The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 13 additional positive cases of COVID-19 Monday — two in Allegheny County; one in Bucks County; six in Montgomery County; two in Monroe County; and two in Philadelphia County. All are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. This brings the statewide total to 76 cases, including five confirmed in Cumberland County. Confirmed cases also include those from commercial and hospital laboratories.
Wolf ordered a two-week statewide shutdown Monday afternoon, and all restaurants and bars in the state were to close to dine-in patrons to help prevent the spread of the virus. Take out orders will still be permitted.
All public schools, including the Shippensburg Area School District, have been closed for the next two weeks to also prevent the spread of the virus. Shippensburg University has also made the following announcement for faculty and staff.
“The health and well-being of faculty, staff, and their families is important in continuing our tradition of educational excellence. So, beginning Monday, March 16, we will shift, as much as possible, to remote work. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should continue to report to work, work from home, or take a State System mandated administrative leave.
These coming days will most assuredly be challenging, but we will do what we always have done, work together to ensure our students are successful and our community is safe. This act of community spread mitigation is a dramatic demonstration of what it means to be a responsible citizen. Shippensburg University has always lived by that value. I began this academic year talking about the Raider Way and our values of respect for each other, pride in who we are and laser focus on our students. This challenge will be no different. As our situation evolves, make sure to take care of not only the physical health, but also the mental health of you and your loved ones. If you need help ask for it, and if you can safely do so, offer to help a neighbor, a friend, or a stranger. We are all navigating this together, and we will come through this stronger for what we have worked together to preserve. Thank you for your commitment to our students and this great university.”
As of Monday morning, there were 670 patients who have tested negative either at the state public health lab, a commercial lab or a hospital laboratory.
“While we anticipate that there will be more Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, said. “Right now, you have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if you have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. We are working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing and ensuring they have the resources they need to care for patients.”
As of Monday morning, the following number of confirmed cases in Pennsylvania were broken down by county:
Allegheny, 5; Bucks, 5; Chester, 2; Cumberland, 5; Delaware, 7
Lehigh, 1; Luzerne, 1; Monroe, 8; Montgomery, 30; Northampton, 1; Philadelphia, 8; Pike, 1; Wayne, 1; Washington, 1.
The Wolf Administration has also:
-- Issued guidance to non-essential businesses.
-- In accordance with the CDC, for the next 8 weeks, called on organizers (whether groups or individuals) to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
-- Discourages individuals from traveling to recreational activities like gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls.
-- Encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.
-- Initiated a no-visitor policy at all State correctional facilities and nursing homes to ensure the safety of inmates, residents, staff and visitors.
-- Restricted visitors in state centers effective today to ensure health and safety for individuals with an intellectual disability.
-- Restricted visitors in assisted living and personal care homes to minimize exposure to our seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
Fever; Cough; Shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
The World Health Organization last week indicated they believe the virus can remain airborne for a period of time in certain settings, noting the virus can also remain on various surfaces like copper and steel for up to two hours, and longer on surfaces made of plastic and cardboard.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Note these have been updated as of March 15:
-- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
-- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
-- Clean surfaces frequently.
-- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
For the daily COVID-19 Report, visit: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
For all press releases regarding coronavirus, visit: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health.aspx.
Find the latest information on the coronavirus here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx.