BRADFORD, Pa. — McKean, Elk and Potter counties all have been listed at substantial risk of community transmission of COVID-19 by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The statewide percent-positivity went up to 9.6% from 6.8% last week. Every county in the state has a concerning percent positivity above 5% except the following counties: Forest (1.8%); Cameron (2.1%); Union (3.2%), Wayne (3.7%) and Susquehanna (4.6).

McKean County’s percent positivity rate for Nov. 6 to 12 was 7.7%; Elk’s, 7.9%; and Potter’s, 10.1%. The rate means the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive.

The weekly status update was released Monday by Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. The update showed a seven-day case increase of 26,215 cases, statewide percent positivity of 9.6%, and a concerning 59 counties with substantial transmission status.

This week’s update compares the period of Nov. 6 to 12 to the previous seven days, Oct. 30 to Nov. 5.

“The significant increase in cases and percent positivity across much of the state is cause for concern,” Wolf said. “We need all Pennsylvanians to take a stand and answer the call to protect one another. We need Pennsylvanians to be united in wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands and avoiding gatherings. It is only by working together that Pennsylvanians can prevent the spread of the virus.”

As of Nov. 12, the state had seen a seven-day case increase of 26,215 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 16,646 cases, indicating 9,569 more new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

“This week’s data, in terms of case increase, percent positivity and other factors is concerning,” Levine said. “We know COVID-19 does not discriminate. It is affecting all Pennsylvanians, no matter your race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status or whether you live in a rural, suburban or urban area. We need all Pennsylvanians to take the steps they can take to protect one another.”

As of Friday’s data, 59 counties, including Elk, McKean and Potter were in the substantial level of community transmission. The departments of Education and Health will speak with school district representatives in these counties to discuss the implications of this level of transmission.

For the week ending Nov. 12, three counties were in the low level of transmission — Cameron, Forest and Sullivan — and five counties were in the moderate level, Fayette, Pike, Susquehanna, Warren and Wayne.

The remaining 59 counties were in the substantial level of transmission.

The Department of Health is providing weekly data on the number of statewide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been 19,805 total cases of COVID-19 among 5- to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 3,198 occurred between Nov. 6 to 12. For the week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, there were 2,077 cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.

The Department of Health is providing weekly data on the number of individuals who responded to case investigators that they spent time at business establishments (restaurants, bars, gym/fitness centers, salon/barbershops) and at mass gatherings 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Of the 20,985 confirmed cases reported between Nov. 1 to 7, 16% (3,327) provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.

Of those who did provide an answer, 16%, or 535, answered yes, they visited a business establishment 14 days prior to onset of symptoms:

  1. 53% (284) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;
  2. 26% (140) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;
  3. 12.5% (67) of those who said yes reported going to a bar;
  4. 11% (60) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center; and

7% (39) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.

Of the 20,985 confirmed cases, 16% (3,335) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 16%, 18.4% (615) answered yes to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.

The health department updated its travel recommendations as well. There are 35 states on the list for recommended quarantine after traveling there, with Virginia just added.

There are five neighboring states that have been added to the list — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia.

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