Wolf and Levine to PA: Please Cooperate so Coronavirus Cases Don’t Spin Out of Control

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a virtual news conference on Oct. 19, 2020. (Screenshot)

By Patrick Abdalla

October 19, 2020

The state Department of Health announced more than 2,300 new positive coronavirus cases and 34 coronavirus-related deaths over a two-day period.

Calling on Pennsylvanians to work together, Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine tried to keep an optimistic and reassuring tone while talking about the fall coronavirus resurgence in Pennsylvania.

Before Wolf and Levine’s Monday afternoon press conference, the state Department of Health announced more than 2,300 new positive cases and 34 deaths over a two-day period. 

“We suspected pretty heavily there would be an upsurge in the fall and we’re starting to see that,” Wolf said. “The fall resurgence is here. … Now is really the time to double down on keeping ourselves and those around us safe.”

The trends are striking. The state has averaged 1,095 new cases a day this month. Meanwhile, the state has doubled the number of hospitalized patients since Sept. 22, going from 422 to 841. 

However, the reason for Wolf’s and Levine’s optimism is that the state could do better than it did in the spring because scientists, doctors, and medical professionals know much more about what they’re facing. And the government has new ways to help, as well.

“(We have) no hospitals in Pennsylvania that are under strain,” Levine said. “We face the fall resurgence with better tools, but it’s still a challenge.”

In the spring, around 3,000 Pennsylvanians were hospitalized.

Wolf and Levine maintained calls for people to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, wear masks, and remain socially distant.

“When we make good choices and follow health and safety measures, we see good results,” Wolf said.

RELATED: PA Launches New Coronavirus Exposure Notification App

Levine and Wolf touted the state’s tools, pointing out how they could help keep the virus under control.

The COVID Alert PA app has 324,120 users and helps track symptoms and exposure. The state is testing about 30,000 people a day, and contract tracers are helping, too.

But Levine and Wolf both asked for more cooperation.

The first area they asked for more cooperation was in contact tracing. Only about 50% of people are answering whether or not they’ve been to large gatherings or different businesses. Most statistics show that’s how the virus spreads, according to Levine, so they would like to get more people to respond to calls

The other area that Wolf and Levine would like to see people cooperate with is masks.

Wolf continues to point to the parallel with seatbelts. 

“I’m going to keep myself, I’m going to keep my family, I’m going to keep anybody in this car safe,” he said.

He admitted that wearing the masks has become a partisan issue.

“It has been politicized, yes,” Wolf said. “But the truth is wearing a mask works.”


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