Pa.’s top health official says avoid social gatherings, including Thanksgiving

Written by on November 17, 2020

 Pa.’s top health official says avoid social gatherings, including Thanksgiving

By Jen Rehill

November 17, 2020

More than 9,000 COVID cases were reported in Pennsylvania over the weekend. The state’s health secretary is telling residents to avoid large or small gatherings, especially over Thanksgiving, as coronavirus infections surge in the commonwealth.

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New COVID cases have more than doubled in the past two weeks — averaging nearly 5,000 per day. Hospitalizations have jumped 30%. And more than 11% of tests are coming back positive.

Neighboring states with similar increases have ordered new restrictions. But Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says Pennsylvania won’t follow suit or go back to springtime lockdowns.

“We have no type of plan to go back to red-yellow-green or any type of schema such as that.”

That means schools, restaurants and businesses will stay open unless local officials decide to act. But Levine is urging residents to skip all social gatherings and nonessential travel.

“I know that this is extremely challenging, particularly as the holidays approach. But we are fortunate that 2020 has brought us new technology that allows us to see our family virtually.” 

Levine is also imploring residents to set aside political differences over masking and social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.

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