COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing as Biden unveils booster plan

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center nurse Maggie Bass, left, gives Ayana Campbell, 14, a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at an open COVID-19 vaccination site sponsored by the university and the medical center in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

York County saw 114 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the same day the Biden administration revealed a plan to administer a third booster shot eight months after people received their second doses.

This continues an upward trend that brought the total to 48,746 since the outbreak began, the state Health Department reported.

With the case increase, the county has seen 236 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, a 151% increase since the previous 14-day period, when there were 94 cases per 100,000 people. The rise in cases has been attributed to the delta variant.

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The additional booster shots have been recommended to combat the delta variant, and Biden's administration said they are slated to begin on Sept. 20.

"The Department of Health is already working with vaccine providers to effectively and efficiently administer 3rd shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals to further protect Pennsylvanians. We are confident in the ability of vaccine providers to meet the demand," state Health Department spokesperson Maggi Barton said in a statement.

Any additional booster shots to combat the delta variant would require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine could also be recommended an additional shot, but officials are awaiting the results of a clinical trial expected to be completed later this month.

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Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified York County as having a "high" transmission rate, the most serious level of transmission on the scale created by agency.

Dr. Matt Howie, medical director of the York City Health Bureau, said Monday he was most concerned about how quickly the delta variant is spreading throughout the community.

“This is significant,” said Dr. Matt Howie, medical director of the York City Health Bureau. “This is another surge for sure. I think what’s happening now is mostly related to the delta variant now making its way into our community.”

The high transmission designation requires 100 or more cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period or a positivity rate of at least 10%.

READ MORE: Delta variant in York County: What you need to know to protect yourself and your family

As of Wednesday, although York's most recently reported positivity rate was 7.1%, there were 142 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

Deaths continue to remain relatively stagnant, which local health officials attribute to the fact older populations have significantly higher vaccination rates than other age groups.

In addition, they said, younger individuals, even if unvaccinated, can better fend off COVID-19.

There were no new deaths reported on Wednesday in York County, leaving the death toll at 842.

Editor's note: graphs showing the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths for York County sometimes have different day-to-day totals than the numbers reported in The York Dispatch’s daily COVID-19 updates because of the way the data is reported to the state Department of Health.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.