To get COVID vaccines to Pennsylvanians, clinics come to Pa. parks | Five for the Weekend

The vaccine clinics will be held on various dates during the month of September

By: - September 11, 2021 6:30 am

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Happy weekend, all.

In an effort to get COVID-19 vaccines to more Pennsylvanians, several Pennsylvania state parks will hold vaccine clinics during the month of September.

“The best and fastest way for us to protect the people in our communities who can’t get vaccinated yet – including children under 12 – and to end the pandemic is to get every eligible Pennsylvanian vaccinated. That’s why we are putting our efforts into increasing vaccination rates in Pennsylvania communities,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement Friday. “Partnering with DCNR to provide these unique vaccination opportunities is a great way for us to ensure that communities have convenient access to vaccines, and it’s one more way we can help ensure our park communities are as safe as possible.”

Vaccination clinics will take place at the following parks from10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Beltzville State Park (Carbon County): Saturday, September 11
  • Shikellamy State Park (Union/Northumberland Counties): Saturday, September 18
  • Codorus State Park (York County): Sunday, September 19
  • Keystone State Park (Westmoreland County): Saturday, September 25
  • Nockamixon State Park (Bucks County): Saturday, September 25 

The shots are available at no cost and will be either the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

State officials noted that those due for a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine can get their second dose at a state park vaccine clinic as well.

“DCNR is proud to partner with the Department of Health to provide these opportunities to help raise Pennsylvania’s vaccination rate,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Friday. “The outdoors have been important in helping Pennsylvanians maintain their physical and mental health, and these vaccine clinics are yet another way we can help people get through this pandemic.”

As always, the top 5 stories from this week are below. 

LOUISVILLE, KY – MARCH 17: A teacher walks among the the masked students sitting in a socially distanced classroom session at Medora Elementary School on March 17, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. Today marks the reopening of Jefferson County Public Schools for in-person learning with new COVID-19 procedures in place. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

1.As masked kids return to class, Pa. House plots early return to challenge Wolf order

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is coming back early from its summer recess to challenge the Wolf administration’s new school mask mandate.

The move by the Republican-controlled lower chamber is the latest legislative challenge to Gov. Tom Wolf’s health orders.

The lower chamber scheduled four new session days for next week and the week after, according to House Republican spokesperson Jason Gottesman.

Gottesman declined to go into specifics of the chamber’s legislative plans. But he did say that Republican lawmakers had received “complaints and concerns” about the Democratic Wolf administration’s Aug. 31 order that all students and staff wear masks in school. That order took effect Tuesday.

Pa. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre | Capital-Star file photo

2. Top Pa. Senate Republican expects subpoenas will be necessary for election investigation

Saying he’s doubtful the state agency responsible for election oversight will cooperate with a taxpayer-funded investigation into Pennsylvania’s two most recent elections, the top Senate Republican expects subpoenas will be the next step.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, isn’t hopeful acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid will participate in the first hearing as part of a probe into the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections.

Currently scheduled for Thursday, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee meeting will focus on guidance issued by the Department of State to counties during the 2020 election.

State Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, speaks at a Capitol rally of anti-lockdown activists on June 5, 2021. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

3. ‘Tasteless’: Pa. GOP lawmaker faces backlash after comparing COVID vaccinations to sexual assault

A Republican state lawmaker who compared mandatory vaccinations to rape, is facing criticism from a victims rights and sexual violence prevention organization.

In an Aug. 23 post to his verified Facebook page, state Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, wrote that “What’s it called when someone sticks something into your body against your will? Or coerces you to let them?:

Housing advocates stage a demonstration outside a press conference held by Gov. Tom Wolf (Capital-Star photo by Elizabeth Hardison).

4. States, including Pa., that borrowed from feds to cover unemployment checks now owe interest

WASHINGTON — Ten states that struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic will face yet another challenge starting this week: interest accruing on federal loans they relied on to cover payments to the unemployed.

Collectively, those states — which include Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — owe the federal government more than $52 billion, according to data from the U.S. Treasury.

So far, the loans to state unemployment compensation trust funds have been interest-free, but starting on Sept. 6, a 2.3% interest rate will kick in on the remaining sums.

With the additional interest cost looming, officials in Nevada and Ohio paid off what those states owed just days before interest was set to begin accruing, sidestepping not only additional interest costs but greater costs on businesses within those states.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf speaking with the press. Governor Tom Wolf visited Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County Friday, July 31, 2021 to highlight the importance of outdoor spaces to our well-being during the pandemic and announce a plan for Pennsylvania’s state parks of tomorrow (Commonwealth Media Services photo).

5. With Afghans set to arrive, Wolf says Pa. is ready to be a ‘welcoming home’ for refugees

A week after President Joe Biden said he had no regrets about ending the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the commonwealth is ready and willing to support Afghan refugees.

“Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of peace, tolerance, and safety for all people,” Wolf said in a statement Friday. It is incumbent on us to model the ideals on which Pennsylvania was founded and be a welcoming home for any who seek safe refuge in the United States.”

Several hundred refugees are expected to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport as early as this weekend, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

A statement from the Governor’s Office confirmed that the Wolf administration has been coordinating with federal agencies to coordinate resettlement efforts.

And that’s the week. See you back here next weekend. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.