TIMELINE: Pennsylvania coronavirus updates April 8

Allegheny Co. Executive cautiously optimistic about flattening the curve

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 News is committed to keeping you informed about the coronavirus, the impact on our community and your lives. Below you’ll find all of today’s updates, including the latest numbers and information from local and state officials.

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More than a dozen WVU students test positive

UPDATE 10:12 p.m.: West Virginia University says more than a dozen students in Morgantown have tested positive for coronavirus.

The school has been closed since March 20, and according to officials the 14 students who tested positive were at private, off-campus housing and never went on campus.

Health officials at WVU and from Monongalia County are working to trace the students’ movements so they can notify anyone who may have been exposed.

Rochester Manor + Villa reports resident with coronavirus

UPDATE 9:20 p.m.: One resident at Rochester Manor + Villa has tested positive for COVID-19.

Mark Kosapck, president of Rochester Manor + Villa, said the resident in an isolated unit in the personal care wing, which had been prepared ahead of time in case of a COVID-19 case.

“It’s critical for us to be transparent and let our community know what precautions we have been and are taking. We are actively monitoring all residents for signs and symptoms and coordinating closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments,” Executive Director Kristin Goldstrom Oeder said.

According to the nursing home, all staff members have been required to wear masks since March 16 and guest visits have been limited since early March.

Allegheny Co. Executive cautiously optimistic about flattening the curve

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald just wrapped up a news conference in which he said he is cautiously optimistic that the curve is starting to flatten in our area.

Fitzgerald said people staying home and social distancing has helped, and he encouraged everyone to wear a mask when they go out in public.

Today, the county saw an increase of 31 cases.

“The last thing we want to do is take our foot off the gas at this point. We want to continue that and hopefully those numbers will continue in that direction,” he said.

Fitzgerald also talked about efforts to stop the spread at the jail, where an inmate was confirmed positive earlier today. He said that since mid-March, courts have released more than 900 low-risk and non-violent inmates.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Pa. Secretary of Health Rachel Levine give update

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of health Rachel Levine held their daily news conference Wednesday afternoon.

It was announced earlier today that there are were 1,680 additional positive cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, bringing the total to 16,239, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This was the state’s largest single day jump in cases.

“While we are no longer seeing exponential growth of new cases daily this continued growth should serve as a reminder to everyone that we do not yet have this virus under control,” Wolf said. “Now is not the time to get complacent. We need to buckle down and eliminate as much contact as we can with people outside our homes. If we all continue to work together, we can push down that growth rate.”

According to Levine, 760 health care workers have tested positive, 831 of total cases are in long term care of personal care facilities., 1,892 patients in hospita and 1,169 in hospital have required ventilators.

You can watch the full news conference below:

Pennsylvania Department of Health provides coronavirus update

Gov. Tom Wolf signs order to provide aid to hospitals

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: Gov. Tom Wolf has signed an order to provide critical aid to hospitals with targeted personal protective equipment and supplies distribution.

“Combatting a pandemic means we all have to work together and that means we need to make the best use of our medical assets to ensure the places that need them most have them,” Gov. Wolf said. “Today, I am signing an order that will allow us to transfer supplies and information between medical facilities to both high-population, high-impact areas and lower population areas that might not have as many existing medical resources.

“This will also prevent sick Pennsylvanians from having to choose which hospital to go to for fear that some have less access to equipment than others and it will help us make use of every ventilator, every piece of PPE, and every medical worker.”

City of Pittsburgh provides masks to staff

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: All City of Pittsburgh workers who are in the field and have contact with the public will be issued protective masks.

Police, firefighters, paramedics, Animal Care & Control officers, Park Rangers, and personnel from the departments of Public Works, Mobility and Infrastructure, Permits Licenses and Inspections,and Parks and Recreation will all be provided with masks.

COVID-19 Cases In Pennsylvania: Wednesday Update

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: There are 1,680 additional positive cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, bringing the total to 16,239, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Of the total number of cases, 1,372 are in western Pennsylvania.

In addition to the new cases, 70 more deaths have been reported. The statewide death total is now at 310.

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Here is a breakdown of cases in western Pennsylvania counties:

  • Allegheny County: 720 cases, 10 deaths
  • Fayette County: 35 cases, 1 death
  • Washington County: 59
  • Beaver County: 128 cases, 13 deaths
  • Butler County: 113 cases, 2 deaths
  • Lawrence County: 32 cases, 2 deaths
  • Westmoreland County: 183 cases, 1 death
  • Mercer County: 27
  • Greene County: 17
  • Armstrong County: 19
  • Indiana County: 21
  • Venango County: 5
  • Clarion: 8
  • Forest: 5

There are 82,299 patients who have tested negative, the Department of Health said.

