Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and an increase in hospitalizations, the Wolf Administration has announced four new mitigation efforts. The new efforts were announced by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today during a press briefing.
The first measure is focused on acute care hospitals and provides an outline of expectations to care for Pennsylvanians who need care during the pandemic. You can find the text of this order here.
The second measure involves traveling in and out of Pennsylvania. Dr. Levine issued an order that goes into effect on November 20th requiring anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the commonwealth. If someone is unwilling or unable to take a test, the person must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania. The order does not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work or medical treatment.
Residents wishing to leave Pennsylvania to visit other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to the commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania.
In regards to masks, Dr. Levine expanded on the April 15th order with the following:
- Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
- When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.
- When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.
- This order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.
The departments of Health and Education also issued recommendations for colleges and universities to implement a testing plan for when students return to campus following the holidays. You can view the recommendations here.
During the question/answer portion, Dr. Levine stated that the state had no plans to return to the color-coded system that was implemented at the beginning of the pandemic. She also stated that she could not predict the future on what might be necessary if the situation worsens.
No further measures were taken against restaurants, bars, salons, gyms, and retail, which already have some restrictions in place.