Pike County announces first coronavirus case

Milford. On March 12, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced a presumptive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pike County. There are also cases in neighboring counties, including Wayne and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Orange County in New York.

| 13 Mar 2020 | 10:48

Pike County may have its first case of the COVID-19 virus, officials announced Thursday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Pike County Commissioners, the person is an adult male who reportedly had contact with an infected person in another state.

The Pike County resident with the "presumptive" infection is currently in isolation in his home, and is in regular contact with Department of Health officials, the release said.The case has not been positively confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control at this point.

The Pike County commissioners and the county’s Department of Public Safety continue to be in regular contact with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other involved agencies regarding guidance and protocols related to COVID-19, according to the press release.

The release said the public should be aware that Pike County maintenance staff are continually cleaning and disinfecting county facilities and transportation vehicles.

New cases in neighboring counties

On Friday, March 6, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an emergency disaster declaration to provide increased support to state agencies involved in response to coronavirus. The declaration came following that day's announcement of the first two presumptive positive cases of the virus in Pennsylvania, one of which is in Wayne County.

Monroe County has two cases as of Friday, March 13. Wayne and Monroe are the two Pennsylvania counties that border Pike.

On Thursday, the health commissioner in Orange County, N.Y., across the Delaware River from Pike, reported one case now in isolation at Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh. On Wednesday, Crystal Run Healthcare in Middletown, N.Y., reported its first patient, an Ulster County resident, with coronavirus.

The case in Wayne County is an adult currently at home in isolation. This person recently traveled to a country where COVID-19 is present, according to Gov. Wolf.

As of March 13, there are 22 coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, 20 presumptive positive cases and 2 confirmed cases.

'We anticipated this scenario'

Pennsylvania declared a state of emergency last week.

“We anticipated this very scenario and have been preparing for Pennsylvanians to become impacted by this virus,” Governor Tom Wolf said on March 6. “This is not the first rapidly spreading virus we have faced in our commonwealth and it will not be the last. We are prepared to mitigate the spread of this virus.”

Pike County Commissioner Matthew Osterberg said in a March 6 press release" "We have been preparing for this situation locally, and are taking the appropriate action under the proper state and federal guidance. The public should continue to follow the protocols for prevention issued by the Pennsylvania Health Department.” (See "Steps to stay safe," below.)

The Pike County Commissioners say they and the county’s Department of Public Safety are in regular contact with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other involved agencies regarding guidance and protocols related to COVID-19.

For latest local information and updates regarding COVID-19, residents can visit the Pike County Government website at PikePa.org and click on “Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates” under the “What’s New” heading. Or, simply click on “News” in the top navigation bar.

The public can access the latest state and federal information on COVID-19 at: Health.Pa.gov -- the PA Department of Health website, or CDC.gov -- the Center for Disease Control website.

Follow these steps to stay safe:
Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.