Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine stressed that voters who haven’t returned mail-in ballots will be able to safely vote on Tuesday.
“It will be safe to vote in person,” Levine said in a Friday press conference.
She recommended a “COVID kit” for those voting in person, including a mask, hand sanitizer and a blue or black pen. She also encouraged Pennsylvanians to download the COVID-19 tracking app on their phones.
Levine also said that polling stations will be taking precautions, and voters should wear masks and remain six-feet apart from each other.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar urged voters who are voting by mail to drop their ballots off “as soon as humanly possible.” As of Oct. 30, voter registration in the state has reached 9,082,139 — an all-time high — and 2,236,162 ballots have been returned.
On Thursday, Levine said that over 50 counties across the state have seen increases in coronavirus cases over the past seven days. She added, though, that the state is much better off now than it was in the spring, due to greater access to personal protective equipment and medical therapy options. The state is also not going back to a red/yellow/green closure scheme, she said.
She noted that more than 300,000 people have already signed up for the COVID Alert PA app, which notifies its users if they have been in close proximity to someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Levine also said that although it is a sacrifice, people should avoid small holiday gatherings, outside of their immediate households, as even they can cause spread of the virus.
On Friday, the Allegheny County Department of Health [ACHD] reported 173 COVID infections and seven new COVID-related fatalities. The newly reported cases bring the total count since March 14 to 15,622 infections and 435 deaths.
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