News

Political fight coming between counties, state upon reopening

Pennsylvania added 543 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 57,154 confirmed cases.

In light of the current political climate and with Dauphin and Schuylkill County ready to defy the governor’s orders and reopen their respective counties on Friday, the new case total and death totals were the lowest in recent member

Dauphin County currently stands at a total to 830 cases with 36 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 453 cases with 13 deaths, and Northumberland County already in the yellow phase at 125 confirmed cases.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 1,002 cases in 72 hours, putting their totals at 15,008 positive cases and 857 deaths, adding 23 more deaths in the three-day period.

In nursing home and long-term care facilities, Dauphin County is listed in the table having three facilities affected, with 189 cases among residents, 39 cases among employees and 24 deaths. Schuylkill County has 44 residents, 11 employees affected and two deaths in nine facilities.

All total, 540 facilities are reporting 11,801 cases among residents and 1,655 among employees, and have accounted for 2,552 of Pennsylvania’s 3,731 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

Officials say that the public’s effort on social distancing and wearing masks must continue to get things back to normal.

“As we prepare to move a number of counties from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders. I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 4,938 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 2,676 negative tests and 861 in Northumberland County.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,161 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, 37%; 50-64, 26%, 65+, 28%

Hospitalizations

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-167 (5), Allegheny-1,511 (123), Armstrong-55 (5), Beaver-491 (78), Bedford-29 (1),  Berks-3,417 (171), Blair-29, Bradford-38 (2), Bucks-4,028 (349), Butler-195 (6), Cambria-44 (1), Cameron-2 Carbon-198 (17), Centre-119 (2), Chester-1,884 (187), Clarion-23 (1), Clearfield-25, Clinton-41, Columbia-328 (28), Crawford-21, Cumberland-451 (33), Dauphin-830 (36), Delaware-5,046 (399), Elk-5 (1), Erie-123 (2), Fayette-85 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-513 (12), Fulton-8, Greene-27 (1), Huntingdon-187, Indiana-76 (5), Jefferson-7, Juniata-93 (1), Lackawanna-1,187 (117), Lancaster-2,256 (168), Lawrence-70 (7), Lebanon-815 (16), Lehigh-3,259 (121), Luzerne-2,426 (112), Lycoming-132 (4), McKean-6 (1), Mercer-75 (2), Mifflin-52, Monroe-1,224 (64), Montgomery-5,292 (525), Montour-49, Northampton-2,465 (160), Northumberland-125, Perry-35 (1), Philadelphia-15,008 (857), Pike-433 (21), Potter-4, Schuylkill-453 (13), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-32 (1), Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-81 (13), Tioga-16 (1), Union-41 (1), Venango-7, Warren-1, Washington-124 (4), Wayne-117 (5), Westmoreland-418 (30), Wyoming-30 (3), York-784 (13).

As of noon May 11, there have been 231,704 negative tests for the coronavirus.

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 7, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,300,696 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 78,771 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.