Second Monroe County COVID-19 Case Confirmed, 16 Total PA Cases, 57 More Tested, Awaiting Results
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
HARRISBURG (Mar 11 2020) -- Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health this afternoon confirmed the second Monroe County COVID-19 case we reported yesterday.
That individual was in contact with someone else who tested positive and is currently the only Pennsylvania Coronavirus patient hospitalized, as we also reported yesterday. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine also confirmed that there were a total of 16 Pennsylvanians with the virus, all are in at home isolation except for the Monroe County individual. In addition, there is another person with the virus who is being treated here, but is a resident of another state. Under CDC guidelines, that person is not counted as a "Pennsylvania" case. The Department today revealed for the first time its testing numbers. Dr. Levine said 173 people have been tested in Pennsylvania. One hundred tested negative, 17 tested positive (including the out of state patient), and there are 57 pending results. In addition, there is an unknown number of persons being monitored by the PA DOH and who will be tested if they begin to shown symptoms. Dr. Sharon Watkins, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and state epidemiologist at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, declined to reveal how many such individuals are being monitored. Dr. Watkins also revealed that hundreds of individuals have been interviewed as part of the contact tracing of infected individuals. Dr. Levine said that the state laboratory can process about 100 tests per day, and stated there are currently two commercial laboratories capable of doing tests in the state right now. The state is following CDC guidelines on who is tested, which effectively means that only those most sick and at risk are being tested.
Dr. Levine explained that "Community Spread" is the term used when they do not know how an individual was infected and have ruled out travel to infected areas or known contact with an infected individual. "While we have not reached confirmed community spread in Pennsylvania," Dr. Levine said, "we anticipate community spread will occur in Pennsylvania." At this point, Dr. Levine said,"we are not mandating mitigation efforts at this time", but "we are discussing that (possibility) every day." Locally, the 2020 Regional Science Olympiad at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, scheduled for March 10, was canceled. Scranton, Philadelphia, New York City, and Philadelphia have cancelled their St Patrick's Day Parades. The Regional Odyssey of the Mind is still scheduled to proceed at Pocono Mountain West High School this Saturday. Brian Gallagher, President of the Pocono Irish American Club, which sponsors the Stroudsburg St. Patrick's Day Parade, told The Boro* "we are moving forward with our parade, unless otherwise told by the local or state government." Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have canceled all rallies due to community spread concerns. Locally Maureen Madden and Claudette Williams are still going forward with a "St. Patrick's Parade All You Can East (sic) Fundraiser" following the Stroudsburg St Patrick's Day Parade.