Pennsylvania is currently experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with daily case number significantly higher than those in the spring. In attempts to respond to this rapid increase of numbers, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and the Wolf Administration announced four new mitigation efforts on Tuesday November 17. A summary for the four mitigation efforts are below:
1.) Levine issued a memorandum to acute care hospitals outlining expectations as they continue to navigate the methods of caring for their patients during the pandemic. Dr. Levine encouraged hospitals to work with their health care coalitions and partnerships to determine how they will support one another should one facility become particularly strained.
2.) Levine issued recommendations for colleges and universities to increase their testing efforts by testing more regularly as the students return to campus after the holidays. The recommendations also include having adequate capacity for isolation and quarantine, enforcement of mask wearing and social distancing, and testing students at the beginning of each term.
3.) In further mitigation efforts, an order was issued by Dr. Levine requiring anyone who visits from another state, or returns to Pennsylvania from another state, to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before entering Pennsylvania. Those who are unwilling or unable to get tested must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania. This order does not impact people who commute to and from another state for work or medical necessity. This order will take effect Friday, November 20.
4.) To strengthen the April 15 mask order, Levine is calling on all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home in places such as, but not limited to:
- Homes that are not your own
- Retail establishments
- Doctors’ offices, long-term care centers, or clinics
- Public transportation, ride share, or taxi
- Anywhere food is prepared, packaged, or served
- When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to properly distance yourself 6 feet from others.
- Masks are required when indoors with others who are not members of your household, even if you are able to socially distance.
Find a FAQ on the Universal Face Coverings by clicking here.