Wolf administration presents latest COVID-19 data, plea for Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine held a news conference Monday to discuss new COVID-19 data in the state, along with an update to the commonwealth’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard.

As of October 15, the state has reported a seven-day case increase of 8,723. The previous seven-day increase was 7,398 — indicating a 1,325-case increase across the state over the past week.

The statewide percent positivity on the COVID-19 Early Warning Dashboard is currently at 4.3-percent, which is the highest it has been since August 7. According to the dashboard, 21 counties have percent positives greater than 5-percent.

Data on the dashboard show that over the last two weeks there have been more than 2,000 new cases among school aged children cases. The number of cases for children between the ages of 13 and 18 is currently higher than it has been since start of pandemic.

The administration highlighted the state’s surge in cases, and encouraged Pennsylvanians to continue to work together to slow the spread.

“The fall resurgence is here,” Gov. Wolf said. “And while we must always take this deadly virus seriously, now is the time for all of us to double down on our efforts to keep ourselves and those around us safe. We’ve seen what happens when masks aren’t worn and social distancing isn’t practiced – people get sick, so we need to stay vigilant and work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

In Monday’s news conference, Dr. Levine was asked about Pennsylvania being added to New York’s quarantine restriction travel advisory list. Levine stated that each state has its own criteria, such as percent positivity rates, that require another state to be added to its advisory list and Pennsylvania met New York’s requirements for a quarantine restriction.

While the state has been reporting daily case numbers in the one-thousands, Levine said the cases are well below numbers the state posted in the spring. Levine said that our healthcare systems are more prepared and equipped than they were in the spring, which has led to a decline in coronavirus hospitalizations.

When asked about treatments for COVID-19 within hospitals, Levine said specific treatments that have received FDA approval, such as remdesivir and dexamethasone, are available in any hospital. Meanwhile other investigatory treatments, such as receiving plasma from a patient who has recovered from the coronavirus, are not as widely available.

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