Venango County has first confirmed case

Venango County has been notified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health that the county has its first confirmed positive case of COVID-19.

The county said in a press release issued Sunday that “with the ever-rising number of cases in nearby counties and across the commonwealth, this notification to the Board of Commissioners came as no surprise.”

The press release said the commissioners, Emergency Management Agency and members of the COVID-19 team have been meeting regularly and planning a course of action for when COVID-19 reached the county.

The commissioners will continue to meet with their COVID-19 team and assess the ever-changing situation, the release said.

"The COVID-19 virus is known to spread like the common cold or flu, so it is imperative that each and every resident of Venango County do their part to flatten the curve," the release said.

If an individual does not have the symptoms of the coronavirus, they do not need to be tested, the release said.

Including the first Venango County case, the state Department of Health reported 1,176 additional cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. The total includes 21 in Butler, three in Mercer and two in Crawford counties, and 16 more deaths from the virus, including one in Butler County.

Late last week, the first positive virus case in Clarion County was reported by Butler Health System.

As of Sunday afternoon, the statewide total of positive COVID-19 cases is 3,394 spread out across 58 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, according to a department news release. The statewide death total is now 38, including two in Butler County.

According to department data, the age range of most patients hospitalized is between 25 and 49, and the most deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

There have been no pediatric deaths to date, the department said.

With the new cases, Gov. Tom Wolf and state Secretary of Health Rachel Levine on Saturday announced additional counties to the stay-at-home order to include Beaver, Centre and Washington, which brings the total number of counties under the order to 22.

The other counties under the order, which took effect Saturday at 8 p.m. and will continue until at least April 6, are: Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.

"Our notable increase in cases over the past week indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously," Levine said. "We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of (the coronavirus) is to stay home."

On Saturday, Wolf announced an increase in the number of health care workers and supplies.

“Pennsylvania is reinforcing the ranks of our doctors, nurses and other health care providers during this emergency,” Wolf said in a news release.

“We have streamlined the process for retired health care workers to return to work and provide relief so those on the front line can focus on providing care to patients."

Wolf said the state also is expanding the use of telemedicine.

The Department of State's temporary licensing waivers reduce administrative barriers to support the health care system, according to the release from Wolf's office.

The temporary licensing waivers for health care workers include:

Health care professionals

— Streamlining reactivation of licenses for retired medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

The release from Wolf's office said 119 applications have been received in the past three weeks.

— Allowing licensed health care practitioners to provide services via telemedicine.

— Allowing doctors with institutional licenses to practice at more than two facilities.

— Encouraged the use of telemedicine access for opioid use disorder Centers of Excellence patients.

Nursing

— Allowing more than 14,000 certified registered nurse practitioners to assist in the COVID-19 response by lifting the requirement that they practice within a specialty.

— Extending license deadlines, temporary nursing permits and graduate permits.

— Allowing certain nursing school graduates to apply for an immediate graduate permit.

Pharmacy

— Allowing out-of-state pharmacies to ship goods to Pennsylvania.

— Allowing temporary expedited licensure for certain pharmacy practitioners and pharmacies.

The Department of State has a web page with information about all temporary licensing waivers.

Wolf signed legislation on Friday to spend up to $50 million to purchase medical equipment and supplies, such as beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment for hospitals, nursing homes and emergency workers, the release from Wolf's office said.

Positive cases by county

As of noon Sunday, there are 3,394 cases statewide in 58 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, according to the state Department of Health. There are now 38 deaths, including two in Butler County. The statistics provided by the state and those provided from area health systems could vary.

The following is a county-by-county breakdown:

Adams, 8; Allegheny, 265 (2 deaths); Armstrong, 3; Beaver, 28; Berks, 68; Blair, 3; Bradford, 3; Bucks, 203 (1 death); Butler, 47 (2 deaths); Cambria, 1; Cameron, 1; Carbon, 9; Centre, 22; Chester, 137; Clarion, 1; Clearfield, 2; Columbia, 6; Crawford, 3; Cumberland, 22 (1 death); Dauphin, 35; Delaware, 276 (4 deaths); Erie, 7; Fayette, 10; Franklin, 11; Greene, 6; Huntingdon, 1; Indiana, 2; Juniata, 1; Lackawanna, 56 (2 deaths); Lancaster, 67 (2 deaths); Lawrence, 8 (1 death); Lebanon, 19; Lehigh, 151 (3 deaths); Luzerne, 94 (2 deaths); Lycoming, 3; McKean, 1; Mercer, 7; Mifflin, 2; Monroe, 135 (3 deaths); Montgomery, 488 (5 deaths); Montour, 4; Northampton, 126 (4 deaths); Northumberland, 1; Perry, 1; Philadelphia, 865 (5 deaths); Pike, 33 (1 death); Potter, 2; Schuylkill, 21; Snyder, 2; Somerset, 2; Susquehanna, 1; Tioga, 1; Venango, 1; Warren, 1; Washington, 24; Wayne, 7; Westmoreland, 47; York, 43.

Positive cases by age

The state Department of Health lists cases by age group, followed by percentage of total cases. Percentages might not total 100% due to rounding:

0-4 (less than 1%), 5-12 (less than 1%), 13-18 (1%), 19-24 (10%), 25-49 (41%), 50-64 (27%), 65-plus (19%)

2
2
1
17
4

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