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Pennsylvania Ready To Move Towards Endemic Stage Of COVID-19, Acting Health Secretary Says

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Pennsylvania Department of Health said the state is moving towards the endemic stage of COVID-19.

Citing the state's vaccination rate, Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said Pennsylvania is prepared to transition out of the pandemic phase. More than 76 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, and 95 percent of adults have gotten at least one dose, according to state data.

In addition to more vaccinations, Klinepeter said the key will be "a strong public health infrastructure." Pennsylvania has built up a stockpile of PPE, increased testing and invested in hospitals and the health care workforce, Klinepeter said

"Moving forward does not mean ignoring COVID-19," Klinepeter said. "We have the knowledge and tools needed to make smart decisions guided by public health research to keep ourselves and our communities safer. Our strategy includes a continued focus on prevention while being nimble enough to quickly respond to any changes in the COVID-19 landscape."

She said an endemic won't be declared until the World Health Organization announces it.

Since the pandemic started, the state has reported over 2.2 million confirmed cases and more than 43,000 deaths.

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