An American Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to New York City was diverted to Pittsburgh International Airport early Tuesday morning.
The plane was diverted due to a possible medical situation onboard.Pittsburgh International Airport officials said the plane landed shortly before 5 a.m.
Allegheny County 911 dispatchers said police and paramedics had been called to the airport.
The condition of the person who experienced the medical problem has not been released.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea imposed a nationwide lockdown Thursday to control its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak after holding for more than two years to a widely doubted claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus that has spread to nearly every place in the world.
The outbreak forced leader Kim Jong Un to wear a mask in public, likely for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but the scale of transmissions inside North Korea wasn’t immediately known. A failure to slow infections could have serious consequences because the country has a poor health care system and its 26 million people are believed to be mostly unvaccinated. Some experts say North Korea, by its rare admission of an outbreak, may be seeking outside aid.
However, hours after North Korea confirmed the outbreak, South Korea’s military said it detected the North had fired three suspected ballistic missiles toward the sea. It was its 16th round of missile launches this year, in brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept North Korea as a nuclear power and negotiate sanctions relief and other concessions from a position of strength.
A New Jersey manufacturer is recalling more than 120,000 pounds of ground beef products over concerns that it could contain E. coli.
Regulators discovered during routine testing that certain products from Swedesboro, N.J.-based Lakeside Refrigerated Services may be contaminated with E. coli O103, a harder-to-identify strain of the bacteria.
There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses or adverse reactions related to consumption of the food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a news release.
But the agency is urging people who may have purchased the items, which were shipped to stores nationwide, not to consume them and either throw them away or return them to the store where they were bought.
The recalled products have the establishment number “EST. 46841” and were produced from Feb. 1 through April 8.
A consumer alert has been issued for a popular downtown chocolate company.
The Health Department says the business had committed several violations, including the areas of cleaning and sanitation, waste and refuse storage, and that there was active pest infestation.
In the latest report from Health Department inspectors, bags of trash were observed in the hallway of the business, dead mice were seen on sticky traps and on the floor, and a roof was seen leaking over a prep area, among other violations.
The Health Department will provide an update on its website once the consumer alert has been lifted. Click here for more information.
“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines,” the palace said in a statement Sunday.The 95-year-old monarch is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the statement.
(CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued an alert that various products purchased within the last year from Family Dollar Stores across six states may be contaminated and unsafe to use.
Items ranging from dietary supplements and medication to cosmetics and pet foods may have been exposed to insanitary conditions at Family Dollar’s distribution facility in West Memphis, Arkansas, federal officials said in a news release. An FDA inspection found that a rodent infestation could have potentially contaminated the products.
Family Dollar on Friday issued a voluntary recall of particular items that were sold after January 1, 2021, at hundreds of stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, according to a news release.
Feb 11 (Reuters) – A U.S. decision on Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for infants and children 6 months through 4 years of age has been postponed for at least two months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it needed more data.
The FDA had planned to decide on the vaccine based on early trial data as soon as next week with the government planning to roll it out on Feb. 21. It had asked Pfizer to speed up its application as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus caused a surge of infections, including among children.On Friday, the agency said it had reviewed new trial information that arrived after Pfizer and BioNTech’s request for emergency authorization and decided it needed more data before weighing in on the authorization.
The 400 million newly available masks will be non-surgical N95s that are sourced from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile, as part of an effort to ensure Americans can access the more-protective masks during a record surge of Covid-19 cases.
The initiative — which POLITICO first reported Tuesday evening — comes in response to growing pressure on the administration to encourage Americans to abandon cloth masks in favor of more protective versions, amid evidence that the cloth coverings do not work as well against the more transmissible Omicron variant.
Public health experts and former Biden transition advisers had also lobbied the White House in recent weeks to give out masks, arguing that cheap and genuine N95s are still difficult for people to find.
The administration plans to make the masks available at tens of thousands of pharmacies and health centers by early February, the White House official said, which people will then be able to pick up for free.
The supply will not include child-sized masks, though two people with knowledge of the matter said the government is working to procure them.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The omicron variant has now been identified in Allegheny County.
