Pa. officials urge residents to keep holidays simple and stay home

People are lining up for COVID tests, ahead of the holiday. But, a negative result isn’t a total positive.

Experts are still warning people against gathering with extended family or friends outside the household, even with a negative test.

"We have FaceTime, so it helps, but it’s not the same," said Nicole Corley.

Corley is getting the technology ready in order to see her brother and sister on Christmas this year. Heading to pick up her dad, who just had surgery, she says their usual big gathering for the holidays isn’t worth it.

"Especially with him being so high risk and everything, we’re just going to stay in," Corley stated.

The holidays will look similar for so many, as health officials in Pennsylvania and across the country are urging against unnecessary travel and gathering with people outside of any given household for the holidays, as Pa. officials say the number of people hospitalized with the virus is double than the surge in the spring.

"We have been screening people and sending them for testing more than we ever have. We have record numbers of people we’re sending for testing," Dr. Jen Caudle, Family Physician and Associate Professor at Rowan University, said.

That’s what Dr. Caudle is seeing in her practice with Rowan University. But, in Philadelphia Wednesday, she said it was much quieter than what she’s seen lately at local urgent cares and pharmacies. Lines for tests. She attributes the demand to the increase in cases. But, also the holidays and she urges caution with that.

"I think it’s really important for people to understand that getting a test is not a free pass and tests are sometimes not entirely accurate, depending on when you get the test," Dr. Caudle explained.

That’s why Thomas Plummer says he’s rounding out 2020 playing it safe, even if the holidays feel strange this year.

"They won’t look a little different, they are different. Just thankful to be alive this year, that’s about it," Plummer remarked.



Philadelphia extends ‘Safer at Home’ restrictions on businesses, gatherings through Jan. 15

Coronavirus Restrictions: What you need to know in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

Pennsylvania to implement testing requirements for interstate travel, strengthen mask requirements


For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.


Sign up for emails from FOX 29, including our daily Good Day Digest newsletter