OAKLAND (KDKA) – Preparations are underway in Pittsburgh for when the coronavirus comes here.
At a press conference in Oakland on Friday, Mayor Bill Peduto said he is in daily communication with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department about preparedness for a potential virus outbreak in the city.
Mayor Peduto said, as of Friday, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an emergency disaster declaration due to the coronavirus on Friday.
This came after two people were confirmed to have contracted the virus in Pennsylvania.
However, Peduto is already mapping out what a potential outbreak could look like in the city.
“So that when it does happen, and we’re assuming that it will be inevitable, we’re prepared,” Peduto said.
Mayor Peduto said he is working to determine how operations would continue amid a potential coronavirus breakout.
“Planning on what it will be like if 40 percent of our workforce were to be infected, planning on where our emergency first responders would go if they become infected because we don’t want to send them home to their spouses and their children,” said Peduto.
The Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act was also addressed during the press conference.
The ordinance, passed on March 15, promises one hour of paid sick time to employees within city limits for every 35 hours worked.
Friday’s press conference was held at the Night Market Gourmet, a Thai restaurant located in Oakland.
The gathering included city and state officials and was hosted by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
The reason for the press conference was to show solidarity for the Asian restaurants and markets in Pittsburgh. The businesses are experiencing economic harm due to fears about the coronavirus.
In some cases, city leaders said that these Asian restaurants and markets have lost 20 to 40 percent of their business in recent weeks.
The CDC said on their website that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be contracting through food.
“Whether the food on your plate came from China or Fox Chapel, you are at no greater risk of contracting the coronavirus by eating it,” said Congressman Mike Doyle.
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