Pennsylvania Secretary Of Health Dr. Rachel Levine Recommends Rethinking Holidays Amid Coronavirus Resurgence

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Amid a fall resurgence of coronavirus in Pennsylvania, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says people should rethink the upcoming holidays, including small gatherings.

“Unfortunately, in this time of the global pandemic as COVID-19, as we approach the holidays, we need to rethink those gatherings. We need to think about more and more gatherings being virtual or only staying with your family that you live with, that you’re exposed to all the time,” Dr. Levine said at a press conference Monday.

“I think that’s a sacrifice, but I think that sacrifice can mean that people don’t get sick in your family and in your community and it would be worth it. And even though that’s a really challenging concept, that’s what’s being recommended by the CDC, and that’s what we’re recommending as well, that people plan for the holidays.”

It comes as Pennsylvania has seen at least 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 each of the last 21 days. There were three days in the past week with more than 2,000 new cases.

The health department says the state is now seeing daily case increases comparable with what we saw in April.

Dr. Levine says the number of patients hospitalized for the virus has risen sharply over the last week. A coming increase is expected, she says, as hospitalizations usually rise a few weeks after an increase in cases.

“These numbers, however, continue to be well below what we saw in the spring, where at our peak more than 3,000 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Still, these increases are concerning to us.”

She she says our healthcare systems are better prepared to handle the virus compared to the spring, and adds “we must all do our part to prevent a further increase in hospitalizations, particularly as flu season also approaches.”