Coronavirus in Pa.: Facts vs Fiction | Tuesday Morning Coffee

March 10, 2020 7:09 am

NUTLEY, NJ – FEBRUARY 28: A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on February 28, 2020 in Nutley, New Jersey. The facility develops novel therapies for some of the worlds most difficult diseases. At least 53 countries have reported cases of infection. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers. 

With 10 cases of coronavirus now reported in Pennsylvania, and three people hospitalized, we’re going into full news-you-can-use mode with this key list of facts about the grave public health crisis now confronting the commonwealth.

The state is waiting on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., to confirm the test results, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said during a late afternoon press conference on Monday.

The cases are so far concentrated in the eastern part of the state. Seven patients reside in suburban Montgomery County; the others live in Monroe, Delaware and Wayne Counties.

The factoids below were compiled by Associate Editor Cassie Miller who, along with Staff Reporter Elizabeth Hardisonbrought you an excellent round-up of where things stood with the virus as of late afternoon on Monday.

Coronavirus —  Facts vs. Fiction:

  1. There is no treatment protocol for coronavirus.
  • True. There is no specific treatment. However 80 percent of those infected do not require treatment for mild cases. 
  1. People who are vulnerable to the virus are the elderly, those with heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. 
  • True. Pregnant women may also be vulnerable to the virus, said Dr. Catherine Paules, an expert in influenza with Penn State Hershey’s Division of Infectious Diseases
  1. Warm weather will cause the virus to go away. 
  • Unknown. Doctors at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Dauphin County say that warmer weather could cause the virus to disappear more rapidly, but there’s no evidence that warmer weather will eliminate the virus. 
  1. There are four types of human coronavirus
  • True. According to Paules, there are four types of coronaviruses. Paules said that it’s likely everyone has been infected with one at some point in their life. 

If you need more information — and we suspect you do — this handy fact-sheet, put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will get you a long way toward getting you where you need to go.

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
As we noted above, here’s the link to Miller’s and Hardison’s round-up of coronavirus briefings, conducted throughout the day on Monday by officials at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Dauphin County and by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

With a fight over a gubernatorial veto seemingly guaranteed, here’s what a pair of dueling events at the Capitol on Monday can tell you about the fight over a multi-million-dollar tax credit for the natural gas industry.

From our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune: Despite opposition from Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia City Council is pressing ahead with a plan to regulate overdose prevention sites in the city.

On our Commentary Page this morning — when it comes to fighting the coronavirus, the world needs the one thing from the United States that it’s not getting right now — real leadershipMansfield University historian Jonathan C. Rothermel writes.

Energy attorney Terry Jarrett keeps our #PennForward coverage rolling with an op-Ed arguing that Pennsylvania needs to get out front on carbon capture and other advanced energy technology.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during an event at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., on Wednesday, 10/9/19 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Unlike his extended Hamlet act in 2016, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.says he’ll be supporting President Donald Trump in November, PhillyMag reports.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has introduced a bill to ease parking rules for row houses in the Steel City, Pittsburgh City Paper reports.
PennLive has run its annual $100K Club feature, finding more than 9,700 Pennsylvania state employees earn six figures.
Most Pennsylvania legislative committee chairs face no electoral opposition in 2020. The Morning Call explains why that’s a big deal.

Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:

There are now 11 coronavirus in New Jersey, mostly in North JerseyWHYY-FM reports.
Roll Call runs down the ‘economic quick fixes’ to the coronavirus now under consideration by the White House and Congress.

What Goes On.
The House Democratic Policy Committee road trips it to Hatfield, Montgomery County for a 2 p.m. public hearing on all things volunteer firefighter and EMS.

Gov. Tom Wolf
 has no public schedule today, which is probably the right call to make.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
5 p.m.: 
St. Patrick’s Day reception for Sen. Dan Laughlin
5:30 p.m.: 
Reception for Rep. Meghan Schroeder
Hit both events, and give at the max, and you’re out a mere $5,500 today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Joe Grace in the office of Philadelphia City Council Prez Darrell Clarke, who celebrates today. Congrats and enjoy the day, sir.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a seriously heavy jam from English MC Riz Ahmed. It’s ‘Toba Tek Singh.’ Play this one loud.

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Vegas solidified its Pacific Division lead with a 3-2 win over Edmonton on Monday night.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.