(WHTM) — COVID-19 cases are soaring and hospitals are filling up, but the Wolf administration, once known for aggressive mitigation efforts, has drastically changed its approach. Is it a new hands-off policy?
The Pennsylvania Farm Show — yes, there is tasty food, and yes there is still a pandemic.
“A little nervous, but we’ve had our boosters and our shots and it seems like it’s not a huge crowd here,” said Roselyn Nestler, farm show goer.
“We were gonna come on Saturday and figured no it’s gonna be too crowded, too many people. We picked today because we figured it would be a light flow,” added Jim Nestler, farm show goer.
While there is a light flow at the show, that is not the case for hospitals, which are overwhelmed and understaffed and the state health secretary says, the worst is yet to come.
“We are not at our peak by way of cases right now, which means we are not at our peak by way of hospitalizations right now,” said Pennsylvania Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinpeter.
While the Wolf administration is still encouraging vaccinations and asking for federal emergency teams, it is not closing business or schools or even the farm show, as it once did.
“We are not considering further mitigation at this time,” Klinpeter said. When asked if the administration is taking a more hands-off approaach, Klinpeter said the constitutional authority that the governor and secretary of health have are different at this time.
Voters approved amendment last year, limiting a governor’s emergency power. Gov. Wolf’s philsophy now? Help locals make sound public health policy.
“It’s really the Department of Health’s responsibiliby to make sure we’re providing accurate and scientifically driven information so people can make those decisions,” Klinpeter added.
That government is no longer deciding for you, but that doesn’t let you off the hook, which brings us back to the far show.
“Social distance if you want to but at the same time we can’t not do things,” Kevin Swarr, a farm show goer.
“I think you have to do what you think is best for yourself and your family. That’s my honest opinion,” Roselyn Nestler said.
The health secretary did thank the Biden administration for its help providing strike teams, but she added it’s not nearly enough to deal with the current surge.