Pennsylvania now has 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including the first positive case in Dauphin County.
This represents an increase of 108 confirmed cases since yesterday, according to the state Department of Health. Deaths from the disease remained unchanged at two people statewide.
Locally, besides the single positive case in Dauphin County, Cumberland County has 11 cases, York County has 10 cases, Lancaster County has six cases, Lebanon County has three cases, and Adams County has reported five cases.
Thirty-three of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have now reported cases, five more than yesterday.
Philadelphia County now has the most cases, with 91, overtaking Montgomery County, which has reported 87 cases.
“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now: stay calm, stay home and stay safe.”
Cases are increasing rapidly in the state, but so is testing for the coronavirus.
The health department said today that 5,443 people have been tested in Pennsylvania, with 4,964 testing negative for the virus. That’s an increase of 1,574 tests since yesterday.
Separately, the state police today said that, beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, they would start assisting in the enforcement of Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to shut down the physical locations of “non life-sustaining businesses.”
“The priority of the Pennsylvania State Police is protecting lives and maintaining order in the commonwealth,” said Col. Robert Evanchick, state police commissioner. “In light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, troopers and liquor control enforcement officers are prepared to ensure compliance with Gov. Wolf’s order.”
Businesses, he said, “face possible criminal penalties” if they refused to shut down. Last week, the state Liquor Control Board stated that liquor license-holders faced sanctions and penalties if they refused to comply with an order banning on-premises consumption.
Wolf also issued a statement today to “remind” state residents that grocery stores, food processors and food banks remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians, he said, “should feel confident in the food supply and shop for food at their normal rate.”
“Even in a pandemic, grocery stores and food banks are life-sustaining and accessible; food production and distribution are continuing,” Wolf said. “I urge all Pennsylvanians to have faith in our food system.”
He also cautioned against hoarding.
“If each one of us commits to only buy what we need, there will be enough for everyone and their neighbors,” he said.
He also credited the state’s agricultural industry “for providing a safe, continuous food supply.”
“I’m incredibly proud of and grateful for this dedicated industry,” Wolf said. “These times will pass. But in the meantime, you can know that they’re working hard and making smart decisions to fill the shelves of your local grocer.”
Levine continued to emphasize that Pennsylvanians should do the following:
- 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.
For more information, visit the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 website.