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By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Amid a fall resurgence of coronavirus in Pennsylvania, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says people should rethink the upcoming holidays, including small gatherings.

“Unfortunately, in this time of the global pandemic as COVID-19, as we approach the holidays, we need to rethink those gatherings.

We need to think about more and more gatherings being virtual or only staying with your family that you live with, that you’re exposed to all the time,” Dr. Levine said at a press conference Monday.

“I think that’s a sacrifice, but I think that sacrifice can mean that people don’t get sick in your family and in your community and it would be worth it. And even though that’s a really challenging concept, that’s what’s being recommended by the CDC, and that’s what we’re recommending as well, that people plan for the holidays.”

It comes as Pennsylvania has seen at least 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 each of the last 21 days. There were three days in the past week with more than 2,000 new cases.

The health department says the state is now seeing daily case increases comparable with what we saw in April.

Dr. Levine says the number of patients hospitalized for the virus has risen sharply over the last week. A coming increase is expected, she says, as hospitalizations usually rise a few weeks after an increase in cases.

“These numbers, however, continue to be well below what we saw in the spring, where at our peak more than 3,000 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Still, these increases are concerning to us.”

She she says our healthcare systems are better prepared to handle the virus compared to the spring, and adds “we must all do our part to prevent a further increase in hospitalizations, particularly as flu season also approaches.”

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: pittsburgh news christmas coronavirus coronavirus in pennsylvania dr rachel levine halloween local tv pennsylvania department of health thanksgiving pittsburgh news

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Small Business Owners Hoping Holiday Shoppers Will Choose Local To Help Them Amid Pandemic

HADDONFIELD, N.J. (CBS) — The pandemic has done a number on local businesses. Owners are hoping this shopping season you’ll shop local to help them out.

This isn’t like any Black Friday we’ve seen in recent years. There are a lot fewer people out and about, but one thing we’ve seen is people out supporting local businesses.

The festive feeling is undeniable.

“Seeing these decorations gets everyone happy,” said Cece Benn of Haddonfield.

And what other way to celebrate than to go shopping on Black Friday.

“We do really like to support small businesses,” said Ann Kribel.

Families have been strolling into shops looking for great deals and gift ideas.

Although it’s been a tough year for shop-owners in downtown Haddonfield, they completely understand the need for sales.

Diane DiDonato owns The Family Jewels, the smallest store in town.

“Everything is at least 20% off, other things are 30 and 40% off,” she said.

In addition to sales, stores have heartfelt notes to potential customers.

It hasn’t been an easy year and heading into the holiday season has been scary.

“When [Gov. Phil Murphy] announced last Monday that there were more restrictions, it definitely took a dive. It’s starting to pick up again and we hope it stays that way,” Lisa Netz from The Lavish Loft said.

“They’re having a hard enough time during this COVID issue it’s harder for them,” said Monica Lee.

Although it’s not the hustle and bustle we’re used to seeing, people are out shopping.

With caution, social distancing still applies in every store, as well as mandatory masks and sanitizing stations throughout.

“We said if it got too crowded we’d leave but the stores are being safe and everyone is wearing masks,” Sheila Thomas said.

“We’re trying to do as much with small businesses this year than online. Sure, we’ll supplement with online but we want to make sure we support local downtowns,” Patty Mikolajczak said.

Between online, big box and mom and pop stores, it’s great to see shoppers mixing things up and supporting the local economy.

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