State health officials say there are now 76 confirmed or presumed-positive coronavirus cases reported in Pennsylvania so far. State Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says 13 new cases reported Monday are all being treated at home. She says 670 Pennsylvanians have tested negative so far for coronavirus. Across the country, more than 4700 cases of coronavirus have been reported. There have been 93 deaths and 74 patients are considered recovered.
New Jersey health officials say the number of coronavirus cases in the state has reached 178, with a five-year-old boy among the newest patients. The state has also seen its third death from COVID-19, a man in his 90s who lived in Bergen County. There are now cases of the virus in 14 of New Jersey's 21 counties. Bergen County has the most number of cases with 61.
Gov. Tom Wolf says he's strongly urging so-called non-essential businesses across the entire state to close for at least the next 14 days to slow the spread of coronavirus. Wolf says he didn't want to do it, but had to. "This isn't a decision that I take lightly at all. It's one that I'm making because medical experts believe it's the only way that we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients," Wolf says. Among those non-essential businesses are entertainment venues, gyms, hair salons, retail facilities and golf courses. Some of the businesses deemed essential are grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, gas stations and banks.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered all schools in the state closed, beginning Wednesday. Murphy also says he'll mobilize New Jersey's National Guard to help with the effort to combat the spread of the virus. He says the Guard will help with testing, distributing food to children and helping with logistics and traffic control. Murphy has also ordered all movie theaters, casinos and gyms to close until further notice and is strongly encouraging residents not to leave their homes between 8pm and 5am.
The Diocese of Allentown is canceling all public Masses. Bishop Alfred Schlert announced the decision Monday, as part of an effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak. The diocese still plans to hold private Masses as well as weddings, funerals and baptisms, but only family members will be in attendance. There is no word on when the public Masses will resume. It's the first time in Allentown Diocese history such an action has been taken.
As of now, no drivers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be able to use cash at toll booths. Turnpike Commission officials say the measure is being enacted so drivers don't stop at tolls, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All tolls will be collected electronically with either the E-Z Pass or Toll By Plate options, with the use of the latter being charged the cash toll rate.
Shoppers say the lines at state-run liquor stores were long last night ahead of an ordered shutdown. Gov. Tom Wolf directed all Pennsylvania Fine Wine and Spirits stores to close effective at 9pm tonight for at least the next two weeks. Liquor Control Board officials say they will reevaluate the closure toward the end of the month.
Some local golf courses will remain open despite Gov. Tom Wolf's directive that non-essential businesses should close for the next two weeks. Riverview Golf Course in Easton, Olde Homestead in New Tripoli, Blue Shamrock in Palmerton and Fox Hollow in Quakertown are all open today. The golf course say they're taking extra precautions by disinfecting carts, counters and even money.
PennDOT is closing all Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers statewide for the next two weeks. They add that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations and safety and emission inspections will be extended. Also, all PennDOT District and County maintenance offices are closed and construction projects have been suspended in all counties until further notice. PennDOT crews are available to perform critical functions and emergency maintenance as needed.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says his office has received hundreds and hundreds of complaints of price gouging since the coronavirus outbreak. "We're following up on each and every one of them to make sure that that price gouging is shut down and to make sure consumers aren't being taken advantage of during this challenging time," the attorney general says. Shapiro has established a price gouging-specific email to report cases. That email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is making some changes to the 2020 trout season due to the coronavirus spread. The season will be consolidated into a single, statewide schedule with trout stocking operations accelerated. A single Mentored youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11th and a statewide opening day of trout season will happen on Saturday, April 18th.
Officials with the University of Pennsylvania say they're canceling the Class of 2020 commencement due to the coronavirus outbreak. The graduation scheduled for May 16th-18th will now be held in a virtual ceremony shown online.
New Jersey lawmakers have quickly passed a handful of bills designed to help people, schools and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The bipartisan package of legislation targets people who are losing money as businesses close and schools shut down to meet new educational and nutritional demands. One of the bills creates a program for workers who test positive for the virus or who care for a sick relative or a child whose schools is closed due to the virus.
A report from a website that ranks states by their doctors places New Jersey sixth worst nationwide. The study by the personal finance website called WalletHub compared states by two categories, opportunity and competition and medical environment. New Jersey has the fourth highest malpractice award payout per capita. New York was ranked the worst for doctors according to the website.
The Penn Relays have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement was made Monday that the 2020 Penn Relays scheduled for April 23rd-25th are canceled. Organizers hope to hold a substitute event in May or June. All tickets purchases for the event will be credited towards the 2021 event unless a refund is requested. The Penn Relays has been one of the longest running athletic events since 1895.
The Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.