Pa. seeing ‘significant community spread’ as fall COVID-19 resurgence continues

    Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine warns of a 'fall resurgence' of COVID-19 cases during a news conference on Monday, 10/19/20 (screen capture)

    State health officials confirmed 9,675 new cases over COVID-19  and 51 new deaths over the weekend, bringing the statewide total to 269,613 cases and 9,325 deaths attributed to COVID-19. 

    State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday that the fall resurgence of COVID-19 is due to more people staying indoors as the weather changes, leading to more spread. 

    “We’re seeing significant community spread,” Levine said. “Now is the time people need to come together and wear a mask.”

    State officials reported “substantial spread” in 59 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Those included: 

    Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Union, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York counties.

    Another five counties were in the “moderate spread” category. Those include: Fayette, Pike, Susquehanna, Warren and Wayne counties. 

    Just three counties had “low transmission.” Those include: Cameron, Forest and Sullivan counties. 

    Discouraging travel over the holidays, state health officials have asked Pennsylvanians to remain in their households over the holidays and visit with extended family virtually. 

    “I know that’s an enormous sacrifice,” Levine said, adding that asymptomatic individuals could cause spreading in gatherings of any size without knowing it. 

    Levine also discouraged travel to and from neighboring states such as New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland  “We are concerned about travel-related spread of COVID-19,” Levine said. 

     

    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.