HARRISBURG — Six Southeastern Pennsylvania counties, including Montgomery County, saw slight upticks in coronavirus positivity rates for the first time in several weeks, according to the latest week-to-week data compiled by state health officials.
Montgomery County recorded a coronavirus positivity rate of 1.5% for the period July 9 to July 15, which was an increase from the 0.8% positivity rate recorded for the period July 2 to July 8, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard.
Health officials believe having a positivity rate less than 5% indicates a county is controlling the spread of the virus and keeping it suppressed. The latest data marks the tenth consecutive week that Montgomery County fell below the 5% benchmark.
The county recorded the first two cases of the virus on March 7, 2020, and this week marks the 72nd week that the virus has been present in the county.
All six of Montgomery County’s neighboring counties also recorded positivity rates below the 5% benchmark, according to the state data. However, most of the neighboring counties recorded increases in the COVID-19 positivity rate for the first time in several weeks.
Only Delaware County saw its coronavirus positivity rate remain flat from week to week, recording a positivity rate of 1.1% on July 15, equal to the rate recorded on July 8.
With a COVID-19 positivity rate of 2.3% on July 15, Lehigh County recorded the highest positivity rate in the region, which was an increase from the 1.5% positivity rate recorded for the period July 2 to July 8.
In Philadelphia, the COVID-19 positivity rate was 2.0% for the period ending July 15, up from 1.4% the previous week.
Chester County recorded a COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.1% for the period July 9 to July 15, up two tenths of a percentage point from 0.9% the previous week, according to state statistics.
Berks County saw its positivity rate increase to 1.5% on July 15 from 0.8% on July 8.
In Bucks County, the positivity rate increased to 1.5% on July 15 from 1.0% on July 8.
The statewide positivity rate as of July 15 was 1.7% which was a slight increase from the 1.2% positivity rate recorded the previous week.
Gov. Tom Wolf said the state’s COVID-19 dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts. The state’s weekly report is based on nasal swab tests, or the PCR, which are considered confirmed tests.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that through July 18, there were 408,593 Montgomery County residents who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 54,847 county residents had received a first dose of a vaccine, according to state data.
All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine.
There were 13 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Montgomery County’s nine hospitals as of Sunday, up from 11 COVID-19 patients a week ago. Two of the current patients required ventilators, according to county statistics.