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It’s that time again! The beginning of a new month that means another COVID-19 Update.

Today (11/30/20) there was a press conference from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Education.

The topic of this conference was the COVID Alert PA App. It was announced today that with parental consent, children ages 13-17 can use the app. Before, you could only use the app if you were over 18. The app will now also display hospitalizations and county-by-county case counts.

Since the App’s launch on September 22,

  • There have been 622,000 downloads onto smartphone devices.
  • There were 326 positive cases who confirmed their positivity within the app, which generated 144 close-contact exposure alerts.
  • Of those who received an exposure alert, 21 requested a call-back to speak with a trained contact tracer for further support.

You can download the app and make your phone part of the fight. The app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

During Today’s Press Briefing, Dr. Rachel Levine, The state health secretary was asked the following question:

“The Education Department currently has a list of vaccines that are required for students to enter school at certain ages when the vaccine becomes available for COVID-19. Do you anticipate adding that vaccine as a requirement for students to return to school?”

Dr. Levine stated that they have no plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines. She also included that there were no adequate studies done to date with the vaccines on children under 18. She added that some companies were beginning to start these trials. The state does not plan on forcing anybody to get the vaccine. Below you can find an audio recording of this question and Dr. Levine’s response.

It has also been reported that the coroner found that more than half of deaths are not from long term care facilities than were reported in the spring.

Acting Secretary of Education, Noe Ortega also spoke at today’s press conference.

A reporter asked Ortega, “If a school doesn’t follow your recommendations and in turn has an outbreak in the school, is there any repercussions for that?”

He replied saying that the only repercussions that would come out of that would be all students in the school going virtual and the suspension of all extracurricular activities.

Remember To:

  • 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, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.•
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

Note: All images from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They can be found here.