WSBA News Center

PA Gets Ready For COVID-19 Booster Shots

Hershey, PA – Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam today signed an order to ensure that vaccine providers are prepared to start COVID-19 booster shots as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues the necessary federal guidance.

“Pennsylvania is well prepared to start providing vaccine booster shots just as soon as the CDC provides the approval and guidelines on who can get it,” Beam said during a news conference at the Hershey Pharmacy. “Vaccine providers — especially pharmacies — have already done a tremendous job administering more than 12 million vaccines across the state. Now they are ready to get booster shots to people as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to discuss boosters on Sept. 22 and 23 and is expected to make recommendations and provide guidance to vaccine providers following the meeting.

The Department of Health’s order requires vaccine providers, as possible, to:

·         provide online scheduling for vaccination appointments,

·         provide a telephone number, with prompts to a live agent during normal business hours, to assist in scheduling appointments,

·         offer walk-in appointments, and

·         work with local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and Medical Assistance Managed Care Organizations (MCO) to help schedule eligible adults and people who cannot leave their homes.

“COVID-19 vaccines do work,” Hershey Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist Chuck Kray said. “They are safe and highly effective at preventing serious illness. We are seeing the highly contagious Delta variant and it is sending case numbers soaring throughout our area. Getting the vaccines and the booster shot will protect not only you, but your loved ones during this spike.”

“Our team is still administering about 100 shots per week in Hershey Pharmacy and at area nursing facilities, clinics and schools,” Kray said. “We are ready to begin administering the boosters as soon as the federal government gives us the go ahead and guidelines. Please, do your part and get vaccinated in this fight to end the pandemic.”

There are currently more than 2,000 vaccine providers across the state with COVID-19 vaccine inventory. To date, vaccine providers have administered 12.6 million total vaccine doses. More than 6.1 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated; with a seven-day moving average of more than 15,600 people per day receiving vaccinations.

“The data is abundantly clear that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing hospitalization and death,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “We continue to urge every eligible person to get the vaccine, not only for themselves, but to protect their family and loved ones, especially kids under 12 who are too young to get the vaccine, which is in plentiful supply across the state.”

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that, since January 2021, 97 percent of COVID-19-related deaths and 95 percent of reported hospitalizations due to COVID-19 were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people.

To find a vaccine provider near you, visit vaccines.govOpens In A New Window.

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Central York School District Book Ban Rescinded

“We have heard you.” That from a member of the Central York School District last night as they voted unanimously and reversed their ban on over 250-books and movies on a diversity resource list. Escalating protests from students, parents and teachers along with some national media attention led the panel to rescind the 10-month old ban and reinstate the items immediately. The York Daily Record reports that in a statement read before the vote, Board President Jane Johnson said their “freeze” list was not intended to be a ban but a review. But that still has not happened. Johnson added that none of the books had been removed from school libraries. One reason for the original move was fear over teaching something called CRT. Education Week reports that according to the American Bar Association, critical race theory is a more than 40-year-old legal theory that holds that race is a social construct embedded in legal systems and policies. Education Week provided this example; in the 1930s, government officials drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.”

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Governor Visits York To Support Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

The statewide percent positivity rate for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania last week fell for the first time in 2-months. The rate dropped to 8.9%. State health officials also confirmed an additional 12,686-positive cases of the virus when numbers were combined for Saturday through Monday. There were 52 new deaths. Officials say the seven-day moving average of residents receiving vaccinations has risen to nearly 16,000 per day. Meanwhile, Governor Wolf was in York Monday to urge residents who have not been inoculated to attend a local community vaccine clinic. Family First Health will offer COVID-19 vaccines this Thursday at Rivas Deli Grocery on South Pine Street from noon to 4pm.

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Lancaster Co. Church Bus Crash Update

Nearly 3-dozen people were injured in Sunday afternoon’s crash of a bus returning to the ‘Lives Changed By Christ’ church in Manheim, Lancaster County. State Police say the bus went off I-81 near the Hegins exit in Schuylkill County.  Troopers say about a dozen people remained in a hospital yesterday, with 3-in critical condition. Church officials say the victims include freshman and sophomore girls and volunteers. An investigation continues.

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Unemployment Assistance Available For Anyone Impacted By Hurricane Ida

Residents who live or work in one of the six counties impacted by Hurricane Ida can apply for temporary Disaster Unemployment Assistance if they are unable to work due to the storm damage. State officials say York and Chester counties are included on the list. The deadline is October 20th. For more info visit

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PA COVID Update-19 Monday

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that between 12:00 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 18 and Monday, Sept. 20, there were 12,686 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,382,933.

