STROUDSBURG, Pa. — For the first time in nearly two months, Monroe County has reported no new cases of COVID-19 to the state's Department of Health.
It was among the hardest-hit counties in our area, reporting 87 new cases in just one day on April 4 at its peak.
"This is absolutely a hopeful sign, I think. Step one is no new cases," Zack Booth of Delaware Water Gap said.
Doctors at St. Luke's University Health Network said this shows the effectiveness of social distancing.
Dr. Eric Tesoriero is the medical director of critical care at St. Luke's Monroe Campus.
"The most important thing is to keep doing exactly what we've been doing," Dr. Tesoriero said. "The only way to have success is to adapt to our new normal."
Dr. Tesoriero said the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at hospitals across St. Luke's University Health Network is also significantly down since its peak in early April.
"In the beginning at the peak, we were seeing about 90 percent of our patients in the hospital have COVID-19, and now we're seeing probably close to 10 to 20 percent of hospitalized patients have COVID-19," Dr. Tesoriero said.
People in downtown Stroudsburg said they will continue following social distancing guidelines in the hope that this new trend of no new cases continues.
"That's a good feeling because this is crazy," James Molone of Stroudsburg said.
"It went up rapidly here weeks ago; I was keeping an eye on it. There were a lot of cases going up," added Walter Hock of Stroudsburg.
Doctors at St. Luke's Monroe Campus said another hopeful sign is that more patients are coming to the hospital for reasons outside of COVID-19, just to make sure they are staying healthy.