Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.'s surging coronavirus cases, experts say


SPOTLIGHT PA / PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER  — State and local health officials in Pennsylvania are holding off on implementing new lockdown or business shutdowns, even as daily reported coronavirus cases break records set during the most harrowing days of the spring surge. Instead, they’re urging the public to stick to mitigation protocols already in place — wear a mask, avoid gatherings, honor capacity limits in restaurants and other businesses — and to participate in contact tracing efforts if contacted by case investigators.

Steve Albert, Department of Behavioral and Community Health SciencesWhile it may seem counterintuitive that state officials aren’t turning back to stay-at-home orders and business closures as daily cases top 5,000, public health experts who spoke to Spotlight PA said widespread lockdowns aren’t the answer. “I think there’s this false idea that it’s either lockdown or nothing, lockdown or normal life,” said Dr. Steve Albert, chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “And that’s not the case. I think the health department’s guidance is an attempt to navigate a middle range for that. And that’s what we should be doing.”

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