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The coronavirus on Smart Talk Monday: Learning at Home, UPMC testing sites and why some don’t feel at risk from COVID-19


WITF is offering a new initiative for learners in preschool through twelfth grade who are out of school during the coronavirus crisis.

It’s called Learning at Home and everyone is invited to explore the curated collection of free resources that includes videos, games and project ideas. WITF will broadcast programming linked to curriculum over both of its channels, WITF and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7.

The programs focus on a specific academic content area and are suggested for different age groups.

WITF and the Harrisburg School District are the first to partner to bring free, over-the-air curriculum to students and families who are learning at home.

Joining us on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss the partnership are Dr. Susan Sneath, Chief Academic Officer for the Harrisburg School District, Chris Celmer, Acting Superintendent of the Harrisburg School District and Ron Hetrick, the President and CEO of WITF.

Pittsburgh-based UPMC established their first coronavirus testing site in Dauphin County last week. They began testing patients who received a physician’s referral for any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Appearing on Smart Talk to describe the process for testing and where UPMC may establish additional testing sites is Dr. Craig Skurcenski, MD, Vice President of Emergency Services, UPMC, central Pennsylvania region.

Finally, as the global pandemic worsened many states and U.S. cities mandated social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.

It wasn’t long before social media and media organizations showed throngs of beachgoers and park visitors who were apparently ignoring the mandates.

Why are some people refusing to change their habits and acknowledge the risks of the viral spread?

Appearing on Smart Talk to explore why there are people who see themselves as less susceptible to risk than others is Dickinson College Professor of Psychology Marie Helweg-Larsen, Ph.D. Professor Helweg-Larson is also the director of Dickinson’s Science Study Abroad program in England and she’ll also share her observations on how England is battling the pandemic.


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