The largest day-to-day increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania has been recorded. "We have 207 new cases of COVID-19," says State Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. She says that leaves the state with 851 confirmed cases in 40 counties. There are seven deaths being blamed on coronavirus.
One of Pennsylvania's 851 coronavirus cases is a teacher in the Northwestern Lehigh School District. That teacher works at Weisenberg Elementary School and Northwestern Lehigh High School. However, they have not worked or attended events in the district since March 16th. Both school buildings have been fully sanitized as a result.
New Jersey is climbing higher quickly. The state now ranks second nationwide for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. New Jersey has also recorded its largest single-day increase in deaths due to the virus. There are now 3675 confirmed cases in the state and 44 deaths.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says the Wolf administration is looking at helping Easton Hospital remain open after the hospital said it needs $40 million by today in order to stay open. "We are having discussions at the highest levels of the administration about the Easton Hospital situation and how we might be able to help that facility to stay open especially in these very challenging times," Levine says. Both the hospital's owner and St. Luke's University Health Network have reportedly told the governor's office it needs that money or would close by April 1st. Steward Healthcare says it told the state Department of Health back in January Easton Hospital needed to be sold to St. Luke's by April 21st or else the hospital would be closed on or before that date.
A case of coronavirus is being reported at ManorCare Health Services in Palmer Township. A ManorCare spokesperson isn't saying whether the ill person is a resident or an employee, but 'does' say that individual is not currently in the center. ManorCare's case is the first report at a Northampton County nursing home, however last week Cedarbrook in Allentown announced a food service worker tested positive for the illness. The state Department of Health says that person did not come in direct contact with any residents.
A bus driver for LANTA has tested positive for coronavirus. LANTA says the unnamed driver last worked on Friday, making numerous trips between Easton and Bethlehem. LANTA and the Bethlehem Health Bureau say any employees who may have had close contact with the driver will be quarantined for at least 14 days.
After a court ruling upheld his decision to force gun shops to close during the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Tom Wolf has backtracked and is now allowing those shops to open on a limited basis. The governor's office says gun sellers can now sell their merchandise by appointment only and during limited hours as long as they comply with the social distancing guidelines issued by health experts. A spokesperson for the governor's office says the reversal came after reviewing the state Supreme Court ruling that upheld Wolf's order. In that ruling, a dissenting opinion from Justice David Wecht stated the governor's order results "in a clear tension with the Second Amendment and the state constitution."
Pennsylvania State Police report issuing 27 warnings to non-life-sustaining businesses which failed to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf's order for them to close. Three of those warnings were issued by Troop M, which covers Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties. One warning was issued Monday by Troop N, which covers Carbon and Monroe counties. State Police based out of Troop L and covering Berks and Schuylkill counties also issued one warning on Monday.
The Pennsylvania Senate is meeting remotely for the first time. The chamber is using the method to allow them to address urgent issues related to the spread of coronavirus while practicing social distancing.
PennDOT is reopening more highway rest areas across Pennsylvania. The 23 rest areas returning to normal service and maintenance hours are meant to keep offering clean sites for interstate truckers to use.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says he has cancelled standardized testing in New Jersey schools this spring because of school closings caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The governor says they've applied for the federal waiver to cancel testing at schools. Students in third through eighth grade and high school in New Jersey are required to take standardized testing in English and math each spring.
Josh Harris is changing his mind on salary reductions for his two sports teams. The owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers planned to cut salaries of full-time employees by 20-percent. Harris said Tuesday he would not follow through on the pay cuts and the 1500 hourly workers will continue to be paid their full salary. Harris issued a statement apologizing to staff and fans, saying he made a mistake.
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is contributing money to help COVID-19 medical relief efforts. Embiid is donating $500,000 to help survival and protection efforts in the community. Embiid has been in self-isolation since March 11th along with three other members of the organization.