Lancaster County is making good progress on three of four key metrics the state is tracking as it decides when a county is ready to move from the “yellow” phase to the “green” phase of reopening its economy.
That’s according to a new, searchable “county data dashboard” the Department of Health rolled out Friday as Lancaster and nine other eastern Pennsylvania moved to yellow.
But the rate of positive coronavirus tests — while falling — is still above 10%, the department’s data shows, and that causes concern about the potential for further spread in the community. So Lancaster County gets an “X” in that category.
But there’s cause for hope. Over the past 14 days, the rate of positive tests here was 11.2%. That’s down from 13.3% for the 14 days of May 9-22, and from 19.7% in the April 25 to May 8 period. If the trend continues, the county could drop below 10% in the coming week or two.
There’s also the potential, of course, for the county to reverse progress in the other categories, especially the trend in new cases. New cases increased here in the second half of May before falling again at the end of the month and into this week.
To keep it’s check mark in the case count category, a county must have a “stable, decreasing or low” number of confirmed cases. In the past 14 days, Lancaster County had 601 new cases of COVID-19. That was down 2% from 614 new cases in the two previous weeks.
Lancaster is one of 10 counties that moved to the “yellow” phase on Friday with a partial reopening of its economy. On Friday, Gov. Tom Wolf and his health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, made no promises on when the final yellow counties will move to green.
But they said they would like to see overall risk mitigated for 14 days before a county moves to green. That would indicate Lancaster will have at least two weeks in the yellow phase, since it was still falling short Friday in one of the four categories.
Of the counties that moved to yellow on Friday, only Lancaster, Chester and Philadelphia had an "X" in one or two of the categories on their scorecards. Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties had check marks in all four categories.