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The Herald's Weekly Virus Update

Series: Coronavirus | Story 95

The Herald received a note last week from a Plain Community Herald reader who asked if we could publish basic information about the virus. While there’s a flood of information being passed out about the virus, a lot of it is online and therefore not available to the Plain Community. The request was for the Herald to publish basic updates about the virus spread and the actions and reactions.

That’s a great idea, and with this edition of the Herald, we will begin doing so.

We will publish updates related to the following, updated from Tuesday or Wednesday (whenever reliable figures are available):

We apologize to the Plain Community for not providing this information in our previous editions. This was not an intentional oversight.

We thank those who rely on the Herald for reliable information and we understand our obligation to provide that information.

AS OF 8:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020

Blair County

• 4 cases confirmed, 0 deaths

Bedford County

• 2 cases confirmed, 0 deaths

Nearby counties

Cambria: 2 cases, 0 deaths

Somerset: 2 cases, 0 deaths

Huntingdon: 1 case, 0 deaths

Fulton: 0 cases, 0 deaths

Centre: 26 cases, 0 deaths

Pa. Statewide

• Statewide total of 4,963 in 60 counties. Pennsylvania has 67 counties.

• 63 deaths

• 37,645 Pa. patients who have tested negative to date

• Pa. area with most cases: Philadelphia, 1,197, with 10 deaths

• Of patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is:

Less than 1% are aged 0-4;

Less than 1% are aged 5-12;

1% are aged 13-18;

Nearly 10% are aged 19-24;

Nearly 41% are aged 25-49;

Nearly 29% are aged 50-64;

Nearly 19% are aged 65 or older.

Most of the patients hospitalized are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

There have been no pediatric deaths to date.

• All non-life-sustaining businesses are ordered to be closed and schools are closed statewide indefinitely.

• Currently residents of 33 Pa. counties ordered to stay home. Most recent counties added: Cameron, Crawford, Forest, Franklin, Lawrence, Lebanon, Somerset.

Neither Blair nor Bedford counties are currently under stay-at-home orders, but residents are asked to stay at home when possible and restrict contact with other people.

Nearby states

New York: 75,795 cases, 1,550 deaths

New Jersey: 16,636 cases, 199 deaths

United States

• 189,035 cases confirmed nationwide, 3,900 deaths

Three states with most cases

New York, New Jersey (see above), California: 7,425 cases, 146 deaths


• 858,785 confirmed cases, 42,151 deaths

Latest concerns

• The epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic has moved from China, where it began late last year, to Europe and the United States.

• Because testing was slow to begin in the United States, health officials agree that the number of confirmed cases is much lower than the actual number of people who have the disease, and even the count of deaths is probably low because of differences in reporting by overwhelmed local jurisdictions.

• More Americans have now died from the coronavirus than from the attacks on America on Sept. 11.

• Experts are warning that the problem will get worse before it gets better. Mathematical models predict that over the next few months, up to 100,000 Americans will be killed by the disease with millions being infected.

• Cases are growing rapidly in nursing homes. There is concern for residents and those who care for them.

• While the East Coast has been hit hard, the virus is spreading to the Midwest. This week, the Midwest’s largest cities began reporting cases.

• Concern is spreading that the illness might take many medical employees and first responders off the job.

• There is concern about rapid spread in prisons and jails, where inmates cannot practice social distancing

How It Spreads

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

What you can do

• 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.

Sources: Washington Post, New York Times, Pa. Department of Health


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