Pennsylvania now has 10 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.
There are 7 cases in Montgomery County, one in Monroe County, one in Delaware County and one in Wayne County, Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine said.
Levine held a press conference on Monday afternoon in Harrisburg to discuss the newest cases, saying that the health department plans on frequent press releases and press conferences to communicate relevant coronavirus information to Pennsylvania residents.
"At this time we are not recommending canceling social gatherings. But please, if you are sick do not go" to gatherings, work or school, she said.
So far all the cases are linked to places where there are known cases of COVID-19, she said, but it won't be a surprise when that can't be traced and "community spread" arrives.
Montgomery and Delaware counties are located in the southeastern part of the state, in the Philadelphia suburbs. Monroe and Wayne counties are in the northeastern part of the state, with Monroe in the Poconos region and bordering New Jersey.
One of the Montgomery County patients is hospitalized at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Two other patients — one in Montgomery and one in Monroe — are hospitalized, but Levine said no further information on their location would be provided due to privacy concerns.
All 10 cases are pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control, but Levine said the state Department of Health is taking all public health precautions necessary and is contact tracking, or reaching out to those people who may have come into contact with a coronavirus patient.
Levine urged residents to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with the same guidelines given for the flu or other communicable diseases:
-- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice
-- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve
-- Clean surfaces
-- Stay home if you are sick
Levine also urged using reliable sources -- and not just social media -- in gaining information about COVID-19. She directed residents to the state Department of Health website for Pennsylvania information and the CDC for national.