As recent news reports indicate, much of the country is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. Locally, Luzerne County has seen its highest daily counts since Jan. 2021. Cooler weather and indoor gatherings are being cited as two reasons for the increase. It also suggests that as vaccination immunity wanes, breakthrough cases increase. This, blended with news of the Omicron variant, continues to underscore the importance of being vaccinated and receiving booster doses.
At Wilkes, we have been fortunate to experience a low level of cases, even as the areas around us see increases. In fact, over 87 percent of our campus community is now fully vaccinated.
But we have also identified a gap between who is eligible to receive a booster dose and who has recorded one in our documentation system. We strongly encourage you to get your booster dose as soon as you are qualified. You are considered qualified six months after the final dose of your initial Pfizer or Moderna series and two months after the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Clinics for first, second and booster doses will be held on the following days in the McHale Athletic Center. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will be available. Over 100 appointments will be available to Wilkes students, faculty and staff across these two days.
· 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6
· 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17
If dedicated Wilkes appointments are already claimed, call the Wilkes-Barre Health Department for availability at 570-208-4653. In addition, vaccines and boosters are available at a variety of drug stores, urgent care centers and medical facilities. Search for options here.
If you have received a booster dose and have not yet recorded it in our online documentation system, please do so as soon as possible.
The end of the semester can be a stressful time and we know that news about the virus can increase fear and anxiety. For our students, counseling is available through Campus Counseling and Wilkes provides 24-hour assistance by calling 570-408-CHAT. Employees who are insured through Wilkes are encouraged to consult their health care plan which includes mental health assistance. We appreciate you and all that you do.