How COVID-19 has impacted Delaware Valley so far

As coronavirus continues to impact the communities around the world, health officials are continuously updating the number of cases affecting the Delaware Valley.

While New Jersey has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, federal health officials have said they believe Philadelphia could become the next hot spot.

Here is where the Delaware Valley stands regarding active investigations and confirmed cases of COVID-19:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

PENNSYLVANIA

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania has risen to 56,611, with 3,707 reported fatalities. Below is a breakdown of the cases by county:

CASES

– Adams County: 159 including 5 deaths

– Allegheny County: 1,503, including 122 deaths

– Armstrong County: 55, including 4 death

– Beaver County: 491, including 78 deaths

– Bedford County: 29, including 1 death

– Berks County: 3,337, including 170 deaths

– Blair County: 28

– Bradford County: 38; including 2 death

– Bucks County: 3,966, including 341 deaths

– Butler County: 1945, including 6 deaths

– Cambria County: 44, including 1 death

– Cameron County: 2

– Carbon County: 198, including 17 deaths

– Centre County: 119, including 1 death

Chester County: 1,865, including 184 deaths

– Clarion County: 23; including 1 death

– Clearfield County: 25

– Clinton County: 41

– Columbia County: 324, including 28 deaths

– Crawford County: 20

Cumberland County: 434, including 33 deaths

– Dauphin County: 823, including 36 deaths

-- Delaware County: 4,976 including 395 deaths

– Elk County: 5, including 1 death

– Erie County: 124; including 2 deaths

– Fayette County: 85, including 4 deaths

– Forest County: 7

– Franklin County: 493, including 12 deaths

– Fulton County: 8

– Greene County: 27; including 1 death

– Huntingdon County: 181

– Indiana County: 76, including 5 deaths

– Jefferson County: 7

– Juniata County: 93, including 1 death

– Lackawanna County: 1,172, including 117 deaths

– Lancaster County: 2223, including 166 deaths

– Lawrence County: 70, including 7 deaths

– Lebanon County: 811, including 16 deaths

Lehigh County: 3,241, including 121 deaths

– Luzerne County: 2,416, including 111 deaths

– Lycoming County: 131, including 4 deaths

– Mckean County: 6, including 1 death

– Mercer County: 73, including 2 death

– Mifflin County: 52

– Monroe County: 1,218, including 64 deaths

– Montgomery County: 5,260, including 525 deaths

– Montour County: 49

Northampton County: 2,453, including 158 deaths

– Northumberland County: 124

– Perry County: 35, including 1 death

– Philadelphia County: 18,211, including 894 deaths (statistics from City of Philadelphia)

– Pike County: 432, including 21 deaths

– Potter County: 4

– Schuylkill County: 451, including 13 deaths

– Snyder County: 33, including 1 death

– Somerset County: 32, including 1 death

– Sullivan County: 1

– Susquehanna County: 81, including 13 death

– Tioga County: 16, including 1 death

– Union County: 40, including 1 death

– Venango County: 7

– Warren County: 1

– Washington County: 124, including 4 death

– Wayne County: 117, including 5 deaths

– Westmoreland County: 417, including 30 deaths

– Wyoming County: 30, including 2 deaths

– York County: 773, including 13 deaths

WHAT WE KNOW

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The vast majority of people recover.

The Centers for Disease Control has tripled the number of symptoms that could be indicators of coronavirus, including muscle pain, headache and new loss of taste or smell.

New symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.


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SCHOOL CLOSURES

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has extended state school closures for the remainder of the academic year.

The school shutdown order affects more than 1.7 million school children, in public and private K-12 schools.

The city also continues to operate more than 80 student meal sites

PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia officials have issued a stay-at-home order and banned public gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 can call the city's free 24/7 helpline at 1-800-722-7112.

Residents can also text the keyword COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates through ReadyPhiladelphia, the city's mass communication system.

FREE FOOD ACCESSIBILITY 

Philadelphia residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak have access to free food boxes through community food sites.

"Providing this service to Philadelphians is critical at a time when many so many people find themselves in a difficult situation," Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa said.

Residents can pick up a box of food on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at sites throughout the city. One box is limited per household. Residents do not need to present an ID or proof of income for eligibility.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

Gov. Tom Wolf has placed all of Pennsylvania under an order to stay at home, dramatically expanding the geographic footprint of the quarantine as state officials combat the coronavirus pandemic.

After carefully shutting down the state a few counties at a time, Wolf eventually added all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties to his stay-home edict. The order will last through at least May 8, when officials say they hope to begin a gradual reopening process.

Regions of Pennsylvania that have seen a relatively low number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus might be able to reopen “in a fairly robust” way on May 8.


