HARRISBURG — The coronavirus positivity rate in Montgomery County and six neighboring counties remained below the preferred benchmark that indicates suppression of the virus, according to the latest week-to-week data compiled by state health officials.
For the fourth consecutive week, Montgomery County recorded the lowest coronavirus positivity rate among Southeast Pennsylvania counties, 0.8% for the period July 2 to July 8, which was up only slightly from the 0.6% positivity rate recorded for the period June 25 to July 1, 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 latest data marks the ninth consecutive week that Montgomery County fell below the 5% benchmark.
The county recorded the first two cases of the virus on March 7, 2020, and this week marks the 71st week that the virus has been present in the county.
All six of Montgomery County’s neighboring counties also recorded positivity rates below the 5% benchmark, according to the state data.
With a COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.5% on July 8, Lehigh County recorded the highest positivity rate in the region, which was an increase from the 0.8% positivity rate recorded for the period June 25 to July 1.
In Philadelphia, the COVID-19 positivity rate was 1.4% for the period ending July 8, up from 1.0% the previous week.
For the seven-day period ending July 8, Delaware County recorded a COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.1%, which was an increase from the 0.8% positivity rate recorded for the period ending July 1.
Chester County recorded a COVID-19 positivity rate of 0.9% for the period July 2 to July 8, up just a tenth of a percentage point from 0.8% the previous week, according to state statistics.
Berks County saw its positivity rate decrease to 0.9% on July 8 from 1.5% on July 1.
In Bucks County, the positivity rate increased to 1.0% on July 8 from 0.6% on July 1.
The statewide positivity rate as of July 8 was 1.2% which was a slight increase from the 1.1% positivity rate recorded the previous week.
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 state’s weekly report is based on nasal swab tests, or the PCR, which are considered confirmed tests.
The lower positivity rates come as vaccinations continue to increase.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that through July 9, there were 403,757 Montgomery County residents who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 55,753 county residents had received a first dose of a vaccine, according to state data.
All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, there were 10 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Montgomery County’s nine hospitals as of Monday which was equal to the number of COVID-19 patients in the county’s hospitals a week ago. Two of the current patients required ventilators, according to county statistics.