CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — As the country continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, variants and mutations of the virus continue to linger and spread leaving some local counties in the ‘high’ and ‘medium’ category of community levels.
Centre County is the only county in the WTAJ viewing area that is considered ‘high’ by the CDC. It’s prompted PSU and the State College school district to reinstate mask requirements.
According to the CDC, Centre County is currently 60.2% fully vaccinated, however, that number doesn’t include college students from other counties that are back at PSU.
Cambria, Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, and Huntingdon are currently at medium levels.
Bedford, Blair, and Somerset sit at low levels right now.
The omicron “subvariant” gaining ground in the U.S. — known as BA.2.12.1 — is responsible for 58% of U.S. COVID-19 cases last week. In Pennsylvania, there were more than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases just on Wednesday, May 25.
This genetic change is bad news for people who caught the original omicron and thought that made them unlikely to get COVID-19 again soon. Although most people don’t know for sure which variant caused their illness, the original omicron caused a giant wave of cases late last year and early this year.
While Governor Wolf has stated that Pennsylvania will not take any steps back into statewide restrictions or closures, local authorities still have the ability to choose how they handle what some experts have now labeled an “endemic.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.