NORRISTOWN — Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivity rate increased again last week, indicating the virus continues to spread and that the county has “substantial transmission,” according to state health officials.

For the period Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, Montgomery County recorded a COVID-19 percent-positivity rate of 7.2%, which is an increase from the 5.2% positivity rate recorded during the seven-day period Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, 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.

Each of Montgomery County’s six neighboring counties also recorded positivity rates above the 5% threshold for the second consecutive week, according to the state’s data.

Philadelphia County recorded the highest positivity rate at 12.5% for the period ending Nov. 12, which was an increase from 9.2% the previous week.

Montgomery County’s other neighboring counties recorded the following percent-positivity rates during the seven-day period ending Nov. 12: Lehigh (11.3%); Delaware (9.9%); Berks (9.8%); Bucks (9.5%); and Chester (7.1%), according to state statistics.

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.

As of Nov. 12, the statewide percent-positivity rate increased to 9.6% from 6.8% the previous week, according to the dashboard.

“The significant increase in cases and percent positivity across much of the state is cause for concern,” Wolf said on Monday. “We need all Pennsylvanians to take a stand and answer the call to protect one another.

“We need Pennsylvanians to be united in wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands and avoiding gatherings. It is only by working together that Pennsylvanians can prevent the spread of the virus,” Wolf added.

State and county officials have also urged residents to download the COVID Alert PA app and to cooperate with contact tracers.

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.

As of Nov. 12, the state recorded a seven-day case increase of 26,215 COVID-19 cases. The previous seven-day increase was 16,646 cases, indicating 9,569 more new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

Every county in the state has a “concerning” percent positivity above 5% except the following counties: Forest (1.8%); Cameron (2.1%); Union (3.2%), Wayne (3.7%) and Susquehanna (4.6%), according to the state’s dashboard.

“This week’s data, in terms of case increase, percent positivity and other factors is concerning,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said on Monday. “We know COVID-19 does not discriminate. It is affecting all Pennsylvanians, no matter your race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status or whether you live a rural, suburban or urban area. We need all Pennsylvanians to take the steps they can take to protect one another.”

State officials said Montgomery, Berks, Delaware, Chester, Lehigh, Bucks and Philadelphia counties now have “concerning” percent-positivity rates and are experiencing “substantial transmission” of the virus.

Each of these counties and the state as a whole bears watching as the state continues to monitor all available data, Wolf said.

For the week ending Nov. 12, three counties were in the low level of transmission, five counties were in the moderate level and 59 counties recorded substantial transmission, officials said.

They are:

• Low – Cameron, Forest and Sullivan

• Moderate – Fayette, Pike, Susquehanna, Warren and Wayne

• Substantial – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Union, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York

State health officials also are providing weekly data on the number of COVID-19 cases among 5 to 18-year-olds statewide.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been 19,805 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 3,198 occurred between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12. Comparatively, for the week of Oct. 30 to Nov, 5, there were 2,077 cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds, according to the data.

comments powered by Disqus