York County COVID hospitalizations increase alongside three deaths

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York County continues to report elevated COVID-19 case counts amid a global surge due to the BA.5 variant.

On Thursday, the county reported 886 new cases and three additional deaths, bringing its totals to 131,492 cases and 1,547 deaths since the pandemic began.

"I encourage everyone to continue to be safe, vigilant, and stay up to date with COVID vaccinations," WellSpan Health infectious disease physician Dr. Eugene Curley said Thursday.

The data continues what has been an extensive surge of COVID cases across the summer. Over the last week, the county reported 15 people hospitalized. That's up from the nine that were reported last week.

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The latest surge comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped its recommendation that people quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person, as well as saying people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

Curley noted that, although the hospital system hasn't seen the same surge in severe cases it experienced during earlier COVID waves, people are still dying and developing long-term complications from the virus.

According to a New York Times analysis of health data, York County's 14-day rolling average of cases has remained relatively steady, declining 7% from the previous period.

York County remains at the "medium" level of the CDC's community levels, which it was upgraded to earlier this month. That means people who are considered at high risk for infectious disease should talk to their healthcare provider about wearing a mask and take other precautions, stay up-to-date with vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms.

According to the White House's COVID response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, a COVID booster for the omicron variant B.A. 5 could be available by early to mid September. 

“We’re going to know more about this in the upcoming weeks and these vaccines will become available by early to mid-September," Jha said, during a virtual event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright. 

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