Fast Three: Positive Tests Trend Down, PA’s ‘Work-Sharing’ Program, and Top 10 Instagramables

SANATOGA PA – The Post doesn’t play with the news, but we do experiment with it. A lot.

What you’re reading is “Fast Three,” The Post’s latest effort to keep readers informed and entertained. Our weekdays-only goal is to find three local newsworthy items daily between 11 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. (just shy of three hours), condense them into a fast read of three or fewer paragraphs each, and publish them by 2 p.m.

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Good afternoon news on the county coronavirus front

Officials in Montgomery County’s Office of Public Health, as well as county commissioners, happily reported Tuesday (Aug. 11, 2020) at 1:45 p.m. that MontCo’s 14-day virus test positivity rate “continues to trend slowly downward” and has remained under 5 percent since June 18. In short: fewer people being tested for the virus have it.

“This is great news but not a reason to let up on masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, testing, and contact tracing,” Commissioners Chair Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh proclaimed. “Our low positivity rate is a result of so many MontCo residents heeding the call to do the right thing to protect our entire community. Keep your good work and your mask up!,” she declared.

The report wasn’t all roses and sunshine. The county acknowledged 275 additional individuals tested positive for COVID-19 from Aug. 5-11 (today), and three people died of the pandemic during the same period. The countywide total now stands at 10,018 cases and 823 deaths. The county will hold a live-streamed media briefing on latest results and related matters Wednesday (Aug. 12) at its Facebook page.

Work-sharing program may save jobs and employee wages

“If business is slow, you are experiencing financial difficulties, or facing potential employee layoffs, Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work Program can help,” the Philadelphia Business Journal reminded its readers in a Tuesday promotion delivered at 11 a.m. The message was sent on behalf of the state Department of Labor and Industry, the daily business newspaper added.

“Shared-Work allows you to retain your workforce during a temporary slowdown and then quickly ramp up operations without the expense of recruiting, hiring and training new employees,” it told business owners. “At the same time, Shared-Work helps protect your employees from the financial hardship of a full layoff,” it added.

Not all businesses may qualify, but the state claimed the “Shared-Work team is available to help you retain your team.” If you’re a business owner and this interests you, see the state’s webpage here.

Pennsylvania didn’t make this suggested photo list

Horseshoe Bend, Page AZ is in the business of renting hotel rooms and other lodging, and it regularly promotes destination travel. On Tuesday at 12:29 p.m. it e-mailed a list of what it called the “10 Most Instagrammable Places in the USA.” It includes four locations in California, and one each in Colorado, New York, Florida, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Arizona.

Sadly, none were deemed worthy in Pennsylvania, although we’ll bet our readers could offer a dozen or more that qualify.

The website’s winners, in order, are: 1) Big Sur CA, 2) Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre CO, 3) Montauk Lighthouse NY, 4) Wynwood Walls FL, 5) Lake Tahoe CA, 6) Na Pali Coast State Park HI, 7) Los Angeles County Museum of Art CA, 8) Half Dome from Glacier Point CA, 9) Badlands National Park SD, and 10) Horseshoe Bend AZ. Each features a really stunning photo and, of course, a map to get there.

Photo from Public Domain Pictures, used under a Creative Commons license