Statewide Mask Order Takes Effect as New Cases Confirmed
Joined by area healthcare representatives, Dahlkemper reported that four new cases were confirmed in Erie County
In a live feed starting at 2 p.m., Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine reported that there had been 1,245 new positive cases of COVID-19 (99 more than yesterday's increase), bringing the statewide total to 27,735.
In Pennsylvania, there were 60 deaths due to complications of the disease (three less than yesterday), bringing the total to 707, all in adults. 2,503 (slightly less than 10%) of cases are hospitalized. Statewide, there have been 113,735 negative tests. There is now a more detailed breakdown of cases online at health.pa.gov.
1,401 of these total cases appeared in healthcare workers (up 74 from yesterday).
"Our trends show that Pennsylvania's sacrifice to stay at home is working," Levine asserted. "We have been able to flatten that curve, and to date, our healthcare system is staying stable, and we have not had a wave of cases that have overwhelmed our healthcare system."
In Erie County, it was reported that there were four new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 46 cases. This number of four marks is tied for most cases reported in a single day (for April 5). Two of these cases were associated with travel, and two are of an unknown origin, falling into "community spread."
So far, there have been 22 people who have recovered from the disease, five more than reported on April 14. There have been no deaths in Erie County attributed to COVID-19. There have been 1168 negative tests.
Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf issued an order for all employees and customers of life-sustaining businesses to wear masks. This order goes into effect immediately, with enforcement beginning Sunday at 8 p.m. Find the full order, and more information at Governor.PA.gov.
The county is asking all businesses for a written policy on how they will comply with the order over the next few days. As per enforcement measures, Dahlkemper explained that this would follow similar protocols as the county's Environmental Task Force. Homemade cloth masks are expected to be the most common type of facial covering used, as surgical masks and especially N95 masks should be reserved for healthcare workers.
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper urged for proper disposal of masks and gloves, to curb littering.
Assistance for the use and creation of masks is available at health.pa.gov, cdc.gov, and at eriecountypa.gov. Dahlkemper held up a mask she recently made herself out of a t-shirt, without the need for sewing or elastic bands.
Area marinas will be sent information on their procedures, with guidelines being hand-delivered to each marina owner.
Returning to the live feed today were representatives of our area's hospital partners:
- Msgr. David A. Rubino of LECOM Health: Ph.D., Ph.D., vice president for external affairs
- Dorene Sommers of the Erie VA Hospital:, associate director, patient care services
- Emily Shears of UPMC Hamot: MPH, CIC, CJCP, director of infection prevention, quality improvement, regulatory & accreditation services
- Wayne Jones of AHN Saint Vincent Hospital: DO, FACOEP, medical director for emergency services