COVID-19 update: Pike County has second case, emergency declared

Milford. Milford Borough is asking its residents to stay home for the next 14 days. The borough and Pike County both declared states of emergency to respond to the pandemic.

18 Mar 2020 | 01:30

The mayor and council on Tuesday issued a declaration of disaster emergency for the Borough of Milford that asks residents to stay home for the next 14 days.

The news comes as the Pennsylvania health department announced a second case of COVID-19 in Pike County. The Pike County Commissioners also issued their own declaration of disaster on Wednesday.

The borough's declaration states:

“We encourage Milford residents to stay home except for essential needs, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary healthcare or go to an essential job. It is okay to go outside for walks if you are not in a group. Stay at least six feet apart when leaving your home for essential activities."

Relief fund is set up

The Milford Public Safety Committee has set up the Milford Covid Relief Fund at Greater Pike Community Foundation. Donations are tax-deductible and will be used to support relief efforts for residents and businesses harmed by the Covid epidemic. The borough’s Public Safety Committee (appointed by the Borough Council) will direct the disbursement of the funds raised.

To make a donation, send a check payable to “GPCF/MCRF” or payable to Greater Pike Community Foundation, noting “Milford Covid Relief” in the memo line and send it to: Greater Pike Community Foundation, 201 Broad Street, Milford PA.18337.

To join the email list to get regular updates, go to googlegroups.com and then search for the group “Milford Covid 19 Volunteer Task Force” and click “join this group”. That will automatically add one to the listserv. Anyone having difficulty joining can send an email to ProtectPike@gmail.com and ask to be added.

Worried about exposure?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Do not show up unannounced at your doctor’s office or an ER.

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or are concerned about a potential exposure, but do not exhibit symptoms, call your healthcare provider. They will advise whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.Atlantic Health System’s Virtual Visit telehealth service provides 24/7 access to board-certified physicians online for consultations, diagnosis and treatment without having to leave your home or schedule an appointment. Follow-up care can take place with your primary care physician.

Milford Borough property taxes

As of March 16, Milford Borough’s tax collector, Carol Osterberg, is no longer accepting “in person” tax payments. Either mail in your payment or leave it in the mailbox at the door, and she will send you a receipt.

PA 311 NE/Helpline

PA 211 NE/ Help Line provides 24/7/365 information and referral to basic human needs and access to crisis services. PA 211 NE/Help Line has skilled case workers that are extensively trained in information and referral and meet all Pennsylvania requirements for telephone crisis management. Basic human needs, include but are not limited to, food, housing and utilities. Crisis services include drug and alcohol treatment and detox, mental health care and physical health care. Resources of PA 211 NE/Help Line can also be accessed by texting 211 (898-211) and supplying a zip code or by using pa211ne.org.

Pike County Commissioners declare emergency

The county commissioners issued an emergency declaration to temporarily remove barriers that might slow down its response to -- "all time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law."

The declaration directs the Pike County Emergency Management coordinator to "coordinate the activities of the emergency response, to take all appropriate action needed to alleviate the effects of this Corona Virus and to take any other emergency responses action deemed necessary to respond to this emergency."

The commissioners also urge all Pike residents, businesses, and organizations to follow the guidelines of the governor's office, state health department, federal Centers for Disease Control.

Special instructions from the judge

President Judge Gregory Chelak, in consultation with Kelly Gaughan, announced a number of mitigation measures amid the pandemic.

Members of the bar and the public, especially those experiencing symptoms, should not visit the Pike County Courthouse in Milford "unless absolutely necessary" or as required by court order.

"If you are court ordered to appear at a court proceeding, you still must appear, unless the matter has been rescheduled or vacated, or your presence has been excused the Court Administration."

Trial scheduled to take place on March 19 and the jury selection scheduled for March 23 have been cancelled, with all jurors excused. The civil trials scheduled for April 20-17 have not been cancelled.

Nonessential civil hearings and juvenile court will be subject to staggered scheduling to be announced by March 23.

The food pantry steps up

The Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County says it is working hard on providing supplemental food to client families while keeping them and volunteers as safe as possible.

The pantry served March’s Community Lunch as a take-out meal to encourage social distancing, streamlined pantry registration and check-in to eliminate clients waiting in line on the porch or in the pantry, implemented pre-bagging of groceries so that clients can pick up their bags at the door and go.

The pantry has also implemented handwashing procedures and social distancing recommendations for volunteers, and established guidelines for the number of volunteers needed each week. The pantry has also increased the weekly allotment for families with children.

"No matter a person’s circumstance, no one deserves to be hungry," said the announcement of the changes.

Key Food announces special shopping hour for seniors

Key Food Marketplace at 501 West Harford St. in Milford has announced a special shopping hour for senior citizens.

Key Food will reserve the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. beginning Wednesday, March 18, for shopping by senior citizens. The store asks other customers to stay away to protect seniors from infection.

The death rate for seniors infected with coronvirus is especially high: 3.6 percent for ages 60 to 69; 8 percent for ages 70 to 79; and 14.8 percent for ages 80 and up.

Cartwright self-quarantining after contact with a patient

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) announced on Wednesday that he is self-quarantining at his home in northeastern Pennsylvania for the next 14 days after interacting with a family friend who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Out of an abundance of caution, I began self-quarantining in my home on Sunday as soon as I found out they started showing symptoms consistent with this new virus,” said Cartwright. “I have not developed any symptoms myself since coming into contact with them, but I will remain at home for the next two weeks in order to ensure I do not pass it along to anyone else."

He said his office remains accessible by phone.

Editor's note: This story has been revised from the original.

Tristate tallies:
Here follows the number of positive cases in the tristate area and beyond as of March 18:
New York State: 1,374
Orange County, N.Y: 18
Sullivan County, N.Y. 1
Pennsylvania: 133
Pike County, Pa.: 2
Wayne County, Pa.: 1
Monroe County, Pa.: 7
New Jersey: 267
USA: 7,324, 115 deaths
World: 211,853, 8,249 deaths