By Duane Good EDITOR
State health officials had not reported any cases of COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease -2019) in any of those three counties served by The Upper Dauphin Sentinel – Dauphin, Northumberland and Schuylkill – as of the newspaper’s Monday afternoon, March 16 press time. That said, the Sentinel area has not gone unaffected as the virus has spread into more parts of the state during the past week.
• Schools in the region will be closed at least through Friday, March 27, by order of Gov. Tom Wolf.
• School activities and numerous other public events and meetings also were not and will not be held as scheduled. (See a list of what was reported to the newspaper.)
• President Donald Trump, last week, declared a national emergency in response to the virus outbreak, which worsened nationally during the first two weeks of March.
The National Emergency
The announcements from both Trump and Wolf took place a short time apart from one another the afternoon of March 13.
Trump’s national emergency declaration reportedly makes $50 billion in government funding available to help combat the virus spread and make testing available to those who need it. It also waives certain federal regulations that, in theory, have hindered a more quick response to the virus.
These include giving hospitals and other healthcare providers waivers of some federal licensing requirements; waivers to critical access limits on numbers of beds and lengths of stays; and waivers to rules on bringing additional hospital physicians on board in certain cases.
Finally, Trump urged each U.S. state to establish its own emergency operation centers and for hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans. SEE COVID-19 • PAGE A2
Called Off LATEST LISTING OF CANCELED EVENTS AND CLOSINGS. Medical Insights COVID-19 DEFINED; PREVENTATIVE MEASURES; TESTING STATUS; DOCTOR OFFERS INSIGHTS. Page A2