Steps have been taken to improve the speed and efficiency of the COVID vaccines rollout in Pennsylvania. On Tuesday Governor Tom Wolf announced the formation of a task force designed to streamline communicating information about COVID-19 between the Governor’s office and the General Assembly. Also this week the Department of Health launched the Your Turn application on its website to help people understand when they should be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently about 1.5 million Pennsylvania residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine and just over 335,000 are fully vaccinated.
So far the Spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus has slowed from January to February; over the last week there have been an average of 3,871 new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations rates have fallen from over 8,000 to 2,700 patients. COVID-19 is still taking the lives of Pennsylvanians and nearly 23,000 have died while tens of thousands more have suffered from long term complications that may last a lifetime.
The Department of Health has also released influenza infection numbers – 2,595 cases of the flu have been confirmed since the beginning of the season, leading to 33 hospitalizations and 12 deaths.
Authorities in Erie County are reporting a death by suicide. On Monday the 8th a Millcreek man died as a result of throwing himself from the Wintergreen Gorge Bridge in Erie County’s Harborcreek Township; the man’s identity is being withheld until his nearest relatives can be informed of the death. The stresses of modern life can be significant especially during a time of crisis like now and there is no shame in asking for help.
If you need to reach out to someone there are resources available:
Resources like The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and The Veteran’s Crisis Line at (800)273-TALK (8255).
The Pennsylvania Report and Referral Helpline can be reached at (855)284-2494 or (724)631-5600 for the hearing impaired.
There is also the Disaster Distress Helpline at (800)985-5990 and the United Way’s referral service at 211.
If you prefer texts, you can always text PA to the Crisis Text line at 741741.