FeaturesNews

More deaths in Dauphin and Schuylkill; nursing home coronavirus cases released

More deaths were reported in Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties as the number of new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus rose in Pennsyvlania in the last 24 hours

Two more deaths were reported in Dauphin County and another death in Schuylkill County, three of 60 new deaths related to COVID-19 reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the last 24 hours.

Allegheny County had the most deaths in the state with 12 new casualties while Delaware County reported 10 deaths and Montgomery had seven.

The number of new cases rose on Thursday in Pennsylvania. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 27,735 confirmed cases, a increase of 1,245 cases in 24 hours..

Schuylkill County reported 24 new positive cases on Thursday, while 16 new positive tests were added in Dauphin and four in Northumberland Counties, bringing Dauphin’s total to 287 cases with seven deaths and Schuylkill up to 236 cases with four deaths and Northumberland County at 60 confirmed cases.

Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, reported 341 new cases, bringing their total to 7,684 in the county since the outbreak began.

Government officials from Pennsylvania must continue to stay diligent against the coronavirus in order to “flatten the curve,” with new mask restrictions for people shopping or workers in essential businesses.

“COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Pennsylvania, and even though the daily increases are not exponential, now is not the time to become complacent,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families, our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but other people as well. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”

A new report coming in the daily update from the state Department of Health is a county-by-county table of cases associated with nursing homes and personal care homes to date. These charts are show the number of facilities, the number of cases among residents of the facilities, the number of cases among employees, and the number of deaths.

Only Dauphin County is listed in the table having three facilities, 35 cases among residents, two cases among employees and one death.

With commercial labs being the primary testing option for most Pennsylvanians, data is not available on the total number of tests pending.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,503 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications.

The breakdown is as follows:

Positive cases

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 40%; 50-64, 29%, 65+, 23%

Hospitalizations

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, <1%; 19-24, 1%; 25-49, 19%; 50-64, 29%; 65+, 51%

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

Adams-67 (1), Allegheny-925 (38), Armstrong-32 (1), Beaver-168 (14), Bedford-11 (1),  Berks-1,419 (31), Blair-13, Bradford-19, Bucks-1,407 (56), Butler-154 (5), Cambria-14 (1), Cameron-1 Carbon-113 (6), Centre-73, Chester-699 (28), Clarion-17, Clearfield-9, Clinton-8, Columbia-146 (3), Crawford-16, Cumberland-137 (4), Dauphin-287 (7), Delaware-1,999 (69), Elk-2, Erie-46, Fayette-60 (3), Forest-7, Franklin-80, Fulton-2, Greene-24, Huntingdon-12, Indiana-44 (2), Jefferson-2, Juniata-56, Lackawanna-559 (28), Lancaster-970 (33), Lawrence-55 (5), Lebanon-380 (2), Lehigh-1,999 (28), Luzerne-1,611 (28), Lycoming-30, McKean-4, Mercer-50, Mifflin-15, Monroe-898 (29), Montgomery-2,544 (89), Montour-48, Northampton-1,296 (25), Northumberland-60, Perry-17 (1), Philadelphia-7,684 (134), Pike-276 (7), Potter-4, Schuylkill-236 (4), Snyder-24 (1), Somerset-14, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-49 (1), Tioga-13 (1), Union-25, Venango-6, Warren-1, Washington-73 (1), Wayne-77 (2), Westmoreland-240 (13), Wyoming-14 (1), York-393 (4).

As of noon April 16, there have been 113,735 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 2,641 over the day before.

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 April 15, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 605,390 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 24,582 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 need to go out and will be around other people, 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.