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Gov. Wolf lauds Pennsylvania's COVID-19 mitigation efforts as state's case counts continue to trend downward

Pennsylvania is one of three states in the nation, along with Montana and Hawaii, to show a downward trajectory in cases over the last 42 days, Wolf said Wednesday
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2019 file photo Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa. The FBI is investigating how Wolf’s administration came to issue permits for construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline to carry natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf said Wednesday that Pennsylvania is one of three states in the U.S. that has had a downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases for more than 42 days, lauding his administration's efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus at a press briefing with Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

The other two states showing a downward trajectory in cases over the last 42 days are Montana and Hawaii, Wolf said.

“We know our decline in cases is because of our choices because more than half of states are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases as reopening begins,” Wolf said. “Many of these states are experiencing significant case increases tied to reopening too soon or too much. Pennsylvania is not. We have remained focused on balancing economic interests with public health.”

Wolf pointed to the decision to require masks when visiting businesses -- even those in counties in the green phase -- as another smart decision that could have lasting effects, as a COVID-19 surge is possible this fall.

“Recently, more studies show that masks prevent people from unknowingly giving COVID-19 to others,” Wolf said. “This includes peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals like The New England Journal of Medicine.

“As the U.S. Surgeon General said a few days ago, wearing a mask doesn’t impinge on our freedom – it gives us more freedom from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.”

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According to other data analyses, including those by Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center and The New York Times, Pennsylvania’s steady decline in cases since April put the state among a select few that continue a flattening of the curve, Wolf said. 

This distinction is particularly important as more counties reopen, he added.

“Pennsylvanians have done an excellent job at demonstrating how to balance business and public health,” Wolf said. “If we keep this up, we can continue to be a model to other states and a leader at saving lives and livelihoods during this pandemic.”