Over 400 new COVID-19 cases reported in York County as FEMA ramps up response

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

Health officials are bracing for an influx of COVID cases after the Christmas holiday — a surge that likely won't be apparent in the data for several days or weeks.

On Monday, the state announced a total of 82,924 cases of COVID-19 in York County. That marked a jump by 490 from Sunday. There were no new COVID-19 related deaths reported Monday, leaving the total at 1,171, the state reported.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, said in his first public statements since the holiday that states will be responsible for leading the charge in the fight against the omicron variant.

“Look, there is no federal solution,” Biden said, in a call with the National Governors Association on Monday. “This gets solved at the state level.”

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The comments came, of course, after Gov. Tom Wolf — and several other governors — called for FEMA assistance.

Biden said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying hundreds of ambulances and EMS crews Monday to help bolster state responses, the Washington Post reported.

“The bottom line is we want to assure the American people that we’re prepared,” the president said. “We know what it takes, and as this group of bipartisan governors has shown, we’re going to get through it by working together.”

With the increasing spread of cases driven by a new, likely more infectious variant, public health officials are encouraging the public to get vaccinated — or boosted — if they haven't already.

Across Pennsylvania, the case total increased to 1,964,994. The state reported a new death total of 36,069 since the start of the pandemic.

York County hospitals had 236 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, a decrease of five since Sunday. Of those patients, 47 adults are in the ICU and 41 patients are on ventilators.

Wellspan York Hospital, meanwhile, reported 177 COVID-positive patients. That's not far from the number — 203 — recorded at the pandemic's peak in December 2020.

Over the weekend, hundreds of flights were canceled as a result of staffing issues brought on by COVID-19 concerns.

Travelers queue up at the Southwest Airlines curbside check-in area at Denver International Airport Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Denver. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights Sunday, citing staffing problems tied to COVID-19 to extend the nation's travel problems beyond Christmas. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Airline companies including Delta, United and JetBlue have blamed the omicron variant of the coronavirus for staffing shortages that forced cancellations, according to The Associated Press.

Globally, airlines scrapped about 2,700 flights as of Monday afternoon, according to data provided by FlightAware. The site does not say why flights are canceled.

The state reported a total of 6,061,861 negative COVID-19 tests as of Sunday, including 201,796 in York County.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at  @tina_locurto. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.