Pennsylvania sees drop in new coronavirus cases and deaths

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The number of new coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania is down. Health officials today reported an additional 1,176 positives. That's 500 fewer new cases than what was reported Saturday and more than 800 fewer than officials confirmed Thursday.

The number of new deaths is also lower, from 78 new fatalities yesterday to 13 today.

Overall, there are 22,833 cases statewide and the death toll stands at 507.

While, there is some indication the curve might be bending, health officials continue to stress the importance of staying home.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says if we want to be successful in getting the coronavirus under control, people must continue to social distance, even on Easter.

"I understand that people, especially during these troubled times, will turn to their faith and to their spirituality and their religion in these difficult times but it is dangerous to be out, especially in the southeast and the northeast, congregating with other people," she cautioned.

While the data looks promising, Levine said it can be easily undone if people start to ease up on efforts to stop the spread of this deadly virus.

"We have been successful in terms of flattening the curve but we still have significant new numbers of COVID-19 and we have to protect the public health," she said.

The secretary maintained it's crucial that the trend continues at least until they see the peak number of cases.

"The goal is, is that when we reach that 'surge' that we talked about, that it will be a wave of new cases that will go up and come down," she explained, "but it won't be a tidal wave that would completely overwhelm our health system."

While Levine encouraged people to continue to take all precautions, she can't say until when they will last but reassures it won't be forever.

Philadelphia postpones meal distribution in anticipation of severe weather

Philadelphia officials announced all of its food distribution sites as well as the School District of Philadelphia's 49 student meal distribution sites would be closed Monday, April 13 in anticipation of thunderstorms, heavy rain, and high winds.

The sites will reopen Tuesday, April 14. Regular Monday and Thursday distribution schedules resume on Thursday, April 16.

The Department of Public Health also reported 234 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the city's total to 6,386, although they again cautioned the lower numbers are partially due to some labs not reporting over weekends.

16 additional deaths were also announced. 176 Philadelphians in all have died.

KYW Newsradio's Hadas Kuznits contributed to this story.
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