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COVID UPDATE 7/29: Nine new COVID-19 cases confirmed in county

July 29, 2020 News Extra

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Butler County saw nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to a state report.

The county now has had 539 residents test positive for the virus throughout the pandemic. New cases are test results that have reported positive as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

For weeks, state health officials have also said there is a backlog of tests at national labs, causing backups for as long as two weeks.

Butler Health Systems has also reported the slowing of results from its outdoor testing facility on Brady Street, but its in-house testing, for which it has a limited supply of reagents, can still turn around results in as little as 24 hours.

BHS reported Wednesday that its number of inpatients at Butler Memorial Hospital, which includes five patients, has remained unchanged since its last update Monday. However, Clarion Hospital, which is also part of the BHS network, reported an increase of two patients.

Clarion Hospital is now treating four inpatients, three of whom have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf used an otherwise quiet day regarding COVID-19 to remind Pennsylvanians of mitigation efforts and enforcement.

“We have been largely successful in our fight against COVID-19, thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of every Pennsylvanian,” Wolf said.

The current mitigation orders in place include worker safety, building safety, required mask-wearing, and the July 15 targeted mitigation orders.

While Wolf has called for voluntary compliance, he also has said the orders are enforceable by law, specifically from two statutes — the Pennsylvania Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955 and the Administrative Code of 1929.

The former carries penalties between $25 and $300 fines, while the latter would involve fines between $10 and $50.

Wolf said enforcement could come at multiple levels, including local law enforcement, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and other local officials.

More information about the enforcement of the mitigation efforts can be found on the governor's website.

“With a recent and ongoing rise in cases, we must remain vigilant, continue to listen to health care professionals and each do our part to prevent this dangerous virus from spreading through our communities,” Wolf said.

The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health.

Wednesday's COVID-19 statistics:

Butler County

Confirmed cases: 539

Probable cases: 47

Negative tests: 11,875

Deaths: 14

Butler Memorial Hospital

Inpatients: 5

Suspected: 0

Confirmed: 5

ICU: 2

Total tests: 13,618

Outdoor tests: 5,160

Positive tests: 290

Clarion Hospital

Inpatients: 4

Suspected: 1

Confirmed: 3

ICU: 0

Total tests: 2,845

Outdoor tests: 2,089

Positive tests: 72

Pennsylvania

New cases: 834

Total cases: 110,3218

New deaths: 16

Total deaths: 7,162

Recovered: 75 percent

Surrounding Counties

Allegheny: 7,496 confirmed cases; 104,986 negative; and 227 deaths

Armstrong: 173 confirmed; 3,663 negative; and 6 deaths

Beaver: 1,145 confirmed; 10,839 negative; and 85 deaths

Clarion: 69 confirmed; 1,746 negative; and 2 deaths

Lawrence: 277 confirmed; 4,660 negative; and 11 deaths

Mercer: 268 confirmed; 6,946 negative; and 9 deaths

Venango: 44 confirmed and 2,642 negative

Westmoreland: 1,312 confirmed; 28,104 negative; and 45 deaths

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