WEST CHESTER — Like the rest of the nation, Chester County continues to see the number of residents testing positive for coronavirus skyrocket.
Last week, 951 residents tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Chester County Health Department. That's more than the double 388 people testing positive just four weeks ago. By and large, the people who are getting sick have not yet been vaccinated. In Chester County, that's about 65 percent of the adult population.
And four weeks ago, Chester County entered the "low risk" threshold of transmission, with a percent positivity rate of 4.25 percent. But now it's more than double that number, with 9.04 percent positivity.
Neighboring Delaware County is experiencing the same trend, but not nearly as bad. Its percent positivity went from 6.1 four weeks ago to 8.5 percent last week.
The good news is that beginning April 5, anyone in the Phase 1B is eligible for the vaccine. That includes clergy, corrections staff, education staff, sanitation staff, firefighters, agriculture staff, grocery staff, firefighters, those caring for children or adults, law enforcement, manufacturing staff, transit staff, U.S. postal staff and veterinarians.
"I am very glad the County Health Departments are getting more doses so that we can move quicker through our lists, particularly those who are at most risk, at home, or are essential workers," said Josh Maxwell, county commissioners vice chair.
On April 12, Phase 1C will be eligible for the vaccine. That includes construction staff, municipal and county officials, energy staff, finance staff, IT professionals and communications staff, legal staff, media staff, public health and safety staff, small business staff, transportation workers, utility workers and wastewater employees.
Those who wish to be vaccinated must pre-register at https://chesco.seamlessdocs.com/f/delcovac.
Since the pandemic began, 311,759 residents of Chester County have tested positive for coronavirus, and 749 people have died.
Current hot spots for the virus in Chester County include West Grove, with 9.46 percent of the population testing positive, Avondale, 9.4 percent positive, Atglen, 8.4 percent positive, Oxford, 8.1 percent, Penn Township, 7.7 percent positive, Coatesville, 7.6 percent positive, East Nottingham, 7.5 percent positive, Lower Oxford, 7.1 percent positive and Caln Township, 7 percent positive.
West Marlborough Township has the fewest cases, with just 2.5 percent of the population testing positive.
At the county's 75 long-term care facilities, 2,592 people have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began in March of last year, and 452 people have died, according to the Chester County Health Department. Of those deaths, 338 were people age 80 and over.
More than one million Pennsylvanians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the state's vaccine supply increases each week. All Pennsylvanians will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that as of April 5, there were 2,718 additional positive cases of COVID-19, in addition to 3,933 new cases reported Sunday, April 4, for a two-day total of 6,651 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to just over one million cases.
There are 2,202 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 432 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.
The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4,200 lower than it was at the peak on Dec. 25, 2020. The current 14-day average is also below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020. However, the moving average of number of hospitalized patients has started to increase.
Statewide percent positivity for the week of March 26 to April 1 stood at 9.4 percent.
Pennsylvania has administered first doses of vaccine to 34.8 percent of its eligible population, and the state ranks 12th among all 50 states for first doses administered by percentage of population.
Pennsylvania ranks fifth among all 50 states for total doses administered.
Vaccine providers have administered 5.6 million vaccine doses as of April 5. Of those, 3.7 million have received at least their first dose.
A map of vaccine providers, including contact information, is available on the state Department of Health’s website, https://www.health.pa.gov/. People without internet access can contact the department’s hotline at 1-877-724-3258.