Biden meets with Democrats in Oval on COVID relief
Speaking during a meeting with Democratic Senators, President Joe Biden predicted his COVID relief package “will have Republican support,” despite huge gaps between the two parties’ proposals and Democratic plans to approve the bill regardless. (Feb. 3)
Another chain pharmacy will soon offer COVID-19 vaccinations to northwestern Pennsylvanians in Phase 1A of the state’s vaccination plan.
Tops Markets plans to provide vaccinations at two of its Erie locations and one in Warren, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday. The Erie locations will be at 1702 E. 38th St. and 1520 W. 26th St.
“I checked with our director of pharmacy and we anticipate receiving (vaccine) early next week,” Kathy Sautter, media relations manager for Tops Markets, said in an email. “Soon thereafter we will start to post appointments. Appointments will only be available online at https://www.topsmarkets.com/Covid19vaccinations.”
Tops Markets will join Rite Aid and Giant Eagle pharmacies in providing COVID-19 vaccine to an expanded group of Phase 1A people. These include anyone 65 and older, and those 16 to 64 with chronic health issues that increase their risk of serious COVID-19 complications.
But people have had difficulty securing available vaccination times at these locations, as well as at the LECOM Center for Health and Aging, which started vaccinating the expanded Phase 1A group on Friday.
Twice in the past four days, people have registered for vaccines through the center’s website, but arrived to find no vaccinations were being done that day. LECOM Health officials said website glitches allowed people to register for days the center wasn’t vaccinating anyone.
Those who applied for vaccinations over the weekend or for Tuesday were given other dates, LECOM Health spokeswoman Sheena Baker said.
Also, the center’s phone number for vaccinations has changed. It’s now 1-866-LECOM19, which can handle more calls and more messages than the old number could. However, people are advised to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the center’s waiting list for a vaccine, since all the February clinics are filled.
“As for those folks who had left voicemails on the old number or who had sent emails, LECOM Health staff are still working on getting back to everyone,” Baker said.
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper reported on Wednesday there were 99 new COVID-19 cases in Erie County and three additional deaths due to the new coronavirus.
Erie County has 15,783 total cases of COVID-19 and 402 deaths since the pandemic started.
The number of new cases has declined in recent weeks, but so has the number of negative tests. Dahlkemper and Melissa Lyon, director of the Erie County Department of Heallth, both expressed concern that many people with COVID-19 are not getting tested.
They pointed to recent COVID-19 data from the Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant, which showed the amount of COVID-19 virus in last week’s sample was more than double the previous week’s amount.
“It may suggest that individuals who may have mild cases of COVID-19 and think they might have … a cold or an allergy, are not getting tested,” Dahlkemper said during her news conference Wednesday. “I encourage people to get tested. Testing is still very, very important.”
A total of 57,041 negative COVID-19 tests has been reported in the county through Tuesday evening.
Forty-three county residents with COVID-19 were hospitalized Tuesday evening, an increase of two from the previous evening, the state health department reported. Of those patients, 19 were in intensive-care units, a decrease of one, and seven needed ventilators, the same number as the previous evening.
Statewide, 3,128 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday, increasing Pennsylvania’s total number of cases to 853,616. There were 143 new deaths reported across the state.
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