COVID-19 UPDATE - PA Now Has 15 Active Cases with 54 Tested and Pending Results
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
HARRISBURG (Mar 11 2020) -- For the third day in a row, the total cases of presumptive positive Coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania has increased by at least two patients. It also announced that it has tested a total of 157 persons in Pennsylvania, with 88 returning a negative result. There are 15 active cases and 54 tests which have not been completed. It generally takes 3 to 4 days to obtain testing results. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Daily Covid-19 Report and the John Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, Pennsylvania has 15 cases -- 13 presumptive (confirmed by the state) and two confirmed by the CDC (one from Delaware County and one from Wayne County). All patients are adults in home-based isolation. The State Department of Health revealed the two newest cases are in Bucks County. The Counties known to impacted to date are Bucks (2), Delaware (1), Monroe (1), Montgomery (9), Philadelphia (1), and Wayne (1). However, The Boro* has received one report that a Monroe County hospital admitted a second patient sometime yesterday. That has not been confirmed. The state Secretary of Health is expected to give more information about the cases at her daily COVID-19 news briefing at Noon today.
Late yesterday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed the 12th case of presumptive positive COVID-19 infection in Pennsylvania, as a Philadelphia patient tested positive at a state laboratory.
The first ten cases were patients infected while travelling away from home in areas with known spread of the disease. The 11th and 12th cases involve patients who had contact with someone who tested positive, officials said.
Bucks County Health Officials said their two cases live in the same home and had been exposed when they traveled to an out-of-state event. They are in isolation with mild symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Philadelphia officials are neither encouraging school closures, nor canceling any events. They are, however, urging people not to attend events of more than 5,000 people, including professional sporting events. The organizer's of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, after "significant input from civic and parade participants" voluntarily canceled the event on Tuesday, which would have been the 249th running of the nation's second-oldest St Patrick's Day Parade.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr, Rachel Levine is not at this time recommending cancelation of large gatherings in Pennsylvania.
The Boro* is following up on a source which indicated a second potential Coronavirus patient may have been admitted to a local hospital on Tuesday. Yesterday, a spokesperson for the hospital involved neither confirmed nor denied the reported second case, stating in an email to The Boro*, "We follow state DOH protocol and only report on confirmed positive cases. At this time, we have had only one confirmed positive case that we reported yesterday and that patient was discharged to home in good condition and is in isolation."
The PA DOH is not providing very many details about infected patients. It will not state how many have been tested, how many negative tests there have been, the gender or age of the patients, nor the number of people who have not tested positive but remain in quarantine. The DOH also will not say where victims traveled if they contracted their illness away from home.
The state DOH spokesperson has not responded to a request for information about the potential second patient in Monroe County.
News reports indicate that at least three medical personnel who treated people Coronavirus patients been quarantined in Pennsylvania.
The DOH has said they have increased the COVID-19 testing capacity of the state's lab, located in Exton, in suburban Philadelphia. The Exton lab is now capable of testing up to 150 samples a day. Dr. Levine said that private labs and academic medical centers will soon be able test samples as well. She would not say how many tests are performed daily.
Locally, the 2020 Regional Science Olympiad at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, scheduled for March 10, was canceled. Scranton has cancelled its St Patrick's Day Parade. No other cancellations in the area are known at this time, and all other regional St Patrick's Day Parades are still scheduled to proceed. Pennsylvania's first two confirmed cases were reported on March 6. Two additional cases were announced March 7, two more cases on March 8, four were added on March 9, two additional cases on each of March 10, and three reported on the 11th. All reported Pennsylvania cases remain active. No Pennsylvania deaths have been reported. In the United States there have been 1,050 reported cases, with 8 persons having recovered and 29 deaths, the remaining cases are active. This report will be updated throughout the day as additional information is received. This report was updated at 8:58 am on Mar 11 to indicate that the Philadelphia St Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled. This report was updated at 10:59 am on Mar 11 to indicate that the two of the newest cases are in Bucks County, to provide the timeline of Pennsylvania cases, and to add the summary of US cases. This report was updated at 2:15 pm on Mar 11 to add an additional case in Montgomery County and to include the information that the CDC had confirmed two of the 15 cases so far. This report was updated at 3:45 pm on Mar 11 to include information about the numbers tested in Pennsylvania.