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Local coronavirus briefing - March 13, 2020

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All Bucks County school closed until at least March 29
Bucks County Commissioners at 11:45 a.m. today ordered a Declaration of Disaster Emergency and the activation of the county’s Emergency Management Center for support and to respond and coordinate efforts with local municipalities and other partners.

In close coordination with the superintendents of all Bucks County school districts, the Executive Director of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, the Director of the Bucks County Health Department, the Director of Bucks County Emergency Management Services, and the Bucks County Commissioners, all Bucks County public schools will be closed effective at 6 p.m. today through Sunday, March 29. This period of closure may be extended, based on any number of rapidly changing variables.

It is possible that executive orders from either the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States federal government will further expand upon or define this period of closure. At this time, this decision has not yet been officially mandated by either state or federal government authorities. This decision has, however, been fully discussed at length with all school district leaders and the appropriate county government officials.

With the Commonwealth of PA executive order yesterday that essentially shut down neighboring Montgomery County, the impact on local school district daily operations has been substantial. More than 1,000 Bucks County teachers, support staff members, and administrators live in Montgomery County. Due to school closures in Montgomery County, several Bucks County school districts closed today because of inadequate staffing levels.

 
Governor orders all PA schools closed
Governor Tom Wolf said Friday all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16, due to the spread of COVID-19. The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed. Wolf said school districts will not be penalized if they fails to meet the 180 day or the school hours requirements. 
 
 
Lower Makefield Community Center closes
The Lower Makefield Township Community Center closed at noon today for a minimum of 14 days. The center said the closure is consistent with guidelines released by Gov. Tom Wolf’s office regarding at-risk populations. That guidance recommended the closure of senior center, community centers and nursing homes. The closure also will restrict access for groups that have reserved the facility. The center said it would provide updates about specific classes, programs and registrations.


Odyssey exhibit set to open, reception canceled
The previously scheduled opening reception for the “ODYSSEY” exhibition on March 20 has been cancelled due to public health concerns. However, the show will be open during its scheduled gallery hours beginning Saturday, March 21, at the Pennsylvania Center for Photography, 181 E. Court St., Doylestown. Entrance to the exhibition is free, and the show is family friendly. Visit pacenterforphotography.org/ for gallery hours and potential changes to the gallery schedule, related to any Covid-19 or weather concerns that may arise.

 
Hopewell Theater closing for two weeks
In light of the potential spread of the corona, Hopewell Theater has decided to suspend its shows and close for the next two weeks, from Monday, March 16 to Monday, March 30. Those who have purchased a ticket to a show taking place at the theater March 17 to March 29, will receive a credit to their account for the price of the ticket less taxes and fees. The credit does not expire and the theater will email a copy of the credit, proof it was completed, within the next three business days. Ticket-holders also will be notified if the show has been rescheduled. Taxes and fees on a future purchase of the same or lesser value will not be charged. For information, contact 609-466-1964 or email, info@hopewelltheater.com.
 
 
Women’s Advocacy Coalition moves online
Owing to concerns about the coronavirus, the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition will move the Conversation with Elected Officials (also known as Convo) to an online forum. The date and time, 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20, have not changed. People who registered for the Convo through the website will be invited to attend the ZOOM event. The invitation will come automatically from “Kathleen Beveridge no-reply@zoom.us” and will contain a link to join the. Save that e-mail and click on that link when it is time to join the Convo. If you use an electronic calendar, click on the link in that e-mail that says “Add to Calendar” so that the information for the event will be saved in your calendar. In advance of the Convo, go to our website for links you can use to test Zoom. Most computers have a camera and a microphone built into them. Test them out ahead of the day of the event. The key to getting into the conversation will be using the Q&A feature – so please learn about that in advance. The entire Convo event will be recorded and the recording will be accessible to all following the event.
 

Grand View Auxiliary cancels Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Due to the presence of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in nearby communities, Grand View Auxiliary’s Breakfast with the Easter Bunny scheduled for April 4, in the Grand View Hospital Cafeteria, has been canceled out of an abundance of concern for the health and safety of the children and families who might attend the event.
 
 
Council of Southeastern PA Centers closed for two weeks
The Council of Southast PA/Pro-ACT Recovery Community Center has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic is actively preparing plans and responses to keep staff and participants safe and prevent community spread within the region, while maintaining program operations. Montgomery County Recovery Community Center will be closed effective Friday, March 13 – Friday, March 27. The center will be available for virtual/telephonic recovery support services and those interested should call Alison Slickers at 610-675-4200 or email aslickers@councilsepa.org. Effective Friday, March 13, centers in Bucks and Philadelphia counties will be limiting services to previously scheduled on-on-one appointments. During this time, groups and walk in services are temporarily postponed. All scheduled training events at the center from March 13 – March 27 will also be postponed and rescheduled. Please use the following contact information for each center and to schedule an appointment. Philadelphia Recovery Community Center: Hank Owens call 215.223.7700 x109 or email howens@councilsepa.org. Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center: Alison Dunn call 267-885-8205 or email adunn@councilsepa.org.
 
