Pennsylvania Cases Cross 50,000, Deaths Near 2,500

Pennsylvania officials spoke at 12:30 p.m.

A woman at a podium with a sign language interpreter

Pennsylvania has passed 50,000 confirmed coronavirus infections, state health officials reported Monday.

About 825 additional people tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the Health Department. There were 14 new deaths, raising the statewide total to 2,458.

The numbers of new infections and deaths have been trending down, prompting Gov. Tom Wolf to allow construction work statewide to resume and golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds to reopen. On Friday, he plans to lift his stay-at-home order and allow some retail shops to reopen in the least impacted parts of the state.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state's confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. There is no data on how many people have recovered.

In other coronavirus-related developments, Pennsylvania is applying for $524 million in emergency, one-time federal aid to help schools respond to the pandemic.

The Department of Education said Monday it expects the federal government to approve its application within one week. Schools can use the money to pay for meals for students, technology, cleaning supplies, summer and after-school programs and for other expenses related to the virus.

Under the federal emergency rescue bill signed by President Donald Trump in March, at least 90% of the money must go to public schools and charter schools. The state Education Department said it plans to use the rest the money to support things like remote learning.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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