People who live on Pa.’s border say state’s new travel advisory isn’t possible

FAYETTE CO., Pa. — Pennsylvania’s travel advisory list because of COVID-19 now includes 37 states, including neighboring states like Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey.

Non-essential travel to and from those states is highly discouraged by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

However, some people told Channel 11 based on where they live, that is just not possible.

“We are in Morgantown all the time. It’s literally eight miles, so that’s where we do everything,” said Jennifer Laughlin.

Laughlin and her family live in Fayette County, just minutes from the W.Va. border, and spend most of their time there for dining, errands and everyday life.

“Everything we do is down there. There are three Aldis and three Walmarts down there, so there’s no reason for us to go to another town because it’s literally 10 minutes away,” she said.

Health officials said, in part: “Given the interconnected nature of Pennsylvania to neighboring states and the region and mode of transport between these states, a recommendation of quarantine is not practically viable.”

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease doctor with Johns Hopkins University, said his concern is that people will visit these states for non-essential reasons, such as vacations or visits.

“In the summer surge, we definitely saw people taking vacations to Myrtle Beach or Florida. Those people came back to Pennsylvania and Allegheny County and started to exchange the transmission. We don’t want that to happen again,” Adalja said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the country, a big worry for Laughlin is that the U.S. will shut down and traveling from state to state won’t be allowed.

“There’s no way that this would work in terms of allowing us to function as a family and financially be able to live,” she said.