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COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, September 1

The following is the latest coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1.

Governor Wolf

Governor Wolf has signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic.  This declaration provides for increased support for state agencies involved in the continued response to the virus and recovery during reopening, including expediting supply procurement and lifting certain regulations to allow for efficient and effective mitigation.  The disaster declaration also has facilitated waivers and extensions to support Pennsylvanians, Pennsylvania businesses, and Pennsylvania caregivers during the pandemic.  Learn more from the governor’s news release announcing the signing and see the emergency declaration itself.

Governor Wolf asked the General Assembly to pass legislation for paid sick and family leave for workers who need to miss work for an illness or to take care of a loved one.  Such leave could be used to recover from an illness, such as COVID-19, for medical appointments, to care for a family member, or to seek help from abuse or violence.

Department of Human Services/Department of Health

Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced that all assisted living residences, personal care homes, and private intermediate-care facilities in the state have completed universal baseline COVID-19 testing.  One hundred percent of the 1363 DHS-licensed personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate-care facilities in Pennsylvania completed universal baseline testing by the August 31 deadline.  This effort was assisted by the Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) Program launched in late July to provide clinical support, technical assistance, and education to long-term-care facilities as they work to prevent and mitigate spread of COVID-19.  Learn more from this Wolf administration news release.

Department of Health – by the numbers

  • The weekly COVID-19 status report released by Governor Wolf and the Department of Health found 353 fewer new cases of COVID-19 during the week of August 21-27 than during the week of August 14-20.
  • The rate of positive tests declined from 3.4 percent to 3.2 percent, the fifth consecutive week the rate has declined.
  • Counties that still have troubling positive test rates are Columbia (13.5 percent), Armstrong (8.3 percent), Perry (6.9 percent), Northumberland (6.7 percent), Potter (5.9 percent), Beaver (5.7 percent), Dauphin (5.3 percent), Fulton (5.3 percent), and York (5.0 percent).
  • The past week saw 20 percent fewer COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania than the previous week.
  • The state’s contact tracing efforts found that 50 percent of the people who had new cases of COVID-19 and who also reported visiting a business during the previous two weeks said they visited a restaurant, 12 percent said they had visited a bar, 12 percent said they visited a gym or fitness center, and nine percent said they visited a salon or barber shop.
  • More than 9600 health care workers in the state have contracted COVID-19.
  • The number of Pennsylvanians hospitalized with COVID-19 and on ventilators declined slightly in the past week.
  • 24 percent of the beds in Pennsylvania’s acute-care hospitals are currently unoccupied, as are  25 percent of adult ICU beds, 17 percent of pediatric ICU beds, 37 percent of pediatric beds, and 43 percent of airborne isolation rooms.

Resources to Consult

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Main COVID-19 Page

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Press Releases

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Main COVID-19 Page

PA Health Alert Network

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Main COVID-19 Page

FAQ

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Filed in Coronavirus, COVID-19.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania