Health Secretary Levine provides Pennsylvania coronavirus update

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced several changes regarding nursing homes and long term facilities in addition to addressing a shift in how coronavirus deaths will now be reported during Monday’s press conference.

Levine said plans to roll out mass testing at nursing homes will be released later in the week, and that infection data regarding those facilities will be released on Tuesday. The state previously only listed nursing home metrics by county, without listing specific facilities.

In regards to testing, Levine said some facilities could be tested on a weekly basis, while facilities with fewer cases could be tested less often.

“This strategy focuses on ensuring testing is accessible, available, and adaptable to the evolving landscape of this virus,” she said.

The health secretary said testing will help slow the spread of Covid-19 and help provide a roadmap for what those facilities need.

The health secretary also addressed the changes in how coronavirus death totals are now being reported. She said data was previously taken from the PA-NEDSS, the Pennsylvania National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, but will now be pulled from the Electronic Death Reporting System.

She said the change allows the state to receive as close to realtime information as possible. The change has resulted in some death totals changing for some counties though.

Levine also said that the Wolf administration will be starting on guidelines for the green phase later this week.

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