COVID Infections on the Rise in Monroe and Surrounding Counties
HARRISBURG (OCT 24 2020) - According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Monroe County added 70 new COVID cases in the last seven days, 28% more than the 55 new cases last week, and more than double the 32 new cases two weeks ago. Four county patients are currently hospitalized, with one on a ventilator. There was one new death of a Monroe County resident from COVID this week.
The county's positivity rate this week was 6.8%. The "positivity rate" is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive. According to the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a positivity rate of 5% or more is considered "high". The Pennsylvania Department of Education uses the 5% positivity rate as the point at which districts may not consider resumption of full-time in-person education. If the county reaches 10% positivity in any seven-day period, the schools in the county are to return to 100% remote learning. Under World Health Organization and CDC guidance, a reduction of restrictions on gatherings requires a 14-day period of a below-5% positivity rate.
Across the commonwealth, there were 232,253 tests administered in the 7 days ending yesterday, October 23. With 11,679 positive cases, that gives the state a positivity rate of 5% for the last week.
Statewide, 2,043 new cases were reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health today, 176 fewer than yesterday’s record high. To date, there have been 192,622 infections statewide since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day moving average of new cases is 1,668 today, up significantly from 1,413 a week earlier. Pennsylvania recorded 29 new deaths today, compared to 33 yesterday. The total number of deaths in the state since the beginning of the epidemic is 8,654; 5,702 of which were residents in long-term care facilities.
Today there are 1087 Pennsylvania COVID patients in hospitals, up from 1,068 yesterday. Of those, 126 are on ventilators.
Around the region, Lackawanna County reported 326 new cases this week, which is a rate of 156 new cases per 100,000. That is more than three times Monroe County's rate of 41 new cases per 100,000 this week. Luzerne County tallied 397 new cases this week, up from the 309 they added last week. Luzerne County's current infection rate is 125 per 100,000. Northampton County added 210 new cases, a rate of 69 per 100,000, while Lehigh County added 267 cases, a rate of 69 per 100,000. Pike and Wayne County added a combined 10 new cases, which is about 10 new cases per 100,000.