Gov. Tom Wolf said during a news conference at a vaccination site in Bradford County that a full reopening of businesses in the state could happen two weeks after 65-70% of the state’s population is vaccinated for COVID-19, allowing that extra time for “herd immunity.”
When asked if he had a metric to gauge when a 100% reopening could occur, the Governor explained that he has no single metric or statistic in mind. He also noted that the federal government has no fixed target, according to the Morning Call.
“I think the general idea is that somewhere around 65-70% of the population getting both doses, two weeks after that you have herd immunity,” Wolf said.
However, he was optimistic about a shorter time for full reopening if the residents follow the security measures to prevent contagion. “But to the extent we have people willing to wear masks, practicing social distancing and doing the things that can offset the disease, we can actually go faster on that.”
Wolf´s projections occur when over 26.5% of the state population already has received two doses.
The measures that have been issued by his administration establish 25 % maximum occupancy for indoor gatherings and 50% for outdoor events; regardless of venue size and only if attendees and workers can stay 6 feet apart.
All in-person businesses are allowed to operate at 75% occupancy, with exceptions, but they are “strongly encouraged” to conduct operations remotely, if possible.
Vaccines to reach full reopening
In order to be confident about a sooner full reopening, Wolf urged residents to get vaccinated. He said each person who gets the shots makes things safer for everyone. “All of us get a little bit closer to that normal that we want to get back to,” he said.
Meanwhile, a significant percentage of residents either may not or will not get the vaccine. A Muhlenberg College Public Health Program poll found that as of late March, about 3 in 10 Pennsylvania adults who were not immunized indicated they did not plan to get vaccinated. Recent data from the Health Department showed only 53% of staff in skilled nursing facilities sought the vaccine even after months of availability.