There are 2,337 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 589 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. More data is available here.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients continues to increase again. The full 14-day moving average since the start of the pandemic can be found here.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of Sept. 10 – Sept. 16 stood at 8.9%.

Between 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17 and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, there were 52 new deaths identified by the Pennsylvania death registry, reported for a total of 28,864 deaths attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the Department of Health is providing weekly updated case counts for two age groups: 0-4 capturing child care and early learning age children and 5-18 capturing kindergarten through high school age children. Case counts will be updated on Thursday afternoon for the previous week and cumulative since Aug. 16, 2021, by county of residence. The case counts presented are total case counts in these age groups and are not necessarily cases exposed in school, early learning or child care settings. The location of exposure cannot be determined but may have occurred in a variety of settings including the community, household/family, or the school setting.

A comparison of cases among school-aged children between 5-18 for September 8 to 14, 2021 and 2020 shows the number of cases in the age group this year is 11.5 times greater the same timeframe in 2020. Between Sept. 8 and Sept. 14, 2020, there were a total of 630 COVID-19 cases in the age group compared to Sept. 8 and Sept. 14, 2021, when there were 7,218 cases in the same age group.

The latest data is available in the “Updated Case and Death Information” section on the website.

Vaccine highlights

Federal data representing all 67 counties:

  • According to the CDC, as of Sunday, Sept. 19, Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all 50 states for total doses administered.
  • According to the CDC, as of Sunday, Sept. 19, 67.8% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.


Statewide data representing the 66 counties within the Department of Health’s vaccine jurisdiction:

  • Pennsylvania’s vaccine dashboard was updated on Friday, July 9 to more accurately reflect the number of people who are partially and fully vaccinated in each county outside of Philadelphia, along with demographics of those receiving vaccine. For state-to-state comparisons, refer to the CDC vaccine data tracker.Opens In A New Window
  • Vaccine providers have administered 12,588,317 total vaccine doses, including 66,545 additional doses authorized for people who are immunocompromised, as of Monday, Sept. 20.
  • 6,146,333 people are fully vaccinated; with 50,178 vaccinations administered since Friday and a seven-day moving average of more than 15,900 people per day receiving vaccinations.

The department continues to urge Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidanceOpens In A New Window for wearing a mask where required by law, rule and regulations, including healthcare, local business and workplace guidance. For the protection of themselves and others, individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask when in public. CDC also recommends all individuals wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmissionOpens In A New Window.

There are 215,928 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases.

There are 5,344,407 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there have been a total of 75,627 resident cases of COVID-19 to date, and 16,178 cases among employees, for a total of 91,805 at 1,621 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 14,068 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. Note that the number of deaths reported to NEDSS is not exactly the same as the COVID-19 related deaths reported by the death registry. The number of deaths among nursing and personal care home residents and employees is taken from the PA-NEDSS death data, as this information is not available in the death registry data.

Approximately 30,770 of total cases have been among health care workers.

Statewide – The Wolf Administration has since noon, Sept. 19:


The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians: 

  • All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
  • A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
  • Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
  • The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.
  • Frequently asked questions can be found here.
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Bus Crash Leaves Several Injured From LCBC Manheim Campus

Several students from a Lancaster County church have been injured after the bus they were in crashed in Schuylkill County. Officials with the LCBC which stands for ‘Lives Changed By Christ’ say one of three buses carrying 1st and 2nd year students from their Manheim campus were hurt in the accident along southbound I-81 near PA Route-25. The driver lost control and hit an embankment and then drove into some woods. Over 2-dozen people were taken to local hospitals for treatment, but we don’t know the extent of their injuries. Two other buses on the trip returned home safely.

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2022 PA Farm Show Going In-Person

The 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show will be an in-person event. The pandemic forced officials to make the event virtual this year. Nearly all of the traditional features like the food court, butter sculpture, sheep shearing and competitions will return for in-person visitors. But officials add that some of the virtual experiences will stay on. Get more details when they are released at this web site:

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MD Biker Charged With Causing Two Traffic Accidents In Lancaster

A motorcyclist has been arrested after he allegedly reached speeds of more than 130 mph and caused two traffic accidents earlier this month in Lancaster County. East Hempfield Township Police say 47-year old Albert Cheeks of Randallstown, Maryland sideswiped one vehicle near the Running Pump Road overpass on Route 30 back on September-3rd. Officers say the second collision propelled Cheeks into another vehicle and ended up breaking his motorcycle in two pieces. While the other drivers involved suffered minor injuries, Cheeks was seriously hurt. Police say the suspect admitted that he had been drinking before the crashes. Cheeks has been charged with accidents involving personal injury and seven counts of recklessly endangering another person among multiple other offenses.

