The increase in Pennsylvania COVID-19 cases over the past week are the first signs the virus is surging into the fall, according to state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.
The state Department of Health confirmed 1,276 positive cases of the virus in one day– the ninth day in a row that numbers rose above 1,000 cases. The number of positive cases stayed under 1,000, with some exceptions, since May, with the highest average of positive cases per day happening in mid-April.
“We have seen more than 1,000 cases a day for the past nine days, which shows that we are at the start of a fall resurgence of COVID-19,” said Levine. “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.”
Counties that have been particularly affected by the rise in cases will be the first to receive the state’s allotment of 250,000 COVID-19 antigen test kits. The kits were provided to Pennsylvania by the federal government and were distributed to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified institutions across Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health.
The test cards allow for quick and easy testing in communities by looking for proteins that make up the virus and will first be distributed to Bradford, Centre, Lebanon, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Snyder counties, said Levine.
“With the increase in testing and cases, the department is continuing efforts to conduct case investigations and contact tracing,” she said. “However, for these efforts to be successful, it is important for Pennsylvanians to participate in the process. If you are contacted by a case investigator or contact tracer, it is essential that you answer the phone and participate in the interview.”