Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia

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Pennsylvania health officials have been closely monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus, tracking the illness across the commonwealth.

None of the people who’d tested positive were known to have been in Philadelphia proper — until now. For the first time on Monday, someone with a known case is now inside the city limits.

Pa.’s seventh positive case was an adult from Montgomery County, state Health Department officials said in a press release.

But because the person is in critical condition — unlike the previous positive-testing people, who were only suffering light symptoms — this person is being cared for at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

For the rest of us, the information that someone critically ill with the virus is now in Philadelphia should not affect our daily lives at all, health officials said.

“Penn Medicine is fully prepared to evaluate and care for patients who may be infected with COVID-19,” Patrick Norton, Penn Medicine’s VP for public affairs, said in a statement. “Ensuring the safety and protection of all patients remains our top priority, and normal operations continue throughout the hospital.”

The critical coronavirus patient is being cared for in what’s called an isolation room, Norton said, and HUP is working with the CDC and state and city health officials “to monitor and respond to this situation and care for the communities we serve.”

“The Health Department’s recommendations for Philadelphians have not changed,” department spokesperson James Garrow told Billy Penn. “Our advice on these is not only recommended now, but in general these are good recommendations for life,” he added.

Those recommendations are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Stay away from people who appear sick
  • If you are sick stay away from others and cover your cough or sneeze.

Philadelphia City Council is planning to hold hearings on Philly’s preparedness for COVID-19. There’s also a city website dedicated to providing info about the virus.

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