Health Care Systems, Others Show Support for Latest COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts

One day after Governor Tom Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced stricter mitigation measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 cases to protect Pennsylvanians and the state’s health care systems, workers and businesses, health care organizations and other groups are showing their support for the plans.

Here is a snapshot of the support:

Penn State Health

“For ten months Penn State Health’s health care workforce has fought valiantly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our teams have cared for hundreds of patients, restored their health, saved lives and, in too many cases, comforted patients as they succumbed to the ravages of the coronavirus.

“At the same time, our hospitals and medical practices continue to safely provide necessary care to many non-COVID patients who need our services. Patients facing cancer, traumatic injury, strokes and ailments of the heart as well as children in need of highly specialized care and many others are depending on us.

“While our health care heroes continue to meet the challenge every day it has only grown greater.

“We are hopeful that the temporary measures announced by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania today will help stem the tide of infections and enable health care systems to better manage the ongoing crisis in our region while we keep caring for all of our patients—those with COVID and those facing other challenges to their health.

“In the meantime, we encourage every citizen of our Commonwealth to wear a mask, wash your hands and follow social distancing guidelines. There is perhaps no greater gift we can give to each other during this uncertain time.”

Temple University Health Systems

“Temple University Health System would like to thank Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine for their leadership and efforts to protect all Pennsylvanians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that wearing masks and social distancing are effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to take these and other preventive measures to protect their own health, the health of frontline workers, and the health of everyone in their community.

Pennsylvania Health Access Network Executive Director Antoinette Kraus

“In the midst of an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases across Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth has now reached a point when difficult decisions must be made in order to prevent further loss of lives and a catastrophic situation in our hospitals.

“PHAN strongly supports Governor Wolf’s decision to impose new measures that will slow the spread of the virus and save the lives of countless Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf’s decisive actions today will also reduce the strain on hospitals and healthcare workers, many of whom are already at their breaking point as a result of the COVID-19 surge.

“Governor Wolf’s actions are critical, but Pennsylvanians also need support from Congress. The pandemic has already devastated families throughout our state, many of whom have lost income, health insurance, and are struggling to pay for rent, food, and utilities. Despite the overwhelming need and the upcoming expiration of programs established by the CARES Act, Congress has thus far failed to pass a desperately needed relief package. Already-strained Pennsylvania families and businesses need relief; Congress must act to provide relief without delay.”

Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matthew Yarnell SEIU

“We appreciate Governor Wolf’s administration and Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine for their health-centered approach to beating the pandemic. The only way for us to end the devastating effects of COVID – the loss of life, the illness, and the economic impact on hardworking people – is to stop the spread of the virus. We must all do whatever it takes to protect each other and move forward together.”

Pennsylvania Health Law Project Executive Director Laval Miller-Wilson

“The Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) fully supports Governor Wolf’s recent measures to combat the fall coronavirus surge as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to spiral.  We are nearly out of control.  Governor Wolf has realized we are at critical point.

The holiday season — with colder weather, more indoor gatherings and families traveling — is a virus’ friend.  Following science-based public health measures and guidelines must be our focus now and, in the weeks, to come.

“We are hopeful that the recent FDA approval of a vaccine will end this pandemic, but that will not help us this winter.

“Ultimately, public health guidelines are only as effective as people’s ability to follow them.  What we do as individuals and what our government does or doesn’t do will determine how many people die and whose lives our society values.

“PHLP knows firsthand that Pennsylvanians simply do not have what they need to be safe.  Lawmakers in Washington DC must act now to provide additional resources so people can protect their lives and livelihoods. Without actions by federal and state governments, and a renewed commitment for people to follow public health guidance, the suffering in 2020 will continue well into the new year.”