Northumberland County was listed among 24 counties in the state that will move in the yellow phase of reopening on Friday, May 8.
Governor Tom Wolf made the announcement of the change on Friday, loosening the restrictions on work and social gatherings.
Under the yellow phase of reopening the following restrictions are in place:
On Monday, May 4, the administration will release guidance for businesses permitted to reopen on May 8 in these 24 counties. The guidance is being developed through collaboration with the affected counties, Team PA, the Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Labor & Industry, among others. Guidance will build on existing safety and building safety orders released in April.
Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
- Telework Must Continue Where Feasible
- Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders
- Child Care Open Complying with Guidance
- Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place
- Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction
- Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation
- Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited
- In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
- Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
- Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only.
Gov. Wolf stressed the need for all Pennsylvanians to now, more than ever, take personal responsibility for their actions.
“Every human-to-human contact is a chance for the virus to spread, so more contacts mean a higher likelihood of an outbreak,” Wolf said. “If we see an outbreak occur in one of the communities that has been moved to yellow, we will need to take swift action, and revert to the red category until the new case count falls again. So, Pennsylvanians living in a county that has been moved to the yellow category should continue to strongly consider the impact of their actions.”
Counties that will remain under the stay-at-home order such as Schuylkill and Dauphin counties will be considered for reopening in the next several weeks as the state continues to closely monitor metrics and collaborate with Carnegie-Mellon University, health experts and counties.
Pennsylvania added 1,208 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 46,971 confirmed cases, and 2,354 deaths, up 57 from the previous day.
Dauphin County reported 17 new positive cases and four new deaths on Friday, while seven new positive tests were added in Schuylkill County and two positive cases in Northumberland County, bringing Dauphin’s total to 601 cases with 25 deaths, Schuylkill up to 375 cases with six deaths, and Northumberland County at 95 confirmed cases.
In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 247 cases in 24 hours but no deaths, putting their totals at 12,544 positive cases and 424 deaths.
Officials say that the public’s effort on social distancing and wearing masks must continue to get things back to normal.
“As we start to see the number of new COVID-19 cases continually change across the state that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing, Pa. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but others. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”
As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 3,618 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 2,069 negative tests and 584 in Northumberland County.
In nursing home and long-term care facilities, the numbers of the local counties went up slightly as Dauphin County added three residents, and Schuylkill County added another facility and another resident. Dauphin County is listed in the table having four facilities affected, with 99 cases among residents, 15 cases among employees and 17 deaths. Schuylkill County has 17 residents and one employee affected in five facilities, and Northumberland County has four residents and two employees at one facility All total, 474 facilities are reporting 8,478 cases among residents and 1,097 among employees, and have accounted for 1,560 of Pennsylvania’s 2,354 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,677 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down 27 patients from yesterday.
The breakdown is as follows:
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 38%; 50-64, 27%, 65+, 27%
Ages 0-29, 2%; 30-49, 5%; 50-64, 10%; 65-79, 20%; 80+, 19%
The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:
Adams-140 (4), Allegheny-1,319 (99), Armstrong-52 (2), Beaver-426 (67), Bedford-24 (1), Berks-2,748 (117), Blair-23, Bradford-33 (2), Bucks-3,055 (225), Butler-180 (6), Cambria-31 (1), Cameron-1 Carbon-181 (15), Centre-96 (1), Chester-1,432 (111), Clarion-23 (1), Clearfield-16, Clinton-32, Columbia-289 (13), Crawford-19, Cumberland-349 (17), Dauphin-601 (25), Delaware-3,848 (240), Elk-3, Erie-87 (2), Fayette-81 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-313 (7), Fulton-5, Greene-26, Huntingdon-40, Indiana-63 (4), Jefferson-4, Juniata-84 (1), Lackawanna-934 (83), Lancaster-1,820 (106), Lawrence-65 (6), Lebanon-694 (9), Lehigh-2,850 (80), Luzerne-2,173 (92), Lycoming-71 (1), McKean-6, Mercer-65 (1), Mifflin-37, Monroe-1,147 (54), Montgomery-4,406 (362), Montour-48, Northampton-2,103 (94), Northumberland-95, Perry-32 (1), Philadelphia-12,544 (424), Pike-383 (15), Potter-4, Schuylkill-375 (6), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-26, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-84 (8), Tioga-16 (1), Union-37, Venango-7, Warren-1 (0), Washington-116 (2), Wayne-102 (5), Westmoreland-393 (25), Wyoming-21 (2), York-651 (11).
As of noon May 1, there have been 180,477 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 4,875 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 30, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,031,659 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 60,057 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.