Travel order impacts Thanksgiving plans

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AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Coronavirus nationwide is surging daily and across our region. Thursday in Pennsylvania, a new record of more than 7,100 positive cases has been reported.

With the holiday approaching, a new travel order could have an impact on Thanksgiving plans. Turkey, stuffing and family? Traveling to Pennsylvania for the holidays just got a little more difficult.

It’s the time of the year to see friends and family. But this year could be a little different.

“I have issued an order requiring anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state to get tested within 72 hours before entering the state,” Dr. Rachel Levine said.

This announcement comes right before the holiday, the time of year when many people from out of state travel to Pennsylvania. Andrew Bird lives in Wilkes-Barre. Before the travel order went into place, he planned to see his loved ones.

“Before, we were probably thinking about–we normally have a big gathering up in Lake Wallenpaupack with expended family in New York,” Bird said.

But now he says seeing his family is out of the picture.

“Once we saw the numbers rising pretty heavily, and then, between my wife, my mother-in-law, and my daughter, they’re considered high-risk. We decided that we are just going to, you know, do the safe thing,” Bird said.

So, if you want to come into the state, you’re going to need to get tested.

“What we can do with the test is give you a result. If you are positive, you will know within 48 hours,” Dr. Jorge Simental, Clinical Director, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines, said.

But it takes longer to get the results if you are negative. It could take longer than the 72-hour window.

“The fact that you get an email with the results three to four days later is just part of the process. I think the idea is that at least we can have people being tested,” Dr. Simental said.

Bird says he doesn’t understand why people would wear masks in public, but not take proper precautions when seeing family.

“I just don’t see how that is okay to where you would protect strangers in that sense, but you’d rather put your loved ones at risk,” Bird said.

This order does not apply to you if you commute to and from another state for work or medical reasons. That new order, and the other restrictions announced Wednesday go into effect at 12:01 Friday morning.

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