COVID a persistent presence in York County as students return to school
York County continues to report a steady drumbeat of new COVID cases as students return to school.
The county reported 834 additional cases and four additional deaths over the last week, according to state Department of Health data. That brings its totals to 132,326 and 1,551, respectively, since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations decreased slightly from a week ago, to 13 total. Two adult patients were reported in the ICU, with one patient on a ventilator.
As schools return, it's important for children and adults to be prepared, WellSpan infectious disease physician Dr. Raghav Tirupathi said.
"Students who have symptoms of respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, such as cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea, should stay home," Tirupathi said. "Children with medical conditions which increase the risk of severe disease with COVID-19 who test positive should consult with a health care provider right away for possible treatment, even if their symptoms are mild."
Schools should also optimize ventilation and improve indoor air quality, Tirupathi said. That would help reduce the risk of germs and contaminants spreading through the air.
For now, at least, the number of new COVID cases appear to have plateaued. According to data analysis by the New York Times, the county is reporting a daily average of 117, down roughly 17% from the daily average two weeks ago.
Ultimately, Tirupathi said, the most important way to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 is for the public to get the vaccine and boosters.
Moderna and Pfizer, producers of COVID vaccines, have submitted applications for emergency use authorization of updated COVID-19 boosters to the U.S. Food and Drug Association.
First reported by CNN, the Pfizer booster would be used for people 12 and older, while Moderna's booster would be used for people 18 and older. The updated boosters should be available early to mid-September, according to White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, but it is ultimately up to the FDA to approve them.
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