Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order for Lehigh and Northampton counties today. Currently, there are 82 cases of coronavirus between the two. (Lucy Zhou/B&W Staff)

Stay-at-home order issued for Lehigh and Northampton counties

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This story serves as a summary of recent coronavirus developments as of March 25.

Gov. Wolf issues stay-at-home order in Lehigh and Northampton counties

Gov. Tom Wolf announced this morning that there will be a ‘stay-at-home’ order for both Lehigh and Northampton counties. 

The entire 131st District of Pennsylvania will now be ordered to stay at home starting at 8 P.M. tonight, and will stay in effect through April 6.  

As of today, there are 38 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lehigh County, and 44 cases in Northampton County with three deaths, according to the Department of Health. There are 1,127 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania. 

Wolf had already issued a stay-at-home-order to Alleghany, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. 

Residents may only leave their home for essential travel or for tasks that help maintain health and safety for themselves and loved ones. 

Essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open and health care providers, food banks, law enforcement, the federal government, religious institutions and the news media are all exempt from the list. 

New confirmed cases at Muhlenberg

Two students at Muhlenberg tested positive for COVID-19 this past weekend. 

The school sent out two messages informing everyone that the test results came back positive within 24 hours. 

According to the message sent from Muhlenberg, the first student tested had “minimal contact” with others on campus, but had some social contact with other students.  

The second student tested positive in their home state, and experienced symptoms after leaving campus. 

Measures taken in the U.S.

According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly half of U.S. states have imposed some sort of measure in the efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Around 100 million U.S. citizens are feeling the impact of these social restrictions or lockdown measures. 

Many governors ordered residents to stay at home, only able to leave under circumstances such as caring for friends or family, exercise, getting food or health care, and if they have an essential job. 

States across the country ordered nonessential businesses and activities to be suspended over the last few days, with varying levels of severity state-to-state. 

Latest big-picture news

Late Tuesday night, White House and Senate leaders of both parties agreed to emergency legislation set to provide $2 trillion to the health care system, business and workers. 

Hailed as the largest economic rescue bill in history, it will give direct payment to many Americans, provide a $367 million assistance for small businesses and expand unemployment benefits. 

Also on Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will not go on as scheduled this summer, and will take place “by the summer of 2021.”

A historic announcement, the postponement is the first of its kind — though the olympics were cancelled three times before, during World War I and World War II. 

Coronavirus in numbers

As of today there are 438,749 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world and 19,675 deaths. 

The United States has 69,176 confirmed cases and 802 deaths. With over 25,000 cases, New York has emerged as the domestic epicenter of the virus.

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