HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf has extended a shutdown order to the entire state of Pennsylvania in an effort to halt the spread of the Coronavirus.
Gov. Wolf has already called for nonessential government offices to close and nonessential business activity to end in four heavily-populated southeastern Pennsylvania counties. His office said Monday he will extend that order to the rest of the state.
“I would like people to stay home 24 hours a day,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need to eliminate as many physical contacts as we can to further prevent this strain of COVID-19, and we each need to work together to do this.”
It takes every Pennsylvanian to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Help spread the word and share this to your profile if you’re doing your part.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 16, 2020
In the City of Pittsburgh, all nonessential city offices and facilities are closing. On Sunday, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen called on nonessential businesses to close for at least two weeks.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney ordered a halt to all nonessential business activity and city government operations for two weeks in the city of 1.6 million people.
“This isn’t a decision that I take lightly at all,” Gov. Wolf said during a news conference Monday afternoon of the statewide shutdown. “It’s one that I’m making because medical experts believe it’s the only way to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients.”
The state Health Department say 670 have tested negative for the virus.
“If you’re feeling ill and you know someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 or believe you have a medical emergency, call 911 and let the operator know you’ve possibly been exposed to Novel Coronavirus,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.
Dr. Levine says she also fully expects to see “sustained community spread” throughout the state.
PA Health Sec Rachel Levine acknowledges “1 or 2” cases of presumed community spread in PA – meaning source of infection unknown. Says fully expects to see sustained community spread.
— Ken Rice (@kenricekdka) March 16, 2020
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