READING, Pa. – Thirteen marks the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths reported in a single day in Berks County.
"We continue to edge up to the top of the worst counties in Pennsylvania when it comes to cases and when it comes to deaths," Commissioner Christian Leinbach said.
The coroner said Wednesday that 52 people have now died from COVID-19 in Berks County. Berks now has the fourth-highest death toll in Pennsylvania, behind Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware counties. More than 1,300 people have tested positive.
We have heard a lot about approaching the peak of the outbreak for the county itself. Does Leinbach think this is it?
"It does not appear at this time to be the peak," Leinbach said. "We will be sharing some information modeling from Tower Health/Reading Hospital, Penn State St Joe's tomorrow."
Gov. Tom Wolf has been urging people to wear masks in public, and his administration is now making masks mandatory for essential businesses and those who visit them.
Leinbach said he is giving similar advice, including to one 70-year-old Berks resident.
"When you get to the grocery store and you have your mask on, which she did, and you see other people without a mask, you need to turn around and leave, for that's not a safe place for you to be," he said.
Officials said the way to fight the virus and hopefully alter projections involves continuing social distancing and cleanliness.
"We have a couple of weeks to get really dead serious about limiting the spread of COVID-19," Leinbach said
Commissioners, doctors and the district attorney have planned a news conference for 10 a.m. Thursday.