Department of Health provides update on COVID-19, 1,245 positives bring statewide total to 27,735
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon April
16, that there are 1,245 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing
the statewide total to 27,735. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have
cases of COVID-19. The department also reported 60 new deaths among
positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 707. Bucks County
reported 1,407 cases and 56 deaths; Chester County 699 cases and 28
deaths; Lehigh County1,999 cases and 28 deaths; Montgomery County 2,544
cases and 89 deaths; Northampton County 1,296 cases and 25 deaths;
Philadelphia 7,684 cases and 134 deaths.
NJ Department of Health reports Mercer and Hunterdon COVID-19 cases
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of April 16, 2,037
Mercer County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 87 people
have died. Hunterdon County Reports 373 cases and 15 deaths.
Peddler’s Village offers customers “Virtual Village” shopping
Many merchants in Peddler’s Village in Lahaska are continuing to provide
products and services to the community during the coronavirus pandemic
via new business models and delivery methods, including shipping and/or
curbside pick-up services. A full list of operating shops—the vast
majority of which are locally owned small businesses—can be found at
. Available products in the “Virtual Village” include
beverages, baked goods, cooking materials, books, toys and games, home
furnishings and hardware, clothing and accessories, self-care soaps and
other products, art, specialty foods, and more. Many merchants are also
offering discounts and other purchasing incentives.
Jake’s Restaurant & Bar in Flemington is closing for good
The owners and operators of Jake’s Restaurant & Bar on Route 202 in
Flemington, N.J., said they have decided to retire from the restaurant’s
daily operations and permanently close after three successful decades
in the community.
The casual dining restaurant opened its doors in 1991 with Stephen
Little at the helm and Chef Bill Kinslow running the kitchen. After
restaurants were forced to serve take-out only due to restrictions
resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Little and Kinslow began reviewing
costs and options for the business and its 35 employees, and the
decision to close was ultimately made.
Polinchock introduces legislation to allow safe real estate transactions
State Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-144) has introduced legislation, House
Bill 2412, to require the secretary of the Department of Community and
Economic Development to issue a waiver to the COVID-19 Business Closure
Order to allow all real-estate-related activities that can adhere to
social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect workers and
mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Pennsylvania is the only state to shut down all real estate activities,
while issuing some waivers on an ad hoc basis,” Polinchock said.
“There is no consistency. While governors in New Jersey, California,
Illinois and New York have issued shelter-in-place orders, they have all
included exemptions for real estate.” Polinchock questioned the
governor’s decision to deem the purchasing of a house as non-essential.
Education, Courses & Online Learning
Pennsylvania 4-H offers home activities program to keep youth engaged
Parents looking for creative ways to keep their children engaged during
this time of social distancing are encouraged to explore the new,
in-home activities offered by Pennsylvania 4-H. “Inspire Kids to Do Home
Activities” was developed in response to the COVID-19 regulations as a
way of providing 4-H youth and families, as well as non-4-Hers, with
activities to keep them learning and growing from the comfort of their
“The program spans a wide range of topics and provides a glimpse into
the variety of projects and programs offered to Pennsylvania 4-H
members,” said Joshua Rice, Penn State Extension assistant director for
The program provides parents with easy-to-follow instructions on
executing fun yet educational activities with household items. These
activities encourage self-guided learning, creativity and
problem-solving. Activities include a Photography Challenge, The
Exciting Egg, Food Challenge, Nature Scavenger Hunt and more. Visit
for a complete list of
activities or follow Pennsylvania 4-H on Facebook or Instagram to find
out the featured activity of the week.
Health & Wellness
St. Luke’s Anderson Campus discharges 100th COVID-19 patient
St. Luke’s Anderson Campus discharged its 100th COVID-19 patient
Wednesday. The Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township is one of the
network’s 11 hospitals. Curtis Ding of Forks Township, the 100th
patient, spent 10 days at the Anderson Campus.
He started his journey on the medical/surgical unit, and after a few
days he was transferred to the ICU. He remembers the fear of knowing he
was going into the ICU. When it was clear that he might have to be
intubated, he called his parents to say goodbye. He knew there was a
chance he would never see them again. He was not able to call his
16-year-old son to say goodbye – the idea of not seeing his son again or
not seeing him graduate was too overwhelming. At that time, he said to
his care team that he would do anything to avoid being intubated.
The members of his care team encouraged him to do special breathing exercises and spend time in the prone position.
Ding was scared but motivated by a desire to live and see his family.
Despite his discomfort, he continued to push himself, and the protocols
St. Luke’s has developed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis proved
successful: Ding left the ICU without being intubated and returned to
the medical/surgical unit to recover.
“I am grateful for the care I receive during my stay at St. Luke’s
Andersen Campus, and I truly credit the staff for saving my life,” Ding
said. “I specifically want to thank Rita Gencarelli, my final nurse … I
wish I could’ve given her a hug as I was being discharged. Rita was a
godsend to me. All staff were excellent and were all truly instrumental
in helping me heal to where I could be released and complete my
recovery at home. I will forever be grateful.”
Across the network, St. Luke’s has discharged about 450 COVID-19
patients who are now recovered or on the road to recovery. Among the
discharged patients are many who were on ventilators. Network-wide, St.
Luke’s has extubated about 50 patients thus far.
Photo Caption: Nurse Rita Gencarelli and patient Curtis Ding.
