Montgomery County on Shut Down as "Epicenter" of the COVID-19 PA Outbreak, Other Areas Could Follow
HARRISBURG (MAR 12 2020) -- Calling it the "epicenter" of the Coronaviurus outbreak in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf and State Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, this afternoon announced a two-week shut down in Montgomery County. Subject to the mandatory cessation of all activity are schools, entertainment venues, conferences, rallies, sporting venues, and gatherings involving more than 250 people. The Governor said the situation is fluid and will be continually monitored. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine said that other areas of the Commonwealth are strongly advised to eliminate all gatherings of over 25o people, to discourage people from attending movie theaters, concerts, and sporting events, and that religious organizations should work on ways to reduce exposure of the faithful during services. They both indicated that if voluntary measures do not work to help retard the spread of the virus, mandatory measures would be imposed beyond Montgomery County. The Governor also revealed Pike County's first case and that the current number of cases in Pennsylvania is 22 -- a ten-fold increase in less than a week. The state labs have tested 219 persons, with 116 negative results, 23 positive (including one out of state resident not included in Pennsylvania's numbers), and 81 tested but awaiting results.