PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania has smashed its single-day high for reported coronavirus-related deaths, recording 78 more fatalities. The count was more than double the previous single-day high of 34 deaths, and it boosted the statewide death toll to 240.
The Department of Health also confirmed Tuesday that the state has nearly 1,600 more cases of COVID-19 and every county now has an infected resident. That raised the statewide total to more than 14,550 cases.
FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS
“Now more than ever, as we continue to see COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in Pennsylvania, we need Pennsylvanians to take action,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement. “Those actions should be to stay calm, stay home and stay safe.”
Philadelphia reported 4,012 coronavirus cases within the city, with at least 58 fatalities. Nursing home residents account for at least 18 of Philadelphia’s coronavirus-related deaths.
A look at the latest developments in Pennsylvania:
Below is a breakdown of the cases by county:
– Adams County: 28
– Allegheny County: 689, including 6 deaths
– Armstrong County: 18
– Beaver County: 116, including 9 deaths
– Bedford County: 4
– Berks County: 369, including 5 deaths
– Blair County: 6
– Bradford County: 14
– Bucks County: 690, including 21 deaths
– Butler County: 107, including 2 deaths
– Cambria County: 7, including 1 death
– Cameron County: 1
– Carbon County: 67, including 1 death
– Centre County: 55
– Chester County: 335, including 6 deaths
– Clarion County: 9
– Clearfield County: 7
– Clinton County: 3
– Columbia County: 42, including 1 death
– Crawford County: 8
– Cumberland County: 77, including 2 deaths
– Dauphin County: 155, including 1 death
– Delaware County: 898, including 20 deaths
– Elk County: 2
– Erie County: 28
– Fayette County: 32, including 1 death
– Forest County: 5
– Franklin County: 39
– Fulton County: 1
– Greene County: 15
– Huntingdon County: 5
– Indiana County: 21
– Jefferson County: 1
– Juniata County: 14
– Lackawanna County: 235, including 8 deaths
– Lancaster County: 490, including 14 deaths
– Lawrence County: 29, including 2 deaths
– Lebanon County: 145
– Lehigh County: 1,146, including 10 deaths
– Luzerne County: 982, including 8 deaths
– Lycoming County: 12
– Mckean County: 1
– Mercer County: 26
– Mifflin County: 6
– Monroe County: 610, including 12 deaths
– Montgomery County: 1,359, including 30 deaths
– Montour County: 27
– Northampton County: 774, including 14 deaths
– Northumberland County: 22
– Perry County: 9, including 1 death
– Philadelphia County: 4,012, including 58 deaths
– Pike County: 136, including 5 deaths
– Potter County: 3
– Schuylkill County: 119
– Snyder County: 9, including 1 death
– Somerset County: 7
– Sullivan County: 1
– Susquehanna County: 11
– Tioga County: 10
– Union County: 7
– Venango County: 5
– Warren County: 1
– Washington County: 57
– Wayne County: 40
– Westmoreland County: 177
– Wyoming County: 5
– York County: 218, including 2 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.
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round magenta objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML)
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has extended state school closures indefinitely.
The school shutdown order affects more than 1.7 million school children, in public and private K-12 schools.
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.
Philadelphia officials are providing meal service for students while schools remain closed.
For more information, including available pick-up sites, see here.
In one stroke, Wolf added 34 counties to his stay-home edict, meaning that residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties must now stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The order will last through at least April 30.
With coronavirus infections continuing to rise dramatically in the state, Wolf called a statewide quarantine "the most prudent option."
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.
Pennsylvania residents should wear face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Wolf said Friday.
Wolf urged Pennsylvanians to make their own cloth masks and put them on when they go to the grocery store, pharmacy and other places where people congregate. He spoke a few hours before the federal government issued its own recommendation for Americans to wear face coverings.
“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like that grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” he said. “These folks are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”
He added that residents should refrain from wearing the short-supply N95 respirator masks and other medical-grade masks worn by health care workers.
The Department of Health posted guidance on masks on its website.
PHILLY CASH CRUNCH
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is reworking its proposed $5.2 billion budget, warning that tax collections are down dramatically and that the city faces substantial economic headwinds.
The pandemic will likely result in a “painful” reduction of city services, Kenney said. He would not rule out furloughs or layoffs.
“When there’s no money, there’s no money,” Kenney said. “We haven’t been taking in hardly anything.”
PRISONERS MAKING MASKS
State prison inmates have so far manufactured more than 180,000 cloth masks for use by Corrections Department staff and the prisoners themselves.
The prison system said Tuesday that its garment factories began converting to mask production on March 17. Each employee has received three masks, each prisoner two.
The prison system’s manufacturing arm, Pennsylvania Correctional Industries, is also making gowns, anti-bacterial soap and disinfectant, the department said.
JUVENILES IN CUSTODY
Pennsylvania’s highest court is telling county judges to identify incarcerated juveniles who are good candidates to be released to help mitigate COVID-19.
The Supreme Court issued a 6-0 order Tuesday that told president judges in each county, or someone they designate, to check into how well their juvenile residential placement facilities can prevent the virus from spreading.
The high court declined to issue a blanket release order for juveniles in detention, correctional or other residential facilities. The justices said many counties already began looking into whether some juveniles should be released.
Local judges were also told to try to limit how many juveniles are added to residential placement during the crisis.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.