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Northumberland County commissioner says they are ready to “go green”

As Dauphin and Schuylkill join Northumberland County in the yellow phase of reopening, one county commissioner feels that the county should be in the green.

Northumberland County Commissioner Chair Sam Schiccatano is questioning why Northumberland is not among a group of counties set to move into the green phase of coronavirus recovery.

Both Montour and Snyder counties are moving into the green phase today, with Northumberland still in yellow.

Schiccatano said he has talked with Rep. Lynda Schlegel-Culver (R-108), Union County Commissoner Chair Preston Boop and Snyder County Commissioner Chair Joe Kantz about the situation.

“A lot of us are reaching out to the governor’s office to try to see what we are missing, why we didn’t get switched to green and what we need to do to improve,” Schiccatano said. “We would hope to get the green so we can start to get some of these restaurants reopened and get people back to work.”

He said Northumberland County has a population of approximately 100,000, and believes only 20 to 30 people currently have the virus.

The current listing of counties and the phases they are in are as follows:

Red counties — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia,

Yellow counties — Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Washington, Wayne Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.

Green counties — Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.

Pennsylvania added 693 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday.

According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, the state has 70,735 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The death toll was increased by 91 souls on Tuesday, putting the count at 5,464.

Dauphin County added 19 cases and one death to its total on Friday, while Schuylkill County added 10 cases. Dauphin County currently stands at a total to 1,231 cases with 72 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 616 cases with 32 deaths, and Northumberland County is at 186 cases and three deaths.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 184 cases and 18 deaths, putting their totals at 18,156 positive cases and 1,300 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 Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from COVID-19 has not gone away,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others. Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 9,901 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 4,845 negative tests and 1,388 in Northumberland County.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 1,445 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down 31 cases from yesterday.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 15,335 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,565 cases among employees, for a total of 17,900 at 603 distinct facilities in 44 counties. Out of our total deaths, 3,517 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. Approximately 5,280 of our total cases are in health care workers.

The breakdown is as follows:

Positive cases

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 2%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 37%; 50-64, 25%, 65+, 28%

Hospitalizations

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12 <1%; 13-18, <1%; 19-24, 1%;  25-49, 16%; 50-64, 26%; 65+, 56%

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

Adams-241 (7), Allegheny-1,870 (162), Armstrong-62 (4), Beaver-582 (73), Bedford-39 (2),  Berks-3,988 (311), Blair-49 (1), Bradford-46 (3), Bucks-5,012 (493), Butler-227 (12), Cambria- 57(2), Cameron-2, Carbon-234 (23), Centre-151 (6), Chester-2,607 (277), Clarion-26 (2), Clearfield-38, Clinton-55 (2), Columbia-346 (31), Crawford-30, Cumberland-621 (48), Dauphin-1,231 (72), Delaware-6,379 (550), Elk-6, Erie-253 (4), Fayette-95 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-762 (34), Fulton-15 (1), Greene-27, Huntingdon-228 (2), Indiana-90 (5), Jefferson-7, Juniata-95 (4), Lackawanna-1,528 (166), Lancaster-3,105 (292), Lawrence-76 (8), Lebanon-950 (33), Lehigh-3,738 (222), Luzerne-2,711 (144), Lycoming-162 (16), McKean-12 (1), Mercer-107 (5), Mifflin-58 (1), Monroe-1,315 (101), Montgomery-6,906 (674), Montour-50, Northampton-3,045 (207), Northumberland-186 (3), Perry-56 (2), Philadelphia-18,156 (1,300), Pike-476 (19), Potter-4, Schuylkill-616 (32), Snyder-39 (1), Somerset-37 (1), Sullivan-3, Susquehanna-109 (15), Tioga-17 (2), Union-57 (1), Venango-8, Warren-3, Washington-139 (5), Wayne-119 (7), Westmoreland-444 (38), Wyoming-34 (7), York-991 (26).

As of midnight May 29, there have been 366,970 negative tests for the coronavirus, 9,166 more than the day before. The state also said that 65 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 May 28, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,698,523 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 100,446 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.