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CORY BYKNISH | Herald file

Attendees watch the firework show at the 2019 Light Up the Sky event at Buhl Park. 

Organizers of the Light up the Sky fireworks celebration have decided to cancel the event because of health care concerns and the difficulties asking businesses stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic to donate funds.

The event was to have been held July 5 at Buhl Park in Hermitage.

Light up the Sky is a cooperative effort of sponsors, along with the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce and Buhl Park.

Sherris Moreira, executive director of the chamber, said in a press release that the event depends on sponsors from public entities and the area’s business community. With local businesses reeling from closures stemming from the pandemic, she said event organizers didn’t want to stress that community further by soliciting sponsorship donations.

Organizers also were concerned about possible health risks in a gathering of more than 15,000 in the park for the event.

“It was as simple as preferring our business community to use their sponsorship dollars toward other needs in the community or keeping their own businesses going,” she said. “We did not come to this decision lightly — but again — we believed we need to pivot to the current needs of our community during this time.”

The organizers plan to return the event in 2021.

State makes late release of data

Due to what state Health Department called problems with the “statewide surveillance system,” the agency didn’t release Wednesday’s COVID-19 data report until 6:30 p.m. Usually, the report is released about noon.

The state reported 746 new cases Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 64,412, and 143 deaths, for a total of 4,767 fatalities. Wednesday marked the 10th consecutive day Pennsylvania had fewer than 1,000 new cases.

After the tally of cases doubled every three days through March 29, the state’s total number of cases is now twice what it was on April 18, 32 days ago.

Mercer County, which reported its third and fourth fatalities Tuesday, had two more cases, which put the county’s total at 96 for the pandemic. 

12 new COVID-19 cases in Trumbull County

There were no COVID-19 deaths reported in Trumbull County but there were 12 new cases, the Trumbull County Combined Health District reported Wednesday.

The county’s total number of COVID-19 cases is now at 481 with the death count remaining at 39. There have been 194 men and 287 women diagnosed with the virus. The agency said it is monitoring 50 people in quarantine in Trumbull County with 62 suspected cases being tracked. 

The agency said 395 people have successfully completed their quarantines and were released.