COVID summer continues: 'We didn't get the break we were hoping for'

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York County logged an uptick in both COVID cases and deaths as officials continue to warn the public that the pandemic is still with us.

"We've had COVID circulating all summer, so we really didn't get the break we were hoping for — the way we typically see with seasonality," York City Health Bureau director Dr. Matt Howie said.

According to state Department of Health data, the county reported an additional 880 cases and six additional deaths over the last week. That brings its totals to 133,206 and 1,557, respectively, since the pandemic began.

The county is reporting a daily average of 119, down roughly 17% from the daily average two weeks ago, according to data analysis by the New York Times. Hospitalizations, however, have increased 11% over the same period, with a daily average of 54.

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Howie said the lack of a break in COVID cases is due to the increased transmissibility of the omicron variant. In addition, he said, more child cases are being reported — possibly a consequence of children returning to school.

"We're not going to shut down schools. That's not a viable option for this," Howie said. "We're just continuing conversations about masking and mask usage in that space." 

 City of York Medical Director Dr. Matt Howie speaks at the York County Administrative Center in York City, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The recent uptick in positive COVID-19 testing, specifically at York County Prison, was addressed. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In addition, Howie said it's important that anyone who isn't feeling well stay home. 

So far, Pennsylvania has seen 3,185,902 cases and 46,716 deaths since the pandemic began. 

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On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters from Pfizer and Moderna. The new boosters are known as bivalent boosters, combining the companies' original vaccines with one that targets BA.4 and BA.5 omicron.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must approve the updated vaccines before they can be used.

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