Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health weighed in on questions regarding the possibility of another wave of statewide restrictions as Philadelphia announced new COVID-19 guidelines Monday, along with multiple surrounding states.
"We have no plans to go back to the red, yellow, green, or any type of schema such as that," said Dr. Rachel Levine.
She stressed everyone can help prevent the spread of the virus and help prevent the need for any further restrictions by following health and safety guidelines which include the enforcement of masks and indoor capacity limits. She also noted that people who have been exposed to COVID-19 need to answer questions from contact tracers including if they have been to a business or been part of a large gathering within the past 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. She said that information can be life-saving.
"More and more people are not providing this information as part of the case investigations," she said. "That's a real challenge for us."
Philadelphia announced Monday restrictions on gatherings and businesses that include moving high schools and colleges to online instruction only. It also banned indoor dining. New COVID-19 restrictions were also announced Monday in New Jersey, with further restrictions already put in place in the past week in New York and Virginia as well.
Pennsylvania reported 4,476 new cases of Covid-19 Monday with 5,199 new cases from Sunday for total of 269,613. Dr. Levine said the state is now seeing a higher rise in case counts than it has since the pandemic began.
"We are concerned about even small gatherings and we really, as much as possible, want people to remain inside their households," said Dr. Levine.
Levine also asked everyone to skip holiday gatherings this year both large and small.
"I know that that is an enormous sacrifice over thanksgiving, over Christmas, over Hanukkah, over Kwanzaa, over New Years. But, that's what we need to do to be able to stand united to stop the spread of this virus," she said.
Track Pennsylvania coronavirus numbers here.
On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced an Executive Order retightening restrictions on gatherings.
New COVID-19 restrictions also started today in Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam announced statewide rules that include a reduction in public and private social gatherings (indoor and outdoor) from 250 to 25, a mask mandate that includes ages 5 and up, a stop to alcohol sales at 10 p.m., and the closing of bars and restaurants by midnight.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions for bars, restaurants and gyms in New York state that went into effect on Friday.
Pennsylvania has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases but has not yet enacted any new restrictions. Daily cases counts have been reported as follows:
Nov. 14: 5,551
Nov. 13: 5,531
Nov 12: 5,488
Nov. 11: 5,456
Nov. 10: 4,361