Read the latest Philadelphia-area coronavirus updates here
A person in New Jersey has a “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus, while another person in Philadelphia is being tested for the virus. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump suggested that it’s OK to go to work with coronavirus.
New Jersey has ‘presumptive positive’ case of coronavirus
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday night announced the “first presumptive positive case" of the coronavirus in the state, specifically a man hospitalized in North Jersey.
The case involves a “male in his 30s” who has been hospitalized in Bergen County since Tuesday, Murphy said in a statement with Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who is acting governor while Murphy recovers from surgery, and state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Tonight, Acting Governor @LtGovOliver and I are announcing the first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, or #COVID19, in New Jersey. The individual, a male in his 30s, is hospitalized in Bergen County and has been hospitalized since March 3rd. pic.twitter.com/E2QtB1Wzut
“The presumptive positive result came from a sample tested by the New Jersey Department of Health at the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories (PHEL) and is now being submitted to the CDC for confirmatory testing,” according to the statement.
Health officials have been directed to err on the side of caution in deciding who to test, now that cases with no known source of infection suggest the virus is spreading from person to person in California, Oregon, Washington and beyond. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises testing anyone with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to an affected country — not just China, the original source — or anyone with severe respiratory illness that has no other explanation.
Philadelphia-area stores struggle to stock hand sanitizer, supplies amid coronavirus worries
As worries over the coronavirus reaches the Philadelphia area, local retailers are struggling to stock hand sanitizer and other precautionary products.
“All within downtown, they’re all sold out,” said Erin Branche, founder of Lash Bash Beauty Salon in Center City. “I went to Rittenhouse Square Rite Aid at 17th and Chestnut. We purchased the last can of Lysol wipes, they’re completely out of hand sanitizer. We called CVS, Target, Staples. I went on Amazon and Home Depot in South Philly and Walmart. They’re all out of masks.”
As a salon owner, Branche said proper sanitary supplies are crucial to doing good business.
“It’s important that my clients are reassured," she said. "It’s hard to do that when resources are limited.”
Many area stores have run out of hand sanitizer, while the price of Purell packs on Amazon are surging upwards of $100, reports the Inquirer’s Gary Thompson.
California reports first coronavirus death; U.S. death toll climbs to 11
California officials reported the state’s first coronavirus-linked death Wednesday, bringing the number of U.S. fatalities tied to the outbreak to 11.
The death occurred in Placer County in Northern California, and is the first in the U.S. to occur outside of Washington state. County officials said the person who died in California was “an elderly adult with underlying health conditions.”
Delaware opens call center to field coronavirus concerns
Combating coronavirus concerns, the Delaware Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it has opened a call center to take questions from the public, schools, medical providers, state agencies, and the community.
Concerned residents can call 1-866-408-1899 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov.
Those returning from a country such as China, Japan, Italy, South Korea, or Iran with a level 2 travel alert and experience a medical emergency should contact 9-1-1, officials said.
Sixers, Atlantic 10 basketball teams call foul on high-fives
Along with prepping to take on the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sixers also drew up plays to combat coronavirus this week, the Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reports. The team’s head athletic trainer told players to constantly wash their hands, avoid using fans’ pens for autographs, and to fist bump in lieu of handshakes or high-fives.
In college basketball, the Atlantic 10 Conference suspended players’ pregame and postgame handshakes, encouraging “forearm bumps” instead.
A face mask probably won’t protect you from coronavirus. Here’s what can help.
Face masks are recommended for people who are sick and for health-care workers, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they’re not necessary for the general public.
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk! https://t.co/UxZRwxxKL9
Arcadia University, Penn join list of local colleges canceling trips, study abroad programs due to coronavirus
On Wednesday, Arcadia University, which has routinely sent the majority of its students to study abroad during their four years at the school, shut down all of its global trips that had been scheduled for spring break later this month due to the coronavirus.
It joins the growing list of colleges — including Penn, Temple, Rowan, and Villanova — that have canceled or postponed travel amid the outbreak.
Confirmed cases escalate in U.S.; most symptoms mild
The U.S. now has 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including newly reported infections in New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Florida, as well as 44 U.S. citizens who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan.
Most patients have mild symptoms, but the illness can have severe consequences for older people, smokers, and those with underlying health conditions.