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COVID cases remain low in county

COVID-19 cases in Warren County continue to be on the decline.

Updated methods from the CDC for identifying community transmission levels list the county at medium risk.

The 10 cases reported for March 2 by the Department of Health on Thursday mark the highest since Feb. 24 where there were 11. Since then, new case totals have varied from none to six.

No COVID-19 deaths have been announced since Feb. 16 and case counts are a far cry from the highest — 95 on Jan. 19 — seen since the start of the pandemic.

While cases are down, the data is tougher to track in light of the rising popularity of at-home tests.

The updated CDC guidelines for determining transmissions rate include hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and new cases reported.

“Now, as the virus continues to circulate in our communities, we must focus our metrics beyond just cases in the community and direct our efforts toward protecting people at high risk for severe illness and preventing COVID 19 from overwhelming our hospitals and our healthcare systems,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last week in announcing the update.

“This new framework moves beyond just looking at cases and test positivity to evaluate factors that reflect the severity of disease, including hospitalizations and hospital capacity, and helps to determine whether the level of COVID 19 and severe disease are low, medium, or high in a community.”

The guidance from the CDC changes based on the transmission rate. For “medium,” the CDC advises that people at risk for severe illness should contact health care providers about whether they need to mask or take other precautions. Additional guidance is to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms.

Neighboring Crawford County falls into the “high” range while Erie and McKean are also medium. Venango and Forest fell into the low range.

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