On March 10, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced an additional presumptive positive case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Montgomery County. That brings the total number of cases in Pennsylvania to 11, one of which is in Delaware County.
The person presumed positive in Delaware County is in stable condition at their home and has mild symptoms. The Delaware County case was not community spread. The patient had recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 is present.
On March 10, Council held an emergency meeting and voted to pass a resolution to continue an Emergency Declaration for Delaware County due to the effects of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The Emergency Declaration was first signed by Chairman Brian Zidek on March 7, 2020, and expires on March 14, 2020. The resolution passed this morning extends the Emergency Declaration until further action is taken to end the Emergency Declaration.
The Emergency Declaration:
1- Allows Council to conduct emergency meetings relating to the Coronavirus emergency when necessary, without previous public notice.
2- Suspends procurement policies for purchases necessary by the County relating to the Coronavirus emergency. All purchases still require Council’s approval.
3- Suspends the personnel hiring processes, allowing the County to hire without a personnel board hearing.
4- Allows the County to receive reimbursement from the state and federal government.
The restrictions are limited to actions and purchases which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19.)
On March 9, the County met with superintendents from across the County to discuss a Continuity of a Countywide Pandemic Action Plan, to best guide our county schools. School districts developed a county-wide Pandemic Action Plan in conjunction with Delaware County Emergency Services, Delaware County Council, and the Delaware County Department of Intercommunity Health. This plan is a guide to various response levels and to ensure planning and messaging is uniform across the County. The response level will be determined in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and educational agencies. At this time the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC are not advising schools to close. The decision to close a school would be made with guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The County has shared resources with superintendents on prevention and guidance from the state and CDC. The County has also been in touch with universities in the County.
On March 9, the County met with Delaware County’s President Judge, Kevin Kelly to discuss a Continuity of Government Plan and sustaining the judicial system in the County.
The County held a conference call with Managers of municipalities on March 9 to provide an update and address any questions.
There is a national shortage of sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer. The County received a shipment today and is working to distribute and install them. Sanitation wipes are first being distributed to County Offices that have the most public presence. As the County gets more sanitation wipes, they will be distributed to additional offices.
Hand sanitation stations are located throughout many County buildings. The Facilities Department will be installing additional hand sanitation stations in areas with the most public traffic, including courtrooms.
Delaware County is reminding residents that currently, the best way to protect yourself is to take the same precautions you would to prevent the flu or common cold:
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with your elbow to avoid touching your face
Wash your hands often with soap and warm/hot water for at least 20 seconds
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items
If you are feeling sick, stay home. Rest, take care of yourself and don’t spread the germs.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are asked to call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
The County has created a website dedicated to information on the Coronavirus, including prevention, resources and a FAQ section with a link to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC. The website can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/ich/resources/coronavirus.html
Residents are encouraged to register for the DelcoAlert notification system which alerts residents of updates and emergencies. The website to register can be found here: www.delcopa.gov/delcoalert/delcoalert.html