The Daily Item
More than half of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are seeing low community transmission levels of COVID-19, according to the most recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All four Valley counties are still registering medium levels, data show. Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties have had medium levels of transmission for the last seven weeks. All four counties registered more new cases this week than last week.
Mercer County remains the only county seeing high levels of transmission this week statewide.
Community levels are determined by using a combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.
In Pennsylvania, 37 of the state’s 67 counties had low levels, all in the western half of the state. Twenty-nine Pennsylvania counties had medium levels, all in the eastern portion of the state. Nationwide, 10.7 percent of counties had high levels — up 1.5 percent — 40.5 percent had medium levels and 48.8 percent had low levels.
According to data being tracked by the CDC and Johns Hopkins University, the number of coronavirus cases was up 6 percent in Pennsylvania in the last seven days. The number of COVID-related deaths statewide was level, while hospitalizations dropped by 2 percent.
Nationwide, cases were level this week while deaths linked to COVID-19 were up 10 percent.
At the highest level of community spread, the CDC recommends individuals wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status, including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings along with implementing health care surge support as needed.
Statewide, 12.6 percent of all COVID-19 tests in the last week were positive, one percent more than last week. Three of four Valley counties had lower positive test rates than the state average, while all four had higher rates than last week.
Montour County’s positive test rate was 7.5 percent last week, followed by Snyder County at 10.1 percent and Northumberland County (11.2 percent). Union County’s positive test rate was 14.4 percent.