LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley
Written by Juliana on March 12, 2020
Live Coverage: Coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley
This post will be updated periodically with information about the coronavirus. Scroll down for older information.
Visit WLVR.org/health for a full list of our news reports and resources.
Join the PBS39 and WLVR News Team for Community Update on Coronavirus, airing every weekday afternoon. We cut through the clutter and bring you local and regional coronavirus information that directly affects our community. We’ll be joined by medical and mental health professionals, parenting experts and business leaders who will help separate fact from fiction and dispel myths about coronavirus. Watch the show HERE.
Wednesday, March 25
12:20 pm- BREAKING: Governor Tom Wolf has now issued a stay-at-home order for Lehigh and Northampton counties, bringing the state total to 10 counties under the order: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. This order goes into effect at 8 p.m. tonight, March 25th.
12:00pm- COVID-19 Update:
Today (3/25/20 at 12:00 am), there are 276 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported, bringing the statewide total to 1,127. There are 11 total deaths in PA.
Latest info: http://bit.ly/CoronavirusPADOH
11:05 am– BREAKING: Dr. Jeffrey Jahre from St. Luke’s University Health Network is now saying there is evidence of community spread on coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley and people should heed Gov. Wolf’s plea to stay home. Stay tuned to WLVR News today for more information.
Tuesday, March 24
4:50 pm- Bethlehem officials say there are six positive cases of #coronavirus in the city – including a LANTA bus driver who last worked on March 20, and who “drove several trips between Easton and Bethlehem during their shift.”
Monday, March 23
12:00 p.m.- The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of March 23, that there are 165 additional positive cases of COVID-19, and one new death in Montgomery County, bringing the statewide total to 644 in 34 counties. Lehigh 25; Northampton 23.
Wednesday, March 18
5:10 p.m.- PA has seen it’s first death from coronavirus: An individual who was hospitalized in the Lehigh Valley. The Wolf Administration today confirmed the person was from Northampton County. Governor Tom Wolf addressed the state live from his home in York County shortly after 5:30 p.m. to express his condolences to the family, and implore Pennsylvanians to do what they could to mitigate the spread of the virus. Watch the video HERE.
12:08 p.m.– Update: Pennsylvania now has 133 coronavirus cases – up from 96 yesterday. Lehigh Valley still at two confirmed cases. Philadelphia, Montco and Bucks among counties seeing increases.
Get the latest updates from the PA Health Department.
Tuesday, March 17
3:37 p.m.-Pennsylvania currently has 96 confirmed cases of coronavirus. State health officials announced 20 new cases today- but there are no new positives in the Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh and Northampton counties each have one case. Pennsylvania’s health department is working on a plan to open public testing sites for coronavirus. Lehigh Valley Health Network is now operating eight private testing sites — individuals will need to be assessed by a doctor or telemedicine before going to a center. The health organization has waived fees for those evaluations. Find more information on the LVHN website.
Monday, March 16
1:00 p.m.- DeSales community forum on coronavirus canceled: DeSales University and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) have canceled a forum this week to educate the public about the coronavirus. The special coronavirus community forum was scheduled for Wednesday.
12:15 pm- To date, there are 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. • Counties impacted to date include: Allegheny-5, Bucks-5, Chester-2, Cumberland-5, Delaware-7, Lehigh-1, Luzerne-1, Monroe-8, Montgomery-30, Northampton-1, Philadelphia-8, Pike-1, Wayne-1, Washington-1
11:33 a.m. – ArtsQuest is closing the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks and the Banana Factory to the public effective noon, March 16 through at least March 31. All programming at the buildings, including cinema screenings and comedy shows at the ArtsQuest Center and classes at the Banana Factory, have been suspended at this time. Visit the website for more details: www.artsquest.org.
Sunday, March 15
8:30 p.m. – Bethlehem’s first case of coronavirus is an employee at Lehigh Valley Hospital –17th Street practice. It’s the second case in the region, after a Northampton County person tested positive last week. In a statement, the Lehigh Valley Health Network confirmed this was the same new case announced Sunday by state officials and the city of Bethlehem. Officials said the employee experienced symptoms at work on March 3, 4 and 9, but had not returned to work after March 9. Find details HERE.
5:20 p.m. – Coronavirus testing locations available in the Lehigh Valley: Covid-19 assess and test locations run by Lehigh Valley Health Network. Lehigh Valley Health Network urges anyone with symptoms to call first 1-888-402-LVHN or the connect via the app MyLVHN.
TESTING SITE LOCATIONS:
LVPG Express Care Whitehall
2741 MacArthur Road
1655 W. Main St., Stroudsburg
528 Delaware Ave.
6451 Village Lane
LVPG Richland Twp.
320 W. Pumping Station Rd.
35 Sillyman St., Cressona
140 N. Sherman Court
863 Nazareth Pike
3:49 p.m. – The city of Bethlehem reports it has one coronavirus case. The Bethlehem Health Bureau is conducting an investigation into the individual’s close contacts, who will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days. Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez posted a video with health and emergency management officials on Twitter today with that update: HERE.
3:00 p.m. – Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network announced a joint “No Visitation, No Access Policy” for all hospitals and outpatient facilities today. In an effort to limit possible spread of the coronavirus, the two health care systems made an unprecedented joint decision to standardize visitation policies across the Lehigh Valley. Except in very limited circumstances, there are no visitors allowed at hospitals or outpatient facilities. Find details HERE.
