COVID-19 deaths climb to six in Pennsylvania

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania increased to 644 on Monday, including four new virus-related deaths, according to the state Department of Health.

There are no new cases in York County, but the statewide total is up 165 from Sunday. Increasingly significant daily totals have been attributed to the state's expansion of testing capabilities, including through private labs. 

At noon, one new virus-related death had been announced. But during an afternoon news conference, state officials announced there also were deaths in Lackawanna, Monroe and Northampton counties, bringing the statewide total to six since the start of the outbreak.

There have been 6,595 patients who have tested negative, officials said.

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The Pennsylvania State Police on Monday began to enforce Gov. Tom Wolf's order to close all "non-life-sustaining" businesses. 

Life-sustaining businesses exempted under Thursday's order include hospitals; pharmacies; food production; farming; the postal service; gas stations; and grocery stores. 

WellSpan's second drive-thru coronavirus testing site in York County is open at the York Expo Center, Friday, March 20, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Bars and restaurants are still able  to offer delivery and takeout.

State police, in collaboration with local agencies, will "go in and remind" all non-life-sustaining businesses that they must temporarily close down. Citations will be issued if necessary, Wolf has said.

As of Monday, there had been more than 354,000 known cases of coronavirus worldwide, killing more than 15,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 35,000 cases had been confirmed in the U.S., resulting in at least 400 deaths.