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COVID In Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf Tests Positive For Coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he tested positive for COVID-19. Wolf said he received the positive test Tuesday and is in isolation at home.

Wolf, who is 72, said he doesn't have symptoms at the moment and that he's "feeling well."

"I am continuing to serve the commonwealth and performing all of my duties remotely, as many are doing during the pandemic," Wolf said in a statement. "As this virus rages, my positive test is a reminder that no one is immune from COVID, that following all precautions as I have done is not a guarantee, but it is what we know to be vital to stopping the spread of the disease and so I ask all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask, stay home as much as possible, socially distance yourself from those not in your household, and, most of all, take care of each other and stay safe."

Wolf said First Lady Frances Wolf is awaiting her test results and is quarantining at home.

Wolf is one of several governors who have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, including the governors of Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado. President Donald Trump also contracted the virus.

Wolf's public schedule for the past week had just one event -- a virtual news conference about the pandemic on Monday where he appeared along with his health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, and one of her deputies. All wore masks as they took turns at the podium.

His spokesperson, Lyndsay Kensinger, said several members of Wolf's senior staff at PEMA, as well as Levine, have tested negative. Kensinger said multiple members of Wolf's security team recently tested positive for COVID.

Nearly a month ago, the Wolf administration strengthened its mask mandate and required out-of-state travelers to test negative for the coronavirus before arrival, as infections and hospitalizations have both increased sharply in the state.

Wolf is a former state revenue secretary and businessman who spent more than $10 million of his own money to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary nearly six years ago. He easily won reelection in 2018.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania officials announced Wednesday 8,703 additional COVID cases. The statewide total now stands at 445,317.

Officials said there are 5,561 Pennsylvanians hospitalized with COVID-19, with 1,160 currently in an ICU. According to health officials, most of the COVID patients are 65 years or older.

Hospitalizations per day have increased by nearly 4,300 since the end of September, officials said. For the week of Nov. 27-Dec. 3, officials said the positivity percentage is at 14.4%.

There were 220 new COVID deaths reported Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 11,762.

In Philadelphia, officials said Tuesday the Pfizer COVID vaccine could be distributed in the city as early as next week if it's granted emergency approval by the FDA.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farey said the city will receive its shipments directly from the CDC, while the state will receive and disperse supplies to other locations.

"Our first priority is health care workers who are routinely exposed to coronavirus," Farley said. "We'll widen who gets a vaccine more as it becomes available."

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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