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Two Wounded In York City Shooting

A shooting in York City Wednesday evening left two people wounded. Police say gunfire rang out along the 200-block of East Boundary Avenue just before 6:30pm. Officers say they found a male victim at the scene while a female victim was taken to a hospital by private vehicle. We have no word on their condition. Anyone who can help the investigation is asked to call the Anonymous Tip Line at 717-849-2204.

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At Least One Dead In I-83 Traffic Accident In York County

A traffic accident on I-83NB in York County last night claimed at least one life. PennDOT officials say the victim was ejected after a vehicle rolled-over between Exit 24: Pa. 238 – Emigsville and Exit 28: Pa. 297 – Zions View/Strinestown. No other details were released.

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Man Wounded At West York Bar, Suspect Sought

A man was shot at a West York bar last weekend. Police say it happened early Saturday morning at “The Other Place” bar. The victim was taken to York Hospital but we don’t know their condition. Anyone with information is asked to contact the West York Police at (717) 854-1975

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Fatal Crash Kills Motorcyclist In Columbia

A 34-year-old motorcyclist died in a Sunday evening traffic accident in Columbia. Police say the victim was passing two cars on Malleable Road at around 7:30p but the biker was hit when the second car turned left onto Pheasant Drive. No word yet on his identity. Witnesses are asked to call Columbia Borough Police at 717-684-7735.

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Fed Aid Coming For PA After Damage Caused By Remnants Of Ida

Federal disaster aid is headed to Pennsylvania after President Biden approved Governor Wolf’s request following heavy rainfall, severe flash flooding, and tornadoes from Tropical Depression Ida earlier this month. The governor’s request included a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance for 6-counties including York and for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be made available to all 67 counties of the commonwealth.

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Two York County Police Departments To Merge

After months of talks, the Northeastern Regional Police and York Area Regional Police Departments announced over the weekend that they are beginning their process of merging into one force. The merger will officially take place on January 1, 2022 and the new agency will be called the York County Regional Police Department. Officials say the two stations will stay open, with 60 officers and six civilian workers. The goal of the move is to help with budgeting and recruiting along with sharing resources.

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Ida Soaks PA

Thursday started with about 6500-residents without power in York County and about half that number in Lancaster County as the region begins to recover from heavy rain and high winds from what was left of Tropical Depression Ida. Governor Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster emergency ahead of the storm. The Pennsylvania National Guard was activated and they are on standby although some units were sent to Bucks County for weather-related problems there. Flood Warnings continue for the Conestoga River in Lancaster County until this evening and for the Yellow Breeches Creek affecting Cumberland and York Counties until Friday afternoon. Get more on any cancellations and delays at our web site. Sunshine will help us dry out through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Stormwatch is powered by CBS-21.

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Lancaster Caregiver Charged After Child Found In Critical Condition

A child was found barely conscious earlier this week in Lancaster City and now the caregiver is facing multiple charges. Police say 32-year old Kayla Tucker has been arrested for aggravated assault to a child less than six years of age and endangering the welfare of children. Officers say they responded to a home along the 500 block of North Plum Street for a report of a three month old child who was having trouble breathing. The child was in critical condition when it was transported first one local hospital and then transferred to a second hospital. Tucker, who is not related to the child, is being held in the Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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PA Preps For Ida Remnants

While Ida has been downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane that caused devastation in Louisiana and other southern states, she still packs a lot of rain. Some forecasters believe our area could end up with anywhere from 2 to 5-inches worth which could lead to problems in flood-prone areas. PennDOT crews are clearing out storm drains along I-83 ahead of Wednesday’s storm. By the way, the American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region has deployed 16-volunteers to help in areas ravaged by the hurricane.

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Ruling Made In Student Death Near Millersville University

Following an autopsy on Monday, the Lancaster County Coroner has ruled the death of that missing student at Millersville University last week as a suicide. School officials say freshman 19-year old Matthew Mindler of Hellertown, Pa was last seen on Tuesday but was found dead near the campus on Saturday. The cause of death is pending toxicology tests. Mindler was a child actor who appeared in the 2011 movie “Our Idiot Brother” as well as several other productions. Meanwhile, the Coroner has ruled the death of a 5-year-old boy who fell into the water and was found near Conoy Township last weekend as fresh water drowning.

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York Man Sentenced After Guilty Plea

A York man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for his role in a deadly shooting nearly 2-years ago. The York Daily Record reports that 23-year old Shandon Garner says he was driving a car when a passenger shot and killed 20-year old Tyre Johnson of Manchester Township on Sept. 11, 2019. It happened near North Pershing and Jefferson Avenues. Garner was sentenced from 10-to-20 years in prison.

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Liz’s Dirt