Muncy and Hughesville Locals 4.1.2020
What impact has our area experienced regarding the coronavirus?
The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15, to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. The delay in filing and paying taxes until July 15 was done to give taxpayers more time and “hopefully by that time, people will be getting back to their lives.”
Churches have either cancel services or provide Sunday morning services using social media platforms to socially-distancing congregants. With Easter arriving next month, the traditional egg hunts have also been re-configured. For example, an Easter egg drive-thru is scheduled at 551 McConnell Parkway in Hughesville on Saturday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In Muncy this week, a social distancing egg hunt encourages children to decorate and display paper eggs in their front windows, then take a car ride and see how many eggs they can spot.
Many businesses considered non-essential during this hardship have been urged to close. However, most eateries are offering take-out and curbside options on a limited basis. For example, the Muncy VFW Post 3428 is closed to the public but is offering orders between two windows of time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. daily until April 30.
Son Light House will continue food distribution April 1 and 2, 8 a.m. to noon; and April 15 and 16, 4-7 p.m. Participants must stay inside their vehicles while the parcels are delivered drive-thru style.
Most school boards are adapting virtual meetings or hold remote meetings during the month of April. All PSSA testing and Keystone exams were canceled. Student lunches continue to be provided in districts, with a week’s worth of meals distributed one or two days per week at designated areas. Homes become the new classroom as students and teachers connect via apps such as Zoom or Google. Return to a brick-and-mortar teaching environment was pushed back to April 9, per Governor Tom Wolf’s order, but will be evaluated as that date nears.
Funeral homes are working with bereaving families in adapting to traditional viewing and funeral services, allowing only selected family members to attend, determining later dates for internment, or providing internet streaming platforms to “attend” from one’s own living room.
Gun shops, originally listed as nonlife-sustaining businesses, were re-opened following specific guidelines.
Grocery stores like Weis Markets and T. J. Market adjusted hours to allow for staff to restock barren shelves and sanitize high-touch points within the store. Rationing of supplies continues; customers have limited purchases on designated items, such as baby supplies, bread, disinfectants, and paper products, to name a few.
Area hospitals restricted individuals 18 years of age and under from visiting patients and implemented a COVID-19 screening questionnaire that must be completed by any persons entering the facility, including patients, visitors, employees, and essential vendors. Visitors who don’t pass the screening will be sent home and directed on how to obtain care. Staff who don’t pass the screening will be instructed to not begin their shift until contacting Employee Health. Patients who don’t pass the screening will be given a mask and escorted to a separate area to await care or directed to wait outside or in their vehicle until such an area is identified. In addition, staff and visitors who pass the screening will be given a surgical mask to wear while in the hospital.
Skilling nursing units are temporarily limiting visitation and will only permit visitors in special situations as approved by the building administrator or manager.
Fitness centers remain closed; staff is providing home workouts, online classes, healthy recipes and other ways to stay healthy.
Thrift stores remain closed. Sheetz convenience stores suspended self-serve coffee and beverages as well as self-serve bakery items. Drive-thru, online, automatic teller machines and telephone systems are recommended for use in completing bank transactions, when possible. Businesses not serving food must think outside of the to-go box. For example, Fort Muncy Nursery opted to deliver flowers for a small free within a 25-mile radius via the “Pansy-Mobile.” Vinyl Rhino Graphics, 29 South Main Street, Muncy continues to accept online orders and offers gift certificates for future purchases.
If the emergency is health-related, 911 is the place to call, but for other emergencies, such as the loss of a job, resulting in homelessness or financial help with overwhelming utility bills, 211 is the number to remember. A call to the 211 number, which is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, will put the caller in touch with a caseworker who will provide them with the telephone numbers of resources specific to their needs. The 211 service is also available online at PA211 and by texting your zip code to 898211.
The U.S. Census Bureau delayed the deadline by two weeks and has been extended to mid-August.
Until next week, keep your distance, stay well, and save a life.