HARRISBURG, PA — The departments of Health and Community and Economic Development have announced the launch of a new statewide public health awareness campaign — PA Unites Against COVID — to remind Pennsylvanians that they have the power to stop the spread of COVID-19, and provide them with tools and resources to help educate others and join the fight against the virus.
“Now, more than ever, we need to come together to combat misinformation and do our part to protect the health of our friends and neighbors,” said Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin.
“PA Unites Against COVID is a statewide communications effort that encourages every entity in the state — individuals and families, businesses, systems, and institutions — to come together in the fight against COVID-19.”
The campaign will invest $3.8 million funded through a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) grant to educate and rally together Pennsylvania to fight COVID-19, with special focus on marginalized communities. Paid media includes television and radio spots.
COVID Alert PA is a free, voluntary mobile app developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with NearForm, UPenn, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory using the Apple and Google Exposure Notification System.
The app’s features include an interactive COVID-19 symptom checker, opt-in for alerts for potential exposures to the virus, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA, and advice for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is still impacting Pennsylvanians across the state, so it is especially important that we continue to increase awareness about this virus and remind residents of the steps they can take together to help stop the spread,” Dr. Levine said.
“I am calling on all Pennsylvanians to unite against COVID by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and downloading COVID Alert PA. This virus is still affecting our communities and it will not go away on its own. We all have a collective responsibility and must be united in this fight against COVID-19.”
Medical experts have applauded the Wolf Administration’s response to the pandemic. Research at the University of Pittsburgh concluded that mitigation efforts have saved thousands of lives. The modeling found that without the restrictions the number of deaths in Pennsylvania would have at least doubled or tripled.
Some of the actions Pennsylvanians can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Covering any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Cleaning surfaces frequently.
- Staying home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
- Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea, chills, repeating shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
For more information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.
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