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Dr. Levine encourages Pennsylvanians to 'answer the call' and continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Dr. Levine recommends people only celebrate the holidays with people in their household

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says, the next few weeks will be critical in getting the spread of the virus under control. 

"We are seeing the highest case counts since the beginning," said Dr. Levine. 

COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are on the rise. Dr. Levine does not believe we have hit the peak of this fall/winter resurgence. 

"We don't know exactly how long the fall resurgence becomes the winter resurgence and how long that's going to last," said Dr. Levine. "I'm afraid I do not think we have peaked."

Hospitalizations since last Monday have increased by about 500 people. While Dr. Levine says, hospitals are not nearing capacity and there are improved ways to treat people with the virus, it is still dangerous. 

She is warning about what could come if people don't continue to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands. 

"COVID-19 is here and we are at a critical point," said Dr. Levine. "There's always a lag time. Two to three weeks we will see an increase in hospitalizations then about 3 weeks later, tragic deaths."

Dr. Levine acknowledges the weeks ahead will be tough, as people will want to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. However, now more than ever, she says people need to remain committed to fighting the virus. 

"Only celebrate with people in your household," said Dr. Levine. "Be with extended family remotely."

Dr. Levine also encourages anyone with COVID-19 to speak with contact tracers about where they may have contracted it. She says, right now about 20 percent of people with the virus answer questions from contact tracers. 

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