HARRISBURG — The coronavirus positivity rate in Montgomery County and several neighboring counties essentially remained flat during the most recent reporting period, according to the latest week to week data compiled by state health officials.

For the period Feb. 19 to Feb. 25, Montgomery County recorded a COVID-19 percent-positivity rate of 6.0%, which was up only two-tenths of a percent from the 5.8% positivity rate recorded during the seven-day period Feb. 12 to Feb. 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 in March 2020 and this week marks the 52nd week since the virus surfaced in the county.

Philadelphia County is the first in Southeast Pennsylvania in several months to drop below that 5% threshold, recording a 4.9% positivity rate for the seven-day period ending Feb. 25 – down from 5.2% the previous week.

Berks County recorded the highest positivity rate in the region at 8.6% for the seven-day period, which was up a percentage point from the previous week of 7.6%.

In Chester County, the most recent positivity rate was 5.6%, matching the rate from the previous week.

In Delaware County, the positivity rate was 6.1% for the most recent seven-day period ending Feb. 25, up only one-tenth of a percent from the 6.0% positivity rate for the period ending Feb. 18.

Bucks County recorded a positivity rate of 7.0%, down from 8.1% the previous week. Lehigh County recorded a positivity rate of 7.7%, down from 7.9% the previous week, according to the state’s latest weekly 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 percent-positivity rate as of Feb. 25 was 6.3%, down from the 6.5% positivity rate recorded the previous week, according to the dashboard.

“As we continue to review our data, we see encouraging news that our cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates are decreasing across the state,” Wolf said on Monday.

As of Feb. 24, the state recorded a seven-day case increase of 12,967 coronavirus cases. The previous seven-day increase was 15,188 cases, indicating 2,221 fewer new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

State health officials said currently there are 20 counties that have a positivity rate lower than the 5% threshold the state uses as a benchmark for suppressing the virus. There are no counties reporting positivity rates over 20%, according to the latest state data.

State and local officials have urged citizens to continue to abide by COVID-19 mitigation measures including wearing a mask, avoiding gatherings, washing hands, downloading the COVID Alert PA app, and getting vaccinated when it’s your 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.

“While there is limited vaccine available in Pennsylvania, we continue our mission of getting vaccine into arms and encouraging our fellow Pennsylvanians to continue these proven public health measures to stay safe,” state Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said on Monday. “Together, we can unite to fight against COVID-19.”

comments powered by Disqus