State, NEPA COVID-19 case rates rising again, but well off peaks

Jul. 23—The rates of new COVID-19 cases more than doubled statewide and regionally in the last two weeks, but remain far off previous highs this year.

As of Friday, the state Department of Health recorded 5,202 new cases the previous two weeks compared to a two-week rate of 2,474 two Fridays ago.

During the same period, the two-week count rose to 397 in the region that includes Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. It was 179 two Fridays ago.

As sharp as both increases look, the rates remain a fraction of the most recent two-week count peak of 65,096 statewide on April 16 and 5,029 in the region April 10.

Maggi Barton, a Department of Health spokeswoman, did not directly answer a question about when or if the state might implement restrictions to curb the renewed spread, and the state has not announced any new restrictions.

"We continue to monitor case increases, and our focus is getting Pennsylvanians vaccinated," Barton said in an email.

Lackawanna County reported 11 new cases, Luzerne, 16, Monroe, 12, Pike, four, Susquehanna and Wayne, one each, and Wyoming, three.

Despite the sharp rise in cases, death rates remain lower than two weeks ago.

The state recorded 83 and the region three in the last two weeks, compared to 101 and eight in the two weeks before that. Deaths surges usually lag case increases.

In all, Pennsylvania has recorded 1,218,975 cases and 27,820 deaths, including 557 new cases and one death reported Friday.

The region, which added 48 cases and no deaths, has had 78,867 cases and 1,890 deaths.

Lackawanna continues to outpace all but Montour County in percentages of people vaccinated with 78.3% of adults with at least one dose and 70% fully vaccinated. For the other local counties, it's Luzerne, 67.7% one dose, 59.3% fully vaccinated; Wayne, 65.6% one dose, 57.2% fully vaccinated; Wyoming, 65.5% one dose, 57.6% fully vaccinated; Monroe, 62.3% one dose, 54.1% fully vaccinated; Pike, 60.9% one dose, 51% fully vaccinated; and Susquehanna, 49% one dose, 44.5% fully vaccinated.

Statewide, Pennsylvania has 77.3% of adults with at least one dose and 62.2% fully vaccinated.

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