Thursday’s high, 35; Overnight low, 21; .45” of rain






Unemployment goes up in most of region…..Penn State Creamery will resume hand-dipping ice cream….number of Covid Cases shows improvements….and it’s Maple Weekend in Potter and Tioga Counties….


Unemployment went up in all of the counties except one served by Black Forest Broadcasting News. Potter County saw an increase from 6.8% in December 7.5  percent in January. McKean County went up a full percentage point from 6.9 to 7.9%. Cameron County had an increase from 7.8 to 9.2%. Tioga  County was one with improvement. It went down from 8.7 to 7.7%. While Elk county saw an increase from 7.2 to 8.7%. Pennsylvania’s jobless rate for the period was 7.3%. while the US as a whole saw a rate of 6.3%. Chester County had the best unemployment rate in Pennsylvania but it also saw a slight increase from 4.8 to 5%. Philadelphia County has the worst rate but it also went up from 9.7 to 11.1%.

Penn State’s ice cream is legendary and for Penn State Berkey Creamery customers who have been pining for hand-dipped ice cream, the wait is almost over. The creamery will begin offering the retail-store staple starting Monday, March 22, noted Jim Brown, creamery sales and marketing manager. “Due to the pandemic, we have been selling prepackaged items in the store since last spring,” he said. “We’re excited to start dipping again — it’s a long time coming.”While scooped ice cream in bowls — with a cone on top, if requested — is on the verge of returning to the menu, the second most requested made-to-order treats, milkshakes, are not. Brown says fans should not be too soured because the decision is temporary.“We are reintroducing our made-to-order and self-serve options slowly,” he said. “We have to be cautious about offering products that potentially involve hand-to-hand contact. Like everyone, we are eager to get back to normal operations, but it’s important that we walk before we run.”The creamery, which is open seven days a week from noon until 6 p.m., has implemented practices to ensure the safety of customers and employees. With the news that the creamery will be scooping again — and with spring weather on the horizon — management has decided to take extra safety precautions, in addition to those already in place.“Because the creamery is a food manufacturing plant, cleaning and sanitizing always have been a part of our daily routine,” said Robert Roberts, professor and head of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “When COVID hit, we reinforced certain cleaning and disinfecting programs on the retail side to ensure everyone’s safety. With ice cream season upon us, we have enhanced safety protocols even more to allow us to serve our customers.”The creamery has added several staff members inside and outside of the retail store, recognizable by their orange vests, to monitor social distancing guidelines and to direct customers as they enter and exit the store. A designated sanitation specialist is responsible for continuous cleaning of touched surfaces.

Since the retail store reopened in July, floor decals have helped customers to maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and others standing in line. Plexiglass placed along the counter tops helps to provide a physical separation between staff and customers. And, of course, every person entering the store must wear a face covering.“We advise all visitors to abide by these guidelines to ensure that everyone who visits the creamery is safe,” said Brown, who added that indoor and outdoor seating is not available at this time. “And, it goes without saying that if you are not feeling well, please do not come to the store. Instead, use our shipping department to fill your needs.”More information about safety protocols and curbside pickup options can be found at State’s Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the United States, produces ice cream, cheese, milk, yogurt and sour cream, as well as a variety of other products, such as juices, lemonade and iced teas.Cows from Penn State’s dairy herd provide milk for the creamery’s fresh dairy products, averaging about four days from cow to creamery treat. For more information, visit

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., March 18, that there were 3,126 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 976,847. But the news continues to improve.  Here in the Black Forest Broadcasting service area McKean county saw an increase of a couple cases up to 2346;  Tioga County 2197;  Elk 1271.. Potter 836; and Cameron 179. In neighboring New York State. Cattaraugus County has 4623 confirmed cases and Allegany  County 2970.

There are 1,500 individuals hospitalized on Pennsylvanoa  with COVID-19. Of that number, 284 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4,500 lower than it was at the peak on December 25, 2020. The current 14-day average is now also below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of March 5 – March 11 stood at 5.7%.

The most accurate daily data is available on the websiteOpens In A New Window, with archived data also available.


As of 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, March 17, there were 17 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 24,706 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.OpensIn Vaccine highlights

An analysis of CDC data on the number of vaccines administered per 100,000 of population over the past week (through March 17), puts Pennsylvania second in the nation behind only New Mexico. And, while these numbers fluctuate daily, this indicator demonstrates the state’s significant progress on vaccinating everyone who wishes to be vaccinated.

More than 3.9 million doses of vaccine administered across the state — more vaccine administered than 44 other states.

More than 1.3 million people fully vaccinated – with a seven-day moving average of more than 82,000 people per day receiving vaccinations.

This week, a total of 4,699,560 doses will have been allocated through March 20:

278,670 first/single doses will have been allocated this week.

242,270 second doses will have been allocated this week.

To date, of the 4,699,560 doses allocated through March 20, 3,931,546 doses total  have been administered through March 17:

First/single doses, 95 percent (2,559,813 administered of 2,705,155 allocated)

Second doses, 64 percent (1,281,068 administered of 1,994,405 allocated)

Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There are 119,221 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 640 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure. There are 4,027,348 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 68,716 resident cases of COVID-19, and 13,951 cases among employees, for a total of 82,667 at 1,561 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 12,821 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.Opens In A New Window Note that the number of deaths reported to NEDSS is not exactly the same as the COVID-19 related deaths reported by the death registry. The number of deaths among nursing and personal care home residents and employees is taken from the PA-NEDSS death data, as this information is not available in the death registry data.

Approximately 25,885 the total cases are among health care workers.