Gov. Wolf and Health Department offer statewide guidelines for COVID-19


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The rising number of coronavirus cases in the state has now reached 22; 20 presumptive and 2 confirmed by the CDC.

Governor Tom Wolf and the state Health Department gave an update of COVID-19’s statewide impact Thursday afternoon, offering guidelines in the midst of the virus outbreak.

“I’m urging all of my fellow Pennsylvanians, do your part,” Wolf said. “Nobody wants to be the person who shares this virus with their office or with a member of their family. So please stay home from work; stay away from family gatherings, and stay out of public areas, especially if you’re not well.”

Wolf says “significant and decisive social distancing” begins Friday, March 13. He strongly recommends 3 measures throughout the commonwealth:

  1. Cancel gatherings of more than 250 people
  2. Staying away from recreational activities and public areas
  3. Religious leaders using discretion to prevent the spread of illness in their congregation

Wolf believes the above-mentioned advisements may seem strict but are in place to prevent severe constraints in the future.

Montgomery County has received the bulk of restrictions due to the volume of cases, 13. The county now faces the closure of all schools, community centers, gyms, and entertainment venues for 14 days starting Friday as well.

Any state employee traveling in and out of Montgomery County is asked to work from home.

219 people are currently under investigation for the virus, 116 have tested negative, and 81 are pending results. Presumptive positive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are currently in these counties:

  • Bucks (2)
  • Delaware (1)
  • Monroe (2)
  • Montgomery (13)
  • Northampton (1)
  • Philadelphia (1)
  • Pike (1)
  • Wayne (1)

“The health and safety of Pennsylvanians, that’s my primary concern,” Wolf said. “That’s why I’m ordering all critical infrastructure to remain open.”

‘Critical infrastructure’ according to Wolf include: pharmacies, urgent care facilities, primary care facilities, outpatient services, longterm care facilities, hospitals, gas stations, grocery stores, government, utility and public safety, and mass transit.

Amtrak will be operating on a reduced schedule and the Ardmore station will be closed for two weeks.

Health Department Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine retains that COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to the flu and that indicators of the virus to look for are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. She also says to keep in mind travel history or contact with people potentially exposed before checking in for COVID-19.

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