Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of closings, cancellations and other impacts due to the coronavirus outbreak, and due to the developing nature of this story some information may be out of date. If you have a COVID-19 related announcement for the good of the community, please email it to email@example.com for consideration. We will do our best to maintain/expand this list as a community service during this challenging period of uncertainty.
As of March 14, there are no known cases of coronavirus in the Saucon Valley. There is one presumptive positive or confirmed case in Northampton County and 41 confirmed or presumptive positive cases in Pennsylvania as of noon March 14. On Sunday a confirmed case in Bethlehem (Lehigh County) was announced. For regular updates on the coronavirus follow the PA Department of Health on Twitter.
Organizations, Schools, Churches
- Allentown Art Museum: The museum is closed through March 31. All programming and events are canceled. Information about the museum’s annual fundraising Gala, planned for April 4, will be communicated in the coming days.
- Borough of Hellertown: Borough Hall is closed until further notice and all meetings scheduled for the week of March 16 are canceled except for Wednesday’s zoning hearing board meeting, which is subject to change. Click here for more information.
- The Center for Animal Health and Welfare: Through Friday, April 17 the center is limiting its hours of operation for the public to Wednesday through Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. Additionally, visitors are being limited to those who are actively seeking to adopt a pet. Volunteers will continue to be welcomed. Anyone experiencing illness or those with high risk of being exposed to COVID-19 are asked to avoid visiting the shelter at this time. As of Friday the Pins for Pets fundraiser was to continue as scheduled.
- Christ Lutheran Hellertown has canceled services for Sunday, March 15. Confirmations are postponed at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Hellertown, where Sunday’s open house and bingo at the school are canceled. Check with your church or place of worship to see if they will be holding services as scheduled.
- Gracedale and other local nursing homes have imposed strict limits on visitation. Click here and/or call the facility for more information.
- Hellertown Area Library: Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 and the spread of the virus and under the direction of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the library is closed from Monday, March 16 through Monday, March 30. No fines will be incurred on late materials during this time period. All library activities and events planned during this period are canceled. Follow the library on Facebook for updates.
- Lower Saucon UCC: March 21 Bangers & Mash Dinner is postponed. A new date will be announced later.
- New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church (Lower Saucon Township) has canceled services for Sunday, March 15. Upcoming church activities are canceled and Apple’s Preschool at the church will be closed while Saucon Valley School District is closed.
- Northampton Community College: Spring break has been extended through March 22, with faculty preparing for the possibility of remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Many previously scheduled events at NCC have been canceled or postponed. Visit the NCC website/Facebook page for more information. For information about Lehigh University and other local colleges, click here.
- Saucon Valley Community Center in Hellertown is closed until March 30 and will continue to follow the Saucon Valley School District schedule with regard to openings/closings.
- Saucon Valley School District: All K-12 schools throughout the state are closed at least until March 30, per an order issued by Gov. Tom Wolf Friday. Saucon Valley Supt. Dr. Craig Butler said Friday that additional information about remote learning will be communicated to parents in the days to come.
- St. Luke’s Old Williams Church in Williams Township has canceled services for Sunday, March 15.
- Upper Saucon Township Municipal Building is closed to the public. Several upcoming municipal meetings have also been canceled. Residents should visit the township website and follow the township’s social media accounts for news and updates.
- Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus has canceled all education programs, volunteer events and meetings until March 30. The conservancy’s administrative offices will also be closed until March 30. “During this time our nature preserves will remain open and continue to provide the community the opportunity to connect with nature and experience all the wonders nature has to offer,” president Christopher Kocher said in an announcement Saturday.
- Major supermarket chains including Giant and Wegmans have announced changes to their hours at their 24-hour stores only. There are no 24-hour stores in the Lehigh Valley, so local stores aren’t affected. “Starting on Saturday, March 14 and until further notice, all 24-hour store locations will close at midnight and reopen 6 a.m. the following day,” spokeswoman Laura Jacobs said. “The decision comes as part of the company’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow store team members additional time to sanitize and restock shelves as daily deliveries arrive.” For more information contact your local store. Some supermarkets have also announced that they are limiting quantities on certain items such as hand sanitizer.
- The Art Establishment: Fifth birthday celebration scheduled for March 22 is postponed indefinitely. Classes and workshops are canceled until Tuesday, March 30.
- Doggy Dao & Cat’s Meow in Hellertown has announced that through March 30 they are open for business by phone in order only (610-838-1900). Regular customers can call in their order, pay by credit card over the phone and pick up their purchase curbside. “Doggy Dao has made this change to be socially responsible and yet not cut off regular loyal customers who have supported them for eight years,” said owner Julie Van Vliet, who noted that the timeframe for the business modification is subject to extension based on circumstances.
- Hellertown Dental Group: HDG is asking that patients please reschedule their appointment if they’re experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms and/or if they have traveled outside the U.S. in the last 30 days. If they have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 they are asked to reschedule.
- Local restaurants: Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown has announced that it will begin daily delivery service as well as curbside pickup. In an email, owner Andy Lee said Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be held beginning with Irish Breakfast at 8 a.m., however with limits on the number of people allowed in the building at one time due to social distancing recommendations. Reservations are recommended: 610-838-6555 or at BraveheartHighlandPub.com. Vassi’s Drive-in in Hellertown is reminding customers that they can call ahead to place their orders (610-838-1877) or order food for delivery online. Many other local eateries also offer delivery via DoorDash, GrubHub and other apps, so inquire with them to see if delivery is an option.
- Movie theaters: Most movie theaters remain open, however some are imposing restrictions on seating capacity. In an announcement this weekend, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said seating capacity in all theater auditoriums is being capped at 50 percent, to help maintain recommended social distancing. “Once we hit 50 percent of an auditorium’s capacity, movie screenings will show as being ‘Sold Out,’ even though by definition there will be a large number of unfilled seats. This will begin Saturday, March 14, and for now, will continue until April 30,” Aron said, adding that “for those AMC auditoriums with more than 500 seats, we will further reduce bookings to a maximum of 250 people in any case.” For the full letter, click here. Locally there is a 16-screen AMC multiplex at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley in Upper Saucon Township.
- The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley: The Promenade Shops remain open but all on-property events have been temporarily postponed, in accordance with current guidelines from public health and safety officials. “If able, we will reschedule these events to a later date,” an announcement posted on the Upper Saucon Township lifestyle center’s website states.
Helpful coronavirus advice from the Pennsylvania Department of Health:
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Shortness of breath
The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
How can the coronavirus spread?
Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:
- Through the air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
- Occasionally, fecal contamination
How can I help protect myself?
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes and other frequently touched items.
- If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
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