New Analysis: Pennsylvania Receives “Trending Poorly” Marks for COVID-19 Containment Measures

Coronavirus COVID-19
PennPIRG provides fact sheet based on metrics from coronavirus watchdog

PHILADELPHIA, PA — With America as a whole continuing to struggle in containing the COVID-19 virus, PennPIRG released a new fact sheet today calling on Pennsylvania to maintain all current restrictions related to COVID-19 and take additional measures to improve containment.

This finding is based on analysis by a nonpartisan group of public health and crisis experts, which ranked Pennsylvania, as “trending poorly” based on its analysis of PA performance on four Centers for Disease Control-recommended benchmarks.

“From early on in this pandemic, it’s been clear that we must listen to public health experts or suffer dire consequences,” said Emma Horst-Martz, PennPIRG Campaign Associate. “What we are seeing right now in our state is that while we’re doing some things right, we must act more comprehensively to protect the health and welfare of our citizens and beat this virus.”

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The fact sheet provides data in the four key categories: 14-day decline in influenza-like illness; declining COVID positive cases; diminishing percentage of COVID positive cases; and appropriate hospital capacity.

As of June 26, PA was meeting two of four benchmarks. Specifically, the CDC recommends that a state show a 14-day decline in reported cases of COVID-19 before reopening. PA has not met this benchmark as COVID+ cases have increased in the past two weeks.

The CDC also recommends that a state show a downward trajectory for the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive before reopening. PA has not met this benchmark either as test positivity has been flat in the state over the last 14 days.

Nationally, only 6 states are meeting the standards in all four categories as of June 26. As of Sunday, the number had dropped to three.

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“Every situation is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for states to follow to the letter,” said Horst-Martz. “But Pennsylvania is simply not doing enough to combat COVID-19 when it comes to consistent decline in positive cases and test positivity.”

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