 
Princeton folk concert canceled
Princeton Folk Music Society, in response to concerns about and difficulties posed by the COVID19 virus, has decided to cancel the March 20 concert featuring Joe Jencks. The society hopes to reschedule his performance sometime next season. Further updates regarding events later in the season will be posted as the board continues to monitor the situation.
 

Voices Chorale NJ alters schedule
Voices Chorale NJ is canceling the Celtic Cèilidh Spring Fundraiser on March 22 and is postponing the Young Composers Project, which was scheduled for workshops on March 24 and April 14, and a performance on April 21. The organization hopes to reschedule these events when public health officials recommend resuming public gatherings.
 
As we monitor the daily developments of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle continue to follow best practices according to official guidelines and announce the following measures in order to safeguard our guests, volunteers and staff:
 

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle announce temporary closing, cancelations
In an effort to limit the pathways for community transmission, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle will close to the public at 5 p.m. Friday, March 13, and will remain closed to the public until Sunday, April 5. This includes the library at the Mercer Museum. In addition, all public programming across the two sites has been canceled at least through Sunday, April 5. This includes:
 
• Fonthill Castle Evening Tours on March 13 and 14
• Fonthill Castle Tower Tours on March 15
• Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society Presentation about Alice Paul on March 16
• Mercer Museum Spring Crafternoon on March 21
• Friends of the Bucks County Historical Society Bus Trip on March 25
• Meet the Curator Exhibit Tour at Mercer Museum on March 31
• Treasures from the Library Vault program at Mercer Museum on April 2
 
The museum still intends to pursue a virtual Bucks Mont Regional Contest for National History Day, and is in touch with teachers at Bucks and Montgomery county schools. “The situation is fluid and we will endeavor to do all possible to plan and execute a virtual contest given the changing circumstances and school closures in both counties. Updates will be communicated to teachers and students in the days to come,” the museum said. All communication and questions can be sent to historyday@mercermuseum.org.
 
 
Montgomery Theater Comedy Night cancelled
Montgomery Theater’s Comedy Night, scheduled for March 27, has been cancelled in response to the governor's ban on public gatherings in Montgomery County. If you already have tickets to Comedy Night, the theater will be in touch to facilitate a ticket exchange or return.
 
 
Academy of Vocal Arts cancels major benefit
The Academy of Vocal Arts has announced that BrAVA Philadelphia, scheduled for March 28, at The Met Philadelphia, has been cancelled. “We thank our alumni, patrons and the City of Philadelphia for their support of this historic performance, and we are sad to cancel this event. The health and safety of our patrons is important to us,” according to a press release. Regarding concert ticket refunds: Ticketmaster will send out an email to all purchasers and automatically refund them. Any in-person window sales patrons will have to come to the box office to receive a refund.
 
 
Greater Philadelphia Stucco Remediation Forums Postponed
Dörken Systems Inc., manufacturer of high-performance air and moisture barriers for both commercial and residential construction, alongside event partners announced today that it has postponed the Greater Philadelphia Stucco Remediation Forums scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, at Delaware Valley University. In response to COVID-19, Delaware Valley University has suspended all external and university events that are open to the public beginning Saturday, March 15 through Friday, May 1. This suspension includes the Greater Philadelphia Stucco Remediation Forums for consumers and industry professionals. Full refunds will be issued through the event registration platform where tickets were initially purchased. Forum event partners will work with campus operations to reschedule the forums for a later date. No decision has been made as to when that date will occur. Event updates will be posted at stuccoforum.com or through the Bucks County Herald.
 
 
American Repertory Ballet postpones its 65th Anniversary Gala
The company reached this difficult decision based on feedback from constituents, recommendations from local health officials and the CDC. Given the risk that large gatherings pose in the transmission of COVID-19. The organization will announce rescheduling of the gala and reopening of the silent auction at a later date.
 
 
Solebury Township closes athletic facilities
Out of an abundance of caution, Solebury Township is taking the following action with respect to the use of park athletic fields and facilities while health officials work to mitigate the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the township is ending all sports activities and group use of parks, athletic fields and facilities through Monday, April 13, after which time the situation will be re-evaluated for appropriate action.
 
 
Princeton Arts Alliance postpones opening reception
Princeton Artists Alliance will present the exhibition “Art & Music: Touching Sound.” The opening reception, scheduled for March 21, will be rescheduled. Art works by Lower Makefield residents Susan Hogan and William Hogan are included in this show at the Arts Council of Princeton, which will run through May 2.
 

Artist talk at Princeton Library canceled, show open
A March 24 artist talk about the exhibition titled “Wetland to Woodland” by Princeton, N.J., eco-artist Susan Hoenig at Princeton Public Library has been canceled. As of now, the library, and the exhibition, scheduled to run until May 30, remain open.
 

