PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Westmoreland County and Butler County have been added to the list of Western Pennsylvania counties under ‘Stay At Home’ orders, which went into effect at 8:00 p.m. Friday night.
The State Department of Health says the ‘Stay at Home’ order is necessary to “protect the public from the spread of COVID-19”.
Butler Health system confirms to KDKA News that so far, they have conducted 788 tests, 562 at the hospital’s outdoor facility.
There are 15 patients being treated at Butler Memorial Hospital.
One confirmed COVID-19 patient, and 14 patients suspected to have COVID-19.
Seven of those patients are in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Butler Memorial says it has surge capacity plans in place for all types of patients.
Among those who tested positive at Butler Memorial’s Drive-through site for COVID-19, Representative Mike Kelly, a Butler native.
Representative Kelly announced on social media today he started experiencing “mild flu-like symptoms earlier this week”.
The concern of community spread, the reason the state necessitated Butler County to be placed under “Stay At Home” Orders.
“Getting the economy started again is important, but if we don’t have our health then we don’t have anything else,” said Thomas Waldenville of Butler.
“It’s an appropriate order considering the number of cases and how contagious this is and how severe it is,” said Laura Spack of Butler.
At the VA Hospital in Butler, drive-through testing will begin Monday for Veterans whose physicians indicate they should be tested.
It is by appointment only.
‘Stay at Home’ orders have also been issued for Westmoreland County as of 8:00 p.m. Friday night as well.
The numbers of those infected by COVID-19 in Westmoreland County has climbed to 30.
In addition, 450 county workers are being furloughed April 3rd.
“It’s heartbreaking because we spent many hours going over this. We have to do what’s right for the people of the county,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes.
Roland “Bud” Mertz, Westmoreland County Public Safety’s Director told KDKA News, “We’re behind New York City. We don’t want that to happen here. We don’t want our hospitals overrun and have people in the hallways.”
Butler Health System says they’ve received many donations of personal protective equipment like masks but they’re encouraging community partners to continue donations.
Allegheny County, Westmoreland County, and Butler County are now all under the ‘Stay At Home Order.’