Pennsylvania schools to get more state virus analysis to guide reopening

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

Under pressure to give schools more health guidance about how to safely reopen, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration says it'll provide recommendations to school districts based on the local rate of transmission of the coronavirus.

The Department of Health said Monday it plans to provide an analysis showing the seven-day rate of transmission in each county and group those rates into three categories: low, moderate and substantial.

The department’s recommendation on how to reopen would be based on those categories.

While a county’s transmission rate and corresponding category could change week by week, Wolf’s administration said schools should consider changing their instructional models only after looking at the past two weeks of transmission.

Pennsylvania's new cases of COVID-19 reached 601 on Monday, the state Health Department reported, and there three additional deaths were reported.

So far nearly 120,000 Pennsylvanians have been infected with the coronabirus, and 7,317 have died.

Officials say cases among younger people, notably those 19 to 24, have been increasing significantly. Cases among younger age groups have become more common than in those 50 and older.

During a conference call on Monday, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine explained that the increase in cases in the younger population contributed to their recommendation that sports no resume until Jan. 1, 2021. 

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.




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The Associated Press contributed to this report.