On Friday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a disaster declaration to provide increased support to state agencies in combating the coronavirus.
As the “COVID-19” pandemic — commonly known as coronavirus — continues its international tour, more and more cases are popping up despite a notable lack of widespread testing. Now, with two cases in eastern Pennsylvania’s Wayne and Delaware counties, Gov. Tom Wolf is taking measures to ensure his state is ready for the inevitable.
“It is critical to prepare for and respond to suspected or confirmed cases in the commonwealth, and to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Wolf said in a press conference immediately following his signing of an emergency disaster declaration. He continued:
The disaster declaration is an additional way we can be prepared, so I authorized the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director or his designee, to assume command and control of all statewide emergency operations and authorize and direct that all commonwealth departments and agencies use all available resources and personnel as is deemed necessary to cope with this emergency situation.
But his reassurance was accompanied by some street-level advice to help combat the spread of the deadly contagion. “First and foremost, we want all Pennsylvanians to be safe and remain healthy and follow the practical advice of the Department of Health on ways to protect yourself from any virus,” Wolf said, “and that’s by washing hands, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and staying home if you are sick.”
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine added her voice to the press conference as well. “As this situation evolves, we will continually update Pennsylvanians through our website, health.pa.gov, our Facebook page and our Twitter account,” she said, but she reminded citizens that “it’s important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through the Department of Health.”
There are currently over 101,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, though the actual number of those infected may be exponentially higher. It has officially claimed at least 3,460 lives at the time of this writing. In that light, President Donald Trump has signed an emergency $8.3 billion spending bill in the interest of protecting the American people. “It’s an unforeseen problem … came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it,” he said.