These High COVID Transmission rates have Local and County Leaders weighing their options about what to do now. Here’s a look at how Centre County is handling the situation.
After close to 200 new cases were confirmed over the last week, Centre County is now in the red. The County had been in Substantial territory for several weeks before crossing the High threshold this past week. This comes as calls for Vaccination Mandates at nearby Penn State University intensify and area Hospitals set limits on visitation and delay elective procedures. Michael Pipe, Centre County Commissioner saying: “So back last year in 2020 when there was the first push to wear masks, we didn’t have this tool of the vaccine. We now have that, so one of the critical things that we can do is to get vaccinated if you’re not already, and if you are vaccinated, wear the mask when you’re inside because we’re going to see a High or Substantial Transmission here in Centre County.”
Geisinger Health System opted to Mandate vaccinations for all staff last week, as Health Systems across the Country debate doing the same thing. Dr. Cybele Pacheco, Dept. Director for Primary Care in the Geisinger Western Region: “The thoughts behind that are really keeping a healthcare system in the best scenario so that we stay healthy enough to continue to treat patients, and we know that the people who are right at the moment getting the sickest are those patients who have not been vaccinated yet, so we want to do the best to keep our Employees as safe as possible and ultimately available to be able to treat our patients and take care of our communities.”
Doctor Cybele Pacheco says the discussion of mitigation practices from earlier this year can’t stop until vaccine hesitancy is history. Dr. Pacheco adding: “But until we’re at a place where most people, if not all people have gotten the vaccine, I don’t know that we can really talk about removing mitigation efforts to keep people safe.”
As for Masks, Commissioner Michael Pipe says it would be wise to get back into the habit. Pipe adding: “So as we learn more about these variants of COVID-19 and how did they mutate, and as they keep generating and changing the population (of cases), they’re going to present different challenges, and masking through all of these variants is so key and so important.”
Local Lawmakers have not disclosed if Mandating such measures is on the table.