Governor Wolf briefs Pennsylvania on current COVID-19 status


Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a news conference in his Capitol offices as he unveils a $1.1 billion package intended to help eliminate lead and asbestos contamination in Pennsylvania’s schools, homes, day care facilities and public water systems, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 in Harrisburg, Pa. Looking on are Democratic state lawmakers and officials from teachers’ unions. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf addressed the commonwealth Monday evening after an earlier announcement of a ‘multi-state council to restore the economy.’ Wolf looked to allay concerns and discuss where the state is moving regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe we will get through this because of the kind of people we are,” he said.

The governor outlined where the state was headed, breaking down the pandemic’s impact in three stages:

  • Buying time to allow the health care system to build capacity in handling patients
  • Transitioning towards a ‘new normal’ from how Pennsylvanians are currently living in
  • A ‘new normal’ following the aftermath of the virus

Wolf emphasized the importance of keeping health care facilities from being overwhelmed and exacerbating a problem that has been rampant throughout the country.

Wolf stated that transitioning from stage one to two involves health care facilities being able to properly handle a growing volume of patients who are positive without being compromised. Another indicator Wolf noted, was a drop in cases and an increase in the manufacturing of products needed to combat coronavirus.

The return towards reopening the state will depend on “more and better testing.” Tests that will be able to quickly determine whether a person is positive or immune.

“The real goal, of course, is to get to the point that we can fully resume our normal lives,” Wolf said. “This will require time along with the recognition that the ‘new normal’ will be very different from the old normal we had grown used to.”

The ‘new normal’, the governor detailed, involves stockpiling essential equipment that health care workers need to face deadly infectious diseases.

Wolf noted the largest change in the ‘new normal’ is adjusting toward the amount of time it will take in developing cures, vaccines, and rebuilding lives amidst the current state of the economy.

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