Money available for early intervention programs to protect students; 834 new cases in Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating approximately $3 million for Preschool Early Intervention Programs serving children 3 to 5-years-old to purchase personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related supplies. The funding will help to keep students and staff safe and meet the unique challenges of COVID-19.

“Early Intervention services are essential to young children and families in Pennsylvania and this money will go a long way to helping children stay safe and thrive within the education system in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “These services are provided at no cost to families and this administration will continue to ensure that funding is provided for the programs.”

Pennsylvania’s Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children, from ages three to five, with developmental delays and disabilities. Approximately 13,700 children are enrolled in Early Intervention classrooms across the commonwealth.

“The Early Intervention program provides vital services to these young children,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “It promotes collaboration among caregivers, service providers and other important people in the child’s life to enhance the child’s development and support the needs of the family.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds.

Preschool Early Intervention Programs offering classroom services to eligible children may request GEER funds to provide personal protective equipment, sanitization and disinfecting supplies, and additional staff to support COVID-19 mitigation and training on health and safety practices. Preschool Early Intervention Programs will receive direct communication from PDE with eGrant application instructions.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania added 834 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday. The state has 110,218 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The state added 16 souls to the death toll putting the number at 7,162 deaths attributed to COVID-19

Dauphin County added 19 new cases of the virus and one death on Wednesday while Northumberland County added eight cases and Schuylkill County added seven. The current counts of cases in the three counties of the Citizen-Standard coverage area stands with Dauphin County at a total to 2,604 cases with 155 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 867 cases with 49 deaths, and Northumberland County is at 398 cases and 11 deaths.

Compare that to the epicenter of the virus in Philadelphia which added 111 new cases and three deaths on Wednesday, putting their totals at 25,407 cases and 1,675 deaths.

With case numbers rising, state health officials say that mask wearing is needed to stem the rising numbers. Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“As the state has put in place new mitigation efforts to offset recent case increases, we must renew our commitment to protecting against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework,” Dr. Levine said. “Pennsylvania has been a model for the country on how to reopen effectively using a careful, measured approach. However, we know the virus has not gone away as we see cases rise, so we must work together to stop another surge.”

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 19,290 resident cases of COVID-19, and 3,893 cases among employees, for a total of 23,183 at 841 distinct facilities in 61 counties. Out of our total deaths, 4,883 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 8,110 of the total cases are in health care workers.

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 25,528 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 11,611 negative tests and 5,996 in Northumberland County.

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

Adams-454 (18), Allegheny-7,718 (227), Armstrong-174 (6), Beaver-1,176 (85), Bedford-123 (4), Berks-5,100 (364), Blair-199 (2), Bradford-80 (3), Bucks-6,796 (574), Butler-586 (15), Cambria-235 (3), Cameron-5, Carbon-356 (28), Centre-370 (10), Chester-4,745 (342), Clarion-72 (2), Clearfield-120, Clinton-112 (5), Columbia-453 (35), Crawford-120 (1), Cumberland-1,180 (70), Dauphin-2,604 (155), Delaware-8,551 (684), Elk-42 (2), Erie-891 (15), Fayette-352 (4), Forest-9, Franklin-1,231 (46), Fulton-22 (2), Greene-103, Huntingdon-287 (4), Indiana-241 (6), Jefferson-57 (1), Juniata-125 (6), Lackawanna-1,878 (212), Lancaster-5,414 (405), Lawrence-319 (11), Lebanon-1,559 (54), Lehigh-4,775 (335), Luzerne-3,225 (183), Lycoming-306 (20), McKean-26 (1), Mercer-308 (9), Mifflin-93 (1), Monroe-1,570 (123), Montgomery-9,673 (846), Montour-92 (3), Northampton-3,806 (289), Northumberland-398 (11), Perry-111 (5), Philadelphia-25,407 (1,675), Pike-524 (21), Potter-20, Schuylkill-867 (49), Snyder-92 (2), Somerset-114 (2), Sullivan-10, Susquehanna-206 (26), Tioga-34 (2), Union-129 (2), Venango-60, Warren-15 (1), Washington-710 (10), Wayne-156 (8), Westmoreland-1,351 (45), Wyoming-57 (8), York-2,223 (84).

As of midnight July 26, there have been 1,073,863 negative tests for the coronavirus. The state also said that 75 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.

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 July 29, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 4,339,997 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 148,866 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, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.

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.