HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As COVID-19 cases reach record levels, a group of more than 400 clinical leaders, including chief medical officers and chief nursing officers, from Pennsylvania’s hospitals issued an urgent call to action ahead of the holiday season.

“As the nurse and physician leaders of hospitals and health systems throughout Pennsylvania, we have an important message about the role you can play in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

Here is what we need you to do

  • Follow public health precautions: wear a mask, stay at least six feet apart, avoid crowds, and frequently wash your hands
  • Do not wait to talk with your doctor or care provider if you are ill or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, and follow the advice to isolate or quarantine
  • If you have not already done so, get your flu shot
  • As much as we yearn to gather together with family and friends over the holidays, small gatherings are contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases. We must take smart steps to reduce the risk—this year, please do not travel, and limit your gathering to your household

Nursing officials say they are approaching the holiday season with more knowledge and better protocols than they had during the onset of the pandemic.

“We face this winter with so much more knowledge than we had in the spring. We understand more about COVID-19 and how to treat it; we have better therapies, and we have implemented proven protocols. Our hospitals and health systems are working collaboratively to be prepared for a surge of patients that will put strains on our capacity.”

“The hospital community stands together committed to protecting and caring for Pennsylvanians, especially as we face the convergence of a second wave of COVID-19 and flu season. It is imperative that every Pennsylvanian join us in taking important steps to stay safe and healthy during the months ahead and prevent the spread of both influenza and COVID-19.”