Just when it seemed the Pandemic was behind us, Pennsylvania is beginning to see another rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. As COVID cases trended sharply downward over the past 3 months, we’ve watched as Mandates have gone away and folks have been getting back to normal. But over the past week, as a new more contagious Variant takes hold and vaccination rates plummet, we’ve seen the sharp movement of cases go in the other direction.
Every State in the Union is seeing a rise in COVID cases, blamed on the rise in the Delta Variant. Pennsylvania is no exception. The Commonwealth’s 7-day case average, based on Department of Health data, bottomed out on July 9th at 173 cases. Since then, it’s been sharply rising, now 10 days later it’s nearly doubled. Of course, it’s not nearly at the levels we saw this Spring when the average hit 5,000 cases, nor the Winter when the average was over 10,000.
That’s thanks to Vaccines. But while Pennsylvania has done well by comparison with getting people inoculated, the State like other places in the Nation, is hitting a wall when it comes to reaching those not vaccinated. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying: “There is a clear message that is coming through. This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
It comes as new polling from CBS shows among those unvaccinated: 53% worry about side effects, half don’t trust the Government, and 45% don’t trust the science. With not even half the Nation fully vaccinated yet, reaching the goal of Herd Immunity levels is a concern for Health Leaders as they try to reach those who still haven’t taken the shot and may never take it at all.
Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge saying: “High levels of infection are only going to drive further mutation of the virus and potential further problems down the line.”