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Pennsylvania health officials make strong recommendation for people traveling out-of-state

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County Health officials are making it clear travel is one of the reasons there's been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, but their new recommendation isn't sitting so well with some.

Empty airport corridors lead to terminals where you’ll find few, anxious travelers.

“We had some hesitancy, trepidation about traveling. I was a bit anxious as I was coming up to my travel date,” said Eric Roberts of Pittsburgh.

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The Allegheny County Health Department caught many off guard over the weekend, announcing a spike in coronavirus cases.

“COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County have reached an all-time daily and weekly high,” said Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen.

In response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, health officials are ordering all bars and restaurants in the county to stop the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption.

If your family is planning a summer vacation, weekend beach getaway or road trip — your plans could change.

“Because many of our cases reported recent out-of-state travel, I am also strongly recommending all those who traveled out of state to quarantine for 14 days upon returning,” Bogen said.

On Thursday, the Gov. Wolf administration said If you have traveled, or plan to travel, to an area where there are high amounts of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended that you stay at home for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. Those states include the following:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Roberts and his wife just got home from a trip to Boston for medical school graduation.

“At some point, travel becomes a necessity. You balance necessity with safety,” Roberts said.

They'll be self-isolating to help prevent community spread and will get tested if need be.

“We respect the fact that the 14-day quarantine order is in place,” Roberts said.

But others say they just can't afford more missed work and lost income.

“I don’t think it should be mandatory, at this point, to quarantine. If I know particularly a state is putting that type of quarantine restriction on, I would probably not travel,” Marilyn Bowlin said.

Health officials say you don’t need to be scared, but you need to be aware, wear your mask, use hand sanitizer and apply common sense.