Officials plead with Pennsylvanians to step up COVID-19 precautions


HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine are pleading with residents to take COVID-19 mitigation efforts seriously.

"This is a plea -- from both of us -- to our fellow Pennsylvanians."

Wolf says modelling has shown case counts would climb in the fall.

“We’re starting to see that. We’re starting to see the average case counts creeping up. The colder weather and a whole bunch of factors have probably produced this, whatever the reason for this upsurge, there’s evidence that it’s starting," Wolf said.

Levine says case counts in the Midwest are climbing. And she says, while not every county is seeing a rise, every part of the state is seeing an increase in both total case counts and the positivity rate – the percentage of tests coming back positive.

“And I think the take-home message is we’re all in this together and everyone has that collective responsibility. Everyone needs to take this very seriously," she said.

Both Wolf and Levine note Pennsylvania is in a much better place now than in the spring, with increased testing, better contact tracing, and also a better understanding of how to treat the disease.

But with 14-straight days of more than 1,000 new cases each day, they say now is the time to take action.