Wolf Administration Omicron Strategy Boils Down to This: Vaccines v. Shutdowns

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masked man at podium
Image via Gov. Tom Wolf at Creative Commons.
Gov. Tom Wolf is reluctant to return Pa. to shutdown status, preferring instead to continue to recommend vaccinations in light of rising COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Tom Wolf once again reiterated that his administration’s strategy to fight the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 is the vaccine and not shutdowns, according to a staff report from WHYY.

“The vaccine is our strategy, and people need to get the vaccine,” said Wolf.

Wolf spoke during a regularly scheduled appearance on KDKA-AM radio earlier this week. He said that the Department of Health expects new cases to peak in January, which will be followed by a hospitalization rise in February and a swell in the number of deaths in late February to early March.

Hospitals and nursing homes that are struggling amid severe staffing shortages have been warning that hospitals beds are being quickly filled by largely unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile Wolf’s administration is working on bringing out-of-state help for healthcare workers.

At the start of the pandemic, Wolf:

  • Ordered schools to shut down and transition to remote learning
  • Issued a stay-at-home order
  • Closed businesses that were deemed nonlife-sustaining
  • Implemented a mask mandate for indoors

Many of those initiatives have been walked back, owing to Republican lawmakers who voted in June to terminate the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration.

Read more about the statewide vaccines v. shutdowns course of action at WHYY.

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