Pa. is prepared to combat coronavirus outbreak, health secretary says

Tony Romeo
February 26, 2020 - 4:16 pm
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Preparations are underway to battle the spread of the coronavirus from China, according to Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine.

Since the start of the outbreak, Pennsylvania has been proactive in preparing and carefully monitoring potential cases of what is formally being called COVID-19. But during a briefing with reporters Wednesday, Levine declined to provide specific details.

“We have followed all CDC guidelines for monitoring individuals that have returned from China. We work very closely with our county and municipal health department partners, but we’re not going over specific numbers now,” she said. “If there is a case of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, we will inform you all and the public.”

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Currently, no one has tested positive for the new virus in Pennsylvania. 

Levine said she’s confident in the department’s Emergency Operations Center. And if the outbreak hits harder and some resources were to become taxed, she believes Pennsylvania will be able to handle it.

The department still urges families to plan ahead with the same preparedness kits used for other emergencies, like a flu outbreak.

There are more than 80,000 reported cases of the Wuhan virus worldwide, and 2,700 deaths, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Fifty-seven cases have been reported in the U.S.