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Pike Infection Rates Soaring Even as More Vaccines Come to NEPA

By Margaret Allen
A noticeable improvement in COVID-19 vaccine allocations for Wayne and Pike Counties is continuing. After local legislators recently lobbied for Wayne Memorial Health System as the primary source for making it happen, distributions has been forthcoming. Within one week 3000 vaccinations were administered at clinics in the Honesdale area, Lords Valley, and Forest City. However, transmission rates are still high. Pike County is currently going through one of the roughest patches as explained by Dr. Doug Manion, Infectious Disease expert with the Milford COVID Volunteer Task Force.

Dr. Manion: "This thing is not going away. Pike County has the second highest infection rate of any County in the state of Pennsylvania and it still has a PCR positivity rate of above 10%. So it is at the highest level of risk of any county in the country. So this is not the time to take the foot off the gas. I am concerned about this idea of reopening to 75% capacity for restaurants. It is still very, very easy to catch this virus and the more transmissible variant is now here. And so it is easier to catch the virus now than it was this time last year. People shouldn't freak out, but people should be exceedingly careful and not assume this thing is done. This is far from done."

The long waiting lists are getting shorter and additional clinics are scheduled this week for residents eligible in phase 1A and registered. It's easy to register online at wmh.org, there's a tab at the top of the front page. More clinics are being planned as supplies arrive. You can be directly notified if you register and create a profile with your contact information.