Pennsylvania COVID-19 cases rise to 8,420; 102 deaths

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania rose on Friday to 8,420 with 102 reported fatalities.

Most of the people who have died or required hospitalization in Pennsylvania have been 65 or older.

Philadelphia reported 2,430 total coronavirus cases within the city, with at least 26 fatalities.

FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS

A look at the latest developments in Pennsylvania:

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CASES

Below is a breakdown of the cases by county:

– Adams County: 19

– Allegheny County: 476, including 2 deaths

– Armstrong County: 11

– Beaver County: 65, including 2 deaths

– Bedford County: 3

– Berks County: 201, including 1 death

– Blair County: 4

– Bradford County: 9

– Bucks County: 446, including 8 deaths

– Butler County: 75, including 2 deaths

– Cambria County: 4

– Cameron County: 1

– Carbon County: 34, including 1 death

– Centre County: 32

Chester County: 226, including 2 death

– Clarion County: 4

– Clearfield County: 5

– Clinton County: 1

– Columbia County: 15

– Crawford County: 5

Cumberland County: 45, including 2 death

– Dauphin County: 79, including 1 death

– Delaware County: 542, including 10 deaths

– Erie County: 17

– Fayette County: 20, including 1 death

– Forest County: 1

– Franklin County: 26

– Greene County: 11

– Huntingdon County: 3

– Indiana County: 7

– Juniata County: 5

– Lackawanna County: 119, including 4 deaths

– Lancaster County: 232, including 5 deaths

– Lawrence County: 19, including 2 deaths

– Lebanon County: 54

Lehigh County: 584, including 5 deaths

– Luzerne County: 484, including 5 deaths

– Lycoming County: 8

– Mckean County: 1

– Mercer County: 10

– Mifflin County: 2

– Monroe County: 397, including 10 deaths

– Montgomery County: 875, including 11 deaths

– Montour County: 16

Northampton County: 466, including 10 deaths

– Northumberland County: 8

– Perry County: 4

– Philadelphia County: 2,430, including 26 deaths

– Pike County: 83, including 1 death

– Potter County: 2

– Schuylkill County: 63

– Snyder County: 4, including 1 death

– Somerset County: 3

– Susquehanna County: 4

– Tioga County: 3

– Union County: 3

– Venango County: 3

– Warren County: 1

– Washington County: 40

– Wayne County: 23

– Westmoreland County: 110

– Wyoming County: 2

– York County: 121, including 1 death

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)


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SCHOOL CLOSURES

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.

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.

MEAL SERVICE

Philadelphia officials are providing meal service for students while schools remain closed.

For more information, including available pick-up sites, see here.

(Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

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.

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."


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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.

LIQUOR SALES RESUME

Pennsylvania’s system of state-owned liquor stores, closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, resumed limited online sales Wednesday.

The state’s website is accepting a “controlled number” of daily orders but plans to expand as it develops more capacity. Buyers will be limited to six bottles per order from a list of about 1,000 wine and spirits products, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced.

Liquor board chairman Tim Holden said he expects the site to be overwhelmed with traffic initially and requested patience.

The state has no plans to reopen its brick-and-mortar liquor stores during the pandemic.

MEDICAL RESOURCES

Health officials are working on a guide for doctors to address medical shortages and the best use of resources if the number of hospital patients surges, as anticipated.

Levine said the state is not implementing a triage policy, instead referring to it as crisis standards of care.

“There’s no specific decisions about who gets treated or doesn’t get treated, if that’s the implication,” Levine said at a news briefing.

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

DISASTER DECLARATION GRANTED

President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Pennsylvania on Monday night, capping off a day that saw nearly 700 new cases as Wolf extended the closing of schools and nonessential businesses indefinitely.

(Pexels)

FREE MEALS FOR CHILDREN

Pennsylvania is getting the OK from federal regulators to allow schools to provide free meals to all children during the COVID-19 emergency.

The state Education Department said Monday it received the waiver, clearing the way for schools and community organizations to request state approval as an open-meal site. Without the federal action, Pennsylvania schools that did not quality for free or reduced-price meals could not provide free meals to all children in their area.

The state Education Department says it’s ready to process requests.

There are about 1,600 food distribution sites in Pennsylvania, according to the state agency, and the new federal waiver is expected to increase that number.

ROAD, BRIDGE PROJECTS RESUME

PennDOT has resumed work on limited number of highway and bridge projects after a statewide pause.

The state Department of Transportation halted all nonemergency construction work on March 17 to minimize coronavirus exposure for its workers, private contractors and others.

PennDOT said Tuesday that 61 highway and bridge projects considered to be emergencies or of critical importance will be active this week. The agency said it is taking steps to minimize COVID-19 risk, including protocols for social distancing and handling deliveries of materials.

BUSINESS WAIVERS

The state has received nearly 31,000 waiver requests from businesses appealing Wolf’s shutdown order.

The Department of Community and Economic Development has approved 4,925 requests and denied 7,737, according to the latest agency numbers. Another 6,757 requests were filed by businesses that did not need them to continue to operate, agency spokeswoman Casey Smith said Tuesday.

Wolf has ordered businesses his administration deemed “non-life-sustaining” to close their physical locations indefinitely, but established an appeals process.

Smith said the volume of waiver requests has slowed slightly in recent days.

(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

STATE BUDGET

The pandemic has already dinged the state’s bank account.

Tax collections in March were about $300 million shy of expectations as COVID-19 shut down businesses, put hundreds of thousands out of work and kept consumers home.

The shortfall wipes out a $250 million surplus that had been built up over the first eight months of Pennsylvania state government’s fiscal year.

The economic slowdown is also expected to have a dramatic effect on tax collections in coming months, promising a difficult budget season for Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a left-leaning organization based in Harrisburg, projected that state revenue could drop by a total of $4.5 billion to $9 billion in the current fiscal year and the next one.

IMMIGRANTS RELEASED

A federal judge ordered the immediate release of 10 people from civil detention as they await resolution of their immigration cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and other lawyers filed suit last week. The lawsuit said the detainees are older or suffer from medical conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ordered the detainees’ immediate release from jails in York, Clinton and Pike counties, noting: “At this point, it is not a matter of if COVID-19 will enter Pennsylvania prisons, but when it is finally detected.”

The lawsuit had initially been filed on behalf of 13 detainees, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released three of them before the judge issued his order.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.