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Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine Add New Restrictions to Mitigate COVID

November 24, 2020

When announcing a broad range of mitigation orders and guidance yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf pointed to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in both Pennsylvania and across the nation stating, “As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe.”

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, described the new and updated mitigation efforts, including:

  • Updated restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings
  • New state advisory asking Pennsylvanians to stay home whenever possible
  • Mandating that employees telework, unless it’s impossible for them to do so
  • New requirements for schools to keep students and staff safe
  • Encouraging online sales and curbside pickup for all shopping
  • Stepping up enforcement efforts by law enforcement and state agencies for all mitigation efforts, including issuing citations and fines
  • Targeted protections for businesses

With respect to hospitals, the Secretary announced a three-pronged regional test that would trigger a reduction in scheduled procedures within a region where the region experiences two of three benchmarks around staff shortages, available beds, and COVID-19 hospital admissions.

A full listing of the state’s new and updated efforts announced today is available in the Governor’s press release. The Department of Health’s order related to hospitals also is available online.

Pennsylvania’s hospitals are closely monitoring the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in their individual hospitals and have a number of tools at their disposal when capacity is stretched. Additionally, hospitals are sharing information with one another through the Health Care Coalitions, organizations that help facilitate mutual aid and collaborative transfers to support hospitals in managing capacity.

HAP will continue to work with Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine to safely care for every COVID-19 patient and anyone else who needs care in Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems.

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration, or Robert Shipp, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, HAP’s vice president, population health and clinical affairs.