State treasurers call on manufacturers to release ventilator repair manuals
Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella joined with Delaware Treasurer
Colleen Davis, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Rhode Island
Treasurer General Seth Magaziner, and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young to
call on manufacturers of ventilators to release service manuals to
repair ventilators, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Without this critically important information, hospitals are unable to
make repairs to ventilators, rendering them unusable during a time of
“In a public health crisis, every second counts,” said
Torsella. “There shouldn’t be a single ventilator sitting in a closet
because a hospital, already under extreme pressure, isn’t able to make
necessary repairs to it. I call on manufacturers of this lifesaving
equipment to release this information and remove this barrier that
hospitals are facing.”
In a letter, the treasurers expressed their concern for hospitals that
have ventilators in stock, but are unable to use them due to repairs
that are needed. It is of particular concern that rural or needy
hospitals that may use secondhand equipment without a service contract
are unable to make their own repairs without the proper manuals from the
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently delivered a petition
with 43,000 signatures to 25 ventilator manufacturers, asking them to
release service manuals, service keys, and schematics, as part of its
ongoing Right to Repair campaign. While some manufacturers have taken
meaningful steps, state treasurers are asking all ventilator
manufacturers to release all necessary information to repair
Repair information is not made readily available by manufacturers,
limiting who can fix the equipment when it malfunctions. Releasing these
manuals during this crisis would empower hospitals to take matters into
their own hands, treat more patients in critical condition, and protect
third party repair companies from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 when
Bucks County parks set to reopen Monday, commissioners said today
Bucks County plans to open county parks to the public on Monday, the
Bucks County Commissioners announced today during an online press
conference. Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia said she wanted to remind
residents to adhere to social distancing requirements of six feet.
“Park Rangers will be there to enforce social distancing,” she said.
Ellis-Marseglia also urged those with yard space and neighborhoods where
they can walk to consider doing that, rather than going to the parks to
make room for others who do not have space to be outdoors at home. She
added that she did not believe reopening the parks, which have been
closed since March 24, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, was a
good idea. Nevertheless, she said, it is what taxpayers want, and it is
the only outdoor access some residents have.
Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission open to help those struggling with addiction.
Bucks County Commissioners, during a press conference Thursday, said
help is available for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.
The Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission is available to assist
county residents, and for those who do not have insurance, funds are
available to help pay for treatment, said Bucks County Commissioner Gene
DiGirolamo. He said some residents who are dependent on alcohol might
be struggling with detox problems as a result of Pennsylvania State
Store closures. The Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission can be
reached at 215-444-2700.
Virtual Paint and Sip fundraiser to benefit Special Equestrians
Special Equestrians (SE) in Warrington will remain closed until such
time as Gov. Tom Wolf lifts the current stay-at-home order. Caring for
the horses is a 24/7/365 job. Dedicated staff are working through
rotating shifts to feed, exercise, groom, and look after of their
magnificent herd of 12 therapy horses. Now, more than ever, they need
the help of neighbors and the community.
In an effort to ensure horse care standards remain high, Special
Equestrians has created an online Paint and Sip fundraiser. No
experience is necessary, just log-in and prepare to paint and party in
the comfort of home. It will be a fun evening where SE’s Program
Director Claire will be providing step by step instructions to create a
personal masterpiece. Join SE on May 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. Reserve a spot
and art kit as space is limited. Purchase tickets by visiting
For more information on Special Equestrians’ mission or to make a
donation, visit www.specialequestrians.org
Human Services secretary encourages Pennsylvanians to help report child abuse amid COVID-19 public health crisis
Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller and Angela
Liddle, president and CEO of the PA Family Support Alliance, reminded
Pennsylvanians that DHS’ ChildLine, a 24/7 hotline for reporting
concerns of child abuse or neglect, is still fully operational and
available at 1-800-932-0313 for Pennsylvanians seeking to report
potential cases of child abuse or neglect.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and as scheduled recognition
activities and regular life has shifted due to COVID-19, DHS and child
welfare advocates implore all Pennsylvanians to learn signs of potential
abuse or neglect and, if they suspect abuse, make the call to
ChildLine. “As we navigate this public health crisis and the necessary
disruptions, we cannot lose sight of our obligation to do all we can to
keep kids safe and prevent child abuse, and the Wolf administration is
not compromising that duty,” said Miller. “Life has changed, but we all
can still do what we are able to look out for children in and around our
lives. Whether it is a neighbor, family member, student, client, or
someone you encounter in a store – if you suspect something is wrong,
anyone can call ChildLine and make a report.”
OCR resolves civil rights complaint against Pennsylvania
Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) is announcing that it has resolved a complaint
filed against the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) after PDH
revised its Interim Pennsylvania Crisis Standards of Care for Pandemic
Guidelines (CSC Guidelines) to ensure that persons will not be
discriminated against based on disability if providers in the state were
to begin triaging life-saving health care services.
OCR enforces federal civil rights laws, including Section 504
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, among others. On April 3, OCR received a complaint
from a number of disability rights advocates, including Disability
Rights Pennsylvania, alleging that Pennsylvania’s CSC Guidelines were
not in compliance with Section 504, Title II, and Section 1557. Based
on Pennsylvania’s responsive actions and the revisions it has made to
its guidelines, OCR is closing its complaint investigation as
satisfactorily resolved without a finding of liability. This result
does not, however, preclude future OCR enforcement in cases of potential
discriminatory implementation of Pennsylvania’s policies by any covered
health care provider.