Pennsylvania’s rate of new coronavirus cases is increasing, and most of the hottest spots currently are in the eastern and central part of the state, according to LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of Department of Health data.

Northampton, Pike, Centre, Wyoming and Elk counties had the highest rates of new cases for March 18-24, the analysis shows. Berks County ranked sixth among the state’s 67 counties, and York County was 12th.

Lancaster County’s rate of new infections was slightly below the state average for the past week. It ranked 28th among the 67 counties, with 165 new cases per 100,000 population, up from 158 in the prior seven days.

The statewide rate for the past week was 179 new cases per 100,000 population, up from 141 in the prior seven days.

The recent uptick in the rate of new cases follows many weeks of steady decline from December’s peak, when it was about three times higher. It also comes as vaccinations increase, though a majority of the state's population remains unprotected against COVID-19.

At the pandemic's December peak, many of Pennsylvania’s highest rates of new infections were in the western part of the state. The current hot spots are more heavily concentrated in the eastern half of the state.

Here is the rate of new coronavirus cases for March 18 through 24, expressed as a rate per 100,000 population, in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, from highest to lowest:

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