pledge to keep customers connected

For the next 60 days, Service Electric of Allentown will open Wi-Fi hotspots to all who need them, and will not terminate services to residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more

U.S. Senator Bob Casey supports sending checks to taxpayers amid COVID-19 surge

As the economic fallout from the coronavirus escalates with statewide closures of non-essential businesses, federal lawmakers are considering sending thousands of dollars in direct cash payments to American households.

Read more

A list of stores that temporarily have closed or cut hours because of coronavirus (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)

As coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, tons of major retailers are taking it upon themselves to temporarily close stores or cut hours to help try and bring the pandemic to a halt.

Read more

March 18

Lehigh Valley providers pledge to keep internet, phones connected during pandemic (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)

Providers in the Lehigh Valley have agreed not to terminate internet and phone service for customers who can’t pay their bills amid the coronavirus shutdown of non-essential services and businesses.

Read more

LVHN-ExpressCare-Lehighton to temporarily close

Starting today, Lehigh Valley Health Network is temporarily closing its LVHN ExpressCARE–Lehighton at 363 N. 1st Street, Lehighton, so its staff can support LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations.

Read more

Sorry folks, no free Rita’s for the first day of spring

Rita’s Italian Ice said it plans to postpone its annual First Day of Spring Giveaway. The chain, which traditionally gives away free Italian ice, said it will not be offering the giveaway this year. The giveaway would have been on March 19. The giveaway tends to draw large crowds, which are being discouraged to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Read more

Giant reserves first hour of business, 6-7 a.m., for shoppers 60+

GIANT grocery stores are reserving the first hour of each business day for shoppers over the age of 60. Starting Thursday, the stores will be open from 6 to 7 a.m. to serve older adults only. Store officials say this will help those most vulnerable to coronavirus avoid crowds and hopefully limit the spread of the virus.

Read more

“We do what we have to do.” – Health care workers accept coronavirus risks

While most of us are self-quarantined at home, doctors, nurses and other health care workers are heading out of their front doors and off to work. For most health care workers, a certain amount of risk, including from the coronavirus, is considered part of the job.

Read more

March 17

$19 for a bottle of hand sanitizer? Pa. Attorney General going after price gougers

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said today that his office has now received more than 1,000 tips reporting price gouging.

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LVHN establishes coronavirus testing centers

Lehigh Valley Health Network has established patient testing centers for coronavirus throughout the Lehigh Valley region.

Read more


PLCB relaxes liquor license ‘safekeeping’ rule during COVID-19 event

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is issuing special allowances that will benefit liquor licensees over the course of Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandated closure of non-essential businesses. PLCB officials said this move is in an effort to mitigate the economic impacts caused by recommendations to close non-essential business operations amidst the spread of the coronavirus.

Read more

Is your industry on the business essential list? 

Gov. Tom Wolf also clarified Monday’s order that all non-essential businesses close temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many people expressed confusion over which businesses were included in the designation of non-essential.

Read more

Pa. confirms 20 more cases, bringing state total to 96 

The additional cases are as follows: two in Allegheny County; one in Beaver County; three in Bucks County; two in Chester County; five in Cumberland County; two in Delaware County; two in Montgomery County; two in Philadelphia County; and one in Washington County. (Source: Lebanon Daily News)

Read more

DCNR closing state park and forest facilities statewide, open spaces will remain accessible

Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that all facilities at state park and forests in Pennsylvania will be closed for 14 days effective March 17 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as hiking.

Read more.

With community spread in Montgomery County anticipated, mass testing sites expected to open 

With Montgomery County leading the state in coronavirus cases and southeastern Pennsylvania in general being the hardest-hit area, four different state lawmakers told The Morning Call that state officials expect to open two “mass testing sites” for coronavirus testing in Montgomery County and Philadelphia.


Will business losses from COVID-19 be covered by insurance?

According to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2020 global growth could be cut by half, to 1.5 percent for the year instead of the 2.9 percent that had been previously forecast if the coronavirus continues to spread.

Read more.


Pa. employees out of work from COVID-19 can get compensation

One of the big questions businesses are asking is “what is going to happen to the workers who find their place of work closed because of the coronavirus?”

Read more


March 16

SBA offers $2M in loans to help businesses, nonprofits cover COVID-19 losses

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is working with state officials to support small businesses impacted by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with up to $2 million targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans.

Read more


Governor Tom Wolf orders all ‘non-essential’ businesses closed

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered all non-essential stores, bars and restaurants in the state to temporarily close to help slow the progression of COVID-19.

Read more


Area small businesses feeling the effects of coronavirus threat

As we all hunker down in our homes amidst the growing threat of the coronavirus, local small business owners are feeling the effects. Now, with the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey ordering all non-essential businesses to close, even more adjustments must be made.

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Many Lehigh Valley businesses close, get creative as coronavirus spreads

The Wind Creek Casino Resort and Event Center in Bethlehem is one of the larger venues to close its doors. It said it plans to stay closed through March 30.

Read more


First Lehigh County coronavirus case is Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th street employee

An employee of Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street in Allentown has tested positive for COVID-19, which is the first positive case in Lehigh County, according to the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Read more

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