Coronavirus

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Case counts in Friday’s COVID-19 report were down slightly after Thursday’s bump, but the weekly update of additional data shows the surge continues.

There were 2,128 new cases and 19 deaths statewide, bringing Pennsylvania’s totals to 1,261,903 cases and 28,059 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the Department of Health update showed. That included 210 new cases across the eight-county region, down from 362 new cases on Thursday.

Cambria County added 24 cases, Somerset County added 12 cases, Bedford County added seven cases, Blair County added 28 cases, Indiana County added 15 cases, Clearfield County added 28 cases, Centre County added 25 cases and Westmoreland County added 71 cases. Cambria, Indiana and Centre counties each recorded one additional death.

Friday’s update of the state’s Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard showed the portion of all COVID-19 tests that come back positive continues to increase across the region. The seven-day rate for new cases per 100,000 people is also climbing.

Both measures are used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify a county’s level of community transmission. Somerset, Bedford, Blair, Indiana, Clearfield and Westmoreland have high transmission, while Cambria and Centre have elevated transmission under the CDC’s definition.

Wearing masks is recommended for public indoor settings in counties with elevated or high transmission levels, even for fully vaccinated individuals.

The percent positivity was up for all of the region’s counties except Cambria County, which dropped from 4.1% positivity last week to 3.3% this week. The seven-day rate of cases was up in all eight counties.

The statewide positivity increased from 6% in the Aug. 13 update to 6.9% in Friday’s report.

Hospitalization rates also increased in the state and in most area counties, the dashboard shows. Over the past seven days, the state averaged 1,182 COVID-19 hospitalizations a day, up from an average of 836 for Aug. 6-12 and from 556 a day for July 30-Aug. 5.

On Friday, the daily update showed 1,326 patients in Pennsylvania hospitals, including 335 in intensive care units and 164 on ventilators. In Cambria, Blair, Somerset and Bedford county hospitals, there were 45 inpatients, with four in ICUs and four on ventilators.

Meanwhile, an additional 58,982 Pennsylvanians were fully vaccinated over the past seven days, with 127,399 doses administered, the health department update shows.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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