Schuylkill County reported a third person has died from the Covid-19 coronavirus in the daily report on the pandemic from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
While no information is released on a location, the Schuylkill County death was one of 63 new deaths reported in Pennsylvania in the last 24 hours, raising the total to 647 deaths since the pandemic began.
Delaware County had the most deaths in the state with 14 casualties while Bucks County reported 11 deaths and Montgomery had six.
The number of new cases evened out on Wednesday in Pennsylvania. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, there are currently 26,490 confirmed cases, a increase of 1,145 cases in 24 hours..
Dauphin County reported 22 new positive cases on Tuesday, while 12 new positive tests were added in Schuylkill and eight in Northumberland Counties, bringing Dauphin’s total to 271 cases with five deaths and Schuylkill up to 212 cases with 3 deaths and Northumberland County at 56 confirmed cases.
Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, reported 226 new cases, bringing their total to 7,347 in the county since the outbreak began.
As part of the effort to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that businesses that collect Pennsylvania sales tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments over the next three months. That means businesses that normally have a monthly prepayment requirement will not be charged penalties for missing the prepayment deadline during this three-month period.
“The spread of COVID-19 has put a tremendous strain on many businesses throughout the commonwealth that collect Pennsylvania sales tax,” Governor Wolf said. “Waiving this prepayment requirement will provide support to our businesses at a time when they are doing their part to help us prevent the spread of the virus.”
Under normal circumstances, certain business taxpayers are required to make monthly sales tax prepayments to the commonwealth if their actual tax liability is more than $25,000 during the third quarter of the preceding year. The Department of Revenue is waiving the prepayment requirement in April, May and June of 2020 to help business owners with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the new case numbers are coming down, Pennsylvania must continue to stay diligent against the coronavirus in order to “flatten the curve.”
“COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Pennsylvania, and even though the daily increases are not exponential, now is not the time to become complacent,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families, our community. If you must go out, please make as few trips as possible and wear a mask to protect not only yourself, but other people as well. We need all Pennsylvanians to continue to heed these efforts to protect our vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our health care workers and frontline responders.”
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 of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 2,391 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications.
The breakdown is as follows:
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 40%; 50-64, 29%, 65+, 22%
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, <1%; 19-24, 1%; 25-49, 19%; 50-64, 29%; 65+, 51%
The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:
Adams-64 (1), Allegheny-904 (24), Armstrong-29 (1), Beaver-158 (14), Bedford-9 (1), Berks-1,335 (28), Blair-12, Bradford-19, Bucks-1,300 (51), Butler-150 (5), Cambria-14 (1), Cameron-1 Carbon-112 (6), Centre-72, Chester-658 (25), Clarion-16, Clearfield-9, Clinton-8, Columbia-131 (3), Crawford-16, Cumberland-131 (7), Dauphin-271 (5), Delaware-1,882 (59), Elk-2, Erie-42, Fayette-58 (3), Forest-5, Franklin-78, Fulton-2, Greene-23, Huntingdon-12, Indiana-43 (1), Jefferson-2, Juniata-47, Lackawanna-527 (26), Lancaster-914 (29), Lawrence-55 (5), Lebanon-349 (2), Lehigh-1,922 (25), Luzerne-1,567 (27), Lycoming-30, McKean-4, Mercer-47, Mifflin-15, Monroe-872 (28), Montgomery-2,475 (82), Montour-44, Northampton-1,251 (25), Northumberland-56, Perry-17 (1), Philadelphia-7,347 (132), Pike-268 (7), Potter-4, Schuylkill-212 (3), Snyder-24 (1), Somerset-14, Sullivan-1, Susquehanna-40 (1), Tioga-13 (1), Union-23, Venango-6, Warren-1, Washington-71 (1), Wayne-75 (2), Westmoreland-237 (11), Wyoming-13, York-381 (4).
As of noon April 15, there have been 111,094 negative tests for the coronavirus, an increase of 2,808 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 14, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 579,005 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 22,252 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 need to go out and will be around other people, 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.