Pennsylvania’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate — the percentage of positive tests — jumped from 6.9% last week to 9.6%, state health department data released Monday shows.
The World Health Organization recommends rates lower than 5% to mitigate spread. The percent positivity rate in Lancaster County on Monday was 9.1%, according to Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System dashboard. Only five Pennsylvania counties have a percent positivity below 5%.
“This week’s rise is one of the largest one-week rises that we’ve seen,” state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in a virtual press conference Monday.
Nearly 60 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including Lancaster, have substantial community spread.
As of 8 a.m. Monday, 2,374 Pennsylvanians were hospitalized with COVID. Among these, 510 were in Intensive Care Units and 258 on ventilators, both of which indicate more severe cases.
“This number is rising rapidly and highlights the role we all play in preventing our health systems from becoming overrun with COVID-19,” Levine said.
In Lancaster County, 63 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus at Lancaster General Hospital on Monday, with 21 of those patients in ICU. WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital listed 17 COVID patients Monday. WellSpan's hospitals in Lebanon and York listed 32 and 84 COVID patients, respectfully.
Despite posting record-setting case numbers — 9,675 new infections were recorded Sunday and Monday — Levine said the Gov. Tom Wolf administration had no immediate plans to return to the color-coded system that required counties meet certain benchmarks before reopening their economies.
Wolf’s Press Secretary Lyndsay Kensinger was not immediately available for comment.