Experts urge caution during state reopening

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — As the Keystone State opens up, there are still warnings from the medical field to not let your guard down amid the pandemic.

“Where will we be? You know, COVID is a truly dichotomous event in history,” said Alison Brodginski, D.O., director of infectious disease, Geisinger Northeast.

The numbers tell the tale.

In Pennsylvania, the CDC is tracking more than 67% of people ages 12 and up having at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

And vaccination efforts continue. However, nationally a new Washington Post analysis is revealing troubling data about those who are not vaccinated.

It takes note on unvaccinated people.

“The death rate is roughly the same as it was two months ago, and is barely inching down.”

“My takeaway is this. If you’re not vaccinated, at some point you will get infected. That’s really how to look at this analysis,” said Dr. Kavita Patel, former White House senior medical staff.

Tales of caution coming from the national level but it’s nothing we haven’t heard from our area’s top doctors, as we’ve eyed the end of this pandemic.

“Number one thing that we can do is go out there and let’s get vaccinated,” said Brodginski.

We’ve talked about the herd immunity statistic for months.

70% is the bare minimum for things to effectively open back up and reduce community spread.
The good news is, we’re getting there.

“Nationally we’re getting to higher and higher percentages of individuals who’ve had at least one shot, but we’re still not at the point where we need to be,” said Timothy Friel, M.D., chair, dept. of medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network.

“So it’s really, really important to go out and complete the whole series, one dose of Pfizer or Moderna is not enough,” said Brodginski.

The major threats associated with the pandemic could be over the sooner we hit herd immunity.

Masking orders and capacity limits are falling by the wayside, but there’s still work to be done to stay safe.

“I want you to stop and really think about the question, you know, do I want this pandemic to be over.”

“We are incredibly proud of the widespread vaccination effort throughout the state, throughout the region. It is really what has been the primary driver of the changes that we are seeing right now in the pandemic,” exclaimed Friel.

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