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05/18/2020

Department of Health Announces CDC Teams to Assist in Pennsylvania COVID-19 Response

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent three teams to Pennsylvania to assist with the COVID-19 response. 

“We are so pleased to have this level of collaboration and assistance from the CDC to help our teams working in the field in Pennsylvania,” Dr. Levine said. “COVID-19 is a particularly challenging situation for congregate settings, including large workplaces, food industries and long-term care facilities. These teams are assisting us in our response in these hardest-hit areas as we work to protect the public health and safety of Pennsylvanians.”

These teams arrived in Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 14. Since then, they have been working to become familiar with the situation across the state so they can begin providing assistance to locations in need. There are two teams assisting long-term care facilities and one team assisting food facility outbreaks.

The CDC teams will be onsite in Pennsylvania for two weeks to help in the response using their expertise. These teams will help assess the situation, teach infection control practices, and offer training on personal protective equipment (PPE) and outbreak response at the facilities they visit. They will also assist with developing a testing strategy for the nursing homes they visit and use their expertise to help cohort residents.

As of 12:00 a.m., May 18 p.m., there were 63,056 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide in 67 counties and 4,505 confirmed deaths. Most of the patients hospitalized are 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 and older. More data is available here.

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783 or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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