The Beaver County Board of Commissioners is warning residents of Beaver County not to trust Facebook groups or unofficial pages for local information related to the novel coronavirus.
Chairman Dan Camp issued a public statement today during the Board’s work session meeting, telling the community they should instead trust only professional news outlets and official governmental sites.
The warning comes as dangerous misinformation that could put the public’s health in jeopardy is being widely disseminated by some local “news alerts” groups on Facebook.
“We are in contact daily with the PA Department of Health and the CDC,” Camp said. “If and when the Board of Commisioners wants to put information out, we will put it on our webpage and (social media sites) and of course our local news media outlets, the Beaver County Times, the Beaver Countian, WBVP radio, and the Pittsburgh TV outlets.”
The Beaver Countian is located at BeaverCountian.com, its Facebook page is BeaverCountian, and Twitter account is @BeaverCountian. The Beaver County Times is located at TimesOnline.com, and WBVP/WMBA radio is located at BeaverCountyRadio.com. The Pittsburgh TV news stations include KDKA, WTAE, and WPXI.
Both BeaverCountian.com and the Beaver County Times have removed their paywalls from coronavirus coverage as a public service to the community.
Along with the spread of misinformation, Camp said the Board has been made aware of multiple social media sites which are “imitating that they are official Beaver County Facebook pages.”
Official county government sites include its website at BeaverCountyPa.gov, its Facebook page BeaverCtyPA, and Twitter account @BeaverCtyPa. Beaver County Emergency Services’ official Facebook page is BeaverCounty911, and its Twitter account is @BeaverCounty911.
“We want to caution the public that if they see information (elsewhere) on the internet, on Facebook, or Twitter, it is not an official Beaver County announcement,” Camp said.