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Your afternoon update on coronavirus in Pa.: Governor Wolf adds three counties to stay-at-home order

The order restricts movement to certain health or safety-related travel, or travel to a job at an employer designated as “life-sustaining.”

  • The Associated Press
A sign with corrected spelling, tells visitors the playground at the Community Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Zelienople, Pa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A sign with corrected spelling, tells visitors the playground at the Community Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Zelienople, Pa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is to equip you with the information you need. Rather than chase every update, we’ll try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See all of our stories here.

What you should know
» Coronavirus facts & FAQ
» Day-by-day look at coronavirus disease cases in Pa.
» It’s time to get serious about social distancing. Here’s how.

(Harrisburg) — Gov. Tom Wolf is expanding his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania’s counties amid an increase in cases and a dozen more deaths that brought the total to 34.

The governor’s office said Saturday that Wolf was expanding the order to Beaver, Centre and Washington Counties, making a total of 22 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties included. The order already covered three-fourths of the state’s 12.8 million residents.

A total 234 cases have been reported in 13 central Pennsylvania counties and two deaths: Adams (8), Berks (65), Columbia (4), Cumberland (22, one death), Dauphin (23), Franklin (7), Juniata (1), Lancaster (45, one death), Lebanon (4), Northumberland (1), Perry (1), Schuylkill (16) and York (37).

The order restricts movement to certain health or safety-related travel, or travel to a job at an employer designated by Wolf’s administration as “life-sustaining.” The measures are designed to slow the spread of the virus and give the state’s hospitals time to increase staffing, equipment and bed space.

State heath officials announced more than 500 new cases, bringing the statewide total to more than 2,700 in 56 counties, and a dozen new deaths bringing the statewide total to 34 deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

EASTON HOSPITAL FUNDING

Jesse Tobin, from Primordia Mushroom Farm in Lenharstville, wears gloves and a mask as she sells to customers Mar. 21, 2020, at the Easton Farmers' Market in Easton, Pennsylvania which is the oldest, continuous open-air market in the country. Tobin says most of her family farm's business comes from selling to restaurants and that they've lost 80% of their revenue in just the last two days. Tobin says of being able to still be able to sell at the Easton Farmers' Market: "This has been great to have because it's all we got." Communities across the Lehigh Valley are adjusting to life during the coronavirus pandemic that is impacting the daily lives of Pennsylvania residents both socially and economically.

Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Jesse Tobin, from Primordia Mushroom Farm in Lenharstville, wears gloves and a mask as she sells to customers Mar. 21, 2020, at the Easton Farmers’ Market in Easton, Pennsylvania which is the oldest, continuous open-air market in the country. Tobin says most of her family farm’s business comes from selling to restaurants and that they’ve lost 80% of their revenue in just the last two days. Tobin says of being able to still be able to sell at the Easton Farmers’ Market: “This has been great to have because it’s all we got.” Communities across the Lehigh Valley are adjusting to life during the coronavirus pandemic that is impacting the daily lives of Pennsylvania residents both socially and economically.

The owner of an eastern Pennsylvania hospital has announced a deal with the state to keep the facility open and operating for at least the next four weeks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Steward Health Care, owner of Easton Hospital, had sought $40 million from the state, citing “dire” financial problems. Steward said it had told state health officials in January that the hospital would either be sold to St. Luke’s University Health Network by April 21 or close.

The company said Friday night that the governor’s office had “agreed to provide emergency funding to Easton Hospital for at least the next four weeks.” The amount provided wasn’t specified.

“At the end of this period, we will work together with the governor to secure funding to keep the hospital open on a month-to-month basis as long as the crisis continues or St. Luke’s completes the proposed transaction,” said Darren Grubb, a spokesman for the Dallas, Texas-based company said Friday night.

The company would return any state funds that exceed the hospital’s operating expenses at the end of four weeks, he said.

The governor’s office hasn’t confirmed the deal.

Steward said cancellation of elective surgeries and the associated revenue had pushed Easton Hospital’s finances to the brink.

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