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Centre County Stays at Low COVID-19 Community Level; More Pa. Counties Move to Medium and High

Centre County remains at the “low” community level for COVID-19 for the 10th consecutive week, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest weekly update.

Statewide, 46 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are at the low level. Thirteen are at the medium level, six more than last week and eight are at the high level, four more than last week.

Community levels measure new cases, hospitalizations and local hospital capacity to determine mitigation guidelines. 

At the low level, a community has fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, with fewer than 10 COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people and less than 10% of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients over the same period.

Centre County had 172.3 new cases and 5.3 COVID-19 inpatient admissions per 100,000 people over the last week, with 4.1% of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Indoor masking in places open to the public is not recommended by the CDC at the low level. For communities at the medium level, masks are recommended for those with increased risk of severe illness. At the high level, universal indoor masking in public places open is recommended.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s weekly update on Wednesday, Centre County added 280 total new cases over the last week, a 52% increase over new cases from the previous seven days. The county’s seven-day rolling average of 40 is its highest since Feb. 20.

Centre County’s PCR testing positivity rate for the last was 11.3%, up from 9% the previous week. The rate was 28th lowest among Pennsylvania counties.

As of noon on Friday, Mount Nittany Medical Center had five COVID-19 inpatients ranging in age from 48 to 97, with one in intensive care and none on ventilators. Three of the inpatients are vaccinated and two are not vaccinated, according to the hospital’s COVID inpatient dashboard.

Over the last seven days, Mount Nittany has had an average daily COVID inpatient census of six.

Pennsylvania recorded 21,781 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, a 46% increase from the prior week. The commonwealth’s seven-day average of 3,111 is more than three times higher than a month ago and the highest since Feb. 15.

The statewide positivity rate was 13.9%, up from 10.7% the previous seven days.

COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide were at their highest level since March 9, with 907 COVID inpatients as of noon on Wednesday, according to the DOH hospital preparedness dashboard.

Pennsylvania’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 hospital admissions is 125.