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In an announcement on the Indiana County Emergency/Disaster Planning Committee’s Facebook page Friday, the Health and Human Services Subcommittee asked local businesses and area residents to watch the page for agencies that need their donations.

Indiana County Emergency Management Agency (ICEMA) began distributing supplies based on immediate need to county health care organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but needs many supplies to meet agency requests:

• Splash shields for two fire companies and an ambulance service (85 total).

• Individual hand sanitizers (20) for a police department and a pediatric clinic (125).

• Surgical masks and gowns for two human service agencies (500).

• Disinfecting wipes for a human service agency (1000).

“We have a skilled nursing (home) running low on hand sanitizer,” officials said.

The organizers asked donors to contact them for details through online messaging services connected with the Facebook page.

“Referrals can be made directly to the entities,” according to the HHSS group’s post. “We will only act as the ‘go between’ and not collect, store or distribute items.

“We are still in the early stages and are anticipating helping our health care agencies with this project. Hopefully, county residents will stay home and our numbers will stay small — but if not, we'll be ready.”

DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG

In order to honor the requests of civil leaders and medical advisers, Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic, after consulting with the diocesan Presbyteral Council, senior staff and medical experts, has issued additional guidelines and mandates to the diocese during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidelines are now effective.

“This is an act of charity that should be observed by the faithful as members of a Church that respects, supports and protects the lives of all persons,” Bishop Malesic said.

 “We are entering into a particularly critical moment for our society. Our president and our governor have each encouraged all of us to greatly limit our ‘out of home’ activity,” Bishop Malesic said. “We encourage everyone to stay at home when possible in order to ‘flatten the curve’ of the rate of infection and to prevent the widespread advance of this disease.”

To see Bishop Malesic’s latest letter to the people and clergy of the Diocese of Greensburg, visit the Health Alerts page on the diocesan website.

In addition to all previous directives, the following guidelines and mandates apply to all parishes, parish priests, parish administrators and deacons, parish churches and all public chapels:

• All parish churches and public chapels are to be closed until further notice, except in those cases listed below.

• The Sacrament of Reconciliation should be limited to those in serious need. Confessions should be arranged by appointment.

• Baptisms are to be delayed, if possible. However, should baptism be required, no more than 10 people, including clergy, are permitted to be present, taking extreme caution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

• Weddings should be delayed, if possible. However, should a wedding occur during this time of threat, no more than 10 people, including clergy, are permitted to be present. Proper social distancing must be maintained.

• When a person has passed away, it is encouraged that burial at the cemetery take place without a prior funeral Mass and that a memorial Mass be scheduled for family and friends at a later date. Should, however, a funeral Mass or liturgy occur within the church building, no more than 10 people, including clergy, pall bearers and the staff of the funeral home may be present, taking into account all normal precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

• All scheduled spring confirmations by the bishop have been cancelled and will be administered by pastors at a later date.

• Reiterating a previous directive, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick must be given to those who are gravely ill or in the active process of dying, following all CDC guidelines for everyone’s safety.

“I will carefully monitor this situation and hope to be able to modify or eliminate these directives and mandates as soon as possible,” Bishop Malesic said. “If we all do our part, and if we follow the advice of experts, we will be able to return to our churches and sacraments sooner rather than later.”

He encouraged people to continue to pray for one another and take advantage of the many online services and participate, if only virtually, in the celebrations of the church’s liturgies. The crisis has brought about the first-ever “Virtual Holy Week” in the diocese – with all streaming Masses and liturgies. For more information, go to www.dioceseofgreensburg.org, www.theaccentonline.org or a parish website.

Text “Faith” to the number (724) 305-3057 to sign-up for important text message alerts and immediate communication. Up-to-the-minute communication is also available on all diocesan social media outlets — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and on its website, www.dioceseofgreensburg.org/healthalerts.

RETREAT CANCELED

The scrapbook and card-making retreat scheduled for April 25 at the Penn Run Christian Outreach Center, 75 Grace Church Road, has been canceled.

MANUFACTURERS CLEARINGHOUSE

HARRISBURG — State officials have unveiled an online clearinghouse intended to connect Pennsylvania manufacturers of healthcare products and equipment in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), said the state has set up the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal, which will mobilize manufacturers that are producing COVID-19-related products and supplies or can pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies.

“As we work to protect public health and safety and create a robust supply chain, we know that there are manufacturers across the commonwealth who are willing and able to help,” Davin said. “This portal will help facilitate the connections businesses need to get critical COVID-19-related products to market or retrofit their operations to begin production of those products.”

The portal was developed through a joint effort of DCED, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, IRC Network, Life Sciences PA, Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouses, and the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

Gov. Tom Wolf earlier announced the creation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Portal to source the most needed supplies for medical providers, emergency responders, and health care professionals. The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal builds on those efforts to help manufacturers produce COVID-19-related supplies or retool their operations to begin creation of those supplies. 

The goal of the new Manufacturing Call to Action Portal is to match manufacturers and distributors to fill specific supply chain needs to meet increasing demands for medical supplies and related products, assist manufacturers that have workforce needs or gaps and aid them in identifying skilled workers, and identify manufacturers that can pivot or innovate to fulfill the demand for medical supplies and related products.

Pennsylvania’s manufacturers, distributors, and other suppliers should visit the portal at https://spportal.dot.pa.gov/ppeinventory/pages/mschain.aspx to report their critical supply chain capabilities, needs, or workforce gaps or innovative opportunities, which will help DCED staff identify opportunities and solutions.

Questions may be sent to RA-DCEDPAMCTAP@pa.gov. For current information on coronavirus in Pennsylvania, visit www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.