Pennsylvania reports more than 4,000 COVID cases; Philly mulling over possible restrictions

Pennsylvania COVID-19 live updates, news and information
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania has reported its highest daily positive case count since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic - 4,361.

Tuesday's numbers bring the statewide total to 238,657.

The department reported 62 new deaths. The total number of deaths in Pennsylvania attributed to COVID-19 stands at 9,086.

Health officials in Philadelphia are looking at more restrictions as the city records 879 new cases on Tuesday.

"I would say that the full range of options is something we're considering. These are tough decisions," said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

The number of hospital cases have more than doubled in the last two weeks.

Doctors at Temple University and across the city are preparing.

"What I don't know is are we in the worst of it, is the worst coming in the next week or two, or are we just at the beginning of what could really be bad?" said Dr. Tony Reed of Temple University Hospital.

Health officials anticipate a further increase in cases, which is why they are looking at implementing new restrictions.

"As the holidays come up, it's gonna be really tempting to go inside and have gatherings where it's warmer with larger groups of people, but you should refrain from doing that," said La Toya Nesbit, an ICU nurse at Einstein Medical Center.

"Wear a mask, keep social distancing, I know the holidays are coming and we want to get together with family. We need to do it in a wise way," said Dr. Reed.

The reality is that health officials anticipate further increases in cases, which is why they are looking at implementing restrictions.

"We really want to change the trajectory of this epidemic, but we don't want to be so heavy-handed that we unnecessarily restrict things that may be important for people," said Farley.

WATCH: How COVID is impacting holiday gatherings, travel
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How COVID is impacting holiday gatherings, travel. Bob Brooks reports for Action News on Nov. 10, 2020.



The CDC posted its most specific guidance yet on Thanksgiving Monday, which emphasizes that the safest option for the holiday is celebrating only with people in your household or taking extra precautions like wearing masks and keeping your distance if you celebrate with others.

A safe Thanksgiving during a pandemic is possible, but health experts know their advice is as tough to swallow as dry turkey: Stay home. Don't travel. If you must gather, do it outdoors.

Farley also says he just can't green light holiday get-togethers in the time of COVID.

"We know the virus is spreading within households. It's spreading among relatives and friends and spreading at social gatherings," said Farley.

So how will this impact Thanksgiving only two weeks away?

Officials with AAA say while they're still working on official numbers, they anticipate significantly fewer flights compared to last year's record travel growth.

Officials say if people do travel, it will be on the road. It's also important to check state quarantine guidelines before you head out the door.

WATCH: Bucks Co. issues warning as COVID cases rise
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Bucks Co. issues warning as COVID cases rise



Throughout Bucks County, infections rose to unprecedented levels last week, and on Tuesday officials sounded the alarm as more cases were reported in any other week of the entire eight-month pandemic.

"Here we go again, but it's maybe a little tougher this time," said Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia

As of last week, the Bucks County Department of Health saw about 118 cases per day. That's a 79% increase compared to the week before and 3.5 times higher than it was a month ago.

Officials say the anticipated fall spike of COVID cases is only exacerbated by Halloween parties, sports get-togethers and weddings.

"We believe the problem isn't coming from businesses as much as it is people getting tired of wearing the masks and coming out of Halloween parties and other parties and things of that nature," said Commissioner Robert Harvie. "We just need people to sort of buckle down and get through the next couple of months."

Officials said they are concerned the community spread virus will find it's way into long term care facilities.

"The cases are spiking, but the deaths are not going up and the hospitalizations are not going up, so the message continues to be please wear a mask all the time and please continue to social distance," said Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo.

During the press conference Tuesday morning, officials announced a large PPE distribution. Thousands of N-95 masks, gloves and face shields were ordered to protect emergency responders and healthcare workers.

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