COVID level drops for a day

On Wednesday, Warren County moved down from a high level of community COVID-19 transmission.

On Thursday, the county bumped back up from substantial to high.

But, for that day, the county was not in the red.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was the first time in at least a month. Daily data was available back to Jan. 24.

“CDC looks at two numbers — total new cases and percent positivity — to determine the level of community transmission,” according to the CDC website — www.cdc.gov. “Total new cases… to calculate this number, CDC divides the total number of new infections by the total population in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100,000.”

“Percent positivity refers to the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in a county over the past seven days,” CDC said. “This number is based on reports from states on a specific type of test known as a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). To calculate this number, CDC divides the number of positive tests by the total number of NAATs performed in that county. CDC multiplies this number by 100 to calculate the percentage of all tests that were positive.”

“A higher number of total new cases and a higher percent positivity correspond with a higher level of community transmission,” CDC said. “If the values for each of these two metrics differ, then the higher of the two should be used to make decisions about mask use in a county.”

Effectively, if the county’s positivity rate is at least 10 percent or there have been 39 cases (1 per 1,000 residents) in the past week, the county is in the high transmission category.

According to CDC, the county’s positivity rate was 8.84 on Wednesday — down from 12.93 on Tuesday. That rate rose to 9.16 on Thursday.

There were eight new cases reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday, bringing the county total to 7,198, or 18.36 cases per 100 residents.

So far, 207 county residents have died of COVID-related causes.

According to the department, there was only one COVID-positive patient at Warren General Hospital as of Thursday.

The COVID-related pressures on the hospital are down.

“On the COVID front, this has eased considerably,” Chief Nursing Officer Joe Akif said Thursday. “Testing is also down significantly at the Hospital and Walk In Care at North Warren.”


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