HARRISBURG — The coronavirus positivity rate remained at elevated levels in all seven counties comprising Southeast Pennsylvania, according to the latest week-to-week data compiled by state health officials.
Montgomery County recorded a coronavirus positivity rate of 5.7% for the period March 19 to March 25, which was unchanged from the positivity rate recorded for the period March 12 to March 18, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard.
Health officials believe having a positivity rate less than 5% indicates a county is controlling the spread of the virus and keeping it suppressed.
The county recorded the first two cases of the virus on March 7, 2020, and this week marks the 56th week since the virus surfaced in the county.
All of Montgomery County’s neighboring counties recorded increases in COVID-19 positivity rates for the seven-day period ending March 25.
Berks County recorded the most significant increase, from a positivity rate of 10% on March 18 to 12% on March 25, according to the data.
Bucks County saw its COVID-19 positivity rate increase to 9.2% during the seven-day period ending March 25, an increase from the 7.5% positivity rate recorded the previous week.
Montgomery County’s other neighboring counties recorded the following percent-positivity rates during the seven-day period ending March 25: Lehigh (10%); Philadelphia (7.2%); Chester (5.9%); and Delaware (5.9%), according to the latest state data.
Gov. Tom Wolf said the state’s COVID-19 dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts.
The statewide positivity rate as of March 25 was 7.6% which was an increase from the 6.5% positivity rate recorded the previous week, according to the state’s weekly data.
“Throughout this reporting period, we reached over one million COVID-19 cases to date in Pennsylvania as well as an uptick on our statewide percent positivity,” Wolf said on Monday.
“The warmer weather brings with it opportunities to be outdoors, but we must still unite against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently until the virus is no longer a threat in our communities,” Wolf added.
As of March 25, the state recorded a seven-day case increase of 17,811 cases. The previous seven-day increase was 14,632 cases, indicating 3,179 additional new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.
As of March 26, there were 35 counties in the substantial level of community transmission, the highest level of transmission, including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
State and local officials urged citizens to continue to abide by COVID-19 mitigation measures regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing, downloading the COVID Alert PA app, and getting vaccinated when it’s their turn.
COVID Alert PA is a free mobile app, offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, that uses Bluetooth low energy technology and the Exposure Notification System, created jointly by Google and Apple, to notify and give public health guidance to anyone who may have been in close contact with a person who also has the app and has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Even as more and more Pennsylvanians are vaccinated, we must not forget to follow the mitigation measures still in place,” state Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said on Monday. “Our vaccination efforts have been ramping up as more and more vaccine becomes available.
“Pennsylvania has administered more than 4.7 million doses to over 3.3 million people thus far. As it becomes your turn to receive the vaccine, we encourage Pennsylvanians to find a provider nearest them to get vaccinated.” Beam added.