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(WKBN) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported an additional 410 positive cases of COVID-19 and 48 new deaths since Tuesday’s report, when the state reported 493 new cases and 61 new deaths.
That brings the statewide total to 76,846 cases and 6,062 total deaths attributed to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf outlined the impact that ending the March 6 disaster declaration would have on the state.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly voted to end the disaster declaration Tuesday night, many members claiming their actions ended the business guideline orders.
The Wolf Administration said any concurrent resolution needs to be approved by the governor.
They also said the disaster declaration is separate from orders signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, which includes provisions for business reopening and for worker and building safety.
If the declaration ends, Wolf said the following protections would go away:
- Burdensome eligibility requirements for more than a million Unemployment Compensation claimants would immediately go back into effect, and employers across the commonwealth would no longer receive relief from charges.
- Certification requirements under the public-school code and child protective services law would end.
- A school meal eligibility waiver, which has allowed more than 300 meal sites to open for distribution of food to school-age children in need, would end.
- Telehealth and other health care services provided by out-of-state providers for Pennsylvanians would end.
- Utility assistance for thousands of families and individuals would end, leaving people without water or electricity.
- Hospitals and alternative care sites would no longer be able to add capacity or repurpose facilities (i.e., beds) without having to abide by the 60-day notice requirement.
- License renewal and training requirement suspensions for health care professionals, child care workers, direct care workers, direct support professionals, among other professional groups who provide life sustaining services to our children, seniors, and vulnerable residents would end, meaning all of these workers would need to choose between not returning to work until those credentials could be renewed or trainings completed and the option of returning to work with the understanding that they are practicing out of compliance with Pennsylvania law and regulation, very well opening themselves up to personal liability.
- PennDOT waivers for commercial motor vehicle weight limitations and permitting requirements for the transport and delivery of agricultural feed, food, and dairy products, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies to assist in supply chain challenges would end and motor carriers would be restricted in their ability to directly assist in supporting emergency relief efforts necessary to respond to the pandemic.
- Mortgage foreclosure and eviction moratoriums that offer protection to vulnerable Pennsylvanians at risk of losing their homes during the pandemic would end.
The state would also lose federal public and individual disaster assistance.
As of Wednesday, there were 114 cases and six deaths reported in Mercer County and 87 cases and eight deaths reported in Lawrence County.
County-specific information and a statewide map are available here.
There are 631 patients who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure, which are considered probable cases and not confirmed cases. There are 467,329 patients who have tested negative to date.
Of the patients who have tested positive to date, the age breakdown is as follows:
- Nearly 1% are ages 0-4;
- Nearly 1% are ages 5-12;
- Nearly 2% are ages 13-18;
- 6% are ages 19-24;
- Nearly 37% are ages 25-49;
- 25% are ages 50-64; and
- 28% are ages 65 or older.
Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.
In nursing and personal care homes, there are 16,309 resident cases of COVID-19 and 2,845 cases among employees, for a total of 19,154 at 623 distinct facilities in 45 counties. Out of the total deaths, 4,199 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here.
Approximately 5,837 of the total cases are in health care workers.
Currently, all 67 counties are in the yellow or green phase of reopening.