Dauphin sees spike in cases

Dauphin County saw a big spike in cases Tuesday as the latest numbers came from the Department of Health’s daily update on the coronavirus.

The county added 41 new cases on Tuesday, bringing their count up to 1,851 cases. 683 of those cases along with 99 of their 122 deaths since the virus started, comes from nursing home residents and employees.

Dauphin is one of the counties that went green on June 19 and hopes to stem the tide very soon.

In other Coronavirus news, Gov. Tom Wolf thanked food banks, farmers, volunteers and others across the state for helping to feed Pennsylvania families during the pandemic.

The governor made his remarks as he visited the York County Food Bank’s East York Emergency Food Hub, which provides groceries to approximately 2,000 families each Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Pennsylvania’s network of food banks is helping to provide fresh and nutritious meals for Pennsylvania families as the state safely reopens,” said Gov. Wolf. “I want to thank all of the volunteers, farmers, food producers, non-profits and businesses that are donating and supporting food banks across the state.”

The Wolf Administration has invested in several initiatives to address food insecurity, including $50 million through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program to purchase surplus milk and other dairy products, chicken, pork and fresh produce from Pennsylvania farmers who lost markets for their products because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and $40 million in funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and food security programs, following months of uncertainty and loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, $15 million will provide an opportunity for dairy farmers to receive direct relief payments and $5 million will go to reimburse farmers donating dairy products through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This Department of Agriculture program helps food producers donate safe food to food banks and be reimbursed for harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting costs of donated food.

An additional $15 million will be used for cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of food to low income individuals through the State Food Purchase Programand $5 million will go to the PASS program to reimburse the agricultural industry for the costs involved in harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting food that they donate to the charitable food system.

Visitors to food banks can get groceries through June 25 without providing financial eligibility under the Disaster Household Distribution program, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The Department of Agriculture estimates that in 2020, $80 million in food will be distributed through Pennsylvania’s charitable food system in all 67 counties, using the state’s allocation of federal TEFAP funds. More food security resources are available here.

“I was proud to meet the volunteers at the York County Food Bank and thank them for their efforts to help our neighbors in need,” said Gov. Wolf. “They exemplify the spirit in community after community to help families keep food on the table as we all work together to safely move Pennsylvania forward.”

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania added 510 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday. The state has 82,696 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The death toll was increased by 38 souls over the weekend, putting the count at 6,464.

As stated above, Dauphin County added 41 new cases and two deaths to their totals, while Schuylkill County added four new cases and Northumberland added one. The current counts of cases in the three counties of the Citizen-Standard coverage area stands with Dauphin County at a total to 1,851 cases with 122 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 719 cases with 43 deaths, and Northumberland County is at 280 cases and four deaths.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 97 cases and 11 deaths on Tuesday, putting their totals at 20,823 positive cases and 1,564 deaths since the coronavirus first hit in March..

Officials say that the public’s effort to fight and prevent the spread of the disease must continue.

“As we move closer to having the entire state in the green phase, we must remain committed to protecting against COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvania has been a model for the country on how to reopen effectively using a careful, measured approach. However, the virus has not gone away. Each of us has a responsibility to continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands frequently. Together we can protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

Mask wearing is required in all businesses in yellow and green phases of reopening. Consistent mask wearing, even in counties in the green phase, could have lasting benefits as a COVID-19 surge is possible this fall.

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 16,004 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 7,088 negative tests and 2,696 in Northumberland County.

Currently 742 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down four from Monday..

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 17,294 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,082 cases among employees, for a total of 20,376 at 669 distinct facilities in 49 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,410 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 6,260 of our total cases are in health care workers.

The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:

Adams-322 (12), Allegheny-2,239 (179), Armstrong-70 (6), Beaver-630 (78), Bedford-69 (2), Berks-4,444 (345), Blair-61 (1), Bradford-50 (3), Bucks-5,580 (555), Butler-273 (13), Cambria- 62 (3), Cameron-2, Carbon-268 (24), Centre-195 (6), Chester-3,537 (317), Clarion-33 (2), Clearfield-70, Clinton-73 (3), Columbia-397 (33), Crawford-43, Cumberland-801 (61), Dauphin-1,851 (122), Delaware-7,065 (637), Elk-9, Erie-542 (9), Fayette-104 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-891 (42), Fulton-18 (1), Greene-35, Huntingdon-240 (4), Indiana-98 (5), Jefferson-21 (1), Juniata-108 (5), Lackawanna-1,630 (200), Lancaster-4,106 (350), Lawrence-92 (9), Lebanon-1,272 (41), Lehigh-4,109 (281), Luzerne-2,873 (172), Lycoming-173 (19), McKean-15 (1), Mercer-119 (6), Mifflin-61 (1), Monroe-1,379 (108), Montgomery-8,159 (787), Montour-68, Northampton-3,327 (255), Northumberland-280 (4), Perry-85 (5), Philadelphia-20,823 (1,564), Pike-489 (20), Potter-13, Schuylkill-719 (43), Snyder-61 (1), Somerset-48 (1), Sullivan-3, Susquehanna-178 (20), Tioga-23 (2), Union-89 (2), Venango-17, Warren-5, Washington-171 (6), Wayne-131 (9), Westmoreland-552 (38), Wyoming-37 (7), York-1,381 (39).

As of midnight June 23, there have been 596,470 negative tests for the coronavirus. The state also said that 78 percent of the confirmed cases have recovered. If a case has not been reported as a death, and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test (or onset of symptoms) then an individual is considered recovered.

The two stages of reopening and the counties that are in them are:

Yellow counties — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie,  Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Sullivan, and Susquehanna. (All but Lebanon moves to green on Friday, June 26).

Green counties — Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne,Westmoreland, Wyoming and York.

What is coronavirus?

According to the Pa. Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals and at times, evolve and infect people before spreading through human to human contact.

Human coronaviruses are spread just like the common cold or the flu — either through the air through coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after a person is exposed to the illness. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. As of June 22, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 2,275,645 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 119,923 deaths.

What can you 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.
If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.
The Pa. Department of Health offers these guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.