Of the people who have tested positive, here is a percentage breakdown by age group:

  • Less than 1% are aged 0-4
  • Nearly 1% are aged 5-12
  • 1% are aged 13-18
  • Nearly 7% are aged 19-24
  • 41% are aged 25-49
  • 29% are aged 50-64
  • 20% are aged 65 or older.

Inmate at Allegheny County Jail tests positive for COVID-19

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: An inmate at the Allegheny County Jail has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The inmate and a cellmate have been quarantined since the onset of symptoms.

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Visitor restrictions at the jail have been in place since early March, officials said. In late March, the jail began active screening for fever and respiratory symptoms in all staff and contractors, as well as inmates and people coming into the facility at intake.

“The jail continues to follow the guidance provided by the Allegheny County Health Department as it relates to the safety of employees and inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. As with all COVID-19 cases, contact tracing will occur and additional precautionary screenings will be conducted for all inmates who had been housed on the same unit as the individual testing positive,” a news release said.

More Businesses Given Warnings For Staying Open

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: Three more businesses have been given warnings by Pennsylvania State Police for failing to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf’s order for non-life-sustaining businesses to close.

Since March 23, a total of 208 businesses have been given warnings.

COVID-19 Cases In Allegheny County: Wednesday Update

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: There are 31 new positive cases of the coronavirus in Allegheny County, bringing the total to 720, the Allegheny County Health Department announced.

Officials said 113 people have been or are currently being hospitalized, and four more people have died, bringing the total number of deaths to 10. All deaths in the county have been people over the age of 65, the Health Department said.

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Here is a breakdown of cases by age group:

  • 0-4 years: 2
  • 5-12 years: 4
  • 13-18 years: 9
  • 19-24 years: 58
  • 25-49 years: 294
  • 50-64 years: 203
  • 65+ years: 150

Of the cases, 369 are female and 351 are male.

Allegheny Co. Controller Chelsa Wagner on COVID-19 cases at Kane Glen Hazel

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is calling on Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to inform the public on the status of COVID-19 cases at Kane Regional Centers, as well as what is being done to protect residents and staff from further harm.

Thirty-one people -- 18 residents and 13 staff members -- have tested positive at the Kane Glen Hazel facility, according to Allegheny County’s Kane Centers website. Additional tests from the Glen Hazel facility and the other three Kane facilities are pending.

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Kane said concerns have been reported to her office. They include limited availability of personal protective equipment for caregiving staff and direct care workers likely exposed to COVID-positive patients taking breaks alongside staff not involved in direct patient care.

“Currently, it is unclear if or how staff, residents, and family members of those in Kane facilities are being notified when there are new or suspected Coronavirus cases. The measures being taken in the Kanes and other at-risk facilities such as the County Jail should be part and parcel of regular updates being made to the public on COVID measures. Our most vulnerable must be among our foremost priorities at this time; and no County resident is walled off from the County’s actions and responsibilities in these facilities,” Kane said in a news release.

Heinz Endowments announces $2.3 million in emergency grants

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Over $2.3 million in an initial wave of emergency grants have been awarded by the Heinz Endowments to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Endowments has re-focused its priority funding specifically to respond to the increasing strain on nonprofits, facing reduced resources and sharply escalating need among families and individuals, together with providing emergency support related to saving lives and public health,” a news release said.

The Endowments said it is working closely in collaboration with other local philanthropies, including the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Hillman Family Foundations and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

“We are dealing with a sweeping social and economic catastrophe unlike anything any of us has seen before, and our frontline nonprofits and local government have been overwhelmed by demand for essential human services,” Grant Oliphant, the foundation’s president, said. “As a community, we must respond quickly and effectively to bring help and to mitigate hardship wherever and however we can.”

Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Wednesday Morning

UPDATE 6 a.m.: There were 14,559 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania and 240 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There were 76,719 people who tested negative.

Of the cases statewide, 1,306 were in southwestern Pennsylvania, where only about 8 percent of the state’s total deaths have occurred.

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Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary, said southwestern Pennsylvania is starting to show promise and that cases are beginning to level out.

“So far in the last number of days, we have seen a flattening of the curve in southwest Pennsylvania, which is very positive,” Levine said. “But you have to remember that even one or two or three days data is not conclusive. We tend to look at three-day averages and then we look at seven-day averages as well to see if those trends continue.”

Southwestern Pa. may be starting to flatten the curve, health secretary says