Coronavirus numbers march upward as PennDOT resumes limited roadwork

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 1,470 new positive coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the statewide total to 12,980 in 65 counties.

The announcement of 12 new deaths since Sunday among those with COVID-19 brought the statewide total to 162.

Nearly 42% of the patients who tested positive are between 25 and 49 hears old, 29% are between 50 and 64. About 20% are 65 or older, and they comprise the bulk of patients who have been hospitalized. Most of the state's COVID-19 deaths are in the same age group.

No children have died from the illness in the state so far.

Health officials say 70,874 people have tested negative for the coronavirus. 

Limited road work resumes

Gov. Tom Wolf issued waivers granting PennDOT permission to resume some road work during coronavirus restrictions that have otherwise shut down activity across the state.

PennDOT’s Brad Rudolph said nine projects got clearance for work to continue.

"All the projects have to adhere to a COVID-19 response plan," he explained. "They have to come up with safety plans for their workers, observe social distancing guidelines, cleanliness protocols, hygiene, procedures to address employee sickness, and safe handling of material deliveries."

Besides limited work on existing projects, Rudolph says PennDOT also got permission to resume some bridge inspections, including the Platt Bridge this week.​

Safety guidelines for buildings

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an order over the weekend providing guidance for cleaning and maintaining buildings for life-sustaining businesses with in-person operations, whichwent into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m.

According to the Building Safety Measures Order, "Cleaning, disinfecting, and other maintenance and security services performed by building service employees are critical to protecting the public health by reducing COVID-19 infections in the commonwealth."

The new measures apply to buildings of at least 50,000 square feet used for commercial, industrial or other purposes, including warehouses, factories, offices, airports, grocery stores, colleges and universities, hotels, and even residential buildings with 50 units or more.

These new measures include regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas in accordance with CDC guidelines, and making sure buildings have enough employees designated to do so, as well as enforce social distancing guidelines.

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KYW Newsradio's Mark Abrams and Eric Walter contributed to this report. Stay with KYW Newsradio for the latest.