As a fall resurgence of COVID-19 becomes more evident in Pennsylvania and across the country, Governor Tom Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine presented an update on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard and case data, and asked Pennsylvanians to unite against COVID.
“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.”
Last week, Dr. Levine introduced the team of public health experts leading the work to make sure all Pennsylvanians are as protected as possible from both COVID-19 and influenza. The team is prepared for the resurgence, is managing a robust testing plan, preparing for vaccine distribution when a vaccine is available, and working to track influenza (flu) cases across the state.
“Our data, including case counts, hospitalizations and percent positivity reflect the fall resurgence occurring,” Secretary Levine said. “The department and the Wolf Administration are working continuously to ensure we are prepared for this resurgence and to protect Pennsylvanians. We all must unite to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19 by washing our hands, wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and downloading the COVID Alert PA app.”
Dr. Levine also presented the latest data from the state’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, which tracks the level of community transmission as a basis for the recommendations for Pre-K to 12 schools to determine instructional models; data on cases among 5-18-year-olds; cases that reported visiting a business among potential locations where exposures may have occurred; and updated travel recommendations.
The dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts. The data available on the early warning monitoring dashboard includes week-over-week case differences, incidence rates, test percent-positivity, and rates of hospitalizations, ventilations and emergency room visits tied to COVID-19.
This week’s update compares the period of October 9 – October 15 to the previous seven days, October 2 – October 8.
As of Thursday, October 15, the state has seen 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 went up to 4.3% from 3.9% last week.
“COVID is tough, but together, Pennsylvanians are tougher,” Gov. Wolf said. “The last seven and a half months have shown us that when we unite, we can defeat this virus. Pennsylvanians came together to stop COVID in its tracks and we can do it again and stop this fall resurgence in its tracks if we stand united against COVID.
“You matter, and so do your actions. When we make good choices and follow health and safety measures, we see results. Let’s work together to stop the spread.”