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Local coronavirus briefing - April 4, 2020

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Department of health provides update on COVID-19, 1,597 positives bring statewide total to 10,017
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon, April 4, that there are 1,597 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 10,017 in 64 counties. The department also reported 34 new deaths among positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 136. County-specific information and a statewide map are available here. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. Bucks County had 488 cases and 11 deaths; Chester 250 and two deaths; Delaware 616 and 13 deaths; Lehigh 804 and seven deaths; Montgomery 982 and 17 deaths; Northampton 588 and 11 deaths; Philadelphia 2,610 and 24 deaths.

There are 60,013 patients who have tested negative to date. Of the patients who have tested positive to date the age breakdown is as follows: Nearly 1% are age 0-4; Nearly 1% are age 5-12; 1% are age 13-18; Nearly 8% are age 19-24; 41% are age 25-49; Nearly 29% are age 50-64; and Nearly 20% are age 65 or older.
 

Donations in Lehigh Valley sought during COVID-19 pandemic
Donations of personal protective equipment and general supplies for nonprofits are being sought to meet needs in Lehigh and Northampton counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the personal protective equipment most in demand are N95 masks, surgical masks and wipes. Before dropping off the items, donors are asked to complete a form on Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley website, https://www.volunteerlv.org/ppe-donations . The counties’ Emergency Management Services agencies are setting up a Lehigh Valley Donations Health Care Supplies site, and county staff will distribute the donations. The items can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the donation site: Service Electric Cable TV and Communications, 2260 Avenue A, Bethlehem 18017.

The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley also has a section on its website where nonprofits can request volunteers and donations for their specific needs. https://www.volunteerlv.org/covid-19
If you have questions or need to make arrangements other than the listed drop off times, call 610-782-4600 or email infoema@lehighcounty.org.
 

Virtual screenings at Acme Screening Room, Lambertville, N.J.
Contact acmescreeningroom.com to order. Purchases are $12 for first-run shows, variable prices for others. Films include “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” “Wild Goose Lake,” “Saint Frances,” and others.


Bucks IU’s Mobile FAB LAB equipment now producing PPE for front line of the COVID-19 fight
The Bucks County Intermediate Unit’s (Bucks IU) Mobile FAB LAB may be parked on the sidelines while schools are closed, but the equipment it normally takes around the county for students to use is not sitting idle. Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU supervisor of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Education, heard from her connections in the science and technology world that some 3-D printers could be used to help fabricate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel and first responders on the front line of fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

After many searches and trying to connect with several groups, Sides heard from Amy Kuceyeski, an associate professor of mathematics and radiology at Cornell University. Kuceyeski had mobilized a team of people at Cornell to work on how they could use their 3-D printers to make face shields. The Cornell team shared their design plans, specifications, and instructions.

Sides joined forces with Megan Boletta, the Bucks IU’s FAB LAB program coordinator, and they got started. Fabrication materials were ordered and delivered, prototypes were made, and processes were documented. Within just a few days, they had a process finalized and documented, and a prototype ready to be approved. On Friday, April 3, the educators took the prototype to the Bucks County Emergency Operations Center, located in Ivyland for review and approval. It passed with flying colors and production was able to begin immediately. Anyone interested in the details can contact Dr. Lindsey at STEAM@BucksIU.org or call her at 215-348-2940 x1460.


Penn State Extension Service offers free online courses
For the month of April, Penn State Extension is offering free online courses. Among them are Planting Landscape Trees, Modifying Tree Planting Sites in the Built Environment and the Growing Great Buffers series. Contact Pen State Extension at ExtensionEmail@psu.edu for information. Penn State educators are developing new learning opportunities to continue to meet the science-based needs of the community.
 

Gov. Wolf Calls for Universal Masking
During a COVID-19 press briefing today Gov. Tom Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons. As COVID-19 cases steadily rise in the state, Gov. Wolf stressed the need to intensify all measures to help stop the spread of the virus.


New Jersey reports county statistics for COVID-19
Today, New Jersey reported 34,124 cases and 846 deaths. Hunterdon County had 182 confirmed cases and one death and Mercer County had 586 cases and 13 deaths. In Hunterdon County, reported April 3, Lambertville reported 9 cases; Alexandria Township 2; Kingwood Township 2; Delaware Township 4; East Amwell Township 4; Flemington 6; Frenchtown 2; Stockton 0 and West Amwell 3.

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