As of Thursday, there are two known cases in the county. Both cases were detected in adult men, with one sample collected on Dec. 7 and the other sample collected on Dec. 13.
Those samples were confirmed to be from the variant on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.
Local doctors expect cases to rise significantly in the area.
“Knowing that it was already in the community in the middle of December and how fast it spreads and how contagious it is, we can pretty much assure that, knowing that it’s dominant already in the rest of America, it’s probably the dominant case that we’re seeing here,” said Brian Lamb, an internal medicine doctor at Allegheny Health Network.
On Wednesday, Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said it was “only a matter of days” before the variant would be detected, especially since the health department found evidence of the variant in the county’s wastewater.
The confirmed cases come as the omicron variant has become the most dominant in the US, and cases from the variant have overtaken the Delta variant.
Perdue Premium Meat Co. unit initially said 232,000 pounds sold nationwide could be contaminated with listeria.
The recall now includes 27 products bearing the establishment number “EST. M10125” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The numerous meat brands being recalled include Alexander & Hornung, Amish Valley, Big Y, Butcher Boy, Five Star, Food Club, Garrett Valley Farms, Lancaster, Niman Ranch, Open Nature and Wellshire Wood. See the full list here. Photos of the Alexander & Hornung branded fully cooked products and private label can be found here.
Usually caused by eating contaminated food, listeria is a serious infection that hits about 1,600 Americans each year, killing around 260 people annually. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults ages 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The infection is treated with antibiotics.
There have not been any confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consuming the products, the company said, adding that they should be discarded or returned to the pace of purchase.
New Zealand will ban the sale of tobacco to its next generation, in a bid to eventually phase out smoking.
Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime, under a law expected to be enacted next year.
“We want to make sure young people never start smoking,” Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said.
The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand’s health ministry on Thursday.
Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the “world-leading” reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.
“It will help people quit or switch to less harmful products, and make it much less likely that young people get addicted to nicotine,” said Prof Janet Hook from the University of Otago.The crackdown has been met with mixed reactions.
“I reckon it’s a good move, really,” one man told Reuters news agency. “Because right now there’s a lot of young kids walking around with smokes in their mouth. Public are asking how they’re getting these smokes.
“And it’s also good for myself too because I can save more money.”
However, others have warned that the move may create a black market for tobacco – something the health ministry’s official impact statement does acknowledge, noting “customs will need more resource to enforce border control”.
“This is all 100% theory and 0% substance,” Sunny Kaushal, chairman of the Dairy and Business Owners Group, a lobby group for local convenience stores, told New Zealand’s Stuff news site. “There’s going to be a crime wave. Gangs and criminals will fill the gap”.
A Philadelphia man has tested positive for the omicron variant of coronavirus, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said Friday.
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BRUSSELS (AP) — Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world raced Friday to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fueled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
A World Health Organization panel named the variant “omicron” and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the United States.
Austria imposed a lockdown on people unvaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday as winter approaches and infections rise across Europe, with Germany considering tighter curbs and Britain expanding its booster programme to younger adults.
A federal court in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s mandate that millions of workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be tested weekly, ruling in a suit filed by several states, companies and conservative religious groups.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court,” a panel of judges for the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Saturday.
The states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah are among the plaintiffs.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Grocery stores across the Gulf Coast are pulling a specific brand of frozen shrimp off the shelves after a recall was issued over possible listeria contamination.
Southeastern Grocers (SEG) issued a recall on its 16-ounce bag (16-20 count) of Fisherman’s Wharf brand frozen jumbo-cooked shrimp (UPC: 2114003262). The product has a best-by date of April 5, 2023.
The recall was issued because of the detection of possible listeria, a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in children, elderly people and people with weakened immune systems. Listeria infections can also cause flu-like symptoms and even miscarriages and stillbirth in pregnant women.
The product was sold in all Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarkets stores. The sale of the product has been prohibited while the Food and Drug Administration investigates the source of the problem.
SEG said customers should throw the shrimp away or return it to any store for a full refund.
