Two local counties have shown some improvement in the fight against COVID-19.
The percent positivity for McKean and Potter counties improved in the first week of January, according to the state health department. However, every county in Pennsylvania remains in the category of substantial risk of community spread.
On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the seven-day increase in COVID-19 cases for Pennsylvania was 42,322 and the percent positivity for the state — the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 out of the number of people tested — improved to 14.4% for the week of Jan. 1 to 7.
“Although I am grateful to see our statewide percent positivity decrease for yet another week in a row, we still have more work to do to keep our friends and loved ones safe from further spread across our communities,” Wolf said. “As Pennsylvanians travel within their communities, I want to take the opportunity to remind them to stay safe by wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding gatherings of people. If you travel somewhere where they are not doing so, I encourage you to make the right choice to leave.”
Locally, McKean County’s rate decreased from 17.9 to 16.6 for the first week of the new year, and Potter County’s decreased from 19.7% to 16.1%.
The rate increased during the same time frame for Elk and Cameron counties. For Elk County, the rate went from 14.8% up to 16.7%, while Cameron County’s rate increased from 20.7% to 21.7%.
The statewide percent-positivity went down to 14.4% from 15.0% for the time frame of Jan. 1 to 7. Currently, state officials noted, every county in the state has a concerning percent positivity above five percent. This includes 14 counties with percent positivity at or above 20 percent, a decrease of seven counties from the week before.
“We continue to report widespread community transmission as COVID-19 remains a threat in our communities,” Levine said. “We need to stay calm, stay alert, and stay safe by wearing a mask, avoiding gatherings, practicing social distancing, answering the call when public health professionals call, and downloading the COVID Alert PA app.”