PA Health Official Says 'Fall Resurgence' of COVID-19 Has Begun As State Sees Nine Straight Days of Over 1,000 Cases

Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health said Wednesday that the "fall resurgence" of the novel coronavirus has begun, as the state has seen nine consecutive days of over 1,000 new cases.

"While we are working to expand testing, prepare for a vaccine and prevent outbreaks, Pennsylvanians have an important role to play. We must be united by wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, downloading the COVID Alert PA mobile app and getting a flu vaccine," Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said during a press conference.

Levine's comments on the novel virus in Pennsylvania come as the state has seen an increase in cases. On Wednesday, the state's department of health reported 1,276 new COVID-19 cases. Across those nine days of over 1,000 cases, the highest single-day increase was reported on October 9, with 1,709.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are currently over 169,000 confirmed cases of the novel virus, and at least 8,411 deaths.

In addition to an increasing number of cases in Pennsylvania, the state has also seen a rise in the 14-day moving average number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized. According to data from the state's department of health, as of Wednesday, the 14-day moving average of COVID-19 hospitalizations was 663.2, up from 533.5 on October 7.

During Wednesday's press conference, Levine encouraged state residents to participate in efforts to contract trace individuals who have been exposed to the virus, "for these efforts to be successful, it is important for Pennsylvanians to participate in the process."

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Demonstrators with signs stating "FEAR THE NEW NORMAL NOT THE VIRUS" AND "STOP THE COVID CON JOB" rally outside the Pennsylvania Capitol Building to protest the continued closure of businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic on May 15, 2020 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Mark Makela/Getty

"If you are contacted by a case investigator or contact tracer, it is essential that you answer the phone and participate in the interview," she said.

Despite the increase in cases across Pennsylvania, Levine noted that the state is currently more prepared to handle a spike in cases when compared to the spring and said that "at this time" state and health officials don't plan on having to impose another lockdown or stay-at-home mitigation measure.

"Working through containment and other efforts, we have no plans at this time to change the mitigation orders that are already in place," Levine said. "It's impossible for me to predict the future, but again, we're in a much better place than we were in the spring."

Newsweek reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

PA Health Official Says 'Fall Resurgence' of COVID-19 Has Begun As State Sees Nine Straight Days of Over 1,000 Cases | U.S.