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Fewer COVID cases reported in Warren County

COVID is down, but not gone. Those masks may still be needed.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 swept the country and the county, bringing more cases than ever.

January saw 1,279 new cases in the county — the most of any month.

But, locally things have been quiet on the COVID front for almost a month. There were barely one-quarter as many in February (329). March has seen even fewer cases. So far, there have been 87 this month.

The number of COVID-related deaths is also down. One death has been reported in March. There were 11 reported in February, 16 in January, 23 in December, and 29 in November.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Warren General Hospital CEO Rick Allen said. “Our COVID-19 inpatient numbers have been low.”

“We have been in the low single digits for positive COVID-19 inpatients for weeks now,” Allen said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported no positive patients at Warren General on Wednesday.

“Regarding emergency room, lab, and Walk-In Clinic, COVID-19 testing has dropped dramatically,” he said.

The optimism isn’t enough to start disposing of any personal protective equipment.

“Masking (and screening) is still required in the hospital,” Allen said. “The Pennsylvania Department of Health has not yet issued any new or updated guidelines allowing us to relax our policy.”

“We are hopeful by the end of March or early April, new direction will be provided,” he said.

A new strain — Omicron BA.2 — is becoming the dominant strain.

“We remain optimistic yet continue with our restrictions until we receive new or updated directives from the DOH,” he said.

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