Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Wednesday that Pennsylvania is at the start of the fall resurgence of COVID-19.
“We have seen more than 1,000 cases a day for the past nine days, which shows that we are at the start of a fall resurgence of COVID-19,” Dr. Levine said. “While we are working to expand testing, prepare for a vaccine and prevent outbreaks, Pennsylvanians have an important role to play. We must be united by wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, downloading the COVID Alert PA mobile app and getting a flu vaccine.”
State health officials reported an additional 1,276 more cases Wednesday.
Levine says Pennsylvania’s hospitals are in good shape though, and there’s still significant capacity available with nearly 21 percent of Intensive Care Unit beds available and nearly 19 percent of medical and surgical beds available.
According to Levine, there are 773 patients currently hospitalized with 83 either on a ventilator or receiving a treatment called ECMO, or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, with a ventilator.
Levine noted that most of the patients in the hospital are there with conditions other than COVID-19.
She also said that the first allotment of rapid antigen test cards are being distributed to several counties that are currently seeing a spike in cases.
“Antigen test cards are a timely, quick and easy-to-use tool for communities to receive rapid COVID-19 testing,” Dr. Levine said. “These test kits, provided by the federal government and being distributed to areas in need by the Wolf Administration, will further help communities struggling with the spread of COVID-19. Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are another tool in our testing toolkit to help quickly identify cases.”
She explained that the test cards, provided by the federal government, will be distributed to certified institutions, including long-term care facilities, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, higher education institutions, drug and alcohol and behavioral treatment centers, correctional facilities and other health care providers to help with rapid testing.