Timeline: Pennsylvania reaches over 200k total cases of COVID-19

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(WTAJ) — As of Oct. 28, Pennsylvania has exceeded 200,000 total cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 2,228 new cases of COVID-19 on Oct. 28 for a total of 200,674 cases.

According to the DOH, 77% of Pennsylvania cases are considered recovered cases.

  • March 6: First two cases were reported.
  • March 25: Over 1,000 cases (1,127)
  • April 4: Over 10,000 cases (10,017)
  • April 14: Over 25,000 cases (25,345)
  • May 4: Over 50,000 cases (50,092)
  • June 6: Over 75,000 cases (75,086)
  • July 18: Over 100,000 cases (100,241)
  • Aug. 18: Over 125,000 cases (125,579)
  • Sept. 21: Over 150,000 cases (150,812)
  • Oct. 14: Over 175,000 cases (175,922)

150,000 cases → 175,000 cases

Sept. 22: A federal judge denies the ruling on Pennsylvania’s crowd sizes. Judge William Stickman IV said the Wolf administration failed to show “imminent and irreparable harm will occur” if the state can’t limit event crowds to the previous metric of 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors. This results in many high schools expanding the crowd limit for sporting events.

Sept. 22: The Department of Health launches a COVID-19 app. It is designed to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, along with the latest information from their COVID-19 dashboard.

Sept. 23: The Pennsylvania Senate gives the OK on a bill to loosen restaurant restrictions. The proposed bill would eliminate the requirement of purchasing food in order to purchase alcohol. The bill needs to be approved by the House before it ends up on the governor’s desk.

Sept. 28: Penn State starts to detect COVID-19 by sampling wastewater. The university said this method can detect samples of COVID-19 days before individuals start experiencing symptoms.

Oct. 1: The appeals court temporarily restores Pennsylvania’s gathering limits. “Right now, we’re back to the 250, but as I say, I’m working right now with school districts and others to do what we can to recognize the contexts that are different in every community,” Gov Wolf said.

An employee of the Philadelphia Commissioners Office asks a voter a series of Covid-19 health questions at a satellite election office before he is allowed to enter to deposit his ballot at Overbrook High School on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Philadelphia. The city of Philadelphia has opened several satellite election offices and more are slated to open in the coming weeks where voters can drop off their mail in ballots before Election Day. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Oct. 1: A Pennsylvania voting session is canceled after a lawmaker tested positive for the virus. Rep. Paul Schemel of Franklin County tested positive, causing a cancellation of a voting session with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Oct. 2: The president and first lady test positive for COVID-19. This news comes after one of Trump’s aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus. Those who were recently in contact with the president that tested negative include Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Oct. 5: President Trump leaves Walter Reed. After staying at the hospital for three days, the president transfers to receiving care at the White House.

Oct. 5: Four more states are added to Pennsylvania’s travel advisory list. Minnesota, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming were added to the list, while Georgia was removed.

Oct. 6: Governor Wolf amends guidelines on crowd limits. The cap of 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors was replaced by an algorithm depending on the maximum occupancy of each individual venue, ranging from 10-25% of maximum occupancy.

Oct. 12: President Trump tests negative for COVID-19. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president’s tests came back negative for consecutive days.

175,000 cases → 200,000 cases

Oct. 13: Alaska, Indiana and North Carolina are added to the travel advisory list.

Oct. 14: Pennsylvania confirms a fall resurgence of COVID-19. Oct. 14 was the ninth consecutive day that the daily case count surpassed 1,000 cases. Dr. Rachel Levine said that Pennsylvania is more prepared to handle the influx than they were in the spring and that state officials had no plans to impose another statewide stay-at-home order or broad-based business shut down at that time.

Oct. 14: The DOH starts distributing antigen test kits. The DOH started with concerning counties such as Centre County. The antigen test cards are described by Dr. Rachel Levine as a “timely, quick and easy-to-use tool for communities to receive rapid COVID-19 testing.”

Oct. 16: Penn State University develops a way to detect COVID-19 with scatch and sniff cards. Participants are supposed to be able to identify the smells on the cards. Since the loss of smell is a common symptom of the coronavirus, the inability to identify the scents may show early signs of COVID-19. The release of the product is still being finalized.

Oct. 19: Huntingdon and Blair Counties are moved to the substantial category for community transmission. The two counties join Centre County as the statewide positivity rate increased from 3.9% to 4.3%.

Oct. 19: The Huntingdon County jail shuts down after inmates display symptoms of COVID-19. All of the inmates were transported to the Centre County prison, where they were scheduled to stay for at least three weeks.

Oct. 20: Pennsylvania met the requirements for being placed on the New York travel advisory, but it was not added to the list. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there is no practical way to quarantine New York from Pennsylvania, along with New Jersey and Connecticut, who also met the requirements for the list. Gov. Cuomo said that there were too many interchanges and “people who live in one place and work in another.”

Oct. 21: A nursing home in Beaver County is sued over allegations of failing to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Bright Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County had over 330 residents infected and 73 deaths, according to the DOH. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of current residents and family members of the residents who died, and it is claiming that Brighton’s operators “chronically understaffed the facility.”

Kristie Park, of Baden, Pa., hugs and comforts her friend Jodi Gill, facing camera, whose father Glenn Gill contracted COVID-19 while a resident at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, after Gill spoke about her father’s experience at a news conference outside of the Beaver County Courthouse, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Beaver, Pa. A lawsuit has been filed against Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center for its response to the COVID-19 outbreaks at the facility. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Oct. 21: The first COVID-19 case in a cat is confirmed in Pennsylvania. The confirmation was announced by the Department of Agriculture. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 to humans.

Oct. 22: Governor Wolf announces a plan to waive liquor license fees for bars and restaurants. Under this proposal, fees would be waived through 2021 starting on Jan 1 for over 16,000 establishments across the state.

Oct. 22: Southern Huntingdon forfeits their district football playoff game due to COVID-19 concerns. The district canceled all of their extra-curricular activities, including athletics. As a result, Cambria Heights automatically moved forward in the playoffs.

Oct. 22: Bishop McCort also forfeits its district playoff game. They were scheduled to take on Bishop Guilfoyle. Earlier in the day, it was announced that the Bishop Guilfoyle head coach would not be on the sidelines for the game due to being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Since Bishop McCort forfeited, Bishop Guilfoyle moved on in the playoffs to face Conemaugh Valley.

Oct. 26: Centre, Elk and Huntingdon Counties are listed in the “substantial” category of community transmission. Huntingdon County had the highest percent-positivity rate across the state, with a rate of 12.0%.

Oct. 26: Citations are issued after Penn State students had a large gathering and the event was posted on social media. State College police were called to several large gatherings during the Penn State football game against Indiana. The university is directing all students that live in these apartment buildings to get tested for COVID-19.

Oct. 27: Inmates at the Huntingdon County jail test positive. Out of 35 inmates, 17 of them have tested positive. Eleven staff members have tested positive as well. They are currently being held a separate section of the Centre County prison.

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