JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Nearly 200 school-aged children across Cambria and Somerset counties tested positive for COVID-19 in one week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.
Cambria had 128 new cases among children ages 5 through 18 in the past seven days, and Somerset had 66 positives in that age group. The two-county total of 194 new cases this week is almost double the 105 recorded over the previous seven days.
The pediatric cases were among 743 new COVID-19 cases across the two counties this week, up from 511 new cases for the previous seven days.
The weekly updates showed statewide seven-day case totals of 7,215 new cases in school-aged children and 31,934 cases overall. The pediatric report covers the seven days through Wednesday and the overall report covers the seven days through Thursday.
Among those ages 5 through 18, there was a 34% increase over the 5,371 positives reported last week. All of the region’s eight counties reported more new cases among the age group.
- Bedford County had 56 new cases in children ages 5 through 18, up from 32 last week.
- Blair County had 72 cases, up from 52 last week.
- Indiana County had 57 cases, up from 48 last week.
- Clearfield County had 61 cases, up from 56 last week.
- Centre County had 85 cases, up from 73 last week.
- Westmoreland County had 226 cases, up from 160 last week.
Statewide, new cases among children younger than 5 topped 1,000 this week, with 1,057 new cases in the preschool-age group. That’s up from 845 for the previous seven days.
Since Aug. 16, there have been 23,516 positive COVID-19 tests statewide in individuals younger than 18.
Meanwhile, both measures for community spread continued to surge in this area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies areas of high community transmission through the portion of all COVID-19 tests coming back as positive and by the seven-day case totals by population.
The weekly update of the state’s Early Warning Monitoring System statewide positivity dropped from 9.1% to 8.9%, but positive-test rates continued to rise in six of the region’s eight counties.
Bedford County again had one of the highest infection rates in the state, with 19.2% positivity. Cambria County’s rate was 9.1%, Somerset County’s was 10.4%, Blair County’s was 8.3%, Indiana County’s was 11.6%, Clearfield County’s was 10.4%, Centre County’s was 8.6% and Westmoreland County’s was 7.8%.
All eight counties saw more cases by population. Again, Bedford County led the region, with 532 cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days.
Somerset County’s rate was 404 cases per 100,000, Indiana County’s was 360 cases, Cambria County’s was 343 cases, Clearfield County’s was 298 cases, Westmoreland County’s was 274 cases and Centre County’s was 244 cases.
Hospitalizations continued to climb statewide, but were down in the local region. Friday’s report showed 2,337 inpatients were being treated for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania hospitals, including 589 under intensive care and 283 on ventilators.
Across Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair counties, there were 52 patients hospitalized, including 12 in ICUs and nine on ventilators.
Last week, there were 2,147 hospitalizations statewide, with 69 patients across the four regional counties.
Combining Friday’s updates from the state and Philadelphia health departments showed that vaccine providers have administered 14,429,973 doses and there are now 7,019,926 people who are fully vaccinated in Pennsylvania.