While she said she's concerned about the next few months, she's also "very hopeful" about Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines being approved.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said it looks like we’re heading into the peak of the pandemic, and she’s concerned about the role Thanksgiving will play in that.

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“In public health, we are very concerned about the potential impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. And particularly those people who, despite our advice, traveled — unfortunately, the airports were often quite crowded — and those who did have smaller and larger gatherings,” she said in a news conference Monday.

She pointed to Pennsylvania’s travel order, which requires people coming to the state to test negative 72 hours before or to quarantine for 14 days when they get here.

“I think those that were in gatherings should consider whether they would like to quarantine — just kind of assume that maybe they were exposed and quarantine,” she said.

She also says people with symptoms should get tested, and people should consider getting a test a week after travel.

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“We’re concerned. Our recommendation for the upcoming holidays is to please say home,” she said, adding she knows that’s a “tremendous sacrifice.”

She says people should stay within their household, not travel and connect with friends and family remotely.

“This right now — November, December, January, February — looks like it’s going to be the peak time in terms of transmission of COVID-19 during this global pandemic,” she said.

However, she says she’s “very hopeful” about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being approved, and the state is ready to distribute and administer those. But that will be a slow process, she says, and it won’t be until late spring or summer until the general public will start to be immunized.

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“This winter is the key time and we all need to stay united. We need to stay home and prevent the spread of this virus and I think 2021, especially the second half of 2021, will look much better,” she said.