New COVID-19 cases have slowed to a trickle locally, with only a dozen new positives and no additional deaths across the eight-county region in Thursday’s update by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Westmoreland County had seven new cases, Somerset County had two new cases and Bedford, Indiana and Clearfield counties added one each on Thursday.
There were no additional cases in Cambria, Blair and Centre counties.
With the improving numbers, the state announced that County Assistance Offices will reopen for in-person business on Monday, providing clients with access to caseworkers and other services.
Megan Snead, acting Department of Human Services secretary, thanked clients for their patience through the 16-month closures.
“Because our clients were able to access services online, we had the opportunity to keep the public and our staff safe from COVID-19 while still providing access to health care, food, and other essential needs to those who needed them,” Snead said in a press release.
“However, our (county offices) are still a vital local resource for Pennsylvanians who need assistance, so we are pleased to be able to resume in-person services on July 12.”
The county offices – including those at 625 Main St., Johnstown, and 164 Stayrook St., Somerset – will be following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of clients and staff.
Although masks will not be required, the department encourages visitors who are not vaccinated to wear face covering.
Online applications and resources will remain accessible at www.compass.pa.state.us and the myCOMPASS PA mobile app.
Thursday’s report added 222 cases and 11 deaths statewide, bringing Pennsylvania’s totals to 1,213,543 cases and 27,729 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The seven-day rolling average has leveled out at fewer than two cases a day for most area counties.
Blair and Indiana counties are each averaging 0.4 cases a day; Cambria County’s average is 0.9 cases; Somerset’s average is 1.1 cases; Centre and Clearfield counties are each averaging 1.3 cases; Bedford County’s average is 1.4 cases; and Westmoreland County’s average is 3.4 cases.
Combining reports from the state and Philadelphia County health departments shows vaccine providers have administered 13,541,704 doses and 6,275,089 people are fully vaccinated.
Another 1,487,812 are partially vaccinated, meaning they have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine.
Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.