Welcome to the County of Berks
 
​Updated: JUNE 3, 2020 4:00 PM

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This webpage will be the single web source for information related to the developing COVID-19 situation as published by Berks County government. It is intended to be a convenient landing point at which those in Berks County can start in order to get more information about the disease, state and federal response, and community preparedness. If needed, as the situation develops, information specific to Berks County and our local communities will be made available at this same location.

The County of Berks offices and services are currently open only to individuals with appointments and to conduct essential business that cannot be postponed or conducted remotely. For the safety and well-being of our staff and residents, individuals that need to come to the County offices are asked to come with the least amount of companions possible.

Before going to any of our offices, please visit us at www.countyofberks.com for the most up-to-date information as it is updated frequently.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this together.

Introduction

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new type of the same virus that causes the common cold. It was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This can be by getting the microscopic virus into your nose/mouth/eyes when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes in close proximity to you OR by the virus being left on surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and countertops and then transmitted to your nose/mouth/eyes when you touch the surface and then your face.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Coronavirus (or COVID-19) is a virus that causes respiratory illness in people and is extremely contagious. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills

 

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

When to seek medical attention?

If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

How can I protect myself?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. While public health authorities are working to produce a vaccine, as of April 2020, there is no vaccine to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The best way to avoid exposure is to follow good public health hygiene practices that should be done every day regardless of the existence of this new disease. Things like:

      • Avoid touching your face.
      • Wash your hand vigorously with soap and water multiple times a day (use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available).
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Clean surfaces in your home/office.
      • Practice social distancing. Avoid common practices like handshaking.
      • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
        • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
        • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
        • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

What should I do if I am sick?

In addition to continuing to do all of the above:

      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • Consult your physician or an urgent care. Call ahead and describe your symptoms. Use the hospital emergency room and ambulances only for true emergencies.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, contain your cough or sneeze in the bend of your elbow.
      • Wear a facemask if you need to go out in public (e.g. travel to the physician).

What to do after being tested?

After being tested for COVID-19, it may take anywhere from one to seven days for your healthcare provider to provide you with your results. During this time where testing volume is high, there may be a longer delay.

While you wait for results, you should do the following:

      • Self-isolate at home.
      • If you live with others, self-isolate in a single room and bathroom if possible.
      • Everyone else in your home should continue to self-quarantine.
      • Make a list of contacts you have had from two days before you became sick until when you began isolating. Use this Close Contact Checklist.
      • Always wear a mask when entering general living spaces and interact with others in your home as little as possible.
      • If your condition gets worse, notify your healthcare provider.

What to do if you test positive?

Notify all people you recently came in contact with and let them know to quarantine at home for 14 days. Family members included.

Self-isolate at home until both conditions are met:

      • It has been at least seven days since your symptoms first appeared AND
      • It has been at least three days since you have not had a fever (without using fever medications) and your respiratory symptoms are improving (no more cough or shortness of breath).

What to do if you test negative?

It you had a known exposure to a confirmed case, continue to quarantine for 14 days from your exposure date.

If you had no know exposure to a confirmed case and are not showing any symptoms, you may stop your quarantine.

If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case and are showing symptoms, you may have another respiratory illness and should continue to stay home.

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announces new resource to combat price hiking during COVID-19 outbreak. Shapiro is asking the public to report any instances of price gouging, exploitative, or opportunistic pricing on cleaning products, facemasks, and other sanitizers to pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov.

    How to Get Tested for COVID-19 flyer

    Berks County Specific Updates & Information
     
     
     
    Berks County Community Pandemic Plan (A guide developed by the Berks County Department of Emergency Services and the Berks County Pandemic Advisory Council to address community pandemic emergency preparedness, response, and recovery)
     
     
      
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Local Resource Help
     
     
     
    Other Resources & Links
     

    Ready.gov(Comprehensive information on emergency preparedness from FEMA)

    ReadyPA.gov(Comprehensive information on emergency preparedness from PEMA)

    CDC Guidance / COVID-19(For general information on the COVID-19 Disease)

    CDC COVID-19 Current Situation Summary

    CDC COVID-19 YouTube Channel

    Current List of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by County in PA

    PA Department of Health Coronavirus Information

    Johns Hopkins CSSE Coronavirus Disease Global Mapping Tool

    Information for Specific Groups & Disciplines

    Governor Wolf Extends School Closures Through April 6

    Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools

    Governor Wolf Orders Closure of All Businesses That Are Not "Life-Sustaining"

    CDC/DOH Information in Spanish

    Filing for Unemployment in Pennsylvania

    COVID-19 Financial Assistance

    COVID-19 Approved Child Care Provider Portal

    COVID-19 Resource Guide for Older Adults from PA Department of Aging

    COVID-19 PA Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal

    Making and Wearing a Mask to Help STOP THE SPREAD of COVID-19!:  
    Documents: NYT How to make a Mask  |  DOH Homemade Mask Factsheet   / [SPAN] DOH Homemade Mask Factsheet  | DOH Homemade Mask Guidance | DOH Understanding the difference Mask Chart 
    Infographics: 
    [ENG] What type of mask do I need  / [SPAN] Types of Masks  |  [ENG] How to make a mask  / 
    [SPAN] How to make a mask instructions

    Pregnancy and COVID-19:  DOH COVID-19 Pregnancy Factsheet  | DOH COVID-19 Pregnancy Factsheet [SPAN]

    Updated: JUNE 3, 2020 4:00 PM