At LVHN and St. Luke’s hospitals and inpatient facilities, no visitors are permitted except under these special circumstances:
- Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
- Parent visitation of a child in a pediatric ICU or neonatal ICU
- One coach or partner per patient on labor and delivery unit
- One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice unit
- One parent/guardian at a time for pediatric patients
- One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
- One visitor for patients undergoing same-day surgeries and procedures
- One visitor per patient in the Emergency Department
- No child under age 12 is permitted to visit in the hospital.
- Outpatient appointments: or all outpatient appointments, one visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an outpatient appointment, procedure, same-day surgery or LVPG/SLPG office visit. We will make reasonable accommodations for pediatric visits, provided any sibling visitors are in good health
12:15 – Lehigh County now has 1 confirmed case of coronavirus. Pennsylvania Health Dept. says the latest state total is 63. New cases: Lehigh (1), Allegheny (1), Bucks (1), Cumberland (2), Delaware (1), Luzerne (1), Monroe (3), Montgomery (4), and Philadelphia (2) counties. Northampton Co. still has one case. Find more information HERE.
Saturday, March 14
9:45 p.m. – Wind Creek Bethlehem will close for two weeks beginning Sunday at 6 a.m. In a statement released today, the facility said it was voluntarily closing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of guests and staff. Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez tweeted the statement, and noted that there were no known cases of coronavirus associated with the property. Wind Creek said it would continue to pay all employees during the closure.
8:00 p.m. – Allentown School District will provide free lunches to all students during the 10-day closure of Pennsylvania schools. Can be picked up weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Find more information and locations for emergency meal pick up HERE.
7:45 p.m. – Bucks and Chester counties are now under social distancing mitigation orders from Gov. Tom Wolf, joining Montgomery and Delaware counties in that designation. At a news conference today, he asked county residents to avoid nonessential travel, and called for the closure of non-essential retail facilities. Find more details HERE.
7:45 p.m. – PA schools will be able to distribute free meals to students while the schools are closed, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera announced today. State officials will be working with the American Red Cross and public and private partners on that effort. Find more details HERE
7:30 p.m. – ArtsQuest postponed all Musikfest Cafe performances through March 31, starting with the Jim Messina concert tonight. Also postponed: Lehigh Valley Podcast Festival and the SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase. The Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas remain open with with reduced seating. Find details and updates HERE.
7:15 – Childcare centers at the Bethlehem Area School District will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17. Childcare will be open Monday at combined centers. The Pennsylvania Department of Education issued guidelines today requiring the closure. Find details from BASD HERE.
12:10 p.m. – Starting Monday: Easton Area School District will provide grab and go breakfast and lunch for any child from 9-11 a.m. weekdays at the following sites: Cheston Elem., Paxinosa Elem., Easton Area Middle School, and Easton Area High School, per tweet from @EastonAreaSD.
11:41 a.m. – Pennsylvania now has 45 cases of coronavirus. The number of positive tests have more than doubled in the last 24 hours. State officials have said they expect the numbers to go up as testing is expanded across PA. The most recent cases are in Montgomery Co. (2), Philadelphia (1) and Delaware Co. (1). Find details from the Pennsylvania Health Department HERE.
11:30 a.m. – Lehigh Valley Health Network has opened seven Covid-19 testing sites in the Lehigh Valley. LVHN is urging anyone with symptoms to call first: 1-888-402-LVHN or the app MyLVHN. An eighth center opens on Monday. Find the list of locations and watch health reporter Brittany Sweeney’s full report HERE.
Friday, March 13
8:40 a.m. – Pennsylvania now has 22 cases of coronavirus, according to the state Health Department. This includes 20 presumed-positive cases, and two that have been confirmed by the CDC. State officials are treating all cases as positive results. There is one case in the Lehigh Valley in Northampton County.
8:30 a.m. – The Lehigh Valley has its first case of COVID-19, in Northampton County. The individual is hospitalized at St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Anderson Campus. A representative says the hospital is following all established protocols and taking all safety measures to care for the patient. Listen to the full story HERE.
7:00 a.m. – Pennsylvania is joining much of the nation in putting significant “social distancing” measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Gov. Tom Wolf is strongly discouraging people from attending large gatherings over 250 people, as well as going to places like gyms and movie theaters. Religious leaders are encouraged to cancel services. Listen to the full story HERE.
Thursday, March 12
9:20 a.m. -Lehigh Valley nursing homes and long term care facilities are taking action to safeguard residents from exposure to the coronavirus. Kirkland Village Senior Living Community in Bethlehem and Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehab in Allentown and Fountain Hill are restricting visitors effective immediately. Listen to the full story HERE.
9:15 a.m. – A Lower Providence Township police officer is the latest presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Montgomery County. As of this morning, he’s is among the 13 cases in the county and 21 cases in Pennsylvania. Read the full story HERE.
9:10 a.m.– Colleges in Lehigh Valley and across the state are responding to the threat of coronavirus by canceling in-person classes and moving coursework online following spring break. Penn State and Lehigh University will start remote classes Monday, while East Stroudsburg and Kutztown Universities are suspending classes and closing dorms until March 21st. Muhlenberg College will also end in-person classes after this Friday. Read the full story HERE.
9:00 a.m. – All schools in the Allentown School District and the Easton Arts Academy are closed today and tomorrow amid concerns around the coronavirus. Multiple sources are reporting the Easton case is related to a student’s travel to New York. Listen to the full story HERE.
8:45 a.m.- To date, there are 19 presumptive positive cases and 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Total cases = 21. This includes 1 case in the Lehigh Valley in Northampton County.