Customers with questions about the recall should contact Southeastern Grocers toll-free at (844) 745-0463, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A third Pittsburgh Police officer has passed away from complications of COVID-19.
Pittsburgh Police say Sgt. Timothy Werner, 49, died at UPMC Mercy Hospital Tuesday morning following complications from the COVID-19 virus.
Sgt. Werner was entering his 22nd year with the Pittsburgh Police Bureau.
In a statement, Police Chief Scott Schubert said, “It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Sergeant Tim Werner. Tim has been a friend to many and a dedicated public servant for the City of Pittsburgh for many years. It’s going to be extremely difficult not seeing Tim at Police Headquarters every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be truly missed.”
Sgt. Werner worked for many years in Zones 4 and 5. Most recently, the bureau says he worked as a supervisor in the property room at Police Headquarters.
The bureau says Sgt. Werner will be dearly missed by his brothers and sisters in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
His funeral will be private.
Sgt. Richard Howe and Officer Brian Rowland both died in October from COVID-19 complications.
The National Institutes of Health has stunningly admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan lab — despite Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly insisting to Congress that no such thing happened.
In a letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, a top NIH official blamed EcoHealth Alliance — the New York City-based nonprofit that has funneled US funds to the Wuhan lab — for not being transparent about the work it was doing.
NIH’s principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, wrote in the letter that EcoHealth’s “limited experiment” tested whether “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”
“I’m going to go down fighting.” American Airlines employee fighting back against COVID-19 vaccine mandate just announced by company
Regulators announced the recall of an infant lounging pillow Thursday after it said the item was connected to multiple deaths in recent years.
The Boppy Company Newborn Lounger has been tied to at least eight infant deaths where a child was placed on the lounger and found suffocated on their side or on their stomach, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.
Robert S. Adler, the commission’s acting chairman, called the incidents “heartbreaking” in a statement Thursday.
“Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time — even in products not intended for sleep — and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market,” Adler said.
More than 3.3 million Boppy loungers have been sold across the U.S. and Canada, the commission said.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have several injuries on defense as well, including T.J. Watt, Joe Haden, Devin Bush and Alex Highsmith.
Critics have bashed the Biden administration for its latest mistake as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced several Afghan evacuees tested positive for a deadly disease inside the U.S. On Friday, Psaki confirmed an outbreak of measles cases among Afghan escapees has temporarily halted new flights from bringing more people into the U.S.
Critics have continued to slam the Biden administration for seemingly failing at every point in their botched Afghanistan withdrawal. Despite a measles vaccine being required for entry, Psaki said the cases still happened.
“Let me give you the information we have at this point, or I have I should say. Operation ‘Allies Welcome’ flights into the United States have been temporarily paused,” she announced. “…These individuals are being quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines and the CDC has begun full contact tracing. All arriving Afghans are currently required to be vaccinated for measles as a condition of entry into the United States.”
Meanwhile, Americans were still reportedly stranded in Afghanistan as the Biden administration called the Taliban “business-like and professional.”
The president’s executive orders apply to employees of the executive branch and federal government contractors.
Biden issued two executive orders on Thursday requiring vaccination against COVID for federal workers and contractors who work for the federal government. He also asked the Department of Labor to issue an emergency order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis.
However, Biden’s order on federal workers applies to employees of the executive branch. The House of Representatives and the Senate belong to the separate legislative branch, and the courts to the judicial branch of the federal government.
Biden announced a sweeping plan that could force millions of unvaccinated Americans to get the COVID-19 shot
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said of the roughly 80 million Americans who have yet to get the shot. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile.”But Biden stopped short of mandating the vaccine for illegal immigrants attempting to cross America’s border, even though about 30% of immigrants held at federal detention facilities are refusing to be vaccinated — and they have the option to refuse
Meanwhile, more than 18% of migrant families who recently crossed the border tested positive for COVID before being released by Border Patrol. Another 20% of unaccompanied minors tested positive for the virus.
(KHN)In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25.With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”
DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —
Protests continued at multiple school districts in Westmoreland County Wednesday as dozens of students and parents voiced their frustrations over the state’s mask mandate in schools.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 spoke with the Derry Area School District about how the district is handling frustrated families.
