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COVID is here to stay as York County records more cases, deaths

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

The good news for York County: The rate of new COVID infections is leveling off and booster shots that cover the latest omicron variants are more widely available.

The bad news: More people are dying from the disease.

According to state Department of Health data, York County logged an additional 823 cases and six deaths this week, bringing its pandemic totals to 134,029 and 1,563 respectively. Eleven adult patients were hospitalized, with three in the ICU and two on ventilators.

The county is reporting a daily average of 118 new cases, down 1% from the daily average two weeks ago, according to data analysis by The New York Times. The rate of deaths, however, spiked 50% over the last two weeks as the county averaged about one death every day.

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The lower case count it largely due to the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters. These new boosters contain half the original vaccine recipe and half protection against the newest omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, which are more transmissible.

"WellSpan aligns with the CDC recommendations in strongly encouraging individuals to get their COVID-19 boosters, when eligible," said Dr. Eugene Curley, a WellSpan infectious disease physician, on Thursday.

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That being said, health experts say that the pandemic is here to stay.

“We have a virus out there that’s still circulating, still killing hundreds of Americans every day,” said the White House COVID-19 coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, in a news briefing Tuesday. 

Experts say getting the vaccine and booster will help raise global immunity and lessen the impact of the virus.

“We now have all of the capability to prevent, I believe, essentially all of those deaths," Jha said. "If people stay up to date on their vaccines, if people get treated if they have a breakthrough infection, we can make deaths from this virus vanishingly rare."

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