Schools are closed. Playgrounds are closed. Sports are canceled.
Surely kids can hang out with a friend or two at home, right?
Pennsylvania’s health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine knows as a pediatrician and parent just how hard this advice is to practice.
But a playdate exposes families to people outside of their home who may be infected and this could help spread the coronavirus, she said Sunday.
Currently, the virus is spreading on an exponential growth trajectory, meaning the rate of the infection’s spread grows in relation to the number of people infected.
And one infected person on average can infect 2.5 people on average who each go on to infect another 2.5 people and so on. This is why social distancing is so crucial to slow the infection and halt the doubling transmissions.
“We do not want you to have playdates,” Levine said during a 1 p.m. press briefing Sunday. “That will expose the children and parents to others and could help spread the illness. … We want close family to stay together and not to have playdates, even though I do understand how difficult that is.”
Pennsylvania is nearing a total of 500 cases of COVID-19 across the state with 40 cases now reported in the Lehigh Valley. There have been two fatalities in the state, including a Northampton County man.
“The most important thing it to prevent the spread and that means people staying home,” Levine said.
It is fine to go outside or take a short walk, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends people avoid crowded parks.
“If you are practicing social distancing, being outside in wonderful weather is very healthy,” Levine said.
Across the Lehigh Valley, municipalities and school districts have closed their playgrounds to limit children’s’ interactions and slow the spread.
“Practice social distancing and please stay home,” Levine said.
If you may have been exposed or exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough and shortness of breath – contact your healthcare provider.
Tell us your coronavirus stories, whether it’s a news tip, a topic you want us to cover, or a personal story you want to share., whether it’s a news tip, a topic you want us to cover, or a personal story you want to share.
Sara K. Satullo may be reached at [email protected]. If there’s anything about this story that needs attention, please email her. Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso