Rising numbers of COVID-19 in Bradford County, CDC Thanksgiving guidelines

There were 52 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bradford County according to Thursday’s update from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Two of the new confirmed cases are represented by nursing home and personal care facility residents.

Bradford County Manor reported two new confirmed positive staff members on Thursday, and that they were currently monitoring and testing the rest of the staff. The manor reported zero new cases among its residents.

Overall throughout the pandemic the manor has had 58 confirmed cases among staff with 55 considered to have recovered and have returned to work.

The increase in positive cases brought the county up to 1,384 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were five more probable cases in the county. Probable cases are either someone who meets the clinical criteria for COVID-19 and/or demonstrates epidemiologic evidence which determines the risk of infection before testing positive, according to the DOH.

Michelle Shedden, chief clerk among the Bradford County Commissioners, said in their virtual meeting on Thursday that they recently had to close their office due to COVID-19 exposure.

She said that a county employee was unknowingly exposed to someone who was positive for the virus on Nov. 5. They found out and were tested Nov. 9 with a rapid test that came back negative. Later that day, the person was also given the PCR test which takes about seven days to get the results; the result of that test came back as positive on Nov. 16.

“When the PCR test result came back positive, the person had already passed the 10 day quarantine period and according to the CDC guidelines they are free to return to work,” Shedden said.

She said that she and the Commissioners were exposed to that employee without masks on Nov. 6 and they were tested and had the office disinfected.

“All the necessary steps are being taken to prevent the spread to other employees,” Shedden said.

Thursday’s update from the DOH said that there were 7,126 confirmed cases of COVID-19 sent to the department by midnight, bringing the statewide total to 288,978.

The DOH created a travel mitigation order in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday that will be enforced at midnight on Friday.

The order states that people traveling in or out of Pennsylvania must have a negative COVID-19 test that was collected within three days of the date of travel, or quarantine themselves for 14 days upon entering, unless they meet any of the four exemptions: traveling for work, medical reasons, military personnel traveling on an order from the proper authority, or those who are only traveling through the state for the use of a highway or similar circumstance.

“The holidays are a time for togetherness, but this year, we must rethink what that looks like,” Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine said, “This Thanksgiving, choose to celebrate with the people in your household and virtually connect with your loved ones. If you plan to leave your home to celebrate the holiday, please follow the travel mitigation order, wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others. Weather-permitting, sit outside and enjoy the day. Do whatever you can to limit the spread of COVID-19 at this critical point of the pandemic.”

According to the DOH’s update, the CDC recommends that people bring their own food, plates and utensils if they must attend a gathering for Thanksgiving.

Visit the CDC website for detailed guidelines on food safety this holiday season in the time of COVID-19.

Regardless of holiday plans, Pennsylvanians are required to wear masks/face coverings in all businesses and whenever leaving home, according to the DOH.

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