Perkasie Patchwork Coffeehouse postpones concert
The March 21 concert at Perkasie Patchwork Coffeehouse featuring Seasons Family Band, with opener Brush Brothers, has been postponed. Visit PerkMenno.net for information.
 
 
Bucks Arts & Cultural Council postpones seminars
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County has postponed “The Art of Marketing” educational seminar scheduled for March 19 and the “Legal Protection of your Art” educational seminar scheduled for April 16; they will be rescheduled for September and the council will advertise the seminars and new dates soon. Bucks County Reimagine, Explore, Discover (BC R.E.D.), the council’s annual members’ reception and two-day art exhibition and sale, is still currently scheduled for June 6 and 7.
 

Acme Screening Room announces temporary closing
Acme Screening Room in Lambertville, N.J., is closed today through March 22, in response to the coronavirus update. Acme will monitor the situation and keep customers updated of any other changes. Those who have purchased tickets for this weekend will be contacted by the theater manager and will be able to exchange them for a future film.

County Theater closing for at least two weeks
In accordance with the recommendations of local government and health authorities regarding COVID-19 and out of caution and with particular concern for at-risk groups, the County Theater is closing for a minimum of two weeks starting. All scheduled programming during that time is canceled. The theater hopes to reschedule as many events as possible and will share details as soon as they are available. This decision has been reached after much deliberation and in acknowledgement of the County’s role as a regional destination, which draws customers from a 25-mile radius and beyond.


PREIT Montgomery
County malls heed state recommendation to close
Plymouth Meeting Mall and Willow Grove Park will be closed for two weeks effective March 13

PREIT (NYSE: PEI) has decided to close Montgomery County, PA properties in the interest of the health and safety of our shoppers, store and mall employees. The Company issued the following statement. “The health and well-being of our shopper and tenant community is our top priority. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to heed the recommendation of state officials by closing its Montgomery County malls,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “Throughout our portfolio, we continue to follow developing news, information and guidelines from federal, state and local health officials concerning public spaces and urge our customers and tenants to take all known safety precautions to prevent and reduce the risk of illness and the spread of disease.”
 

C&N Banks will remain open
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an increased impact on communities throughout the nation, including some that C&N calls home. As your bankers, and more so as your neighbors and friends, we feel it’s important to share with you the steps we’ve taken to keep everyone safe and secure.


Each branch is regularly cleaned and sanitized. We’ve provided our employees with frequent communication and preventative actions to help deter the spread of illness. Should any employee feel ill, we’ve directed them to stay home until they’ve fully recovered, both for their own good and that of the community. We are confident our offices continue to be safe and we remain open for business. Online alternatives are also available.


DCNR closing state parks in Montgomery County
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the three state parks in Montgomery County will be closed for 14 days effective March 13 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.The affected state parks are Evansburg, Fort Washington and Norristown Farm Park. “As part of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, all of the parking lots and buildings at the parks, including park offices and restrooms, will be closed, and all events and public educational programs will be canceled,” Dunn said. “While these parks are closed, state park rangers and park managers will continue to work to ensure security and essential operations continue, and that public safety is protected.”


PennDOT closes Montgomery County Driver License Centers and Southeast PA District Office, pauses regional issuance of REAL IDs
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is implementing the following operational changes in response to Gov. Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19.

All Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Montgomery County will be closed for two weeks effective at the close of business on Thursday, March 12. The following locations will be closed and reopen no sooner than Friday, March 27.

  • King of Prussia Driver License and REAL ID Center, 143 S Gulph Rd, King of Prussia;
  • Norristown Driver License and REAL ID Center, 1700 Markley St, Norristown;
  • Huntingdon Valley Driver License and REAL ID Center, 2022 County Line Rd, Huntingdon Valley;
  • Harleysville Photo License Center, 345 Main St, Harleysville;
  • Ardmore Photo License Center, 30 Greenfield Ave, Ardmore; and
  • Pottstown Photo License Center, 978 E High St, Pottstown.

Customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via dmv.pa.gov.

Additionally, out of an abundance of caution and to help control the number of customers in its facilities, PennDOT is suspending the issuance of REAL ID driver licenses and photo ID cards at all PennDOT Driver License Centers in the following counties until no sooner than March 28:

  • Montgomery County
  • Philadelphia County
  • Chester County
  • Delaware County
  • Berks County
  • Bucks County
  • Lancaster County
  • Lehigh County

With the exception of Montgomery County, customers will be able to obtain all other services at these locations.


Doylestown Township closes parks and fields
Doylestown Township will close park amenities including all athletic fields, Kids Castle, Pavilion #1 bathrooms at Central Park and the Dog Park. The township will also suspend any Park & Recreation programs and activities. In addition, the township has cancelled all public events and meetings through April 30, to assure the health, safety and well-being of our community.

 
 

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