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Region holding steady amid virus

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Region holding steady amid virus

It was status quo on Wednesday for the coronavirus in this region: no cases in Blair County, but positives in three contiguous counties: seven in Centre and one each in Cambria and Clearfield, according to the daily COVID-19 webcast from the state Department of Health.

Statewide, there were 276 new cases, bringing the total positives to 1,127, continuing the “exponential” increase that is doubling the number of new cases every two or three days, according to Secretary of Health Rachel Levine.

“It gets very high very fast,” Levine said.

Reflecting the growth of “community spread,” Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday added two more counties — Lehigh and Northampton — to the eight already under his “stay-at-home order for residents.

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The virus is in 44 counties, and it has forced the hospitalization of 120 people since it reached the state in early March, Levine said.

The hospitalization rate for those infected remains about 10 percent, Levine said. Thirty-eight of the hospitalized patients have needed intensive care and 18 of those needed ventilators, she said.

The virus has killed 11 people in Pennsylvania.Almost 11,200 have tested negative.The state continues to prepare for a coronavirus patient surge in the coming weeks.That preparation includes an effort to increase the number of intensive care, isolation, medical-surgical and subacute beds, with hotels a possible location for the latter; to ensure adequate staffing by doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, nurses, X-ray techs and respiratory therapists; and to obtain sufficient supplies of ventilators and N95 masks, Levine said.The department is also working with the Hospital and Healthsystems Association of Pennsylvania and other stakeholders on “crisis standards of care” that could apply as the […]

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