PA health secretary institutes new COVID restrictions, but no enforcement mechanisms

PA possibly out of ICU beds soon, stricter rules imposed |

PA possibly out of ICU beds soon, stricter rules imposed |

"We have no plans at the moment to verify tests where people leave planes or drive to Pennsylvania", Levin said. The state is reporting more than 5,000 new infections per day, up more than 115% in just two weeks.

"Masks are a simple yet very effective way to limit your exposure to COVID-19", Levine said. If people are outdoors and can not be socially distant from someone who does not live in their home, they should wear a mask.

Bradley Strauss, test site director, scanned a table among students taking the exams at the gymnasium of the Penn State Berks Beaver Community Center in Spring Township on November 16, 2020.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a state-at-home order and shuttered businesses deemed "non-life-sustaining" early in the pandemic, but Wolf and Levine have consistently said they have no intention of implementing another broad-based shutdown. A strengthened mask order requires people to wear a mask any time you are outside the home, including any time you are with people from outside of your household.

An order that starts Friday that requires anyone visiting Pennsylvania or leaving the state and coming back in to have a negative test within 72 hours of arrival or quarantine until either they receive a negative test result or for 14 days.

"I think it really comes down to each and every one of us, and what we choose to do", said Levine at the press conference.

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When outdoors, masking is required if you're unable to remain physically distant from someone not in your household the entire time you're outdoors.

When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. The order applies to every indoor facility, including in private homes, but Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance rather than on enforcement.

An effort with the Department of Education to get colleges and universities to implement testing strategies for students, including tests before getting to campus at the start of the semester and after a break in classes, and implementing regular testing procedures.

These recommendations include establishing routine protocols for testing. "It depends upon the public, each one of us taking our responsibility for the common good of everyone in Pennsylvania", Levine said.

Colleges and universities should have adequate capacity for isolation and quarantine and should be prepared to enforce violations of established policies such as mask wearing and physical distancing. "Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay apart and download the COVID Alert PA app. It's the selfless, right thing to do".

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