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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Hospital's Lab Calling For Tighter Restrictions Across State

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- As coronavirus cases surge across the country, a Philadelphia hospital is advocating for tighter restrictions.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab recommended Wednesday that all schools and businesses in the region operate virtually, beginning Nov. 16 through at least the beginning of 2021.

"This is something we can coordinate with our holiday season to minimize potential harms of this period as we try to navigate through what is going to be the worst part of this pandemic," said Dr. David Rubin, the hospital's PolicyLab director.

While the hospital's recommendation is directed at the Philadelphia region, Rubin told CBS Philadelphia that he'd like to see tighter restrictions across Pennsylvania.

"I think that we need to get everyone to," he said when asked about recommending new safety measures in Pennsylvania. "Not just the state, but all of our communities."

Though leaders in Pennsylvania have kept restrictions as is since cases started surging again in October, changing government measures is something school districts are constantly considering as they adapt to cases of coronavirus in their schools.

RELATED STORY: Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Largest Teachers Union In State Says More Schools Should Go Virtual

Though Clairton City assistant superintendent Thomas McCloskey says his district has not had a confirmed positive case of coronavirus, new safety measures from state and local officials are always on the radar.

"It certainly makes us anxious," he said. "We work on the calendar and we have these things planned out for the year, being thrown into this kind of situation is sort of the antithesis of what a lot of us have been as educators."

Clairton offered families four different learning methods this year, but McCloskey says about 60 percent of students chose some form of in-person learning. So for the Clairton City School District, recommendations like the one out of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia go against what over half of their families want.

"It's certainly not something that we want to hear," McCloskey said of the recommendations. "I think many of us are suffering from COVID fatigue, but I appreciate the experts letting us know what is safe, what isn't safe."

Many local colleges and universities have protocols that fall in line with what the hospital is suggesting. The University of Pittsburgh has implemented a shelter-in-place order before students head home for the rest of the year beginning with Thanksgiving break.

Students at Duquesne University will also not return to campus in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The university is providing coronavirus tests for students as they leave campus for break.

Click here to read the full measures from the PolicyLab

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