PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf extended a shutdown order to the entire state of Pennsylvania in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus as the number of cases rose to 76 on Monday, including a 2-year-old Montgomery County girl. Wolf had already called for nonessential government offices to close and nonessential business activity to end in four heavily populated southeastern Pennsylvania counties.
On Monday, he extended that order to the rest of the state.
“This isn’t a decision that I take lightly at all,” Wolf said. “It’s one I’m making because medical experts believe it’s the only way we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”
Health officials announced 13 additional positive COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania as the number of cases continues to rise in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.
The patients are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital.
“While we anticipate that there will be more Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, it is important for residents to know the commonwealth is prepared and to be prepared themselves,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said. “Right now, you have a higher chance of testing positive for COVID-19 if you have traveled to a country or state with known community outbreaks or have come in contact with someone who has the virus. We are working with the health care community across Pennsylvania to keep them informed, consult on patient testing and ensuring they have the resources they need to care for patients.”
Officials announced one additional confirmed case in Philadelphia, bringing the city total to nine.
BREAKING NEWS: PA Department of Health says 13 New Covid-19 Positives, Bringing Statewide Total to 76.
— Jim Donovan (@jimdonovancbs3) March 16, 2020
Montgomery County, which is the state’s hardest hit, has six new cases, bringing the county’s total to 30. One of those cases involves a 2-year-old girl in New Hanover who resides with an individual who had direct contact with a previous patient.
Montgomery County officials say there are 416 residents in quarantine and 17 with symptoms.
Cases of #COVID19 continue to spread in Montgomery County -6 new cases, now bringing the total to 30 including a first pediatric case a 2 year old who lives with someone with a positive case. 416 now in quarantine, 17 with symptoms @CBSPhilly
— Stephanie Stahl (@StahlCBS3) March 16, 2020
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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)