Officials in Pennsylvania have confirmed they have two presumptive positive coronavirus patients in the state at a news conference early Monday morning, Your Content has learned.
Gov. Wolf said one patient presumed positive for coronavirus resides in Delaware County and a second in Wayne County. Both are currently in isolation at home and remain in good physical condition, according to the Gov. Wolf Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.
“We anticipated this very scenario and have been preparing for Pennsylvanians to become impacted by this virus,” Governor Wolf said. “This is not the first rapidly-spreading virus we have faced in our commonwealth and it will not be the last. We are prepared to mitigate the spread of this virus.”
The one individual is an adult from Wayne County and is currently in their home in isolation. The individual recently traveled to a country where COVID-19 is present.
The other individual is from an adult from Delaware County and is currently in their home in isolation. The individual recently traveled to an area of the United States where COVID-19 is present.
To date, there are nearly 100,000 cases worldwide, including more than 3,300 deaths. There are 233 cases and 12 deaths to date in the United States. The CDC expects cases to continue to be confirmed in the upcoming days and weeks but wants everyone to take action to help prevent the spread of the virus. CDC also said due to the rapidly changing nature of the spread of COVID-19 around the world, it is important for families to be prepared.
“Further spread of this virus throughout the nation will likely occur,” Dr. Levine said. “We encourage people to prepare for potential life disruptions. The same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for flu or norovirus, and even snowstorms and floods, are important now. Pennsylvanians should continue to help stop the spread of viruses by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces and staying home if you are sick.”
“The confirmation of a case of coronavirus is not a surprise to us, and we’ve been working with the Department of Health since January to ensure that we’d be ready,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “Earlier this week, we partially activated the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center here at PEMA in order to support their planning efforts.”
Individuals who intend on traveling outside of the United States are urged to check the CDC’s and the federal Department of State’s travel guidance. Currently there are outbreaks of COVID-19 occurring within numerous countries across the world. The number of countries seeing new cases has increased significantly over the last week.
“As this situation evolves, we will continually update Pennsylvanians through our website, health.pa.gov, our Facebook page and our Twitter account,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through the Department of Health.”
As of 9 a.m. Monday there have been zero confirmed cases in the state by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Individuals most at risk for severe symptoms include elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
For more information on coronavirus visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.
The news conference comes after news surfaced that five schools in the Bucks County region announced they’d be closing their doors after individuals ‘were exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus.’
Anyone who does not feel well should:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with their elbow, not their hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas.
- Contain- if someone is sick, they should stay home until they are feeling better.
To date the Wolf Administration has:
- Activated of the Department of Health’s Emergency Operations Center to allow for enhanced response coordination;
- Began testing for COVID-19 at the state laboratory;
- Maintained communication and outreach with federal, state and local partners;
- Provided symptom monitoring for residents returning from areas impacted by coronavirus;
- Provided health care providers, businesses and education providers with information;
- Reviewed and adapted current pandemic flu plans to prepare for spread of COVID-19;
- Increased testing capacity to test 20-25 individuals a day;
- Purchased equipment to increase testing capacity to 125-150 individuals within a day.
This is a developing breaking news story. It will be updated momentarily. Stay with Your Content for the latest developments.
The recent widespread outbreak of the respiratory disease stemmed from a novel coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California (in two places), Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.
The CDC affirms that there are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
How will the coronavirus impact my community?
More cases of the coronavirus are likely to be identified in the coming days, according to the CDC. That includes a rapid increase in cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in communities in the United States. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of the coronavirus in the United States will occur.
Widespread transmission of the coronavirus would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against the coronavirus and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy.
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