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Update on Covid-19, Coronavirus: State's actions affecting the Cove

Businesses closing; Many events canceled

 
Series: Coronavirus | Story 1

March 12, 2020



Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday, March 16, ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses statewide as the Keystone State attempts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic's spread.

"This isn't a decision that I take lightly at all. It's one that I'm making because medical experts believe it is the only way we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients," Wolf said during a news conference on Monday. "Essential services including municipal services like trash collection, grocery stores, medical facilities are to remain open,"

The mandated statewide closures will take effect at midnight. Bars and restaurants are to shutter their doors to patrons but may continue to provide takeout services, Wolf said.

Across the Cove, businesses were closed and events canceled. The Herald office closed (see below) but the Herald remains open for business and will continue to publish on schedule and update this website. On Tuesday, March 17, the Herald will publish on this website the latest information on closings and cancelations. The Herald has removed the need for a website subscription for all coronavirus-related stories.

Update on the outbreak

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on March 16 confirmed 13 additional positive cases of COVID-19 — 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. Confirmed cases also include those from commercial and hospital laboratories.

As of Monday morning, March 16, 2020, there are 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. Levine 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.”

Statewide – The Wolf Administration:

• Announced that bars and restaurants in Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Allegheny counties must close dine-in service for at least 14 days beginning March 16.

• Announced mitigation effortsOpens In A New Window in Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Chester counties. Allegheny County announced similar mitigation efforts.

•Closed all Pennsylvania k-12 schoolsOpens In A New Window with additional guidance forthcoming.

• Issued guidance to non-essential businessesOpens In A New Window.

• 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.

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.

The Herald office

The Herald will post information about the effects in the Cove as it becomes available. The Herald will continue to update this website and will continue its regular publication of the print edition on Thursdays. The Herald office at 113 N. Market St., Martinsburg, is closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. However, the Herald office is open for business via phone, fax and email.

Phone: (814) 793-2144

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Fax: (814) 793-4882

For reliable information:

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

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