In another move to help reopen the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that their highway and bridge construction projects will resume on Friday.
“Our decision to pause construction was not made lightly, and we understand the importance of these projects to communities across Pennsylvania and to our industry partners,” said acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Thanks to the swift, decisive actions of the administration and the cooperation of Pennsylvanians, the curve is starting to flatten and we’re now in a position to restart these important improvements to the transportation network.”
The projects will begin with limited exceptions based on project-specific factors, including location and feasibility for social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols at the jobsite.
May 1 is also the date that several limited recreational opportunities, such as golf courses and private marinas will be reopening under CDC guidelines.
Pennsylvania added 1,397 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 45,763 confirmed cases, and 2,292 deaths.
Dauphin County reported 26 new positive cases and four new deaths on Thursday, while 25 new positive tests and one death were added in Schuylkill County and one positive case in Northumberland County, bringing Dauphin’s total to 584 cases with 25 deaths, Schuylkill up to 368 cases with six deaths, and Northumberland County at 93 confirmed cases.
In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 412 cases in 24 hours but no deaths, putting their totals at 12,297 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 the state looms on a May 8 date to possibly begin repopening parts of the state through the Governor’s three-tiered plan.
“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,” 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 3,515 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 1,986 negative tests and 553 in Northumberland County.
In nursing home and long-term care facilities, Schuylkill County experienced a big jump in cases, adding 14 new cases among residents with the virus detected in two more facilities, while Dauphin County added six residents, one employee and four deaths in 24 hours. Dauphin County is listed in the table having four facilities affected, with 96 cases among residents, 15 cases among employees and 17 deaths. Schuylkill County has 16 residents and one employee affected in four facilities, and Northumberland County has four residents and two employees at one facility All total, 468 facilities are reporting 8,112 cases among residents and 1,032 among employees, and have accounted for 1,505 of Pennsylvania’s 2,292 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,704 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down 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+, 26%
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-137 (4), Allegheny-1,289 (94), Armstrong-51 (2), Beaver-405 (65), Bedford-24 (1), Berks-2,698 (117), Blair-23, Bradford-31 (2), Bucks-2,870 (205), Butler-178 (6), Cambria-28 (1), Cameron-1 Carbon-175 (15), Centre-96 (1), Chester-1,375 (111), Clarion-23 (1), Clearfield-16, Clinton-31, Columbia-283 (13), Crawford-19, Cumberland-343 (16), Dauphin-584 (25), Delaware-3,696 (235), Elk-3, Erie-87 (2), Fayette-80 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-284 (6), Fulton-5, Greene-26, Huntingdon-38, Indiana-63 (4), Jefferson-4, Juniata-83 (1), Lackawanna-913 (82), Lancaster-1,765 (104), Lawrence-65 (6), Lebanon-676 (9), Lehigh-2,796 (77), Luzerne-2,143 (88), Lycoming-68, McKean-6, Mercer-65 (1), Mifflin-38, Monroe-1,127 (54), Montgomery-4,307 (351), Montour-47, Northampton-2,050 (94), Northumberland-93, Perry-30 (1), Philadelphia-12,297 (424), Pike-378 (14), Potter-4, Schuylkill-368 (6), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-26, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-84 (8), Tioga-16 (1), Union-36, Venango-7, Warren-1 (0), Washington-115 (2), Wayne-100 (5), Westmoreland-391 (25), Wyoming-20 (2), York-641 (9).
As of noon April 28, there have been 175,602 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 5,085 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 29, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,005,147 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 57,505 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.