PITTSBURGH – County Manager William D. McKain today provided the following information regarding the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
County Employees Every government has the responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its residents. Particularly during times of emergency, residents rely even more on the services offered and performed by county employees. The county also has a part to play in helping to slow the spread of the disease. As a result, working with all departments, changes have been implemented for many of our operations while still continuing to provide the integral services that residents rely upon. Individuals who have business with the county are also encouraged to utilize online services and other resources to limit interaction with the general public. As with all changes made as a result of this pandemic, these changes will continue to be reviewed and make additional adjustments as necessary. County administration will also continue to review its continuity of operations plans (COOP) as it relates to impact of COVID-19 on the county’s workforce.
ACHD Clinics The Immunization Clinic will close until further notice starting Monday, March 23, 2020. The clinic is open today until 4 p.m. Please call ahead before coming into the clinic: 412-578-8062. ACHD will not be performing Tuberculosis skin tests at its Pulmonary Center until further notice. For guidance, please call 412-578-8162. All ACHD Pediatric Dental Clinics will be closed through March 30, 2020. Staff will be on hand to answer patient questions and to direct emergencies to the nearest pediatric dental facility. To speak with a representative, please call 412-687-2243.
Air Quality (Health Department) Air quality complaints will continue to be processed. All planning and permitting meetings will be scheduled by phone. The monitoring network will be maintained as best as possible based on the availability of access to buildings that house air quality monitors. Asbestos staff will continue to process permits and conduct inspections by remote dispatching. The Air Advisory Committee and its three subcommittee meetings have been cancelled, and all scheduled public hearings will be postponed. To submit an air quality complaint, click here, or call 412- 578-8103.
Food Safety (Health Department) As widely reported, all restaurants and bars in the state were ordered to close their dine-in services for at least 14 days. However, these businesses are allowed to offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through services during this time. Whether you are offering these services or preparing to reopen once permitted to, restaurant owners should be following these very important tips from ACHD. The Food Safety Program will remain coverage to respond to questions from the public, and food facilities regarding their operations. Construction plans already submitted will continue to be reviewed. Previously scheduled appointments will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. All Food Manager Certification testing and seminars have been canceled through March 31, 2020. Please call 412-578-8044 or email ACHDFood@AlleghenyCounty.us to discuss appointment status.
Housing and Community Environment (Health Department) The Housing and Community Environment (HCE) program will be maintaining services solely for facilities with emergency complaints: no heat, no water, no electric, or sewage backup. The program will not be accepting any housing or facility complaints that are non-emergency. HCE will perform in person inspections when necessary. To submit a complaint, call 412-350-4046 or you can utilize the online form.
Inmate Phone Calls (County Jail) With the exception of the temporary suspension of social and professional visits, inmates have had little change to their daily routines. Presently, there are no restrictions for out-of-cell time due to COVID-19 concerns. In order to mitigate the effects of no outside contact, inmates are being allowed one free daily five-minute phone call. When further changes are made to the system, that availability may also expand.
Inmate Releases (Multiple Offices) Staff in Criminal Court Administration, the Public Defender’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office are continually reviewing cases to determine which inmates are appropriate for release. Those cases are then addressed in Motions Court or reviewed with the assigned Judge depending on the circumstances. This review is not limited to just those inmates with health problems, although those cases are being considered first. The Public Defender’s Office is working to identify all non-violent inmates held only on cash bails. On a daily basis, inmate releases are being sent to the jail and those releases are being processed as they are received. Releases are being done following the same process related to discharge and release as is done traditionally. This includes ensuring that inmates being released have access to a free phone call, free bus ticket, free Intranasal Narcan (Naloxone HCL) upon affirmative response at time of offer, packet of requested community resource information, letter of Incarceration Verification (upon request), and inmates are also encouraged to take a flyer or business card to reach the Discharge & Release Center for assistance with future needs. This is an ongoing collaborative effort which includes the Judges, Court Administration, the Allegheny County Jail, the Public Defender, the District Attorney’s Office, Adult Probation, Pretrial Services, and the Private Bar. Emergency petitions can also be filed and are addressed by the court in Motions Court.
Plumbing (Health Department) The Plumbing program is open for operations during its normal business hours, 8am – 4pm. When you are calling for plumbing inspections, please contact the correct inspector for your area and leave a voicemail with your name, permit number, type of inspection and a call back number. The plumbing inspector will call you back by 9 a.m. to confirm the appointment. Both journeyman and master plumbers can pay for their licenses online and are encouraged to utilize the online system, which can be accessed here. You can call the program at: 412-578-8036.
Veterans Services Allegheny County Veterans Services has temporarily relocated to 202 County Courthouse (436 Grant Street). The office can be reached by phone at 412-621-4357. Veterans can also email the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) (Health Department) The WIC program is moving to a modified operating schedule through March 30, 2020. The following WIC office locations will be open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.: • McKeesport • Mt. Oliver • Wilkinsburg • Downtown Pittsburgh ACHD’s Springdale WIC office will be open for benefit pickup Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. through March 30, 2020. If you are coming to an appointment, please: • Contact WIC staff ahead of time to schedule your benefit pick up • Leave your children at home to reduce their risk of exposure • Stay at home if you are feeling sick. A proxy may be added over the phone to pick up benefits. All other WIC offices will be closed during this time; however, WIC staff will be able to provide consultation over the phone. Please contact your local WIC clinic for questions regarding your appointment. If you have any additional questions call 412-350-5801 or see our website for more details.
The following announcements are related to offices that are not under the authority of the executive branch, but are being provided as a courtesy:
County Council County Council will be holding regular meetings as scheduled. Members are being encouraged to call in and the public is also encouraged to watch the live-stream and to submit public comment online. To adhere to the CDC guidelines, the total capacity of the room will be limited to 10 to ensure social distancing. The next meeting of Council is Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 5 PM. To submit comments through the online sign-up form, please visit: http://apps.alleghenycounty.us/website/CouncilReqComm.asp
To submit comments via email, please email: CntyCouncil@AlleghenyCounty.US
To watch the live-stream, please visit: http://allegheny.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4