Pennsylvania State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levin has announced targeted efforts to stem a new waveCases Tuesday. Anyone visiting another country soon will be required to take a negative test within 72 hours before entering the state. If they can’t get a test or choose not to, or are still waiting for results, they should quarantine for 14 days.
The same goes for Pennsylvania who visit other states. They are required to take a test 72 hours before returning or have to be quarantined for 14 days. “We really want people to stay home, to stay home, to not travel,” Levine said.
The order, which goes into effect on Friday, does not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work.
There is no plan to enforce it. “We have no plans at the moment to verify tests where people leave planes or drive to Pennsylvania,” Levin said. But she urged the importance of this and others, describing it as “extremely important”.
Like the rest of the country, Pennsylvania has seen an explosion of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The state reported more than 5,000 new infections per day, up more than 115% in just two weeks, and hospital admissions and positive tests rose sharply.
The statewide positivity rate for the past week was 9.6% compared to 6.9% the week before. 62 of the 67 counties have positive rates above 5%, including Allegheny County, which is 7.7%. Deaths are also on the rise.
Pennsylvania already has a statewide mask mandate, restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings and occupancy restrictions in bars and restaurants.
Like CBS Pittsburgh Reports, It should now be worn indoors and outdoors if people are away from home. If people are outdoors and cannot be socially distant from someone who does not live in their home, they should wear a mask. If they are indoors, masks are required even if people are physically distant from others who do not live indoors.
“Wearing a mask is one of the simplest steps we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Levine said Tuesday.
Tuesday he also announced guidelines for hospitals and recommendations for colleges to implement a testing plan for students returning to class after vacation.
Governors and mayors across the country have tightened restrictions in response to the worsening epidemic. On Monday, Philadelphia said it would ban indoor gatherings, indoor dining, indoor casinos, gyms, museums and libraries.
Levin said Monday that the resurgence of the “big” falls is happening in part because the cold weather is driving people indoors, as respiratory viruses like COVID spread more easily.