Students at Sharon Regional School of Nursing and UPMC Jameson School of Nursing are employing online learning measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives of both schools said all instruction is going online, as mandated by the state Department of Education, with no face-to-face contact among students and instructors. Those measures include clinical instruction, which takes place in hospital units.

Barbara Higgins, director of Sharon Regional School of Nursing, said the school is now employing virtual classes for both clinical and lecture classes. The programs involve an online simulation program for clinical instruction, and both availability for both live and recorded audio and video lecture presentation. Sharon Regional School of Nursing offers bachelor’s degrees through Penn State and Slippery Rock universities, along with diploma nursing (registered nurse) certification.

Sharon Regional School of Nursing is using the simulation program to proctor exams.

Dawn Caudill, director of UPMC Jameson School of Nursing, said the school has moved to online instruction both for lecture and clinical sessions. Prior to the pandemic, Jameson School of Nursing offered clinical instruction at UPMC Jameson and UPMC Horizon-Shenango Valley.

“We as a school have been working diligently to make sure our students are meeting the program outcomes to successfully reach the end of the term or graduation for our senior students,” she said.

UPMC offers diploma nursing certification and, through Westminster University, bachelor’s of nursing degrees.

The Pennsylvania Department of State announced Wednesday that it would allow retired nurses who voluntarily allowed their licenses to lapse to reclaim their certifications more quickly. The state also will eliminated certification obstacles for pharmacies and expanded opportunities for doctors to practice telemedicine.

Pennsylvania Department of Health

COVID-19 cases increased about 32 percent, with an additional 276 confirmed cases, bringing the state’s total to 1,127 since the outbreak first arrived in Pennsylvania on March 6.

Lawrence County reported its first case of the illness. Mercer County has two cases, with the latest one added Tuesday.

Four additional people died from the illness in Pennsylvania, bringing the state’s total to 11, all in the past week. Pennsylvania’s first COVID-19 death was reported March 18 in Northampton County.

There are now three COVID-19 deaths in Northampton County, two in Allegheny and Lackawanna counties, and one each in Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

The virus is present in 44 of the state’s 67 counties. Philadelphia has the most confirmed cases, with 257, followed by Montgomery at 172, Delaware with 101, Allegheny with 88 and Bucks with 86. 

Pennsylvania maintained a ratio of about 10 negative COVID-19 tests for every positive. The state has had 11,193 negative tests.

Trumbull County

The Trumbull County Combined Health District reported five additional cases in the county, bringing the county’s total to 10. An additional five people are under investigation for possible infection.

Health district officials are monitoring contacts for contacts of nine of the 10 confirmed cases, with all contacts for the first confirmed case now released. Two people completed their quarantine period, with 18 people now released from quarantine.