Local schools, businesses and organizations have been scrambling to adjust schedules and events in response to COVID-19.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday ordered that all public schools in the state close for two weeks, and on Monday he announced that all non-essential businesses should close for at least two weeks.
Bars and restaurants are still permitted to offer take-out and delivery services, and essential businesses remaining open include grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities, banks, utility services, hardware stores, the postal service, hotels, and veterinarians, according to a news release issued by Wolf’s office.
The closures being recommended are meant to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
Non-essential businesses include recreational and entertainment facilities, gyms, hair and nail salons, barber shops, casinos, sporting events, golf courses, and most retailers.
Other businesses are encouraged to have employees work remotely, or practice social distancing, Wolf said.
Grove City borough
The Grove City borough building is closed to the public and non-essential personnel through April 20.
Normal services will continue, and residents are encouraged to pay utility bills online or by check or money order through the mail. There is also a mail slot in the door at the top of the steps, and a drop box in the parking lot.
For more information about borough operations, call 724-458-7060, or visit grovecityonline.com
Classes at Grove City College and Slippery Rock University are being moved online. At GCC, that will begin March 23 and last until at least April 13.
In a letter to faculty, staff and students, President Paul J. McNulty said that the regular class schedule would remain in effect March 16 through 18. Classes are suspended March 19 and 20.
Online classes will be held on the same days and times as the spring 2020 on-campus course schedule. Students have the option of returning home or staying on campus. Dining services will be available.
SRU extended its spring break through the end of the month, and they are moving the remainder of the semester’s classes to an online format.
Grove City schools
Grove City Area School District issued a letter saying that there will be no penalty for schools that don’t meet the required 180 days of instruction.
If the closure goes beyond two weeks, district officials will coordinate remote learning and special education services.
Starting March 20, the GCASD Cafe will be offering free breakfast and lunch meals for students who qualify for the free or reduced school meals program.
Students who have already qualified will be receiving more information. Other families experiencing a hardship can apply online at www.schoolcafe.com with the student’s ID number and gross income of the household.
The district advises anyone in immediate need of food to contact the Grove City Community Food Pantry at 724-458-5208.
President Donald Trump has recommended that people refrain from gathering in groups larger than 10, so many community events are being canceled or rescheduled.
Entertainment and special events
• The Lakeview High School Theatre Department postponed its two final performances of “Newsies” – March 13 and 14 – new dates will be announced.
• Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Team will continue to serve fish and chicken dinners from 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays during Lent through April 10 at the fire hall, 162 Elm St., Slippery Rock. Meals are take-out or local delivery only.
Meals are $10 for adults, and $5 for kids under 8. Dinners include fried fish or fried chicken, cheesy potatoes or French fries, and coleslaw, dinner roll and dessert. Info: Call 724-794-3817, extension 6.
• The Grove City College Theatre Program’s spring plays are postponed until further notice. “Doubt: A Parable” was set for March 19 to 21 and March 27 and 28, and “The Christians” was to be performed March 19 to 21.
• Barkeyville United Methodist Church canceled its community dinner set for March 20.
• The Mercer Area Library’s art show set for March 20 and 21 has been rescheduled for May 1 and 2.
• March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, when several local families were planning to host a variety of activities; it has been canceled, according to organizers.
• Maureen McGovern was set to perform at SRU on March 21; that’s been moved to Sept. 12.
• Fredonia Presbyterian Church’s dinner set for March 25 has been canceled.
• Grove City Christian Academy was planning to present “Cheaper by the Dozen” March 26 to 28; it has been postponed with new dates to be determined.
• The Olde Town Grove City Wine Walk scheduled for March 28 has been postponed, and it’s expected to be rescheduled.
• The Wilmington Township Civic League’s quilt show planned for March 28 has been canceled.
• The Guthrie Theatre in Grove City is temporarily closed, and the upcoming community theater production of “Into the Woods” is on hold.
Also, Veritas Arts, the nonprofit that runs the theater, has canceled the Second Annual Veritas Film Festival, which was set for the end of April at the Guthrie.
• Public libraries across Pennsylvania are closed, along with programming and facilities at state parks.
• Dollar General stores are asking that the first hour of operations each day be reserved for senior customers, according to a news release issued by the company.