Two cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf confirmed that one patient is in Delaware County and the other is in Wayne County, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Wolf issued an emergency disaster declaration for the commonwealth after announcing the two presumed cases earlier today. The disaster declaration allows the Department Operations Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters to conduct statewide emergency operations and use available resources to deal with the situation, according to the Pennsylvania government website.
“It is critical to prepare for and respond to suspected or confirmed cases in the commonwealth and to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Wolf said in a press release.
A disaster declaration does not release additional funding, according to NBC Philadelphia 10.
The Inquirer reported that the patients’ positive tests were sent to the Centers for Disease Control on Friday morning. Health Secretary for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Rachel Levine said both patients contracted coronavirus “through some travel” and not through community spread, according to the Inquirer. She added that the identities of the patients are confidential information.
“We expect more cases to be confirmed in the upcoming days and weeks, and we want everyone to take action to help prevent the spread of this novel coronavirus,” Levine said in the press conference on Friday morning, according to the Inquirer.
In response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Penn has suspended all University–affiliated travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Provost Wendell Pritchett, Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel, and Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé sent a University–wide email on Monday afternoon, strongly recommending that Penn students and faculty avoid personal travel to these countries.
The CDC has issued a level three warning for China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea and advises travelers to avoid nonessential travel to these countries.