U.S. to open COVID-19 boosters for all adults as spread continues in York County

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

As the U.S. expands COVID-19 vaccine accessibility further than ever, the disease continues to spread at a steady pace through York County and local schools.

The weekend saw seven additional deaths in York County, according to state Department of Health data, bringing the total on Sunday to 1,052 since the start of the pandemic. Total cases are now 68,294, up 775 since Friday. 

The county reported 118 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, including 28 adult patients in the ICU and 23 patients on ventilators. 

Across all 67 counties, the state has seen 1,686,169 cases and 32,924 deaths. There have been more than 5.8 million negative COVID-19 tests throughout Pennsylvania, including 197,448 in York County.

U.S. officials announced on Friday that the nation plans to open up COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, according to an Associated Press report. This comes just a few weeks after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5-11. 

“We heard loud and clear that people needed something simpler — and this, I think, is simple,” FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said.

Pennsylvania has administered more than 1.2 million booster shots since Aug. 13, according to the state Department of Health, making up about 8% of all doses administered in the state.

More:Gov. Tom Wolf's mask mandate must expire Dec. 4, judge rules amid school debate

More:York County districts pass last year's COVID-19 total less than halfway through school year

As of Friday, local public schools had recorded 3,085 cases during the 2021-22 school year, including 42 new cases recorded since Thursday. York County schools have already broken last school year's total case count and at this rate will more than double last year's total by summer. 

In the 2020-21 school year, York County districts recorded at least 2,861 cases, though the true total was likely over 3,000 due to recordkeeping disparities that still exist this year. 

More:More than 2,800 COVID-19 cases recorded at York County schools during school year

More:COVID-19 reporting varies widely among York County schools

No two school districts are tracking COVID-19 cases in the same way. 

Five districts — Dallastown, Hanover, Northeastern, Southern and West Shore — are not posting their total cases for the school year. Instead, some of them are only publishing cases recorded during the previous 14 days, while others are only posting active cases. 

Among other districts, COVID-19 tracking varies. Some districts don't include cases that were contracted while the students or staff were off district property. Some combine probable and confirmed cases, while others keep the two separate. 

It's impossible to know the exact number of COVID-19 cases linked to every school district in the county. But The York Dispatch will continue to keep track of the number of cases in each district to the best of our knowledge.

You can keep track of your district's recorded cases for the 2021-2022 school year here. We will continue to update on a daily basis as numbers change.