“I understand that frustration,” Derry Area Assistant Superintendent Greg Ferencak said. “We started off with a masks optional, but highly recommended and now we have to switch and there’s some confusion.”
Ferencak said the district’s original health and safety plan called for a change in policy in the event of a state or federal mandate. A small group of students and parents protested the decision to mandate masks in Derry each of the last two days.
“We are trying to let the voices of the students be heard and trying to be reasonable with them,” Ferencak said.
Ferencak said a failure to comply with the mandate could come with consequences for the district, including a loss of funding.
“We could be held liable for not following them through various complaints, willful neglect of duty, you name it,” Ferencak said.
(CNN)President Joe Biden on Thursday imposed stringent new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and health care staff in a sweeping attempt to contain the latest surge of Covid-19.The new requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans — close to two-thirds of the American workforce — and amount to Biden’s strongest push yet to require vaccines for much of the country.“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said, his tone hardening toward Americans who still refuse to receive a vaccine despite ample evidence of their safety and full approval of one — the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine — from the US Food and Drug Administration.He said vaccinated America was growing “frustrated” with the 80 million people who have not received shots and are fueling the spread of the virus. And he acknowledged the new steps would not provide a quick fix.“While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile,” Biden said in an early evening speech from the White House.At the center of Biden’s new plan is directing the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week, an expansive step the President took after consultation with administration health officials and lawyers. Companies could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply.Biden also signed an executive order requiring all government employees be vaccinated against Covid-19, with no option of being regularly tested to opt out. The President signed an accompanying order directing the same standard be applied to employees of contractors who do business with the federal government.He also said 300,000 educators in federal Head Start programs must be vaccinated and called on governors to require vaccinations for schoolteachers and staff.And Biden announced he would require the 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated, expanding the mandate to hospitals, home care facilities and dialysis centers around the country.“We have the tools to combat the virus if we come together to use those tools,” Biden said at the outset of what was billed as a major speech to tackle the latest phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.The new rules amount to the most dramatic steps to date to get more Americans vaccinated. Once cautious of vaccine mandates, the Biden administration is now wholly embracing them as vaccine hesitancy persists among certain groups.Administration officials acknowledged the requirement for large employers could be challenged in court. But they said their hope was to provide cover of federal rules to businesses who want to require vaccines for employees.The new rules come as the Delta variant tears through communities across the country, causing upticks in hospitalizations and deaths particularly in areas where vaccination rates remain low.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed an executive order Tuesday allowing the possession and use of fentanyl test strips.
The City of Pittsburgh is adopting a policy to not arrest people who have or distribute fentanyl test strips for harm reduction purposes.
The Mayor’s Office says fentanyl test strips have been proven to prevent overdoses by allowing users to identify the presence of fentanyl in drugs.
Pointing to a recent study from the City of Pittsburgh Office of Community Health and Safety, the Mayor’s Office says there’s been an increased presence of fentanyl in drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth in the greater Pittsburgh area.
“While fentanyl has been present in the heroin supply for several years in this region, there are increasing reports of other, non-opioid drugs that have been cut with or contaminated by fentanyl,” the report says.
Peduto signed the order on Overdose Awareness Day.
BY ANDREW GOLDSTEIN
The Pittsburgh Public Schools district’s plan to open for in-person instruction five days a week got a major boost Monday as members of the city’s teachers union ratified a contract that includes a provision giving district officials the power to adjust school start and end times.
The issue became a flashpoint in negotiations as the district sought the ability to modify the times so that school buses could run extra routes in the morning and afternoon — providing transportation to thousands of city students who may have not had a ride to school otherwise — but the union initially fought back against the idea.
“We’re hopeful that the district is able to get many students back in their seats,” Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said in an interview at the union offices on the South Side. “This was a very difficult part of the contract, but we’re hoping to bring lots of students back, and that this will be something that we continue to work on together.”
The contract will now go before the school board Wednesday night for final approval.