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(Pexels)

WHAT'S OPEN AND CLOSED

Businesses that remain open to the public include grocery stores, pharmacies, hotels and motels, beer distributors, laundromats and gas stations. Restaurants are only open for take-out orders. The open list also includes farms, mines, food production and some manufacturing.

Car dealers, clothing stores and other retailers, salons and entertainment venues are among those on the shuttered list. However, Wolf stated on Monday that the state would be easing restrictions on things like construction and car sales.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

REOPENING THE ECONOMY

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday set May 8 as the target launch date for a gradual easing of some restrictions imposed because of the pandemic, saying Pennsylvania had made sufficient progress against COVID-19 to warrant a gradual reopening of the economy.

All 12.8 million Pennsylvanians will have to stay home at least through that date, said Wolf, extending his existing stay-at-home order by another eight days. But he suggested it might then be lifted in areas of the state where the coronavirus — which has killed more than 1,600 Pennsylvania residents — does not pose as great of a threat.

The availability of diagnostic testing, the capacity of the health care system and the ability to quickly identify and contain flareups through what’s known as contact tracing will also play a role. The state health department will also use a new modeling tool by Carnegie Mellon University.

Health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said last week that contact tracing — identifying people who have been exposed to an infected person so they can be quarantined — will be “really important” as Pennsylvania emerges from a pandemic that has killed more than 1,500 statewide. But Wolf said Tuesday there’s no budget for contact tracing.

(Pexels)

STATE TAX RELIEF

The Wolf administration said it’s easing up on tax enforcement during the pandemic.

The Department of Revenue said it will pause payments on existing payment plans on request; offer flexible terms for new payment plans; suspend or reduce automatic enforcement of liens, wage garnishments and use of private collection agencies; and take other steps to offer relief to individual and business taxpayers.

The measures will last through at least July 15, the agency said Wednesday.

The Department of Revenue previously extended the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15.

Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennsylvania will gradually reopen its economy using a "regional, sector-based approach" and a modeling tool that will help public officials decide when it's safe, according to a plan outlined Friday.

"Unfortunately, we cannot flip a switch and reopen the commonwealth. There's not going to be one big day," Wolf said. "We need to be smart and make data-driven decisions."

Wolf placed all of Pennsylvania under an order to stay at home on April 1, in an effort to combat the spread of the virus. The despite calls to reopen the state amid signs of stabilization, Wolf added a another week to the order, which is now set to expire on May 8 for some areas of the state. Densely populated areas will continue to shelter-in-place until further notice.


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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli provide an update on the state's response to the deadly coronavirus. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor’s Office)

NEW JERSEY

The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey has swelled to 138,532 with 9,255 deaths reported. Below is a breakdown of cases by county:

– Bergen County: 16,929, including 1,355 deaths

– Hudson County: 16,822, including 969 deaths

– Essex County: 15,524, including 1,423 deaths

– Passaic County: 14,543, including 744 deaths

– Union County: 14,057, including 867 deaths

– Middlesex County: 13,937, including 798 deaths

– Ocean County: 7,462, including 540 deaths

– Monmouth County: 6,894, including 443 deaths

– Morris County: 5,854, including 516 deaths

– Mercer County: 5,317 including 334 deaths

Camden County: 4,870, including 225 deaths

– Somerset County: 4,054, including 333 deaths

Burlington County: 3,574, including, 198 deaths

Gloucester County: 1,654, including 81 deaths

Atlantic County: 1,510, including 72 deaths

Cumberland County: 1,287, including 36 deaths

– Sussex County: 1,026, including 127 deaths

– Warren County: 1,044, including 104 deaths

– Hunterdon County: 714, including 45 deaths

– Cape May County: 458, including 32 deaths

– Salem County: 411, including 18 deaths

Gov. Phil Murphy said that the state has now lost nearly more people than the number of residents killed during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Just as we have committed to never forgetting those lost on 9/11, we must commit to never forgetting those we are losing to this,” Murphy said, pausing for a moment of silence.

Last week, Murphy ordered flags across the state to half-staff indefinitely to commemorate people who died from COVID-19.

As the number of cases rise in the Garden State, so has the number of jobless claims. New Jersey’s jobless claims jumped 32% last week to about 206,000, which breaks a record set the week before.

On Friday, Murphy signed an executive order that would allow certain prisoners deemed low-risk to be moved to temporary home confinement or freed on parole because of the spread of COVID-19.


CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

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Delaware Gov. John Carney (Office of Gov. John Carney)

DELAWARE

Delaware health officials have reported 7,373 cases of coronavirus, with 271 virus-related deaths.

CASES:

– New Castle County: 2,619

– Kent County: 1,146

– Sussex County: 3,565

– Unknown:  43

Delawareans have been under a stay-at-home order since March 24. Those restrictions are currently scheduled to remain in place through May 15.

When the stay-at-home order was first issued March 22, the state had identified fewer than 60 positive cases.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.