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PENNSYLVANIA

Wolf says urging vaccine shots is his containment strategy

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf suggested Tuesday that he is not considering additional containment measures as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads overseas, but continued to urge people to get vaccinated.

Wolf said there is no cause for panic, noting that no cases of the omicron variant have been discovered in the United States.

“In Pennsylvania and around the country, the vaccine is still our strategy, so get your shot,” Wolf said on a regularly scheduled appearance on KDKA-AM radio in Pittsburgh. “Get your vaccine. That’s our strategy and it seems to be working.”

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Infections, hospitalizations and intensive-care unit cases are rising in Pennsylvania and many other states. About 3,600 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, according to Department of Health figures.

Wolf called that “very few" and said he doesn’t “see any need for Pennsylvania to do anything draconian at this point,” such as limiting elective surgeries to clear up hospital space.

Wolf

Wolf, meanwhile, is fighting in the state Supreme Court to undo a lower court order that, after this coming Saturday, will end his mandate requiring masks inside K-12 schools and child care facilities.

Wolf has said he would return authority over masking decisions to school districts on Jan. 17, but intended to continue the mask mandate in child care centers and early learning programs.

More than 33,000 people in Pennsylvania have died from COVID-19, according to Department of Health data.