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Daily local coronavirus briefing - April 22, 2020


PA Department of Health update on COVID-19; 1,156 additional positives cases brings statewide total to 35,684
The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed that as of noon today, April 22, there are 1,156 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 35,684. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Today, 58 new deaths are reported among positive and probable cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,622. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. The number of cases by county is: Bucks, 2,004 and 126 deaths; Chester, 950 and 67 deaths; Delaware, 2,757 and 123 deaths; Lehigh, 2,374 and 49 deaths; Montgomery, 3,294 and 230 deaths; Northampton, 1,591 and 44 deaths; and Philadelphia, 9,696 and 365 deaths.

N.J. Department of Health reports 92,387 positive cases of COVID-19
The New Jersey Department of Health reports there are 92,387 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state and 4,753 deaths. Hunterdon County reported a total of 436 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths, including the following cases by municipality as of April 21: Flemington, 16; Frenchtown, 4; Stockton, 0; Milford, 2; Lambertville, 14; Clinton, 20; Delaware, 12; East Amwell, 9; Kingwood, 9; West Amwell, 7; and Raritan Township, which surrounds Flemington, with the highest number of cases, 70. The state reported that as of April 22, there are 2,845 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 145 people have died.


Telemedicine bill sent to Gov. Wolf
As Pennsylvania continues to cope with the impact of COVID-19, the Senate gave final approval on April 21 to a bill that promotes telemedicine as a way to overcome barriers to quality patient care created by distance and reduce the costs of those services, according to state Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24). Senate Bill 857, which now goes to the governor for enactment into law, specifically defines telemedicine as “the delivery of health care services provided through telecommunications technology to a patient by a healthcare practitioner who is at a different location.”

Fitzpatrick urges funding to aid domestic violence survivors and pets amidst COVID-19
Nearly 80 members of the U.S. House, led by Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla. sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., urging leadership to include $4 million funding in the next COVID-19 package to help domestic violence victims and their pets. In recent weeks, it has been reported that incidents of domestic violence are on the rise.

Community Support

Support for St. Luke’s from across the world
A group of more than 100 Lehigh University students and their families, all members of the Chinese community, rallied together to support St. Luke’s University Health Network in this time of great need. What started out as an idea for a small fundraising campaign turned into a life-saving initiative to purchase N95 and disposable 3-ply face masks – critical personal protective equipment (PPE) – to help keep the network’s front-line caregivers safe as they fight back against COVID-19.