PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania health officials say they’re continuing to distribute more than 3 million rapid COVID-19 tests that were allocated by the federal government. The tests are being targeted toward Pennsylvanians who have had contact with known cases.
“We’re prioritizing the individuals we reach out to first, those individuals at greater risk,” said Michael Huff, Pennsylvania’s director of COVID-19 tracing and testing.
Results will come back within 48 to 72 hours, according to officials.
This comes as the state reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on Wednesday. The state reported 6,339 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 281,852.
As of Tuesday night, there were another 110 new coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s death toll now stands at 9,465.
Pennsylvania has already announced new measures to address the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. The state’s mask mandate has been changed and there are new guidelines for those who are traveling.
Beginning Friday, health officials say anyone traveling to Pennsylvania should test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving in the commonwealth or self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
The new travel restriction is a requirement, but the Wolf administration admits the new rules are difficult to enforce and compliance is voluntary.
“We have no plans at this time to be enforcing, checking for tests as people come off airplanes, certainly as people drive into Pennsylvania,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “With freedom comes responsibility, that’s not a new concept, that’s been articulated since the beginning of our country and we all have a responsibility to work toward the common good and right now that means following these orders. I think what we’re all asking in all of our started is for people not to travel. We really people to stay at home and within their household and not to travel to see friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Health officials are now requiring Pennsylvanians to wear masks everywhere, both outside and inside when you’re with people not part of your household.
The new requirement does not apply to people who commute to other states for work or travel for medical treatment.
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