Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's administration on Monday announced that it was offering more than 70,000 workers of the state five paid days off if they get inoculated with the coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year.
The announcement was made in an email sent by the administration that said the five paid days of "verification leave" could be filed from December 20 to March 31. Officials said employees who have already gotten their complete vaccinations and have verified their status to the administration would automatically receive the five days of leave, the email said.
Pennsylvania's Paid Days Off
Wolf's administration said that the state offered the paid leave in an attempt to help incentivize state workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus infection. Authorities said that it was one more way to show their appreciation towards workers who assisted Pennsylvania in protecting communities and individuals and helping to put a stop to the coronavirus pandemic, 6ABC reported.
The announcement comes as the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 7,480 new cases of the deadly disease in the last two days as of midnight Sunday. The latest report brought the total number of cases in the state to 1,564,939.
The Pennsylvania government will release another report on Tuesday to reveal the number of individuals infected by the illness in a two-day coverage. The state also revealed that there were 2,754 hospitalized cases of coronavirus and 653 people in the intensive care unit.
A total of 1,368 coronavirus infections were recorded in school-aged children between five to 18 years from October 20 to October 26, 2020, which was a much lower number compared to the same timeline in 2021, where authorities recorded 5,238 cases in the same age group, Erie News Now reported.
Coronavirus Pandemic Status
The situation comes as Pennsylvania has observed a rise in coronavirus cases from September while having less-than-desirable vaccination rates. It was also revealed that from September 5 to October 4, breakthrough cases, which is the event of a vaccinated person getting infected by the disease, accounted for about 26% of over 135,000 new infections and roughly 5,000 hospitalizations.
The numbers increased 6% in infections and 5% in hospitalizations comparing numbers from January and September. Health officials have warned that Pennsylvania residents who have not yet gotten the coronavirus vaccines were much more at risk of contracting the virus, developing severe symptoms, or dying from the virus.
The state's acting physician general, Dr. Denise Johnson, said that the recent data supported the case for the coronavirus vaccine booster shots. United States health officials in September approved the third dose for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccines to help better protect the citizens of the country.
The booster shot for the coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech was initially allowed to be used for Americans who were 65 years old and up and younger people who had underlying health issues or those who were at high-risk working areas, including frontline workers, the Associated Press reported.