Philadelphia health officials announced Tuesday afternoon the first positive case for coronavirus in the city.
The first presumptive case of the virus was confirmed by Mayor Jim Kenney who along with city health officials will reveal further details in a news conference during the following hours.
The individual is known to have exposure to previously confirmed cases of the virus and is currently isolated at home.
You can read: First coronavirus death in New Jersey
“We have said that Philadelphia would see cases of the coronavirus, and now we have our first case in the city,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.“We expect additional cases will be identified. We are continuing to work to identify cases, quarantine individuals who may have been exposed, and contain this virus. The most important thing you can do to help: if you are sick with fever or cough, stay home. If you think you should be tested, contact your doctor.”
Several COVID-19 cases had been announced recently in Pennsylvania, including cases in the Philly region.
Across the country, there are at least 729 coronavirus cases, including 26 deaths, in 36 states, plus Washington, D.C. There are now 12 cases in Pennsylvania and 15 in New Jersey, including one death.
Philadelphia officials said that they had anticipated cases in the city. Although the spread of the virus has proved to be very fast they believe that a containment strategy, if implemented effectively, could limit the spread of the outbreak.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley explained that the implementation of this strategy, which has been effective in countries like China and South Korea, involves rapidly identifying cases, isolating victims, identifying close contacts and quarantining those people for 14 days.
Health experts stress that the best way to prevent illness is to practice good hand hygiene, avoid close contact with sick people, and frequently disinfect common surfaces and objects, such as cell phones.
The Health Department additionally recommends that Philadelphians consider not attending public gatherings with more than 5,000 expected attendees.
It also considers that as in other cities where the virus has been present, in Philadelphia there will be some level of disruption to residents’ daily lives. The Department recommends being prepared for closures of work and schools.
These are the recommended measures suggested by the health authorities:
- Talk with your primary health care provider and pharmacist to see if you can have a 30-day supply of prescription medications for yourself and other household members.
- Maintain a supply of over-the-counter medications, such as fever-reducing medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol, or other medications that household members use regularly.
- Store extra water or non-perishable food at home, so you’ll have some if you can’t go grocery shopping.
- Keep a supply of essential household items, like cleaning products, detergent, pet care items, and diapers, if you have young children.
- Talk to your employer to find out about working remotely and about sick leave.
- Check with your child’s school or daycare to find out plans for early dismissals and how urgent information will be communicated.
- Make arrangements for back-up childcare in the event that your child is sick or school is closed.
- If you have elderly parents or relatives, consider how you will care for them if they get sick. If they rely on a caregiver, make back-up plans in case that caregiver becomes sick and is unable to work.