Results of potential COVID-19 Labor Day spike could determine next steps in Pa.

Labor Day weekend in Ocean City
Photo credit Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says her office is keeping an eye on some coronavirus case numbers that could determine if and when restrictions will be loosened over the next few months. 

They’ll have to wait another week to see what, if any, effect Labor Day weekend had on COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania, as it takes about two weeks after a big event or holiday weekend to get a clear picture.

But already, there are rising case counts in the Midwest, including North and South Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio.

“We know from what happened this summer that we again are all literally connected in terms of Pennsylvania and other parts of the country, so we’ll have to see what those increases mean for Pennsylvania as well,” she said. “We will be tracking that as well very closely.”

Spikes in the South and Southwest caused a significant lag in COVID-19 test results — up to two weeks, in some cases.

Levine said the 19- to 24-year-old age group is where they’re seeing the most case increases, and she chalks most of that up to social activities on college campuses, ever since fall classes resumed.

She said there would have to be a significant decline in case numbers for them to roll back some of their COVID-19 restrictions, and right now, they’re not really seeing them. 

“We’ve seen some decreases two weeks ago. We saw some increase last week. This week has been up and down,” she added. “We need to see the impact two weeks after (Labor Day) to see if certain activities during the holiday increased our case counts.”