State Health Officials Plan for Potential Spread of Coronavirus Cases

Written by on March 11, 2020

State Health Officials Plan for Potential Spread of Coronavirus Cases

By Jen Rehill

March 11, 2020

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. ALISSA ECKERT, MS / CDC

Pennsylvania now has 14 presumed positive cases of coronavirus, concentrated in the eastern part of the state according to state health officials. The latest case is in Philadelphia. 

WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports new cases in Montgomery County, which now has at least 8 [update] presumed positives, have raised concerns about the so-called “community spread” of the disease.

The current focus for Pennsylvania and community health officials is to contain the spread of the virus. That means isolating presumed positive cases, tracing their contacts and quarantining people who’ve been exposed but don’t have symptoms.

State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says if there’s evidence of so-called “community spread” of coronavirus — cases with no traceable connections to known infected individuals, the state would take “assertive” mitigation efforts. 

“Mitigation means that we would be doing a lot of work, in a specific area, it doesn’t necessarily have to be statewide, to enforce social isolation,” said Levine.

Levine says the Health Department is working closely with county and municipal authorities to determine the best course of action regarding closing schools and other strategies as new cases develop. 

She did not disclose how many Pennsylvanians are currently in quarantine. 

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