Thursday sees upswing in cases, deaths in Allegheny County, state.
UPMC medical staff said that Pennsylvania residents should feel free to visit with family members to celebrate this weekend’s Mother’s Day holiday, while maintaining usual infection prevention practices, during a press conference Thursday.
Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of UPMC’s department of emergency medicine, said that Pennsylvanians should still follow the governor’s stay at home order, “but I think having a visit with your mother in a small group, with appropriate distancing, and all the usual hygiene precautions makes a lot of sense.”
This advice came on May 7, when county and state infection reports bucked recent downward trends.
Statewide, most hospitalizations and most deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in patients 65 or older. In Allegheny County, the median age of those who have died of COVID-19 is 84.
Yealy emphasized that in-person visits would not be appropriate with elderly family members who have pre-existing conditions or suppressed immune systems.
“There are measured steps that make a lot of sense to keep everybody safe,” Yealy said, “and help us deal with some of the social isolation that has real consequences.”
Later on Thursday, when Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine was asked by a reporter whether Pennsylvanians should be visiting with family in person, she responded, “I know that Mother’s Day is coming up … My recommendation is, however, in the red zones to do that visit virtually.
“The safest thing that you can do for yourself, the safest thing that you can do for your mother and your family and for your community is to do that visit virtually. In the yellow zones, I think that people could do visits, but not to a nursing home or long-term care facility.”
A cyclist wearing a face mask crosses the Smithfield Street Bridge on April 29, 2020. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
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