By The Associated Press
All Pennsylvania residents must stay home as must as possible to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday as he dramatically expanded the footprint of the quarantine to include the entire state.
The governor added 34 counties to his existing stay-at-home order, meaning that residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties are now asked to stay put unless they have a legitimate reason to go out.
With coronavirus infections continuing to rise dramatically in the state — nearly 1,000 new confirmed cases were reported Wednesday, Wolf called a statewide quarantine “the most prudent option.”
“We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 Pennsylvanians; we are in this together,” Wolf said in a statement.
The expanded order will take effect at 8 p.m. and last through at least April 30.
Residents may leave their homes for a number of reasons that include working at a business that’s still open, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, visiting a doctor, caring for a relative or heading outside to exercise. Police will continue to focus on informing residents of the order rather than on enforcement, according to the governor’s office.
According to information on the Pa. Department of Health’s website released April 1, there have currently 5,805 confirmed cases, a jump of 962 cases in 24 hours.
10 new cases were reported in Dauphin County while nine were in Schuylkill County, and five more in Northumberland County, bringing Dauphin’s total to 59 cases, Northumberland with six cases and Schuylkill up to 47 cases.
The biggest jump, as usual, occurred in Philadelphia County, which reported 281 new cases, bringing their total to 1,478 in the county.
The state announced that 11 people died in the state in the last 24 hours. The new deaths came as Fayette County was added to the list of counties with at least one death, three deaths in Bucks County, two deaths in Delaware and Montgomery, and deaths in Beaver, Lehigh, and Monroe counties.
“The continued rise in cases combined with our increasing deaths from COVID-19 reflects the seriousness of this situation,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday. “We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must.”
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 are age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date.
The breakdown is as follows:
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 9%; 25-49, 40%; 50-64, 29%, 65+, 19%
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, 0%; 13-18, <1%; 19-24, 1%; 25-49, 20%; 50-64, 25%; 65+, 51%
The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:
Adams-12, Allegheny-356 (2), Armstrong-5, Beaver-54 (2), Bedford-3, Berks-151, Blair-4, Bradford-8, Bucks-312 (6), Butler-64 (2), Cambria-3, Cameron-1 Carbon-23 (1), Centre-27, Chester-183 (1), Clarion-4, Clearfield-4, Columbia-8, Crawford-5, Cumberland-38 (1), Dauphin-59 (1), Delaware-352 (7), Erie-15, Fayette-14 (1), Franklin-21, Greene-9, Huntingdon-1, Indiana-6, Juniata-2, Lackawanna-85 (3), Lancaster-157 (3), Lawrence-13 (2), Lebanon-36, Lehigh-374 (5), Luzerne-282 (4), Lycoming-7, McKean-1, Mercer-8, Mifflin-1, Monroe-278 (8), Montgomery-649 (8), Montour-13, Northampton-312 (5), Northumberland-6, Perry-1 Philadelphia-1,478 (10), Pike-57 (1), Potter-2, Schuylkill-47, Snyder-3 (1), Somerset-3, Susquehanna-2, Tioga-2, Union-2, Venango-3, Warren-1, Washington-35, Wayne-14, Westmoreland-72, York-79..
As of noon April 1, there have been 42,427 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 4,782 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,, 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 1, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 186,101 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 3,603 deaths. Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reports on their Coronavirus Tracker website that 8,413`U.S. residents that have contracted the virus have recovered.
What can you do?
• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands.
• Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Contain if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
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.