COVID community spread increases rapidly throughout Pa.

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Community spread of COVID-19 is occurring rapidly.

It’s another reminder to take precautions and avoid spreading the disease through cross-contamination.

Students and staff at four schools in the Carlisle Area School District will be learning from home for the rest of the week after at least eight people tested positive for COVID.

“Even though children might not get terribly sick from COVID-19 according to a lot of studies, they can still spread it,” said Nathan Harig, assistant chief with Cumberland Goodwill EMS. “And they can spread it to that vulnerable population that we’re trying to protect and that’s the whole reason for our mitigation efforts.”

Harig says cases are often linked to smaller gatherings with friends and family.

“We’re in a period of exponential growth and people really need to understand that these next two weeks are your most likely risk weeks to catch COVID-19 in Cumberland County just looking at the maps,” Harig said.

88 new COVID cases were reported Tuesday in Cumberland County.

“We talk about lunch, especially if school districts have students together for lunch that aren’t well spread out,” Harig said. “We talk about risks of, you know, we’ve seen people talking on the cell phone take off their masks even though they don’t really need to.”

Taking off that mask may spread COVID through the air if you’re infected or make you more susceptible to catching it if you’re not.

But it’s critical that you’re aware of what you’re touching too because if you’re putting your phone to your face or adjusting your mask after touching common surfaces, like a desk in a classroom, that’s cross-contamination.

And without even realizing it, you could be spreading the virus to yourself or others.

“Wear the mask, avoid those social gatherings, wash your hands,” Harig said. “Prevent that cross-contamination and we can really steer the course of this disease right now prior to Thanksgiving.”

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