The numbers of hospitalizations and active cases of COVID-19 are down slightly statewide and in the Southern Tier but there are far too many new cases to keep up contact tracing according to New York Health officials.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett says there will no longer be contact tracing required of local health departments in order to focus on vaccination and testing.  Residents testing positive should self-isolated and reach out to people they have been in close contact with to inform them so they can get tested.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

People who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 should monitor for symptoms and remain masked, but do not need to isolate.  People who test positive should self-isolate for at least five days if they don’t have a fever controlled by medication and continue to mask for at least another five days.

New York is launching new websites today with more advice and forms to fill out for people who test positive for COVID.  Of course, many more people are conducting at-home testing now and should report to their local health department if they test positive.  The new state websites will be at or

Governor Kathy Hochul says the state has gotten 12,000 new cases a day, making it impossible to call everyone for daily status updates, especially given staffing shortages at health departments across New York.

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In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf says vaccines are his administration’s primary tool if fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as it enters its third year.  However, the acting Health Secretary, Keara Klinepeter says the state is not considering pursing another emergency declaration or vaccine mandates at this time.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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