Spring has sprung and vaccine season is in full swing, but COVID isn’t over. 

Schools, bars, restaurants and other businesses are reopening with relaxed restrictions and vaccine doses are more widely available by the day, but COVID is quietly surging in the background. As Times-Tribune Staff Writer Rob Tomkavage reports today,  Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties added 525 new cases Sunday.

Seven new deaths were reported in the region, including two each in Luzerne, Monroe and Wyoming counties, pushing the total to 1,697. Another 7,178 new cases were reported across the state, which brings the total to 1,012,345. Another 48 deaths raised the statewide total to 25,001.

My wife and I celebrated her birthday on Saturday with a day trip to Philly. We’re both fully vaccinated, but we wore masks all day. Aside from restaurant patrons, I don’t recall seeing a single person not wearing a mask. It was an encouraging sight, but also a timely reminder that the pandemic grinds on. 

Lackawanna County will host a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain. The clinic, administered by Hometown Health Care of NEPA in Covington Twp., is by appointment only. Sign up at www.facebook.com/hometownhealthNEPA or by email at hometownhealthcarenepa@gmail.com. If you don’t own a computer, call the county’s vaccine hotline by dialing 211. The hotline has been a source of frustration, but as more doses become available, wait times should diminish dally. 

So will COVID if we keep our guard up, our masks on and our spring fever in check.