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Gov. Tom Wolf greets Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine by bumping elbows instead of shaking hands, doing their parts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Elk County’s count of positive COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Wednesday’s data from the state health department, while other local counties remained stationary.

The case count for Elk County was 42, with 31 confirmed cases and 11 probable cases. There have been 1,700 negative tests.

McKean County stayed at 26 cases, and has had 2,924 negative tests. Potter County stayed at 20 cases, and reported 726 negative tests.

Statewide, there were 834 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 110,218. Allegheny County is reporting an increase of 125 cases and Philadelphia County is reporting an increase of 111 cases.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between July 22 and July 28 is 161,894 with 6,619 positive cases. There were 20,503 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., July 28. These results represent the total number of tests administered.

There are 7,162 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 16 new deaths reported.

“We have been largely successful in our fight against COVID-19 thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of every Pennsylvanian,” said Gov. Tom Wolf, in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “But with a recent and ongoing rise in cases, we must remain vigilant, continue to listen to healthcare professionals and each do our part to prevent this dangerous virus from spreading through our communities.”

The Wolf Administration has issued a series of orders since March with the single goal of protecting Pennsylvanians from COVID-19, which has claimed more than 7,000 lives in the state.

The Wolf Administration has stressed the importance of mask-wearing as paramount to helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Combined with social distancing, this simple act can protect people and businesses and help increase our freedoms.

Per the Secretary of Health’s order, businesses must require all customers to wear masks while on premises, and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of such goods.

“We want Pennsylvanians to do the right thing,” the statement from Wolf’s office read. “For all those who are claiming an exception who do not have one, they are potentially putting the lives of those they encounter at risk. Wearing a mask is a non-partisan, non-political statement that you care about the people you encounter and is a sign of kindness and respect.”

The current mitigation orders in place include Worker Safety, Building Safety, required mask-wearing, and the July 15 targeted mitigation orders. Along with a focus on voluntary compliance, several state and local agencies are responsible for enforcing these important health and safety mandates.

The Secretary of Health’s orders were issued pursuant to the authority granted to her under the law, and it has the force and effect of law.

As with all current orders, if citations were to be issued, they would be issued pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Disease Control and Prevention Act of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.20(a) and The Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P. S. § 1409, which are the same statutory sections that were used for business closure enforcement.

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