PA Acting Health Secretary: “Pennsylvania Prepared For Transition Toward Endemic”

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – As the nation faces conflict abroad, rising costs, and inflation, some good news from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“Pennsylvania is moving in the right direction,” said Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter. “We’re very happy to see cases decreasing, hospitalizations and mortality decreasing too,” she added.

Friday, the CDC released new recommendations to reflect the latest COVID-19 trends based more on local hospital capacity and less on positive test results.

Just a few hours before the CDC announcement, Klinepeter said the commonwealth is ready to transition toward “Endemic.”

“Case counts are at their lowest since last August and continuing to fall, hospitalization admissions due to COVID-19 are following, and thank goodness, mortality rates are declining,” said Klinepeter.

At the height of the pandemic, the commonwealth was seeing about 33,000 cases per day. That hasn’t been the case in recent weeks.

“We’ve had an average in the last seven days across the state of about 2600 cases a day,” said Klinepeter.

76-percent of adults in the commonwealth are fully vaccinated and 95-percent have received at least one dose.

“Pennsylvania vaccine providers have administered more than 22-million COVID-19 vaccines across all 67 counties,” said Klinepeter.

Klinepeter says the commonwealth is ready to move beyond the current phase of the pandemic with continued vaccines and a strong public health infrastructure.

“That can support our needs as we move into the next phase of our response and recovery,” said Klinepeter.

While this is good news in the fight against COVID-19, Klinepeter says we’re not completely out of the woods just yet.

“Despite this progress, COVID-19 is not going away, but Pennsylvania is well-positioned with the tools, knowledge and resources that we have to prioritize prevention and everyday life and manage future outbreaks when they occur,” said Klinepeter. “Moving forward does not mean ignoring COVID-19.”

The Department of Health will continue to closely monitor trends and focus on prevention.

“We have the knowledge and tools needed to make smart decisions guided by public health research to keep ourselves and our communities safer. Our strategy includes a continued focus on prevention while being nimble enough to quickly respond to any changes in the COVID-19 landscape,” said Klinepeter.

Klinepeter adds that the commonwealth has learned a lot over the last two years, and that knowledge will benefit Pennsylvanians in the future.

“We have all learned valuable lessons from this pandemic. That’s why Pennsylvania built a strategic stockpile of PPE, supported a robust testing infrastructure that includes testing for schools and long-term care facilities, made critical investments in our hospitals and health care workforce, and executed a successful vaccination rollout,” Klinepeter added.??


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